Posts Tagged ‘best online casinos’

Charting the Waters of USA Facing Online Casinos: The Lowdown on What to Expect

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Online gambling in the USA. Take note, it’s a tricky thing. And apparently, it’s not getting less tricky. Now, before I scare you away from gambling at a U.S. facing online casino, let me just say that “tricky” doesn’t necessarily mean impossible. Nor does it mean unsafe or unfair. Let’s face it – until the U.S. government gets its act together, Americans must simply accept the fact that there are far fewer options when making a wager online.

Furthermore, the processing of funds used for online casino gambling is no easy matter either. What exactly does that mean? Well, for the most part, it means that there are fewer deposit options and that withdrawals tend to take longer to process. It also means that if you happen to not get your money, i.e. duped by an unscrupulous online casino operator, there simply is no legal recourse to get your entitled funds.

That said, U.S. residents who just have to get their gambling fix online (which I really can’t criticize considering the odds are far better online than they are at a good ‘ol American land-based casino), need to use caution when surfing the waters of U.S. facing online casinos.

Chiefly, there are three software developers that permit their online casino licensees to accept U.S. wagers. They are Real Time Gaming, Vegas Technology and Rival Gaming. The big dogs – Microgaming, Playtech and Cryptologic – backed out of the U.S. market a long time ago (to their chagrin), while the smaller aforementioned outfits simply left it up to individual operators to choose for themselves whether or not to pursue the lucrative U.S. market.

The only problem is that NOT all of the online casino operators using these software providers are to be trusted. Not that they are all crooks (although some very likely are), the problem is that anybody with a fair amount of money to put down can open an online casino. Whether or not they can maintain the operation of an online casino without going bankrupt is another matter.

This is what differentiates a white label online casino from…well, a non-white label online casino. Stay tuned for future blog posts here at OCS for more clarification about this and how you can arm yourself with the knowledge to make safe decisions regarding which online casinos to play and which to avoid. In the meantime, please check out our best online casinos page for a shortlist of what OCS and many players consider to be the best online casinos accepting U.S. players. We have done the due diligence researching all of these sites, and their track records speak for themselves.

New Online Casino Review at OCS Qualifies for Homepage Listing

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

There’s a new face in the online casino reviews directory here at OCS. In fact, this highly rated Rival Gaming powered online casino even made it to the OCS homepage. How’s that, you ask? What gives one online casino homepage precedence over another? Heck, as strict as we are at granting listings in our reviews directory, period, how is it that some online casinos are listed, while others – albeit equally qualified – are not.

Errrrrrrrrrr!!!!! (sound of screeching car tires) Hold it right there! What’s that you say? Two equally qualified online casinos may not get equal exposure here at OCS? One may not even get any exposure at all? Well, pray do tell, what gives?

First of all, these are some great questions. How do you know that we aren’t a conglomerate working on behalf of all the online casinos listed at OCS? For that matter, how do you know we are not Russian spy’s working on behalf of the President Pootin (I mean Putin) and his submissive love buddy ice skating pal, Evgeny Plushenko (who won the gold medal in Vancouver, by the way)? Seriously though, this would entail a conflict of interest and some serious bias would it not? And as much as I want to say, “Rest assured, OCS does not work for any of the online casinos listed on our site”, we fully understand that the most skeptic of the skeptics still might have some reservations trusting our word.

That’s why we always encourage our skeptic readers to do some further research and find out what others are saying about a particular online casino. And believe me, there is plenty of information out there. Google is your best friend! The only thing is that much of this information isn’t backed up, but is simply hot air. That’s precisely why you will find lengthy and detailed reviews of each of the online casinos listed at OCS. Not hot air, mind you, but rather, facts and objective observations.

But this still doesn’t necessarily explain why two equally qualified online casinos may not get the same amount of exposure on our reviews pages, does it not? Well, here’s the thing. OCS is not a directory of online casinos. In other words, we are not exhaustive, as opposed to a site like Online Casino City, which albeit, more exhaustive, does not provide the detail and comprehensive nature which our reviews provide. If we comprehensively reviewed every online halfway decent online casino in business today, we would be more like the Wikipedia of online casinos and overwhelm our readers with too many choices.

The other aspect you must consider is that while two online casinos are equally qualified in their credentials, that does not mean they are equal in areas of bonuses, payouts, customer service, loyalty rewards and a host of other factors. OCS takes into consideration the overall package. Believe us – It’s not about money. That’s precisely why we don’t accept paid advertising.

