Before the UK government established the Gambling Commission in 2005, online gambling was generally unregulated. Sure, Curacao and Malta had regulatory agencies at the time but not many casinos paid attention to them.
Online casinos operated according to their terms. Some businesses would offer rigged games. Others held onto players’ money for no reason and some would sell user data to the highest bidder. Those days are gone and the online gambling industry is much safer.
In fact, most players today are concerned more about the quality of services over anything else. As such, this article delves into how to identify an online casino that’s not only safe but also user-friendly, reliable and generous with bonuses.
A Valid License
Online gambling is a regulated industry in a growing number of countries. The UK, Malta, Curacao and Costa Rica have been regulating online casinos for years. The US is a relatively new market, having permitted states to legalize online casinos in 2011 and sports betting in 2018.
Licensing is essential because it helps separate legitimate casinos from fraudsters. It also helps you determine whether a casino is authorized to operate in your country or not. In the UK, all legitimate casinos must have a license from the UKGC.
Alderney and Gibraltar also feature online gambling regulators. But their licenses can only help businesses operate overseas. In Malta, the Malta Gaming Authority gives out licenses that work within the country and everywhere else where online gambling is legal or tolerated.
How can you determine a license if genuine and not a fake? By law, licenses casinos must display their license numbers and regulators at the bottom section of their websites. The numbers are hyperlinked and open in a link that leads to the official UKGC or MGA website.
Safe and Reliable Software Providers
Whether you want to play slots or poker, you deserve to play safe, fair games. You also deserve quality games that are not only entertaining but also games that payout at impressive rates. Many casinos acquire their games from independent developers like Playtech, NetEnt, Evolution and Microgaming.
When looking for a casino, therefore, find a few well-known software providers. Many companies supply both slots and card games. Playtech is a prime example. Established in 1999, this London based provider is home to hundreds of leading slots and table games. Read more on SafeCasinos.org.uk.
Some providers specialize in slots or table games only. Latvia-based Evolution specializes in live casino table games. For the uninitiated, these are games like poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat. The games are played with real players instead of software. And you can use web cameras and microphones to socialize with fellow players.
Security and Trust Features
If you select a licensed casino, chances are that you won’t need to worry about security features. An SSL certificate, which is the encryption method indicated by a padlock sign at the address bar of a secure website, is compulsory to get a gambling license.
Online casinos must also provide login details to their customers. Some casinos also provide 2-FA, an anti-phishing code and a unique password for withdrawals only. These extra measures help protect your account from unauthorized users like hackers.
Bonuses are great gifts to receive from a casino. But there’s only one thing that should matter when considering whether to claim an offer: policies. Bonus policies provide details about the amount you get, the maximum you can win and the process of withdrawing your winnings.
Unfortunately, some casinos are reluctant to provide all their bonus policies. They hook you with their lucrative bonus amounts, say a 100% offer up to €1000. But you only find out wagering requirements, game weighting and other rules afterward.
A safe casino provides these details beforehand. Sure, they would like to see you spend real money at their games. But they don’t do it through hidden bonus policies. Instead, they have web pages where you can learn all about their promotions and the conditions involved.
Smooth Banking and Withdrawals
The banking process at many casinos is smooth. You make a deposit, place a bet and cashout your profits. At some casinos, though, problems arise during withdrawals. The deposit process is usually flawless. But for some reason, withdrawals can become problematic.
To ensure you’re not trapped into spending money at a casino that doesn’t process withdrawals, take note of an operator’s banking policies. What are the deposit and withdrawal methods? What’s the minimum and maximum your can pay?
For withdrawals, pay attention to the limits, fees and payout speed. If a website has great fees and quick payouts, read reviews to confirm players out there actually enjoy these benefits. Some casinos claim to provide same-day withdrawals but take up to a week.
If you’re a high roller, ensure you choose a casino with convenient limits. Many casinos won’t let you withdraw more than €20000 per month. Some operators have much lower limits. However, truly high-stakes casinos don’t have limits.
Contacts and Customer Service
One underrated casino safety feature has to do with customer service. You want a casino that supports popular communication methods, from live chats to emails and phone calls. And it should have properly-trained employees that run these channels.
Poor experiences happen and sometimes it’s an issue you can’t blame a casino for. Let’s say a game crashes with your money in there. You are not sure whether you’ll get it and so you contact customer service. Are you guaranteed of a reply?
Sometimes it might be the casino’s fault. Maybe it has withdrawal delays or their mobile app keeps crashing. Find a casino whose customer agents are known to provide meaningful help when such issues occur.