When you play at an online casino, the primary concern is always whether the site protects you enough and if it creates a secure environment for real money gambling. What exactly does that mean? It’s a multi-layered concept that involves transaction security, personal data protection and game fairness. Indeed, you wouldn’t like to see your money flying away for no reason, or your data getting used in an inappropriate way. That’s why you should always search for safe casino sites that combine security, transparency and trustworthiness.
Safest Online Casinos (2023)
You should also learn how to recognize a crooked casino. As a player, you could achieve that by becoming familiar with factors that characterize and secure online casino, like the ones we list below.
What is the safest online casino?
A general rule is that the safest online casino would have obtained the most reputable licenses from the strictest regulators. Also, a legit online casino has been subjected to all the necessary controls (gaming fairness, security, data protection) passing every one of them with success.
Obviously, the partnerships a casino holds, play a significant role too. Top-notch iGaming providers and reliable payments companies won’t just put their names anywhere. You can take their presence as a sign of trust. Responsible Gaming guidelines should also be respected and implemented by a casino. Finally, reputation can make or break a casino. If players’ complaints continue to pile up on gambling forums, that means you should better stay away from such a site.
Lately, we observe governments and local gambling authorities’ intensifying their efforts to regulate markets and push out illegal casinos. Someone could think that scam casino sites’ era might come to an end but, based on our experience, this is still far from becoming a reality.
Licensing of secure online casinos
Getting licensed is the only way for online casinos to be considered legal. While some countries only accept secure online casinos that have obtained a local license, the majority of them will also let a gambling site holding a license by a respectable regulator like the MGA or the UKGC enter their market.
The most recognized gaming license globally comes from the United Kingdom, better known as the ‘UKGC (United Kingdom Gaming Commission) license’. As defined by the Gambling Act of 2005, the UK framework has strict rules. Gambling sites that don’t conform to its guidelines could face hefty fines. So you can be sure that UKGC-licensed casinos are among the most secure online ones in the world. Besides, in case of a dispute, players can even address IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service), a third-party resolution provider that shields players’ interests and ensures safe gambling.
Then there is the Malta Gaming Authority. This license is prevalent in legit online casinos in the European Union, being a license that most European countries accept. They are also known for slapping casino owners with heavy fines in case they illegally target foreign markets. You can rest assured that an MGA stamp equals a safe and regulated casino.
Finally, a jurisdiction that made a name for itself by granting loads of licenses in recent years is Curacao. Casinos can claim one of the four regional sublicenses, with very few demands accompanying the purchase and a 2% taxation on total net earnings. The only limitation is that the online casino must have its headquarters on the island of Curacao. Still, since we live in the off-shore era, this is by no means a problem for companies.
Apart from these licenses, you will also come across local ones. Some regions like Sweden, for example, have austere guidelines and a casino can legitimately operate there only if it holds a domestic license. It is evident that the more licenses a casino has obtained, the more secure it is considered.
How to find out which licenses has each casino acquired? It’s pretty simple, just take a look at the footer of their internet page and search for their relevant stamps.
Independent game audits and tests
Licenses are essential, but they aren’t the only factor to define which are the safest casino sites. Online casino products are mostly slots, table games and live dealer games. The majority of them run by what we call a ‘Random Number Generator’ to secure a random outcome. This is why games must be tested by independent audit teams, guaranteeing that they are fair and not rigged in favour of the casino. The most established testing agencies are the following:
eCogra: Founded in 2003 in London, it’s probably the most recognized audit team in the industry, providing tests to top-notch providers and online operators.
Gaming Laboratories International (GLI): Established in the United States in 1989, GLI is one of the market’s oldest testing agencies. They’ve expanded through the years to new jurisdictions having offices all over the world.
Technical Systems Testing (TST): They emerged in 1993 and were bought by GLI in 2010. However, they continue to operate under their original name. They conduct tests not only for online casinos but for land-based ones, too.
iTech Labs: The Australians entered the business in 2004, and ever since, they have become a significant player in testing and certifying gaming solutions across the globe.
Safe and Reliable Payment Methods
The availability of multiple payment methods can also be a safety sign for a casino. Why is that? Because payment processors are considered partners of the casinos, they wouldn’t desire to associate their names with scam ones. In particular, PayPal and Trustly are two companies that hand-pick their partners, and they only collaborate with safe online casinos. If you see a gambling site offering them, then you can be confident to trust it.
Local payments can also serve as proof of security. Players feel safer with a payment method that they use in their everyday life, plus they can contact customer support in their language to complain about any inconsistencies. Moreover, you should pay attention to withdrawal times and transaction limits of a casino. Low maximum withdrawal limits, transaction fees or too long pending times could mean that the casino is shady.
Finally, you should always check if the personal data that is going to be processed during your transactions is discreetly held by the casino. Nowadays, most casinos use SSL encryption and software that obstruct hackers. Have a look at the footer of their internet page to spot such stamps.
