Best New Online Casinos for 2020
Do you have your mind set on joining a brand new online casino?
Well, before you do that, I suggest you read every word of this page. Because even the best new online casinos may not be as great as they look from the outside. They’re certainly not guaranteed to be as good as the established top-rated casinos, such as the ones we recommend.
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New online casinos are often a catch-22.
On one hand, they’re exciting. They could have new games. Massive deposit bonuses. A rewarding VIP program, and a bunch of other stuff you’re eager to check out.
But many new casinos have a dark side too. A side naïve and unsuspecting players don’t think about or realize until it’s too late.
Don’t worry, we’re going to tell you what you need to be aware of. The signs you need to look for which will tell you if the casino you’re about to join will stay afloat,or if it’ll sink like a rock.
Many new casinos ultimately become flakes. Even those who start well can later decline.
We’d say the majority of new casinos start off on the right foot, with good intentions. But for one reason or another they fall behind.
And instead of owning it, or even (temporarily) pausing deposits to regroup, they continue as normal, thinking they’ll dig themselves out.
What happens, though, is they continue to pay themselves and their staff. And they pay their players with other players’ money. With no reserves on-hand, when the cash flow stops, they’re unable to pay each of their customers back. And not just their winnings, but even their bankrolls.
Theae casinos sink further and further into debt. Eventually, they get so deep they can’t get themselves out.
A minority of new online casinos set out on the dark side. They plan to scam players from the very beginning. They take deposits with no intention of every paying it back. Then they give them the runaround, or flat-out tell them to get lost.
We discuss how to avoid new online casinos that are likely to go down that route below, along with some other things you should know.
Why Do So Many New Casinos Fail?
We think it’s because of a lethal cocktail consisting of these three mistakes:
- Thinking too much about how much a casino can make. This type of business has the potential to do millions, if not billions in revenue annually.
- Seeing how easy it is to start an online casino. Then underestimating how much work and money it truly takes.
- Failing to establish a USP.
We don’t think all new casinos start off intending to scam people. But instead are blinded by greed and optimism. Then they get in over their heads.
It doesn’t help how easy it is to start an online casino, either. It’s far easier than a brick and mortar casino.
Offline, you have to worry about building the casino. Obtaining building, gambling and alcohol permits. Hiring and training employees. Getting all your licenses. And then paying for all this stuff.
Especially since so many software companies offer white label solutions. These are basically casino businesses in a box. They come with everything you need to get started; you get the software, payment processing, merchant accounts, customer support, marketing and so on.
It’s not nearly as expensive to start either. You can get started for a five or low six figure fee. This is nothing for a new business, let alone a business capable of doing millions of dollars, or more, per year.
Online businesses have less overhead, too. If the software company takes care of all the things mentioned earlier, the new casino may only need to add staff, website hosting and maintenance.
The bottom line – it’s easy to be overly optimistic when the process of launching a casino site is so cheap and as simple as having someone set it up for you.
What the Heck’s a USP?
Another mistake new casinos make is they fail to establish what makes them different. They fail to answer this question: why should someone choose me over one of the 100+ online casinos.
This is called having a USP, or unique selling proposition. Without this a business struggles to become anything more than a commodity.
For online casinos, this means resorting to offering huge bonuses, progressive jackpots, tournaments (with overlays) and other big promises.
This can get casinos in trouble too. They offer lots of free money offers. But then they use up money they’d otherwise use to pay withdrawal requests.
Ultimately, failing to have a USP doesn’t lead to money troubles. Not by itself. Not having enough money leads to money troubles.
But when a casino fails to establish their USP, they resort to tactics like offering big deposit bonuses, when instead that money would do a new casino more good stashed away in their reserves.
Why Bother with New Casinos?
After all that, explaining how and where so many new online casinos screw up, you might be wondering why you’d bother with a new casino. Why not simply stick to the tried and true, proven, existing casinos?
It’s a fair question. You take on a fair amount of risk when you join a new casino.
But humans like new things. Shiny things. We do, and you probably do too. So here are some reasons why we like new casinos:
- Find new games to play. Maybe the casino’s working with a new software provider you haven’t heard of before. If you’ve been around awhile, and have had your fill of Microgaming and Real Time Gaming games, then you’ll probably look forward to (and appreciate) this change of pace more than most.
