For many people, gambling at online casinos provides a lot of fun and entertainment, plus an obvious chance to be able to take home some winnings while doing the same. However, one of the major challenges you may face is finding a safe and secure online casino to indulge in this activity. Like everything else online that requires you to give out your personal and financial information, the risk of fraudulent activity is increased. So how do you ensure that you are safe while gambling?
You need to carefully read the terms and conditions and check the reputation of the casino you choose. Additionally, it is also important to remember that the legality of online casino play is different across the US, with the current status favoring the residents of Delaware, Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where gambling online is completely legal. If you happen to find yourself in any of the aforementioned locations, you’re already ahead of the pack. Let’s take a closer look.
- Check for Data Encryption
Every safe online gambling site should have secure sockets layer (SSL) protection. This encrypts your sensitive data and prevents hackers from gaining access to your passwords and credit card information. So look out for “https://” before the web address of the casino you choose. In the address bar, a site with SSL protection will have a padlock symbol, while on certain browsers it may be green with the word “Secure” written next to it.
- Review the Gambling License
Always check the registration details and certificates of any online casino. A safe casino will be registered in at least one country. Seek out local websites that provide reviews of the available casinos. For example, you can check out the list of New Jersey online casinos at CasinoTopsOnline. Since 2013, the state of New Jersey has been trailblazing the way for gambling in an online environment and is now one of the largest regulated online gambling hubs in the United States.
Through its casino regulations, the Garden State provides better oversight and player protection than other online casinos licensed to operate in countries like Kahnawake, Isle of Man, Costa Rica or Gibraltar.
Remember that obtaining a license will not cost an online casino a fortune. So if you see a casino that does not have one, it should be an automatic red flag to stay away. If the casino can’t afford to get a license, they probably don’t have the money to pay any of its punters.
- Assess the Software Providers
The safety of any online casino depends on the software providers. The games played are provided directly by casino game developers and not the casinos themselves. It is very important for a casino to partner with reliable software companies. Reputable developers such as Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt and RTG are all professionally certified. Before a company’s software is certified, an independent auditing firm will examine it to verify that it is fair and safe.
The most popular independent gaming software testing services are offered by eCOGRA and TST Labs. Each of these companies offers a seal of approval that can be placed on the home page of the web-based casino. Since these companies update their certifications for casinos annually, it is important to keep an eye out for ones with recent certification.
- Look at the Payment Options
Choose a casino that can accept and pay earnings through a variety of payment options. Safe casinos only use trusted payment methods and payment processors. Examples of common payment processors used:
* American Express
* Eco Card
* PaySafe card
* Bank wire transfer
* UPay card
The speed at which a casino processes your payment is also an indication of their safety and reliability.
Apart from accepting a large number of payment options, the casino should have a minimum payment limit of $2,500 a week. A cash-out should be available within a relatively short time frame.
- Test the Customer Support
No casino can be safe without effective customer support. When you need customer support, you want to get it instantly, especially when it involves receiving your payment. Live chat, email, and telephone are the common channels offered by most reputable casinos.
Customer support should allow you to contact the staff of the casino immediately if you have a question or an issue to deal with. Prompt and efficient customer support is an essential feature of any reliable casino website and you should avoid any website that takes days or weeks to answer your questions or address complaints.
You can test the customer support before you start playing or depositing money, by sending some general enquiries and observing the duration it takes to get a reply. Any undue delay from their customer service department should be taken as a red flag.
- Look for a High User Rating
No matter how well you do your research, it is important to get a second opinion from other players. Check out casino forums that have a sizable community of fellow punters. These forums provide a valuable source of information from other players who are not affiliated with the casino in any way. Just like you, they would like to play games fairly and get paid when they win. You will have a chance to learn from the experiences other players have had with any casino you are investigating.
Like any activity undertaken in an online environment, you want to be safe in the knowledge that your personal information and any other relevant data is protected by the latest software and by companies which are as transparent as possible, with clear terms and conditions designed to protect the player. To this end, your research beforehand will be invaluable in influencing your final choice. Even though there are many safe online casinos, you must be diligent enough to check the customer ratings and player comments in addition to investigating the licenses, registration certificates, software providers, and customer support of the casino you ultimately decide to play at.