Need to know a bit more about the internet casinos industry?
Award winners
Live jackpot values
RTP statistics
New casino games
Casino screenshots
High roller casinos
Deposit options
Pound and Euro casino
New casinos
Recent winners
Industry FAQs
Why play online
Online playing tips
Industry certifications
Casino news
Free play
Rules and strategies

If you're new to online casino gambling then you want to know a little more about the industry before you play for real.  Here are a bunch of common questions we've come up with that might be helpful...

  1. Have online casinos been around for long?

  2. Do many people actually gamble online with real money?

  3. Are there many Internet casinos operating at the moment?

  4. Are all online casinos licensed?

  5. Can all online casinos be trusted?

  6. How do you begin playing?

  7. How do you play for real money?

  8. Is it safe to deposit money with an online casino?

  9. Are game outcomes random?

  10. How do you know outcomes are random and you're not being cheated?

  11. Can you be sure that winnings will be paid out and how long will this take?

  12. What games can you play at these casinos?

  13. Are returns similar across all games?

  14. How do I receive my winnings?

  15. Who supplies the internet casinos with their software?

  16. So where do you recommend I gamble?

  17. Is it legal to gamble at an online casino?

  18. Want to know more?

Have online casinos been around for long?

In Internet terms, yes.  The first online casinos began accepting real money wagers online in 1996.  There are a couple of operations that claim to be the first online, most notably Inter Casino, and 888 Casino.  Many of the industry's pioneer operators are still online today, with player bases numbering in the hundreds of thousands...a testament to their fair play and professional operating practices.  

Back to Top

Do many people actually gamble online with real money?

It might surprise you to know that recent estimates suggest that somewhere in the order of 10 million people have actually placed real money wagers via the internet, and the majority of these would have been placed at internet casinos.  Results of a survey published in PRNewswire (22 March 2001) claimed that approximately 8 million people had already gambled with real money online at that time.

Another study released recently claimed that 4.5 million US citizens have gambled online, and 1 million do so on a regular basis.

When you consider that estimates of global internet penetration are around 400 to 500 million, then it seems that a surprisingly high percentage of the world's internet population have in fact gambled online.

Back to Top

Are there many Internet casinos operating at the moment?

A study released in March 2001 by analysts Bear Sterns suggested that there were between 1,200 and 1,400 sites accepting real money wagers online.  That's a lot of casinos to choose from...most pretty good, some not so great.

Between 1996 and late 2001 the number of casinos online grew at an astonishing rate.  But there are indications that the market is becoming somewhat saturated, with a number of casinos closing down recently due to an inability to make profits.  Some commentators are suggesting that the number of casinos may stagnate at around the 1,000 to 1,200 level, at least until internet penetration worldwide increases significantly.

Back to Top

Are all online casinos licensed?

Licenses to operate internet casinos and sports books are now issued by many governments around the world.  The first to issue licences were Caribbean and Pacific Island Governments, most notably in Antigua Barbuda, St Kitts, Dominica, Curacau and Vanuatu.  More recognised jurisdictions have also recently started issuing licenses, including Australia and gaming commissions of North American Indian territories.  South Africa and certain EU countries, particularly the UK are still investigating licensing options.  The US government is still grappling with the issue of whether to regulate or ban online gambling.

Not surprisingly, not all operators are licensed.  It is estimated that around 20% of current operators are unlicensed.  You should never play at an unlicensed casino or sports book.  

Back to Top

Can all online casinos be trusted?

Unfortunately the answer to this question is no. But this is hardly surprising.  In any industry you get your rogue operators, and this one is certainly no exception.  In addition to unlicensed operators, there are a few licensed casinos/sportsbooks that you should give a wide birth.  It has been estimated by some that around 40% of the industry as it currently stands is best left untouched.  Many players have been robbed of their winnings by unscrupulous operators, so it is crucial if you choose to play online, that you do select an honest operator.

Fortunately though, honest operators do exist.  There are many casinos that have worked long and hard to establish a brand that players associate with professionalism and honesty.  Casinos do not have to cheat players to make money, Vegas is a testament to this fact.

The key to casino selection is to play at a casino that:

  1. is licensed

  2. is well known (ie you've seen them appear advertised/well rated at many portals or player advocate sites)

  3. has been around for a while 

  4. has a reputation for honesty and integrity.

Some of our favorites are listed here.

Back to Top

How do you begin playing?

There are 2 simple steps to playing online.

1. download and install the casino software

All casinos allow you to download their software for free.  Most downloads take somewhere in the order of 15 to 20 minutes on a 56k connection, and setup instructions are simple once the software is downloaded.  Some casinos also offer to send the software to you on disc.  It should also be noted that some casinos offer browser based games, in which case this step is not required.

2. register and open an account

The next step is to register with the casino.  This involves giving some ID details (name, address, age etc), and establishing you player username and password.  You can now play the casino software for free to see what it is like, and if you choose, open a real money account and play for real.

Back to Top

How do you play for real money?

In order to play casino games for real money, or place a bet on your favourite team for real money, you will need to establish an account by depositing money with your chosen casino or sports book.  Once money is deposited you simply bet from your account, with losses deducted and winnings added.  