- Take advantage of new and more aggressive promotions. We recommend starting off small (which we’ll explain in the next section). But the good news is even if you start small, the offers are likely large enough (match percentage-wise) where you’ll get plenty of mileage out of them.
- Play more modern or updated games. This can be because of a different software company or because a company upgraded their software to newer tech, such as HTML5. This might also mean joining a casino who’s done a better job of adopting mobile casino games.
- They have a different payment option, cheaper fees or faster processing times. This is especially helpful if you’re an American player.
There are lots of reasons. But it usually comes down to something new (novelty) or improvements in software or banking.
Whatever your reason, here are some tips to help you get started.
How to Avoid Joining a Sucky New Casino
If you’re set on checking out new online casinos, we recommend using the following 8 tips to do everything you can to avoid joining the sucky ones.
1Look for new casinos on casino blacklists.
Casino blacklists are lists of casinos who have done shady things or screwed up so bad it’s recommended you avoid them. This can be for a variety of reasons including non-payment, screwy terms, bad games, and so on. If a new casino’s already on a blacklist, then they must’ve really screwed up.
2Don’t be a beta tester.
In other words, don’t be one of their first customers. The reason why is simple. Think about new drugs – people who’re often the first to try them get sick …sometimes even die. Someone has to, otherwise how would anyone know if they worked or if the formulas need to be changed? It’s the same for new casino sites – let someone else take the risk and wait to hear about their experience.
3Start off small.
Usually we’d recommend our readers make as big a deposit as they can afford to. Because most casinos only let you deposit once to take full advantage of their new player deposit bonus. But we don’t recommend you do that with a brand new casino. Make a smaller deposit instead, like 10 or 25 percent of your total bankroll. That way you’re not out a lot of money if the casino turns out to be a rotten apple.
4Don’t fall for big bonuses or other promises.
A normal deposit bonus might be a 100% match up to $1,000, or even $2,500. But a casino offering a 400% match bonus up to $10,000 should set your warning bells off. These types of offers are signs of desperation and/or a scam.
5Check for licensing.
Licensing – by itself – means little in the grand scheme of things. It doesn’t stop rogues from scamming people, especially with how lax some jurisdictions and regulators are. But we still recommend checking for it anyway. It’s still a barrier of entry that will keep the lowest of scum out.
You can find this information at the bottom of a casino’s website or on the casino’s about page. You can also double check this against the licensor’s and gaming tester’s website. They will usually post when they licensed or tested a casino, and if their approval is current and still valid.
6Check for other parent/sister companies.
Many companies – often shady ones – will launch a new casino when their existing casino has worn out its welcome. You’ll want to double check their parent name or licensing info against the regulators database and against blacklists. This is also a way to see if an existing casino has been bought out by another company (and if that company’s reputation’s any good).
7Beware of casinos working with certain software companies.
Some software companies, like jurisdictions and regulators, are more relaxed than others. One example is Real Time Gaming. There are several casinos they work with who’re above board. But then there are plenty of others who aren’t. While we recommend several RTG-powered casinos, even we can’t deny it’s easier to avoid them altogether. Otherwise, be prepared to do your research (starting with our casino reviews).
8Look for other products the casino might offer.
One good example is Lock Casino. If you only research the casino, you might not find anything bad enough to prevent you from signing up. But what if they owed their poker customers millions of dollars; wouldn’t that stop you from signing up? Which Lock did up until they finally closed up shop, proving how important it is to fully research whatever company you’re thinking about joining.
Six Ways New Online Casinos Can Succeed
There are plenty of ways for new online casinos to fail but some manage to stick for long enough and actually succeed in the very competitive online gambling industry.
Let’s take a look at the key points that allow them to make it.
Secure Enough Funds
If you want to secure a proper license, attract enough customers, and keep them in the long run, you have to invest money. There’s no other way around it in an industry that features hundreds of online casinos already.
You need an initial push and you need enough cash reserves to secure a runway for your project to start making money. That’s why all new online casinos have to gather enough funds beforehand.
