The question of “are online casinos popular” tends to pop up fairly often in the minds of people not particularly familiar with them. After all, we see ads for them all the time, online, in print, even on TV – so either they’re doing well enough for themselves to afford expensive marketing or are so desperate for any and all players that they need to reach them by any means necessary.
Looking at the data, however, it’s undeniable that the answer is certainly the former. According to studies, nearly 50% of the UK’s entire population gambles online at least once a month, resulting in an industry that generates about £15 billion every year. And despite not needing any boost, online gambling still got one during the pandemic, with searches for online casino in the UK reaching an all-time high.
At this point, the popularity of online casinos can’t be reasonably called into question. Chances are that many of your friends, neighbours and colleagues spin a few reels every once in a while, or bet on a few poker hands from their phone. While gambling addiction is a very real and palpable problem in the UK, it’s worth noting that most of those players do not suffer from the condition and only spend a very small amount on gambling every month. While the number may seem giant, it’s fairly comparable to lotteries in Western Europe, or totalizator games in places like Poland and the Balkans who enjoy similar levels of engagement. People just love to gamble, and online casinos are a quick and convenient way to do just that.
Tips for Online Casinos: How to Get Started
Modern online casinos are optimised and streamlined specifically to be as accessible as possible to new players. Still, there are some things that you need to be aware of before you make your first deposit.
First and foremost, it’s worth talking about the bonuses – the centrepoint of most casino advertisements. “Deposit now and get a 200% bonus!” Wow, free money? Well, not quite. You see, when you complete your deposit, your available funds will be separated into “real money” and “bonus funds”. Real money is the sum you deposited, while bonus funds are whatever bonus the casino gave you (sometimes a multiplier on your deposit, other times you’ll get free spins and the winnings from those will be counted as bonus funds).
While it’s possible to convert bonus funds into real money, the process is long, difficult and nearly impossible. It involves playing through your bonus funds a set amount of times (meaning betting them, winning them and betting them again) within a very limited time, which, while technically feasible, isn’t something that most gamblers will be able to do. In addition, the casino will use your bonus funds first when you place a bet, meaning that if you have some giant bonus it can take days or weeks before you actually stand to win any real money. Who said you can’t have too much of a good thing?
Our advice would be to dodge giant match bonuses and instead gravitate towards a no deposit bonus. While not nearly as high as the deposit bonus (not to mention very rare), a no deposit bonus doesn’t require you to commit a single penny before you can start using it. This means that you can register for the casino, grab your bonus, enjoy it however you want and only then make your first deposit. And true, the rules are the same, meaning that the chances of converting the first deposit into real money are slim to none, but it’s an entirely different feeling when you get to play around with it without real money sitting in your account doing nothing.
Bonuses are the most complicated part of signing up for an online casino, which is partially on purpose. Beyond that, the rest boils down to being aware of which games will give you the best chance of winning. Usually, slots and roulette have fairly low odds of winning, while card games such as blackjack will give you the best chance at beating the house. However, at the end of the day it’s all about playing the games that you enjoy the most – and if that’s slots, then our only advice is to pick a casino with a lot of great ones!