How to Open an Online Casino Account
You've read our top casino reviews, and you've found a site that has all the slots and table games you want to play - now what?
Now, you have to sign up to the casino for an account and get playing.
Most online casinos let you browse the lobby and try out games for free without opening an account. However, to play for real-money you'll need to register some details and create a log-in.
Entering Vital Details
Before you start, check the site has proper security in place. Most good casinos will have SSL or similar security (check for the logos on the homepage and the 'padlock' symbol). This is a sign that your personal data and card details are kept safe from hackers.
Some casinos require a download to the customer's computer. This involves downloading a solid software program to the hard drive, and a shortcut will automatically be saved to your desktop. Generally, PC clients are offered, but some casinos offer a Mac download too. Other casinos, meanwhile, allow players to access games straight via the website in their browsers for 'instant-play' gambling.
Whether you download a client to your desktop or sign up for an instant-play account on a mobile or PC, you'll need to enter some vital statistics:
Date of Birth (to confirm you're over 18)
Country of Residence
Currency you're gambling in
Promo Code (if applicable)
Enter the details when prompted, and then enter a promotion code if you have one. This will give you access to a good welcome bonus when you make your first deposit.
Choosing a Username and Password
Your username and password must be chosen here too. These should be easy enough for you to remember, and hard enough for anyone else to guess.
Some sites even give you a 'Password Strength' indicator to tell you if it's hard to guess, so pick upper and lower-case letters, and include numbers. Also avoid choosing birthdays or names as part of your password and don't choose the same password as you use on a different gambling site. On top of that, consider changing your password every month to guard against fraud.
Good online casinos won't allow Cookies on their websites so you'll have to enter your username and password from scratch each time you log in. However, if you find you can visit a casino page and you're automatically logged in every time, remember to log out each time you leave the site. It's just an added level of security in case anyone is accessing your computer.
If you forget your username or password, the Customer Support team will be on-hand to help you reset the password. Some sites ask for a separate 4-digit number as well as a password as an added layer of security. And if you forget that too, you can usually provide an address and date of birth to have all passcodes reset.
Once you've entered all the relevant information, tick the box confirming that you're over 18 (for a UK resident) and have accepted the Terms and Conditions. If you don't want your email inbox crammed with promotional junk, untick the box asking for 'exclusive offers'.
Making a First Real-Money Deposit
Once your account has been approved (some sites will send you an email containing a link needed to confirm the application) you are ready to start playing for real cash.
The first thing to do is make a deposit.
Casinos will usually try to tempt you in with a welcome bonus (you may even receive a mobile text confirming your new-player bonus amount and free spins). You have the option of turning this down and just playing for your own cash, of course.
In the Cashier, you'll be presented with a screen where you can deposit with a card or e-Wallet payment. You can also check your past transactions, change your login details, or make a cash-out.
To pick a payment method, select one from the drop-down menu. Credit and debit cards will need to be registered with the casino first before you can use them. This will entail entering the card number and the address it's registered to. Once you've registered your card, you can make a deposit.
Before a first withdrawal, verification is needed (see below), but cashing out is as easy as heading to the Cashier and selecting a cash-out method.
Enter the amount you want to withdraw, and your password, and hit the 'Withdraw' or 'Submit' button.
While deposits can be instant, withdrawals can take longer - around 1-5 days on average.
To comply with gambling regulation and to ensure security, most online casinos ask for ID verification to make a first cash withdrawal. This is to avoid under-age gambling and to stop bonus abuse by players opening multiple accounts.
A photo or scan of some ID like a passport or driving licence is usually needed to verify an account. Players need just email the ID scan to the casino site, as well as the account username and password. Once documents have been verified (usually 24-72 hours by most top casinos), withdrawals are actioned.
Mobile Gaming Accounts
Mobile casinos operate in a similar way to desktop clients. If a downloadable client is available, players can usually download the casino software direct from the site via their phones (the Apple Store and Google Play do, however, have some native apps available).
Signing up for a mobile casino account requires the same information: create a username and password, enter home address and phone number, and register the account.
If you find you need to provide verification documents, you can usually take photos using your phone and email them direct to the site.
If the casino has a desktop and mobile client, and you've already signed up for a desktop account, you can use the same login details for both.
Online casinos are very capable at spotting rogue accounts, so always play by the rules when registering a new account:
Use your real name and address
Have a proper mobile number registered
Pick the right currency
Open more than one account under your name or address
Use someone else's card or e-wallet to make a first deposit
Casinos are within their rights to deny winnings if you violate sign-up rules, so be honest, don't gamble if you're under 18, and don't double up accounts with your spouse/partner etc.
Read the site's terms and conditions and start your gambling journey off the right way!