What’s the first thing that comes to your mind when you think about trying your hands at online gambling? Of course, the idea that you can enjoy the thrill of a real-life casino from the comfort of your home seems irresistible. But if you’re trying it for the first time, you’re going to have questions about the legitimacy and safety of an online casino.
Online Gambling in 2021
Remarkable internet penetration and the prevalence of mobile devices have made online gambling easier and more accessible than ever. It isn’t surprising that the worldwide online gambling market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 11.94% between 2020 and 2025.
From VR-powered games to cryptocurrency payments – modern online casinos are leaving no stone unturned to attract players. But that also makes you susceptible to a wide range of online casino scams, including rigged games, unfair wagering requirements, etc. The rise of cyberattacks across the globe only makes matters worse.
On top of that, you’ve got a broad spectrum of online casinos trying to woo players with eye-catching websites and welcome bonuses. How do you know whether a particular online casino is safe and trustworthy? In the following sections, we’ll outline a few effective techniques to help you get started.
If you’re familiar with the online gambling landscape, you already know that you should only sign-up for a casino that’s obtained a genuine license from a reputable authority. But how do you find out whether an online casino is licensed?
The easiest way of checking this is to visit their website and scroll down to the bottom of the home page. Watch out for logos of respected licensing authorities at the website footer. For instance, if you read more about Classic Casino and check out their website, you’ll find that they’re licensed under eCORGA and Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
Other respected licensing authorities include:
- Maltese Gaming Authority (MGA)
- Curacao e-Gaming
- United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
Finding the logos of these authorities on a casino website is a reliable stamp of approval. Also, read the “About Us” section on their website for more licensing details.
While licensing information is a sign of credibility and legitimacy, it’s fairly easy for any new casino to add a bunch of logos on their website. That makes it essential to explore customer reviews of an online casino before joining it. Major red flags include too many negative reviews or no reviews at all.
The best casino operators make it a point to source their games from licensed and reputed software providers and developers. Also, they’ll proudly showcase their association with established developers, such as Microgaming, NetEnt, etc. Check the footer of a casino’s home page to find out whether they’re working with reliable game developers.
Terms and Conditions
Are you someone who skips reading the terms and conditions whenever you’re signing up for a new service? That isn’t the practice you should follow when joining an online casino. Instead, make it a point to go through the terms in excruciating detail.
Watch out for any suspicious wagering requirements. Also, pay attention to their withdrawal cycles, payment methods, and deposits. If an online casino makes it mandatory to reach a high wager limit before withdrawing your money, it’s wiser to steer clear of it.
Claim That Welcome Bonus
Welcome bonuses and promotions are the first things you notice whenever you’re checking out an online casino. Free spins, no deposit bonuses, cashback – online casinos use a wide array of such tactics to lure new players. Use that to your advantage by taking the website for a test ride to evaluate its credibility and reliability.
For instance, if an online casino offers a no deposit bonus to new users, use it to place your bets before making additional payments. If you win, check how much time the operator takes to process your withdrawal.
If they try to delay your payment with excuses, such as unfulfilled wagering requirements or hidden clauses in the terms and conditions, it’s a sure sign of a fraudulent online casino.
Watch Out for Security Measures
Depending on the licensing authority, online casinos are required to implement certain security protocols and measures to protect your personal and payment details. At the very least, they’ll have to implement 128-bit or 256-bit encryption to safeguard user data.
Check the casino’s “About Us” page to find out what kind of security protocols they’ve put in place. Also, keep an eye out for a padlock sign or “https://” in the URL. It indicates that the operator has installed an SSL certificate to protect your data.
Finding a Safe Online Casino
If you’re new to online gambling, avoid signing up for a casino and making a deposit in the spur of the moment. Instead, take your time to evaluate the website, test welcome bonuses, and promotions, and learn more about the casino’s online reputation.