New Online Casinos in 2022
The online casino industry has come a long way. From their humble beginnings in simple Internet websites, new online casino platforms in Canada are stylish, sleek, and sophisticated, with all of the features we’ve come to expect from the latest web-based technologies. Numbering in the thousands and still growing steadily each year, the competition in the online casino space is only going to get fiercer as time goes on.
So how did we get here? How did the digital offshoot of an established entertainment industry grow to become a titan in its own right? And with new casino platforms continually entering the market, are these new sites worth patronizing over the brands that have previously defined the space? We’ll be exploring all that and more here.
History of the Online Casino
Like much of the gambling world, the history of online casinos is not very well-documented. Many exact details of the story have either been lost to the sands of time or muddled with “facts” that spread throughout the Internet, as it tends to do. That being said, there are still a few major milestones left that we can use to piece together a basic timeline.
For one, we know that the birth of online casinos coincided with the growing popularity of the Internet in the late 1990s—after all, no online casino site would stay in business if there was no way for players to access it. However, online casinos would only truly come into their own after three specific aspects of the industry matured: the game software, the payment processing, and the legal requirements.
As far as we know, the first casino game software was released by Isle of Man developer Microgaming in 1994. Exactly what game they developed is unknown, but Microgaming claims this game was part of the initial catalogue for their (and arguably the world’s first) online casino, The Gaming Club.
One of the first companies to tackle the problem of secure payment was a company called CryptoLogic Inc. Founded in Toronto in 1995, they developed the first secure online payment processing system that they released for licencing by online real money casino operators.
As for the legal aspect, the burgeoning online gaming industry was still a bit of a grey area for many governments around the world, while some would move to ban them outright later on. However, the Kahnawake Territory in Canada was one of the first legal jurisdictions to issue gaming licences to online casino developers, giving them a solid legal foundation for their operations.
What to Expect from New Online Casinos
Now that we’ve covered the history of the online casino, we can now observe what the industry has to offer today. With fierce competition in the rapidly-growing Canadian market, operators of new Canadian online casinos are pulling out all the stops to bring new players in. However, there are still a few risks to be aware of when it comes to these industry greenhorns. Let’s take a closer look.
Generous Welcome Bonuses
As a fresh entrant in the market, one of the major hurdles of any online casino operator is to actually attract players to their new casino in the first place. Thankfully, there is a relatively simple way to draw in new players, and that is by giving them a great welcome bonus. These welcome bonuses will typically come in the form of free spins for certain games, deposit bonus credit, or a combination of the two.
Of course, it wouldn’t exactly be a good business model to give all new players all the free credits to experience just about everything the casino has to offer. To get around this, online casino operators implement the deposit bonus system, which locks the welcome bonus package behind a minimum deposit amount.
A slightly different approach is by making the welcome package bonus non-cashable. This type of welcome bonus is typically used by new casino sites that don’t require a minimum deposit.
Loyalty Rewards & Gamification
To draw in new customers is one thing, but to get them to stick around instead of going to other online casinos is an entirely different challenge. These new casino developers, however, do have a few tricks up their sleeves to keep players hooked on their casino’s generous offers. These techniques range from the subtle to the blatant, and while there are too many for us to explain here, there are two in particular that are trending in the industry.
One such technique is the use of a loyalty rewards system. Just like the “comps” system found in traditional land-based casinos, the loyalty system in new casinos gives players redeemable cashback offers or bonus plays in some casino games the more they play.
A different approach to the rewards system that’s been gaining a lot of traction is called gamification. This is essentially the integration of common video game mechanics into non-entertainment (or otherwise not entertaining) systems to improve user engagement. In the context of online casino rewards, players can expect systems like leaderboards, quests, and leveling mechanics that apply throughout the online casino and provide rewards upon reaching certain milestones.
Now, a lot of the techniques that operators of brand new online casinos Canada use to maximize player retention would not be possible without using the latest technologies—another advantage that new sites hold over their veteran counterparts. Because these sites were made much later, they would have access to advanced web development tools that give new players a ton of new features and a much more streamlined user experience.
While there are a litany of these features that we can list here, such as live chat and optimized mobile casinos, few are as consequential to the online gambling industry as HTML5. HTML5 is the latest iteration of HTML, which, simply put, is the coding language used to build over 90% of all websites on the Internet. So one can say that it’s a pretty big deal.
One of the most important innovations of HTML5 is its support for advanced graphics and animations within the HTML framework. This would allow developers to integrate complex web apps like casino games directly into their websites and have them be viewed on modern web browsers on any platform from desktop computers to mobile devices without any issues.
Now, having web apps on your website was already possible thanks to software such as Flash; in fact, Flash was the dominant platform in many of the big online casino sites in Canada for many years. As time progressed, however, Flash’s features would be succeeded by HTML5’s improvements to performance and security, and web browsers such as Google Chrome and Safari would eventually drop support for Flash in 2017.
So what does this mean for the present market? Well, online casino developers who made their sites and games in Flash were forced to make the transition to HTML5 to adapt to this change in technology. This process was not exactly easy, especially for sites like Microgaming that published a huge chunk of their games library in Flash.
Limited Games Catalogue
Most of the large casino game developers built much of their games libraries in Flash instead of the new standard of HTML5. This is a problem for new casinos as many of these relatively older games are not supported by the latest platforms due to security and performance issues.