And yes, we take into consideration the fact that some online casinos are more willing to work with us than others. This is a good thing, for our selectiveness gives us more say when dealing with potential player complaints. Online casino operators know how hard it is to get listed at OCS. They would be foolish to not amicably deal with player complaints that potentially come through OCS. In other words, they are more willing to work things out with players when OCS is involved. When our referred players are happy, that makes us happy. Mind you, that doesn’t mean we are always going to take the side of the player. But if there is a dispute, a lag in customer service or any grey issue that needs resolving, we will always jump to the defense of the player.

In conclusion (let’s bring this back full circle, shall we?), that new addition to the OCS online casinos reviews section and homepage I talked about in the intro paragraph, certainly qualifies for a featured listing at OCS. The site is none other than Ruby Royal Casino, and as mentioned, is a licensee of Rival Gaming software. There are many Rival Gaming licensees in business today, and here at OCS we have just six Rival Gaming powered online casinos listed on our site. They all stand out for different reasons – And for Ruby Royal, it’s the fact they are the first – and currently – only Rival online casino to be given an operator TST approval.

For those not familiar with what a TST approval is, it means that the Ruby Royal Casino software platform has undergone extensive testing to ensure it is safe, fair and cannot be manipulated. TST, by the way, is an internationally recognized software testing facility. Furthermore, Ruby Royal Casino submits itself to ongoing payout audits, thus confirming payout percentages, which are verified by the actual TST reports linked through the Ruby Royal website. Considering the history of Ruby’s management team – Bonne Chance NV/Silverstone Overseas Ltd (which has been in business for nearly ten years), and the promotions offered at Ruby Royal – 200% up to $1,000 Free Welcome Bonus on a single deposit with 15x play-through – it’s pretty obvious to us that Ruby Royal Casino deserves to be on the OCS homepage.

For more information, read the OCS Ruby Royal Casino Review

The First Online Casino: Who, What, When, Where, and Most Importantly, Why?

Monday, January 18th, 2010
portrait of old man

Is being the first and oldest all that it's cracked up to be?

Here’s a history lesson for you:

I remember back at the turn of the Century (Oh Lord, I say that way too much…and yes, I’m getting way too old), when it was a big deal to be the “first online casino”. You know, being the first online casino to go live on the Web, and thus earning the connotation that “first” equates to being ahead of the pack? Obviously, this is true to a certain extent. I mean, with age also comes a certain amount of respect, should it not?

In this business, it is hard to stay in business if you’re cheating players. Indeed, it does happen. Some of the smallest trees in the online gambling industry cast the deepest shade, if you know what I mean. Information travels fast online, and when enough players get swindled and enough blacklists get published, rogue online casinos have no choice but to shut down. The only problem is that they often rebrand themselves only to begin the process all over again :(. For those online casinos that have endured the test of time without going rogue, however, respect is earned and respect is given.

So the question remains, does first necessarily mean better, or even, best? And, who was the first online casino anyways?

Surprisingly, verifying who was actually the “first”, and consequently, the oldest online casino, poses more difficulty than gauging the benefits of being first. You see, the title of “first” is highly contested, and everybody wants to be first for bragging rights and the prestige and reputation that comes from the title. Of course, for the online casino that is no longer in business, the title of first absolutely doesn’t mean a thing. Nor does it mean a thing when the title has been self-endowed – and there are plenty of online casinos self-endowing themselves with the title of first or best or largest etc.

What does mean a thing and is actually more important than being the first online casino, in my opinion, is the history of the operator. For example, these days, the best online casinos are usually apart of a network of sites, often growing in sync with the successes of the network itself. The longer a network has stayed in business, without having earned a tarnished reputation mind you, the more trustworthy and dependable it’s casino’s ought to be.

So, instead of trying to pin who was the actual first online casino, which really could be any number of sites launched in the mid-nineties (Inter Casino, First Web Casino, Lasseters etc.), pay mind to who are the more established online casino networks. A good place to get started would be the English Harbour Gaming Ventures (EHGV) Network (for U.S. players) and the Jackpot Factory (for UK and Euro players). EHGV has been in business since 1997/98 and indeed launched one of the first online casinos – flagship property, English Harbour Casino. EHGV now operates a medium sized network of eight thriving online casinos, including OCS favorites, Super Slots and Millionaire Casino.

As for the Jackpot Factory, they have been in business since the mid-nineties, launching what could actually be the first online casino. Are you ready for it? You’ll never guess the name. First Web Casino. The Jackpot Factory now maintains a network of seven online casinos, including OCS top picks, All Slots Casino and All Jackpots Casino.

What is most important about EHGV and the Jackpot Factory is that they have been in business for many years, all the while earning a solid reputation and continually expanding their reach on the internet. That is the value of history, people! It should stand for something, and in my opinion, carries much more weight than simply launching the first online casino. Don’t be fooled by titles. Learn your history!