Online casino safety is our top priority, and it should be yours too! Playing at your favourite online casinos is fun, but it's not fun if it’s not safe.
In today’s blog, we’re going to go in-depth to show you all the ways that you can make sure you’re enjoying a safe online casino environment next time you play.
It should be the first thing you check and the most important thing above all. The great news is that if you select an online casino on the AskGamblers website, we’ve already checked these casinos to make sure they live up to the standards we expect
Today we’re going to talk you through everything from SSL encryption to licenses so you can create a checklist next time you play.
Online Casino Safety Criteria
Your online casino safety and security are vital! If you’re playing at a casino that doesn’t protect you, this could be detrimental to your finances and personal information.
This is why our online casino safety guide is about to come in handy. Below we have created a checklist that you can use every time you visit a casino. We will go into more detail later, but first, let’s take a look at the most important things you need to know:
- Licences - Is the casino licensed and regulated, and is their licence valid?
- Regular Audits - Is the casino regularly audited, and does the casino display this information?
- Technical Security - Casinos are responsible for your data protection, and security will usually be outsourced to a reputable company.
- Fair Games - Are the games fair? You don’t want to spend your money on rigged games! Check the casino uses a random number generator to ensure you get fair play.
- Hybrid RSA Encryption - Has the casino taken steps to protect your private information and encrypt it before it is sent anywhere?
- Software - What software providers are available to you? Are they well-known providers which are tested by eCOGRA? Or are they providers you’ve never heard of which would involve you continuing with more research?
- Payment Methods - How you deposit and withdraw are important. Are the payment methods recognisable to you? If they’re not, is it raising red flags?
- Ownership - Who is the casino owned by, and are they reputable?
- Awards and Certifications - If the casino has won any awards or Certifications like the AskGamblers Certificate of trust, these will usually be displayed at the foot of the casino and offer additional peace of mind.
- Mobile Gambling - Has the casino gone to the extent of letting you enjoy its site through your mobile device?
- Customer support - Can you get in touch with the casino when you need help? Casinos with no support should be raising flags.
Today we’re going to talk about these bullet points in much more detail, so you have a complete checklist. If red flags are raised on any of the checklists it’s time to consider whether or not the casino is offering a safe online environment for you.
Without any shadow of a doubt, this should be at the top of your checklist, for every casino you play in. Reputable third-party organisations regulate casinos so you can feel safe when you play there.
Online casinos need a licence to operate, these licences are not cheap to obtain, and casinos have to go through a rigorous process to get them. Licensed casino operators are much more likely to adhere to their licensing requirements; if they don’t, they risk having them revoked.
Unlicensed casinos are usually rogue! If you come across an unlicensed casino, stop! Do not continue with our checklist and immediately leave the site and find another.
#2 Regular Audits
If a casino has a licence, they will undergo regular audits to ensure they meet expectations when it comes to dealing with you and your funds.
Third parties carry out these audits, and the reason why they are so important is that you can enjoy a safe online environment. The third-party organisations will look closely at the casino to ensure you’re being treated correctly and that the casino is adhering to its licensing requirements.
#3 Technical Security
Data protection and prevention of fraud are important. Whenever you give out your private information to a casino, their security department is responsible for keeping this safe and reputable casinos will usually outsource this to a reputable security company.
#4 Fair Games
When you visit a casino, you want to enjoy the games, but it’s important to check that the casino offers fair games. Except for live casino games and sports (since the outcome is not predetermined) every game that you play should be monitored with a random number generator (RNG).
This determines the outcome of each game so that it is fair and completely random. If you are playing at a casino with reputable providers such as Play’n GO, NetEnt and Microgaming, fairness comes hand in hand.
Unfortunately, there have been rogue casinos with rigged games, so checking that the casino uses an RNG is a vital step in this checklist. RNGs should be tested using external companies.
For added peace of mind, you may also see a Seal of Approval from eCOGRA, we will explain what this means in more detail later.
#5 Hybrid RSA Encryption
Your personal and financial information needs to be safe! You should always be checking to see if the casino is protecting you. Encryption is a process that ensures your transactions are safe, and that they are encrypted before being transmitted over the casino servers. If you are playing at a casino with no evidence of encryption, you need to immediately leave the site and not give away any private information.
The great news when it comes to software is that the industry is now home to many trusted gaming providers.
Each casino you play will offer games from these providers. Some casinos may have a few providers, whilst others will have more providers than you’ll ever need.
We mentioned eCOGRA above, and this is where they come into play. eCOGRA tests the games from these providers to ensure they are fair. They are an independent and internationally approved testing agency, and they specialise in the testing, inspection and certification of these software providers and their systems.
If you see their certification seal, you're in safe hands when you play your favourite games.
#7 Payment Methods
Chances are, you’re going to be making a deposit and hopefully some withdrawals, so checking which Deposit methods are available is important, and are the providers well-known to you?
Some casinos are owned by much bigger gaming groups. Some of these may often own an umbrella of casinos. You can usually fund this information at the foot of each casino.
If the casino is owned by a group that owns multiple casinos, you may be able to enjoy a safe online experience at each of these. Check the terms and conditions to make sure you are allowed to create multiple accounts across the group of casinos;
#9 Awards and Certifications
The gaming industry awards casinos in all kinds of categories, and if a casino has received an award, it will proudly display these awards somewhere on its site. Seeing these awards can offer further peace of mind that you’re playing at an award-winning site, so chances are, it’s safe!
