The best way to have when gambling online is to win money, cash in your winnings, and spend it on something you either don’t need, can’t afford, or both.
That’s a tall order, though. Some gambling sites are unsafe. You can’t win real money at such sites. Other gambling sites don’t cash out winnings in a timely manner (or at all). God only knows what sites like that do with your personal information, either.
Finding sites that meet these requirements can be tricky (to say the least). There’s so much money to be made by these gambling sites that some less-than-ethical people are bound to get involved in their management and operations.
And since the legality of gambling sites in the United States is questionable, you’ll often find yourself dealing with offshore gambling sites with little oversight, increasing your risk even further.
But I think if you want to gamble online, you should be able to do so, and do so without fear of losing your money or being swindled. To that purpose, I’ve provided a list of the top 5 gambling sites of 2018.
I’ve been involved in the online gambling industry for 15+ years. I’ve spent considerable time investigating reputations. And you can be confident that the sites listed below offer great customer service, fair games, and fast cash outs.
What more could you ask for?
1. Slot Madness Casino
The signup bonus at Slot Madness Casino is 400% up to $4000. They offer over 130 different games, 80 of which are slot machines. The other games include online versions of blackjack, craps, roulette, and video poker. The VIP program at Slot Madness Casino is excellent, and they offer customer service 24/7.
2. Slots.lv Casino
The signup bonus at Slots.lv Casino is one of the biggest in the industry–$5000. But you claim it in stages. You get a 200% matching deposit bonus on your first deposit of $1000. You then get 100% matching deposit bonuses on your next 8 deposits of $500. The casino offers an insane number of slot machine games–I lost count. They also offer online versions of other traditional casino games, as well as bingo and keno games.
3. SlotsPlus Casino
When you use the coupon code “SLOTSGUY,” you get a 400% deposit bonus of up to $10,000 at SlotsPlus Casino. They’ve been in business for almost 2 decades and have generated practically no customer complaints in that entire time. SlotsPlus caters to a largely United States and Canadian audiene.
4. Ruby Slots Casino
Ruby Slots Casino offers a 250% deposit bonus up to $2500 on your first deposit, but it’s an unusually good bonus. They have no play through requirement and no maximum cash out. You can start playing instantly at Ruby Slots Casino. There’s no download required.
5. Miami Club Casino
Miami Club Casino offers a 200% matching bonus on your first deposit of up to $4000. They also offer 50 free slot machine spins. They offer the same collection of casino games and slots as most other casinos, but they’re the best online casino site for players who enjoy casino game tournaments.
You’ll find plenty of lists of gambling sites like the above on the internet. Most of those lists were created haphazardly or based on how much money an advertiser spent to be listed in that position.
My list isn’t like that. My list is based on my goal of helping you find the best online gambling companies on the web. I have ridiculously high standards for listing websites.
I’m 100% satisfied with my experiences at these properties. I’m convinced you will be, too.
But don’t think these are the only legitimate gambling sites out there. Some people have different experiences at different properties. For example, if you’re looking for a gambling site where you can play poker with other players, Ignition Casino might be a better fit for your needs. Or if you want to bet on sports, Bovada might be the most appropriate choice.
I listed the sites above because they’re MY favorites. Feel free to agree or disagree in the comments section below.
As I write this post, I’m sure that all of the sites mentioned accept players from the United States. I’m not sure about how friendly they are with customers from other jurisdictions. There are over 200 countries in the world, all of whom have different laws about gambling online. If you’re from another country, these sites might or might not be appropriate for you.
How to Choose a Gambling Site
Probably the first step in choosing a gambling site is making sure they cater to players from your part of the world. Since I write this site in English, I assume that most of my readers are looking for gambling sites who accept players from:
- The United States
- The United Kingdom
When you visit a site for the first time, you should contact their customer service agents via chat to ask if they accept players from your jurisdiction.
The next step is to make sure the site you’re considering offers the gambling activities you want to engage in. You might be interested in any of the following gambling games:
- Casino games
- Lotteries (including scratch-offs)
- Sports betting
If the site offers some of what you’re looking for, investigate what kind of banking methods they accept for deposits. It does you no good to sign up for a casino site if you can’t deposit and/or withdraw money from that site. Common banking methods include:
- Credit cards
- Cash transfers
- Bank transfers
- Online wallets
How I Evaluated the Gambling Sites on this List
You can look at multiple criteria when evaluating a gambling site. Not all of them are equal. For example, security issues are more important than anything else. If a site can’t be trusted with your personal information, it’s automatically disqualified from my list.
