What to Look for to Make Sure an Online Casino is Safe?

In this article, we’ll give you the important information to look out for that indicates an online casino is safe to gamble in.
Isabella Johnson
Expert: Isabella Johnson Fact Reviewer & Journalist
Experience: Casino safety and gambling research. Her work has been featured on the BBC, CNet, Wired and The Financial Times.

The online casino industry has exploded in the last few years. However, not every site that you come across is legitimate and trustworthy. Even though you simply want to play your favorite casino games without a hassle, you could be blindsided by a scam site and defrauded of your money.

1. Casino’s Valid License

The first thing you should look for is the casino’s license. There are a few reputable regulatory authorities that govern online casinos in the US and around the world. In some states across the country, you’ll find casinos with an offshore license.

An offshore license simply means that the casino is regulated by a foreign body such as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the Government of Curacao, or the UK Gambling Commission.

For example, online casinos available in New Jersey are licensed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE)(1). As such, the site is legal within the state, and you can feel perfectly safe accessing the site if you’re playing from within the Garden State.

Check the footer section of the site before you start gambling. Usually, legitimate sites will feature the logo and information about its operating license in this section. However, be wary that scam artists have evolved tremendously and can duplicate those images to feature on their websites.

In this case, you can visit the regulatory authority’s website to see if that particular body licenses that casino. Only when you’re sure that the casino has a proper license to operate should you join and enjoy gambling. The last thing you want is to fall victim to cybercriminals. 

2. Proof of Being a Frequently Regulated Site

Aside from checking for the operating license for the online casino, the site must also be regulated by a proper authority to confirm fair gaming. You may come across certain scam casinos that may operate like legitimate platforms, but their games are highly rigged, meaning you don’t stand a chance to win any money while gambling on these sites.

To allay your fears, look for sites with the stamp of approval from a body like eCOGRA(2). This organization is the eCommerce Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance independent agency responsible for testing and inspecting online gambling software and systems.

Only after a casino passes its rigorous tests will it certify the platform that the games and software used on the site are fair. When you see the seal of approval at the bottom of the online casino, you can be confident that the site is compliant and has undergone relevant testing.

3. Payment Methods Available

After checking the legal aspects of the online casino, it’s time to think about practically using it. You need convenient and secure payment methods to transact with deposits and withdrawals.

Reputable sites will have a variety of options for players, including credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, ewallets, and cryptocurrencies. These methods use the latest security protocols to protect your money and sensitive data. Legit casinos will have a page dedicated to payments or a FAQ section that answers your questions about deposits and withdrawals.

You must read the terms and conditions of each payment method, as some may include additional fees for every transaction. Casinos also require minimum deposit and withdrawal amounts, which you must familiarize yourself with before signing up at a casino. 

4. Website Encryption with Secure Socket Layer (SSL)

Online gambling is much like online banking. When you’re banking online, you want to ensure that the bank has certain protocols to guard your information and money from potential cybercriminals.

The same applies to online casinos. Since you’re always transacting with the casino, it should prioritize your safety and privacy. Trustworthy casinos have some security in place, called the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.

In layman’s terms, SSL encryption protects all communication between you and the casino. As a result, your personal information and banking details are safe and away from the eye line of hackers.

Additionally, take time to read the casino's privacy policy to see if they’re protecting your information from unauthorized people. Furthermore, the site is committed to keeping your profile private.

5. Customer Support Availability

Naturally, in any service-related business or product, there will be questions or queries that arise. You should have access to ample customer service channels when there’s an issue.

Good customer service is an indicator that the casino is worth trusting. Technical issues and banking problems can pop up at any time, and you need to know there’s a team representing the casino that you can call upon any time of the day.

Some popular customer support channels include 24-hour live chat, which you can access via the casino, email, and telephone. If the casino has at least two of these options available, it’s a good sign.

The agents themselves need to be friendly and knowledgeable about the casino products. As a result, they can resolve queries quickly and accurately. Additionally, check the casino’s FAQ section. More often than not, casinos like to address common questions on the site to reduce the number of calls or emails to customer support.

Have You Made Your Decision Already?

You should remember these critical points when selecting an online casino to gamble at - licensing, payment methods, independent regulator, website encryption, and customer support.

While these are not the only factors you should consider, the main aspects determine if the casino is legitimate and trustworthy. If you think that it’s too much for you to do, perhaps you should check out our in-depth casino reviews. We’ll give you the information you need to make an informed decision about where to gamble.

Resources and sources used

  1. About DGE, NJDGE, accessed August 22, 2023, <https://www.njoag.gov/about/divisions-and-offices/division-of-gaming-enforcement-home/about-dge/>
  2. Welcome to eCOGRA, eCOGRA, accessed August 22, 2023, <https://ecogra.org/
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