Currently, casinos also receive various certification seals, like the AskGamblers Certificate of Trust. We scour the market to find the most trustworthy casinos and award them with our certification. These casinos will display our prestigious seal somewhere on their site.
The more awards and certifications, the better!
#10 Mobile Gambling
Most casinos now offer a mobile version of their site. Since games became available to play through a mobile browser, it’s much easier to offer these games. If the casino is fully licensed and regulated, then you’re in safe hands.
The same high standards are required through the mobile version of their site as it is for their web version. However, if you’re playing from your mobile and the casino is not licensed, you should immediately leave the site and find somewhere else.
#11 Customer Support
Customer support is very important! There is a chance that at some point, you’re going to want to speak to customer service. It is important to check what options are available before you deposit and play.
The best method of support is live chat, and most casinos nowadays will offer this facility. However, some casinos still do not have this option. Nevertheless, as long as the casino has a way that you can contact them, you can mark this off your checklist.
If the casino you have chosen does not offer any kind of support, alarm bells should be ringing.
What Do Casino Regulators and Auditors Do?
Casinos are rigorously tested to ensure that they are offering a safe online environment, and most licensed casinos will do everything they can to adhere to their licence conditions.
Casino regulators award these licences, and some of the most reputable regulators in the world include the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission. Casinos with said licences are among the most reputable in the industry.
When it comes to casino auditors, these are just as important as they prioritise user safety. They look at how the casino conducts its operations, looking for security flaws in particular. The deposit and withdrawal process will be tested to make sure that when you deposit or withdraw, it's safe!
Encryption is another big area auditor test. It is vital that your personal and financial information is protected, so if you see the seal of approval that we’ve mentioned today, you know that your details are safe.
There are many ways in which a casino can keep you safe, and they are each as important as the last. It is also important that both you and your financial information are safe, and one of the most popular ways is SSL encryption.
You can check if a casino has this by looking at the search and checking that it starts with HTTPS which stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. This means that sensitive information and payment details are protected from third parties.
Other security protocols include:
- ID Verification - you will usually be required at some point to confirm your identity
- 2-Step Verification - as an added precaution to your account, you may be asked to turn on 2-step which means a unique code will be sent to your phone before you can log in
- Responsible Gaming - this protects you as a player and helps keep your gaming under control
These are all things that you should be checking at every casino you’re playing at.
What is RNG?
We’ve touched on this already above, but RNG is the Random Number Generator. You do not want to play rigged games, and if you’ve chosen a rogue casino without going through our checklist, chances are, there’s no RNG, and their games are rigged.
An RNG is an algorithm and it produces random outcomes which cannot be manipulated to favour the casino. This is the peace of mind you need so that you know you cannot be cheated. It gives all players a fair and equal chance of winning
What is RTP?
This is a term used by casinos, but what is RTP? It stands for Return to Player, and it describes the percentage of the money you wager on a slot that will be returned to you over a long period of time.
It is so important about RTP that it is not calculated over a short period. RTP is calculated over hundreds of thousands of spins. In theory, it is the amount you will receive back from the game, and for slots, this percentage is usually anywhere between 93% and 99%.
If you’re a serious player, RTP will be an important part of your gameplay. If you’re a more casual player, an RTP will not mean as much to you as you're probably not going to make enough spins to receive the correct return.
Are Online Casinos Rigged?
Unfortunately, some casinos are rigged, but if you use the checklist and all of the online casino safety tips provided today, you should be able to avoid rigged casinos and play at safe and reputable places instead.
What Are the Risks of Online Gambling?
Online gambling laws differ all around the world, and laws are changing all the time. It’s important that you are not participating in illegal gambling activities. You should be checking the online gambling laws in your country before gambling online.
Are Mobile Casinos Safe?
They are just as safe as a web casino! If you have picked a reputable online casino that offers security and fairness above all, then their mobile casino will replicate the same kind of high standards.
How Are Online Casinos Regulated?
Casinos are regulated by outside companies such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. Regulators focus on monitoring the casinos' levels of safety and security, and they apply strict guidelines. Casinos that breach these guidelines risk having their licence revoked.
Are Online Casino Apps Safe for Real Money Gambling?
If you are playing using an online casino app that offers real money gambling, the casino needs a licence to do so. If you are playing from an app that allows you to win real money and they do not have a gambling licence, you should reconsider your options.
Online Casino Safety Tips
We have reached the end of our blog, and we hope you now have an in-depth checklist that you can use next time you play. To summarise, here are the most important safety tips to keep you protected:
- Do not play in unregulated/unlicensed casinos. Walk away and find a casino that is licensed. It’s simply not worth the risk, casino scams are out there, don’t get caught in the trap.
- Check the casino has SSL encryption before giving us any private information.
- Check the casino has terms and conditions.
- Check the casino has responsible gambling tools. This is for your benefit!
- Check for Awards, Certificates and Seal of Approvals; Or our CasinoRank.
- Research! Check real player reviews like the ones we have on AskGamblers, or check out forums to find more information, including the AskGamblers Forum.
- Play at casinos listed on AskGamblers! Remember, we only list licensed casinos.
And that’s all you need to ensure the next you play, you’re playing safely.