Most operators allow a wide range of deposit options, including major credit cards (ie the same way you buy most other things on the net), wire transfer, personal check or bank draft, as well as via a range of well known e-commerce facilitation organisations like PayPal and Firepay.  Due to recent restrictions placed by certain US banks, some US players might find that they cannot deposit via VISA and Mastercard and will need to use methods such as PayPal.

Back to Top

Is it safe depositing money with an online casino?

All casinos listed on 4 Internet Casinos use 128 bit encryption security to transfer information and funds confidentially and securely.  What this basically means is that transacting with these casinos is every bit as safe as transacting with major banks and financial institutions on-line.   If you're comfortable buying at, then you should be comfortable depositing at a good casino

If you choose to play at a casino not listed on this site, make sure any transactions and information transfer takes place on a secure server.  When you are at a secure server, a small padlock appears at the bottom right of your browser window status bar.

Back to Top

Are game outcomes random?

Leaving aside the dishonest operators, game outcomes at online casinos are dictated by various random number generation systems.  This means that the next card dealt in blackjack, or the number rolled in craps online will always be random.  It is also important to remember that in most cases, the casino operator will have no control over how the games play...this is dictated totally by the software vendor that licensee casino uses. 

Back to Top

How do you know outcomes are random and you're not being cheated?

In order to prove to players that game outcomes are random, many casinos and/or casino software developers are having there game return to player rates reviewed by independent auditors.  Microgaming, and all its licensee casinos for example, has PricewaterhouseCoopers review historical return to player rates, and post the verified outcomes for players to see.  Returns are verified in the range 96% to 99% across all games - returns consistent with terrestrial casinos.

All casinos listed on this site use well known software and/or have 3rd party audited returns. 

Back to Top

Can you be sure winnings will be paid out, and how long will this take?

Quite simply, play with a well known, respected operator and your winnings will be paid, and paid quickly, depending on your withdrawal choice, and where you live.  All of the casinos listed on this site pay reasonable quickly.

We can't attest to the pay out reliability or speed of casinos not listed on our site.

Back to Top

What games can you play at these casinos?

Game range offered online is huge.  Some casinos offer in excess of 60 games, including all the favorite table games, keno, progressives and multi-play.  If you've played it at a traditional casino, you'll find it online.   For a full list of games offered at our favorite casinos, click here

Back to Top

Are returns similar across all games?

As is the case in traditional casino gambling, returns differ substantially across games.  As a general rule, no skill games such as slots and keno will return less than skill games such as blackjack and video poker.  To give you some idea of where the smart money is, here the historical return to player rates from one well known casino during 2001.

Blackjack     98.6%
Baccarat      97.5%
Roulette       96.7%
Craps           96.6%
Slots            94.3% 

For a more detailed discussion of game rules, strategies and returns, read our rules & strategies page.

Back to Top

How do I receive my winnings?

In order to receive your winnings, you simply make a withdrawal from your casino or sports book account.  As for deposits, most operators offer a number of withdrawal options, including:

- check (offered by almost all operators)
- wire transfer (offered by few operators)
- debit to credit card to the value of original credit amount (offered by few operators)
- cash-in to PayPal of FirePay account (offered by FirePay/PayPal casinos)

Back to Top

Who supplies the internet casinos with their software?

There are a number of software providers out there licensing software to online casino operators.  Some casinos employ their own proprietary software, but the vast majority license software from one of the many software providers now peddling their wares to the industry.   The industries principle software licensors are Cryptologic, Microgaming, and  Boss Media.  

For a comprehensive list of software vendors, as well as details on most licensing jurisdictions, visit

Back to Top

So where do you recommend that I gamble?

Easy - begin by playing at the casinos which have been around for a long time, and have established themselves as reputable operators.  There are quite a few out there, but we can only vouch for the ones that we have played and been happy with.

If you'd like to see them click here

Back to Top

Is it legal to gamble at an online casino?

The answer to this question will vary depending on where you live.  In Australia for example, legislation specifically dealing with internet gambling was passed by the incumbent government in 2001, making it illegal for any online casino to offer their product to an Australian resident.  The legislation does not however deem it an offence for an Australian resident to gamble online - ie the legislation targets the operator and not the player.

The position is less clear in other parts of the world where legislation dealing specifically with internet gambling has not yet been passed.  The US government has made numerous attempts to ban online gambling, first in the form of the Kyle Bill introduced in 2000, then the Goodlatte Bill in 2001.  In both cases the Bills failed to pass.   At the time of writing of this page (Nov 2001) no legislation dealing specifically with internet gambling existed in the US.  And while some operators have been prosecuted under existing legislation (eg the Wire Act) for offering wagering products to citizens in areas of the US where gambling is illegal (eg Joel Cohen prosecuted in 2001 for accepting online sports bets from New Jersey residents), it is highly unlikely that any body could be prosecuted for simply being a customer of an online casino.

Back to Top 

Want to know more?

If you have any more questions that you would like answered, please feel free to contact us, and we will be happy to answer them as best we can and as soon as we can. 

In the mean time, gamble safe, and good luck!

Back to Top