Create a Safe Gambling Environment
One of the most important factors for success in the online gambling industry is to gain the trust of your customers. The new online casinos need to prove that they have no intention of stealing their players’ money and they also are determined to prevent third parties from doing the same.
The easiest way to achieve both goals would be to install the latest security measures and obtain an online gambling license by a legit regulator. If a fresh online casino wants to succeed, this formula is mandatory.
Deliver Unique Games
This one’s hard to achieve nowadays but delivering some unique games could be the key to success. The new online casinos could do that by developing them in-house or by striking deals with some of the many popular studios in the industry.
You don’t need a completely unique selection of titles, in fact, it might be harmful to go that route. Getting several exclusive products of the highest quality on top of a portfolio full of proven games is the best way to attract new players.
Launch Big Promotions
There’s a fine balance for all new online casino sites when it comes to bonuses and other deals. They are forced to launch better promotions than the established gambling operators in order to compete. That’s pretty much inevitable if you want to attract new customers.
At the same time, you want to still keep some balance. You should stay within some realistic boundaries, so you don’t go bankrupt or lose your players once you reduce the value you are giving up.
Offer Impeccable Customer Support Service
Most online casinos don’t have competent staff. You can often spend hours trying to explain to an agent what the problem is and that’s so exhausting. A new player in the business simply can’t afford to lose customers because of that.
The top internet casinos hire people with experience and invest in their training, so their customer support service is impeccable.
Hit a Certain Niche
The success factors listed so far are pretty much mandatory for all new casinos, but that last one is a bit different. One of the ways that could deliver a unique selling proposition is to target a certain niche hard.
It’s much easier to become the best place for Egyptian slots than the top site for slots altogether. Naturally, that comes with certain risks.
The market must be big enough and the competition must be beatable or you the new casino might just end up with a small target group that’s not worth chasing.
On the bright side, identifying a certain niche that is underdeveloped could lead to instant success.
Our tips aren’t foolproof. There’s still a good chance of a bad apple or two passing under your radar. But they should eliminate 99% of the new garbage that enters the market.
Not that there’s anything wrong with new blood. It’s actually great for you because it pushes all the other (legit) casinos to step up their games; to come up with new offers, add new games and improve overall. Otherwise they run the risk of falling behind.
Just be sure you do your research first. And when you find a new casino you think is worth checking out, make a small deposit to minimize your risks in case you missed something.
That’s the safest way to join a new online casino in 2021.
You can also keep an eye on our blog, where we often publish details of new online casinos and our assessments of them.
Here are some common questions we’ve received about researching and joining new online casinos.
What are some blacklists you recommend?
We suggest starting with ours. But it’s a good idea to check other blacklists to compare results. Some other blacklists we recommend include:
- Casinomeister’s Rogue Pit
- Wizard of Odds
I’ve read bad reviews and complaints about a new casino. Should I believe them?
It depends. Some people complain about dumb things. They’ll claim a casino’s rigged when they lose (fairly). Or, they’ll scream “scam” if a casino takes 24 hours to respond to their email (instead of 24 minutes). You should ignore this stuff.
The same goes for review sites. Many sites are biased. They get paid when they refer new customers. Some don’t get about the reader (you) at all. They’ll recommend shady sites because they pay more, while not recommending the legit ones.
This isn’t always the case, of course. But if you’re determined to join this new casino site, you need to be able to distinguish the unreliable reviews and complaints from the legit ones.
But if you want our honest opinion – if you’re just not sure about a new casino, and the reviews and complaints aren’t making things easier, just move for now. Play somewhere else. There are so many casinos out there. There’s no reason to risk your bankroll.
Besides, you can always give the casino 3 or 6 months to see if their ratings improve.
Are there any other warning signs you recommend looking for?
We covered the important tips earlier. Those are your best bet if you want to avoid sucky new casinos. Other things you can do include:
- Play their free games. The company may be above board, but testing their free games let you see if their software or games suck.
- Research forums. You want to look for other players’ experiences and complaints. We recommend looking for banking information, such as processing and delivery times. You also want to see if they’ve had any problems with bonuses and/or cashing out.
That should give you a good idea if the casino’s worth joining or not. And you can do all this research in the space of an afternoon or two.
Have a question you’d like us to answer?