In the past few years the online gaming market has soared in popularity, which is why we've always made it our job to keep you up to date with new casinos, games, promotions and more. However, such a huge surge in demand for casinos does have it's drawbacks. Namely, the fact that many scammers and thieves see it as a great opportunity to cash in.
Whilst dodgy casinos make up a small minority of internet gaming sites, many players can be vulnerable to such sites if they don't know what to look out for. Luckily, in today's guide, we're talking you through the main indicators of a ‘rogue casino‘ so that you know how to spot them and, therefore, avoid them!
Every casino needs to be licensed to be operational. If you're playing in the UK, your casino must have a United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) license. European players should look out for licences from other jurisdictions such as Gibraltar, Malta and Alderney. These are considered some of the strictest regulators in the world, and therefore having a licence issued in one of these places is a good sign that a casino is reputable
A casino license protects players' money, keeps your personal details safe and assures fair gaming, amongst other things. If a casino isn't licensed, this is an immediate red flag, and it shouldn't be trusted. That being said, you also shouldn't trust a casino just because it claims to have a license.
All casinos should display their license clearly on the site's homepage and should also display a link to an official licensing register. However, just because a badge is shown, it doesn't mean that it is legitimate. Make sure you check that the link matches up with the casino, and that the link isn't broken.
Reputable casinos will want you to know their games are fair. To do this, they hire special auditing and testing companies to run the games over and over again. The data is then collected to demonstrate that the games are random and the expected RTP rate.
These results are published for all players to see, and the casino should display this clearly on their sites. Like licenses, casinos will display badges to links of their certificates, but again these could be a facade, so make sure you check they link to real and up to date audits.
There are several companies who provide testing services. Some of the best known include, eCogra, iGaming Labs, NMi and TST. If a casino doesn't have a testing certificate, it's best to avoid. After all, you want to be sure you'll be playing fair games with a fixed payout rate.
Another red flag is a lack of deposit options. Whilst there is nothing legally wrong with a site not offering many depositing options, it can be a warning sign that something shady could be going on. This is a good indicator to use if you're already suspicious of the site, however if everything else checks out then you're probably safe.
Casinos should, in general, offer a range of ways to deposit. The most common depositing services include credit/debit cards, e-wallet services and pre-paid vouchers. Respected brands such as VISA, Mastercard, Neteller or PayPal are often a good sign.
For instance, PayPal are very cautious of who they allow to adopt their services and therefore you can usually trust that the casino is a legitimate brand if they accept this type of payment. If a casino only offers an obscure payment option, it's best to research the site and check for everything else in this article before giving them your hard earned cash.
A Secure Connection
One of the easiest ways to spot if a casino can be trusted is to check if your connection with the site is secure. To do this, you simply need to check the site's URL. Hyper Text Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) is the secure version of HTTP, and this is what you should see at any legit casino.
It refers to the protocol over which data is sent between your internet browser, and the website you're connecting to. The ‘s' at the end of HTTPS stands for secure, and it means that all communications are encrypted.
In addition, when visiting most HTTP sites, your browser will display a little padlock symbol in the URL bar. This makes it easy to identify a secure site. You should never share personal details such as passwords, or bank details over a site that does not have a HTTPS URL address.
As we mentioned earlier, the online gaming industry has grown massively in popularity over the past few years. One of the biggest benefits of this growth is the number of casino review sites, such as this one. If you're ever worried about a casino's trustworthiness, a little bit of research can go a long way.
Similarly, bad casinos will be flagged very quickly online by players. If a casino isn't paying out winnings, or changing terms and conditions at short notice, players will be very fast to speak up! If a casino has a history of complaints and issues on the internet, it's best to avoid it.
Conversely, if a casino has been operating for some time without any complaints or scandals, then you can be sure that you're playing at a legitimate site. The gaming community are a lovely bunch, and they look out for each other. Trust your fellow players advice, and always check casino reviews before deciding where to play.