Your No-Nonsense Guide to Safe Online Casinos
You might be left wondering which online casinos are truly safe to play at?
We’ve come up with the ultimate guide to finding and recognizing safe and reliable online casinos.
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Safe Casino Basics
The first thing you need when looking for a safe online casino to call home is an understanding of the features of a reliable and trustworthy site.
On the surface, most online casinos look the same, with bright colors, enticing banners, juicy promotional offers and more.
So, you need to look under the glossy exterior to find out the real truth.
Reliable online casinos offer their players safety in every possible way, from protecting their funds and sensitive personal information to offering independently verified fair games, quick withdrawals, and straightforward terms and conditions without any hidden tricks.
Like in every business, transparency and communication with the customers are trademarks of those who run an honest operation.
Those casinos who offer excuses instead of solutions, tricks instead of clear rules, and big promises they don’t live up to are the ones to avoid.
If you are looking to sign up with a casino that’s been around for a couple of years, your best bet in figuring out if they are reliable and safe is looking into their reputation.
The world is truly a global village thanks to the internet these days, so shady businesses can’t get away with their underhanded practices for a long time.
What players say?
Player reviews are usually a reasonable guide in finding safe online casinos. While you’ll always find both positive and negative comments that don’t reflect the real situation, if there are a couple of dozen player reviews for a particular online casino, you can probably find an overall picture.
You shouldn’t use these as alone to make your judgment, but they can help you figure out if the casino is keeping its players happy or if there are certain problem areas you need to be concerned about. Of course, if most reviews are horrible, you should probably stay away all together.
There are many new online casinos in the market, and some of them are very good. However, longevity is certainly one of the things to look at when doing your research. If an online casino managed to survive for five, ten, or twenty years, the odds are they are doing things right.
Again, there are exceptions that test the rule, as there’ve been and still are some shady casinos that kept going for longer than they should. But, when you combine positive player reviews and years of existence, that’s a very good sign.
All online casinos need to be properly licensed by gaming authorities. Safe online casinos feature licenses by prominent bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, or Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. There are a few more licensing organizations out there, but if a casino is licensed by one of these three, or possibly by two or all three of them, you are probably safe.
These licenses aren’t easy to obtain, as applying casinos need to meet certain standards, and these standards are quite high. They need to prove they are fair, solvent, and capable of protecting their players’ information before they are given an operating license.
Keep your Money Safe
For most players, the number one concern about playing at an online casino is their money. This covers the money they deposit as well as any money they stand to win gambling. Safe online casinos keep players’ money segregated from their operational funds and it is available at all times.
Furthermore, with reliable casinos, your withdrawals are processed quickly and without any delays. When you happen to win, you’ll have no problems cashing out and the money will be in your bank account or e-wallet within a few days at most.
Find a Licensed Casino
Many players are concerned about giving up their personal information like name, surname, address, and, especially, credit card information. With safe, properly licensed casinos this isn’t a concern, as they have the means to protect this information and will never share it with any third parties.
When dealing with shady casinos, it isn’t at all beyond the scope of possibility for your information to be handed over to another company who will then start spamming you with email offers for products you absolutely don’t need.
Whenever you play in a casino, be it online or at a land-based venue, game fairness is always a concern. How can you be certain that the games you play aren’t rigged to actually take more money than they are supposed to?
Trustworthy online casinos submit themselves to constant fairness tests with agencies like eCogra. These independent auditors make sure that games are actually in line with advertised percentages and correspond with all the gaming rules and regulations.
That’s why you can feel much more relaxed with online casino that feature seals by eCogra or other similar auditing agencies.
The reason why many rogue casinos manage to stay in the business for a while and even maintain their licenses is because they aren’t straight up scamming their players, but use borderline strategies to keep them from winning or cashing out.
Convoluted Terms & Conditions
Fair online casinos create their terms and conditions so that players can easily find them and understand their meaning. Rules must exist to protect players and casinos alike, but as long as they are stated clearly, it is no problem.
However, shady casinos will often use a sort of language that can be interpreted in more ways than one and will then use it against the players. Also, they will hide important tidbits, like unreasonable wagering requirements or cashout policies, in a place where you’ll never find them until they give you the direct link to it (which is often too late).
Safe casinos will offer bonuses and promotions and then proceed to give you what they promised. However, some operators will create promotional offers using unclear wording to get you to deposit and/or play, and once you realize you didn’t get what was promised, they’ll convince you that you misunderstood the actual promo.
Unreasonable Withdrawal Delays
Many shady operators resort to delay strategies when it comes to processing withdrawals. With trustworthy casinos, your money will usually be dispatched within a few days. These rogue casinos, however, will come up with one reason after another why your money hasn’t been sent yet.
The idea is, you’ll get frustrated because of the prolonged wait, cancel the cashout, and get back to playing, and (hopefully) lose it all back. Of course, a frustrated customer isn’t likely to come back, but these operators don’t particularly care about that, as they are in for a quick money grab.
Apart from all the things we’ve already covered, there is also a technical aspect to safe online casinos which needs to be taken into account as well.
Since your personal information is, in fact, stored on the casino servers, it can become a target of hackers and other criminals who’d want to use it to profit from it in some way, probably damaging you in the process.
That’s why all the modern and reliable casinos employ heavy-duty encryption to all the information they store. Up until recently, the 128-bit encryption was the best technology used by most commercial companies, but we’re starting to see more and more casinos actually using 256-bit encryption, which is practically impossible to beat.
In case you aren’t familiar with the computer lingo, encryption basically scrambles the data in such a way it is impossible to read it even if someone managed to obtain the database. Higher the encryption, smaller the chance of anyone finding the way around it.
Other than the raw data protection, safe casinos also have strong customer support teams available around the clock. They aren’t there just to make players happy but also to intervene if there are any software glitches or other problems that need to be dealt with immediately.