Perhaps the more difficult challenge for these newer casinos, though, is to actually get a large library of games into their catalogue in the first place. Unless the developer of the online casino makes and publishes their own games, online casinos in Canada have to license their games from third-party game providers. And because licensing these games can get very expensive very quickly, operators without the cash flow of veterans in the industry will have no choice but to go live with a relatively limited selection of games for the first year or so.
Capital also forms the core of another issue for new operators, and that is having active customer service. Unlike land-based casinos, customer service for online casinos is typically handled by dedicated support staff, and maintaining such a team (that’s also active and knowledgeable) doesn’t come cheap. Expanding the casino’s contact options beyond email only increases the cost—especially for live phone support.
For this reason, players have to be aware of the contact options and customer service availability of new online casino platforms, as some will opt to cut back on this aspect of their business to lower costs.
Security and Credibility
Customer service also factors into what we believe to be the biggest challenge for new online casino sites—security and credibility. Having a reputable and recognizable brand name is arguably the biggest advantage that established casinos have over their rookie counterparts. And this reputation, more often than not, gives the marketing materials of these older casinos a lot more weight.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that all new online casino sites lack credibility in any way. What we are saying, though, is that it’s important to be aware of the licenses and accreditations that online casinos should have both from a legal standpoint and also as a mark of credibility and trustworthiness to otherwise skeptical players.
New Vs. Old Online Casinos
Knowing all of this, the question remains: which of the two is better?
The short answer is: it depends.
Like many things in life, choosing to play in a newer or older online casino is mostly a matter of personal preference. Whether the casino has been in operation for 2 years or 20 years, every player should still be on their guard when trying out any online casino for the first time.
As we touched on earlier, credibility is arguably the most important factor when choosing to play at any casino. While we did say that more established brands typically have the advantage in this aspect, this is actually not the case in all situations.
Let’s consider, for example, an older casino that’s been in the industry for, say, 15 years. Their reputation has long been established in its formative years and is a major selling point for most of the casino’s player base. However, let’s say that controversy breaks out when it is found out that dozens of players were secretly being cheated out of their winnings from slots and table games. Such an event would, of course, leave an indelible mark on the online casino’s otherwise spotless reputation and storied history.
New Casino Reviews
Essentially, our stance on this is that no online casino, new or old, should ever be completely trusted, especially with large sums of real money. It’s important for players to protect themselves from being cheated when choosing a new casino to try and seek out those that establish a genuine bond of trust.
And one of the easiest ways to find that bond of trust is to get other people to do it for you. Thanks to online forums, you can simply read up on people’s experiences of any of the casinos you are considering signing up for. That way, you can get an impression of what to expect without ever shelling out money.
Another great way to find the best casino sites is in review sites like InsideCasino—that’s us! Our job is to give Canadian players peace of mind by providing detailed reviews of all of the new casinos on the Internet so that they don’t have to.
How We Review Online Casinos
Here at Inside Casino, we have a team of dedicated reviewers who scrutinize every online casino that comes under our radar. All of the sites that we recommend for Canadian online casino players have to meet our strict requirements in these key factors:
- Games: First and foremost, we want to make sure that these new online casinos offer games that actually provide an enjoyable experience for our players. We look out for games from trusted game providers that we know can provide great gaming experiences, and any original games are thoroughly playtested by our team.
- Bonuses: New casinos will also have all sorts of bonus content as part of the welcome package for new players. Our reviewers also account for the welcome bonus that these new casino sites offer when recommending one site over the rest.
- Payment Processing: Gambling has always had a serious undertone, and never is this more true than when real money is involved. In reviewing new online casinos, we look at their range of payment methods, including those popular with Canadian players such as Interac and Instadebit. We make sure that their systems are robust and convenient, allowing smooth deposits and withdrawals without suspicious hiccups or issues.
- Legal Compliance: Of course, the legal aspect is incredibly important for any online casino; Canada is especially strict in their In the same vein, our reviewers also seek out and verify that every casino that receives our seal of approval is of good legal standing in terms of licensing registration with appropriate authorities, and compliance with player safety laws.
- Customer Service: Of course, if players run into any issues, a good online casino would have the necessary customer support structures in place to respond to them. In this respect, our team assesses the customer support options provided by the online casino with test scenarios to determine their standard of support.
- Consistency: Arguably the most important metric of an online casino’s quality is in its consistency. As time goes on, it is very possible—even likely—for some new casinos to become complacent in maintaining their standards of quality. That’s why we regularly re-review casinos to ensure that they can still be recommended to online casino players in Canada. If any such site fails to maintain these standards, they are immediately removed from our lists.
Play the Top New Online Casinos in 2022
Whether you play poker, blackjack, roulette, or good old slots, there’s never been a better time to check out a new online casino. Canada is one of the fastest-growing markets in the world for new casinos online, and as a result, there is a ton of innovation in this sector of the online gambling industry. Casino developers and operators are constantly coming up with fresh and interesting ways to bring players into their shiny new casinos, and many of them offer significant value propositions that can’t be ignored.
We hope that this write-up has shown you all of the benefits and risks of playing in new online casinos and that you can come out of this being more informed when looking at new online casinos to play in.