I take this aspect of evaluating listings seriously. You should, too. If safety and security aren’t mentioned on a page recommending online gambling sites, get out of there fast. They clearly don’t know what’s important.
I also investigate the reputations for the owners and managers of the sites. If a site’s reputation is bad, you can usually find plenty of evidence on the more popular player forums online. I spend plenty of time watching what’s happening at sites like Casinomeister, for example.
Finally, I look at what kind of cash out times you can expect. You can do everything else right as an online casino operator, but if your payouts don’t happen fast, you’re not a good deal.
Answers to Some of the Most Common Questions about Gambling Sites
These are the most commonly asked questions about gambling sites that I see asked in forums, especially as they pertain to players in the United States. Feel free to post additional questions in the comments if your question isn’t answered below. I’ll be glad to address them in the comments or maybe even update this post itself.
Is it legal to play at an online gambling site?
The best page I’ve read about the legality of online gambling is at Michael Bluejay’s VegasClick site. Of course, it’s aimed at United States readers. I’ll echo some of what he said there here, but I’ll also point out that I’m not a lawyer. Neither is Michael. And we both write from a U.S. citizen perspective.
No federal law makes it illegal to play at an online gambling site. It’s illegal to run an online gambling site, though, at least in some states. Sports betting has stricter laws affecting it, too.
The legal issues are the reason so many online casinos operate offshore. If you live in one of the 3 states where online casinos are legal and regulated, you can feel 100% comfortable with the legality of gambling online.
Even if you live elsewhere, your discomfort (if any) should come from the risk level of dealing with an offshore company–not from the prospect of the cops busting in and arresting you for playing slots on your laptop or mobile device.
Do online casinos cheat?
Most online casinos don’t cheat because they don’t have to. All gambling sites offer gambling games where they have a mathematical advantage. How this advantage is derived varies based on the game, but it works similarly from one activity to another.
Here’s an example:
Blackjack seems like a fair game. You get 2 cards, just like the dealer does. You automatically lose if you get 22 points or more. So does the dealer.
But the casino acts last. If you bust before the dealer acts, you lose–even if the dealer busts when he plays his hand. That’s where the house edge comes from in blackjack.
Here’s another example:
When you play poker with other players, the casino takes a 5% commission from the pot before awarding it to the winner of a hand. This is called the rake. If you’re an average player, you will lose money steadily over time. If you’re above average, you might win consistently over time, but the casino hosting the game still makes their cut.
Here’s a final example:
Most sports betting sites require you to risk at least $110 to win $100. Some of them require you to risk $120 to win $100.
The difference between what you’re risking and what you might win is called “the vig.” This acts like a commission, so the book always makes money.
When you have a business like this, you don’t need to cheat to make money. The math is on your side in the long run.
Some gambling sites do cheat, but not any of the sites I’ve listed on this page.
What should I do if I have a complaint with one of the sites you recommended?
You should contact the customer service department and politely ask them to resolve your issue. Be firm, but stay calm and be polite. Humility works wonders in any customer service situation, especially if you’re the disgruntled party.
Remember, your aim is to accomplish your goal. This usually means getting your money from the casino. If you anger the staff there, your chances of achieving that goal get worse, not better.
If the casino still can’t resolve your complaint, you can contact me in the comments below. I’m sometimes able to intervene on behalf of players, but only those players I’ve referred to the site.
You can also complain at one of the player advocate forums on the internet. Casinomeister is probably the best of these.
Is there an age requirement at these casinos?
Most casinos require you to be 18 or 21 to play for real money. I don’t list casinos which have no age requirements, because I don’t think allowing minors to gamble is a legitimate business strategy. A company with no qualms about that won’t have qualms about stealing your money, either.
If you’re under 18, you shouldn’t even be thinking about gambling online anyway. Go hang out with your friends at the mall. Find a girlfriend or something.
How much money can I win at an online gambling site?
You could theoretically win a fortune if you hit a progressive jackpot, but those are subject to cash withdrawal limits. Even if you win a million dollars, you can only cash out the maximum cash out amount that the casino has in place.
Since the odds of winning a progressive jackpot are similar to the odds of winning the lottery, most players won’t have to worry about this.
But there’s no theoretical upper limit for how much you can win. The only limit is how much you can withdraw per week or per month. This varies from site to site.
Ask customer service before signing up if you have a concern about cash out amounts.
Can I avoid paying taxes on the money I won?
If you live in the United States, you’re required to report any income to the IRS, regardless of the source. Trying to evade this law is folly. Don’t forget. Tax evasion is how they got Al Capone.
If you’re looking for practical instructions for how to minimize the amount of taxes you pay, I suggest consulting an aggressive accountant and staying within the law.