What to expect from safe online casinos
There are some elements that every player should expect from an online casino, including:
- A secure and safe environment.
- A mechanism that allows you to both withdraw and deposit in a safe manner when you wish.
- Fair games.
Bear in mind that every online casino that is legitimate will ask you to prove your age/ID at some point during the sign-up procedure. This will mean faxing or scanning a copy of your identification as well as a proof of address. This will be done during the sign-up process and not when you are attempting your first cash-out.
So how can you determine if an online casino is good or bad?
There are a number of elements that you can use to spot a good online casino. They include:
- A recognisable brand name: Generally the online casinos that rank high on search engines like Google. They are well-established in the media have earned their reputation. A well-known brand name is much more likely to be trustworthy than an unknown brand.
- Where the casino is licensed: Investigate where a casino is licensed – this is usually displayed at the foot of the casino’s homepage. Ideally you should look for licensing jurisdictions such as Malta, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man, Alderney, Kahnawake and the UK. There are other jurisdictions available including Antigua and Curacao. These are generally good too: however, their reputation for resolving disputes is not as strong. Costa Rica has a mixed reputation, while Russia and countries outside Europe have very poor reputations.
- Software: Among the leading online casinos, the software is generally provided by only a handful of big names. Within the USA, Realtime Gaming software is generally the most popular. Unfortunately RTG is not strict with its licensing so it is possible to find some rogue casinos that use RTG. However, outside the USA the situation is a little simpler with most legitimate online casinos using Net Entertainment or Microgaming. It is extremely rare to find a bad casino using this software: which should give you some straightforward peace of mind. Playtech is another big name in the industry, but again, it is less strict on licensing. There are a handful of bad casinos that may employ its software: generally though, they just have a low quality of service rather than being true rogues.
Also look for online casinos that use games from suppliers like Novomatic, WMS and Aristocrat. Usually, they are safe.
- Who is behind the website: Perhaps the most important element when trying to find a good online casino and a bad one is to look at the names backing the casino. Each good casino should have its own “About Us” section. Here you should be able to find some transparent information including the company’s name and address with details of who is running the casino. Phone numbers, addresses and information along those lines is vital: if you just read “fluff” then you should walk away.
- Bad reviews: You can’t always trust online casino reviews. Some companies will actively pay writers to write bad reviews for their competitors and good reviews for their own services. However, look for independent review websites and use these to weigh up whether the casino is offering a good quality of service or not.
- Spam mails: Also be aware of spam emails. Each online casino wants to draw you in, so they may send the odd email to try and attract you back to their website. However, there should be an option to sign out of these constant emails. Never sign up for an online casino via a SPAM email: always check out the website thoroughly first.