Safe Online Casinos
For casino players looking to get involved in the world of online casinos, there will never be anything less than an abundance of choice. The sheer amount of casinos operating online these days is jaw-dropping, and with competition for your money at the highest level it has ever been, it is almost a certainty that any operator will have to work hard to provide you with a worthwhile incentive to sign up.
New player bonuses, welcome offers, free spins and much more are gifted to those who play in a new casino for the first time. This is done as a means of attracting as many gamblers to get on board as possible. While the quality of a casino’s welcome package will differ from site to site, a player will expect something as recognition of their decision to join up and start spending money.
Welcome bonuses aside, there are many reasons for an individual to be careful when they choose the site they feel offers them the best chance to win. For slots players – who tend to be the biggest demographic out there to target – the presence of certain software providers can be a major reason for them signing up. For roulette and blackjack aficionados, there may be an expectation of variety in the games they support. The wants and needs of a player will differ, according to what makes playing in a casino fun for them.
As we look through the ever-growing number of online casinos, we can see that the quality is discernibly different depending on who you choose to play with. From the design of a site to the ease of navigation, it can be painstakingly clear when an operator stands out next to a poorer site. The glitz, glam, and flash graphics are just the tip of the iceberg, however, as there is a lot more to an online casino than just catching the eye.
Below we illustrate what you can expect – and should expect to find – when playing with a casino for the first time online.
Licensing, Regulation & Location
In order to find the licensing and regulatory information pertaining to a casino, you can generally find them towards the bottom of a casino’s homepage. Here you can generally identify which country and authority the casino is registered under and with. Those in the UK should find some comfort when playing at a casino which is either in Alderney, Gibraltar, Malta, Isle of Man, or the UK itself, of course. Many casinos these days are also based elsewhere, such as in the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao, and Antigua.
For many online casino players, there should always be particular attention paid to casinos which are registered in Costa Rica. There are a number of legitimate and above board sites based here, but it is somewhat less restrictive than many other licensing jurisdictions. Costa Rica is not as tough when it comes to operators, which can cause many problems for players – such as those who should be banned from playing in its casinos. Given the lax rules in Costa Rica when it comes to online casinos, it does tend to attract rogue operators.
Casino Games & Slots
A notable marker when it comes to casinos is the software they use. The vast majority of online casinos in the legitimate tiers tend to use software providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and BetSoft, which generally indicate their size and stature to players. More importantly, it can also be a tangible barometer of how safe the company is. In this case, looking for a casino which has partnerships with many of these companies is always a good idea.
Casino games and slots essentially make a casino, and many savvy players can use this as a feeler prior to signing up.
The Security of the Site
A safe online casino site will always do everything within its powers to keep players safe. With the growing problem of fraud online, a site which makes a huge effort to keep players protected will always be attractive to any player who has suffered any form of fraud in the past. You will find a number of methods an online casino can use to keep the security of the site watertight.
Generally speaking, a 128-bit SSL encryption put in place to protect transactions and safeguard sensitive information should be in place in any casino you choose to play in. Any site worth its salt will have this, as well as firewall software and other modern day advancements which prevent the dishonest use of the site.
When it comes to the other side of things, fair practice and safety must be in place for a site to consider itself as legitimate and top-class. If possible, always try to get as much information on the security of a site before you choose to play there. Without any solid knowledge of a security policy or any proof that you are protected, you will essentially be playing with risk.
If the site is not regulated, properly designed and does not have the key components of safety built in, then you are playing with fire. When registering your details on the online casino site always check is the website has an ‘s’ after the ‘http’ part of the address before you proceed. The ‘s’ essentially stands for safety. Another thing to remember is to check online casino reviews of the site to ensure that there have been no major problems experienced by other players.
Major browsers will also show is a site is safe when it comes to transferring data. Google Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer will show the lock key in the web address to prove the page origin’s identity and to show that has not been amended by hackers. This can help prove the authenticity of an account.
Banking Options as a Red Flag
Nowadays, an online casino should support the major payment methods out there; there is almost no excuse not to provide players with as many opportunities as possible when it comes to payment and withdrawal. If the major payment methods such as Visa/Visa Debit, MasterCard, Maestro, Delta and Switch and e-wallets such as PayPal, Ukash, Neteller, Moneybookers, and more recently, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are not available, this should be a red flag.
The more deposit methods available, the safer a site will usually be. This is not to always be taken as a general rule, but it can certainly help weed out the bad ones. As a safe and sound banking system can determine just how long a player may have to wait in order get their winnings – or to get them at all – banking options should be an important focal point.
There are many horror stories of players having their winnings withheld – or basically stolen from them – by sites which are not governed or licensed according to standards we would expect. Always do your research before signing up for a new online casino, as it may be the difference between a smile and a big, sad frown…
Keeping Yourself Protected at all Times
Luckily for players, there are numerous ways to keep yourself protected in order to cut down on the chances of being caught out by a dodgy casino. One quick Google search will find a litany of accounts of players who have had some pretty unsavoury experiences over the years. With a reputable casino, you don’t have to worry as much, but these days, anything can happen.
The recent scandal involving the use of our personal information has seen major global corporations in the firing line. This proves that there is always a chance of us at risk. Keeping ourselves protected, first and foremost, should be the main thing for anyone who regularly plays online casino games.
Passwords, for example, are a great way to start. Always pick a strong one and one which no one else knows or can easily predict. You can change your password as many times as you like, but generally speaking, every four to six weeks should be enough to keep you safe. Always make sure you change your password to something which you will remember!
There are other ways to prove yourself, such as security questions, which further bolsters your safety. Linking the password reset to your phone or another email address is also a good idea.
Even if you are playing with reputable casinos, you are still at risk. This is because many hackers can create genuine-looking emails which are disguised as coming from the site you are playing at. Always stay vigilant!
Safety is paramount when it comes to playing with a new online casino. In the modern age, there are many genuine looking casinos which look completely different once you scratch the surface a little. With more and more sites popping up each week, competition is beginning to lead many of these sites down the road of offering massively enticing welcome bonuses and free bets. This can sometimes cloud our judgement, which means that we are at risk of making the wrong decision.
An online casino should always be able to demonstrate its licensing and regulatory information. This is crucial to proving that they are – in fact – a reputable and safe site. The use of software created to keep payers’ information should also not just be utilised but explained to players. Banking methods and a safe payment system should also be in place.
While there are many ways an online casino can safeguard players’ safety, the most important aspect for gamblers to remember is that they should do everything in their power to keep themselves safe. It may be a cliché, but it is always better to be safe than sorry.