Software Providers in the most trusted online casinos
Like payment processors, software providers are also partnering with casinos by offering them their products. It’s apparent that industry pioneers like Playtech or Play’n Go wouldn’t just go with any guy that happened to set up a new casino. In a way, iGaming suppliers are the first who give the green light to new casinos by allowing them to use their games. The most trusted online casinos usually have a wide range of providers, mixing both of the industry’s powerhouses and smaller names.
It’s not unusual for casinos to buy a ‘ready’ platform created by an aggregator who has already integrated every provider. Once a platform gets approved by the regulators, it can support any other casino owner who is willing to buy it. You can rest assured that these types of places are legit sites.
Localization of secure online gambling sites
Localization may not be as significant as the aforementioned ones, but it is yet another safety factor that could imply a secure online gambling site. International casinos that are targeting many markets usually try to familiarize themselves with their local audiences by adding the local language, currency and native speakers as customer service agents and even special promotions or details in the site’s design.
Reputation and History of legit online casinos
These are intangible concepts, yet they play a vital role in a casino’s reliability. First of all, a casino that has outlasted the test of time has loyal players who value it high. It’s not rare to notice casinos vanishing overnight due to the lack of players or bad management. A visit to casino players’ forums can prove enlightening as you could check the popularity of each brand and the complaints it might be receiving.
Awards and participation in annual casino conventions are also indicators of the trustworthiness of a casino. The industry rewards legit online casinos, not scam ones.
Finally, transparency has to derive from the casino itself. A clear presentation of the owning company at the footer or, even better, a detailed “About Us” page, show that the casino has nothing to hide.
Εxtra tips you should know about safe online casinos
All of the above are useful stuff you should know before sticking your nose into online gambling, but the problem is that most of the players don’t educate themselves to be protected. As a result, we see a bunch of complaints on casino forums over situations they could have easily avoided; simply by just doing their ‘homework’ before investing money in crooked sites instead of safe online casinos. If you are a keen learner though, we suggest you memorize what we have said so far. But we aren’t done yet, we still have some inside info on what distinguishes safe online casinos from scam ones.
All of the above are useful stuff you should know before sticking your nose into online gambling, but the problem is that most of the players don’t educate themselves to be protected. As a result, we see a bunch of complaints on casino forums over situations they could have easily avoided; simply by just doing their ‘homework’ before investing money in crooked sites instead of safe online casinos.
If you are a keen learner though, we suggest you memorize what we have said so far. But we aren’t done yet, we still have some inside info on what distinguishes safe online casinos from scam ones.
Bonuses and promotions in legit online casinos
Bonuses and promos are indeed great. They are the spices that give an uplift to a casino’s flavor. Still, they can differ greatly and not all of them are worth claiming. Legit casino sites that don’t want to deceive players will have rational wagering requirements and reasonable terms and conditions. Also, trusted casinos don’t need to promise huge amounts to their players or advertise dozens of promotions on their page to be attractive.
What should you look out for as a sign of a safe casino site? Primarily, down-to-earth bonus amounts. Suppose you come across a ‘€10,000 matching bonus plus 500 free spins’. Don’t get tempted by these types of bonuses; you will never achieve wagering it and you will eventually walk away empty-handed.
Another recommendation that we cannot stress enough is to always read the Terms & Conditions. If you find them anything less than comprehensive, fair and transparent, contact the casino’s customer support. The wagering requirements are usually feasible at safe casinos, meaning they range between 25x to 45x. Anything above that makes the wagering procedure quite tricky especially if the expiration date time window is short. Our lucky guess would be that casinos that apply high play-through requirements, want to secure that not many players will actually be able to meet them.
Reliable customer support in trusted casinos
If you are an experienced player, you have probably mingled with a casino’s customer support more than a couple of times. At some point in your gaming session, a question or a complaint would arise, and you would have to contact the casino. Trusted casino sites regularly have many communication channels from live chat, to email, to phone and other platforms like WhatsApp or Telegram. Live chat should be available 24/7 and not just some hours of the day, while the response time should be quick. Customer service agents should be polite, knowledgeable and on point because they function as the front desk of a casino. A gambling site that doesn’t take care of its CS probably doesn’t care much for its overall image, so the chances of being a scam site grow.
Responsible Gambling tools of the safest online gambling sites
Gambling is a recreational hobby and, if treated as such, you can have great fun. However, when it ends up defining other parts of your life, it can become harmful. To protect gamblers, regulators demand casinos to advertise a ‘Responsible Gaming’ page; there, players can choose to take measures like setting deposit/wagering limits, taking cooling-off breaks, or even imposing self-exclusion periods to tackle their gambling addiction.
Casinos have to conform to such guidelines and place the page in a visible spot, typically at the site’s footer. You should become suspicious of a casino when that specific page cannot be easily spotted on their site.
The safest online gambling sites have taken things a step further to ensure a secure online gambling environment. Live chat service agents are trained to recognize problematic gambling behaviors while communicating with players; and if they realize that a player has lost control, they could actually ban him.