The question of safety is becoming paramount for a growing number of online casino players. Fortunately, the vast majority of operators are fully regulated and use high technology security to keep their customers safe and we only recommend such casinos to readers.
However, it may be the case that some sites go ‘under the radar’ and are not set up to be played in a safe environment. It may be that they are not registered to provide services and the site is only up for a short period of time but in that timeframe, they could still take money illegally.
In this review we will look at the process of identifying a safe and secure online casino. It’s essentially a case of making sure they are registered and regulated by the relevant authorities and that they partner in with trusted third parties who ensure fair play. If their name is unfamiliar, it can be useful to do some research and to see how long they have been trading and whether they are owned by a more familiar name in the industry.
We’ll assess the criteria in greater detail later on but for now, here are some trusted recommendations.
For UK Players
Leo Vegas are becoming more recognisable as a brand thanks to a wide advertising campaign in the UK. They have, in fact, been around since 2011 and that’s a good length of time with which to build up a solid reputation.
32Red were first established in 2002 and that’s a long time in this digital age. When checking out the safety and security of a website, it’s wise to check up on when the company was formed and, in this case, no operator could survive for nearly twenty years if they weren’t legitimate.
In the present day, 32Red are also part of the wider Kindred Group who own a number of casino and sports betting companies so that is another positive sign. Banking options are plentiful with bank cards available plus a whole host of eWallets including PayPal, Skrill and Neteller.
32Red list their security details under a section marked ‘banking’. It explains that 128-Bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology is used to keep any data that they have collected away from third parties.
Anyone who has played at a physical bricks and mortar casino in the UK may already be familiar with the Genting Group. The company owns and runs casinos up and down the country so, we’re already seeing that they must have a good reputation.
As for their history, Genting predate the digital age by some way and in fact, they were formed way back in 1965. In the present day, they have a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options and secure technology in place to protect that sensitive information.
For Canadian Customers
Heavy restrictions on gambling in Canada mean that fewer operators are authorized to carry out business here and that means that we need to be extra vigilant. The same checks need to be carried out but one of a number of safe and secure operators is Royal Panda.
Details as to how they use and protect players’ data can be found under a section marked as ‘Privacy and Cookie Notice.’ This is a comprehensive part of the site which should certainly reassure anyone looking to sign up here. In fact, it’s one of the most detailed explanations that we have seen online and it’s worth reading just to see how far many operators go to ensure their customers’ security.
The list of funding options at Royal Panda is a little lower than elsewhere but there are enough companies involved to provide further reassurance. Along with the usual bank methods, the likes of Skrill and MuchBetter are on board here.
The company has been online since 2014 and while they are more recent than others that we have previewed so far, that would offer enough time to uncover any issues. They are nicely established and respected among the industry.
Newer still are Genesis Casino who first came online in 2018. While it’s certainly reassuring to see a casino that has been around for a long time, players shouldn’t necessarily be put off if a provider is relatively new.
At the time of writing in 2020, Genesis had been trading for two years and, once again, that’s time enough to develop a good relationship with players and to build up some respect among the gambling sector.
The presence of PayPal as one of the funding options should also be reassuring and the world’s biggest eWallet is backed by a host of further providers including Skrill, Neteller, Trustly, PaySafeCard and Sofort.
Players may know SIA Casino rather better when they use their full name. Sports Interaction is known as Canada’s number one sportsbook and the abbreviation has presumably been put in place to avoid any confusion over the word ‘sports.’
This is a fully dedicated casino and it’s one that caters well for players inside its own country. As well as a host of global payment providers, Canadian financial institutions such as iDebit and Instadebit are included and that’s a bonus for local players.
In terms of formation, SIA can trace their history all the way back to 1997 and, as they close in on 22 years of trading, that longevity element should also convey peace of mind. Licensed and regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, personal data is kept safe and secure at all times.
For US Players
There is a relatively small set of payment providers but it does extend to include the main eWallets Skrill and Neteller so that is a good sign. They’ve also been around since 2004 and there are many reasons why we recommend Betonline as a safe place to play.
Bovada is one of the oldest gambling companies in operation and the company was first established back in the mid-1990s as Bodog. The Bovada name was picked up in 2011 and, as we have seen already, longevity is a good way in which to build up trust.
How to Avoid Blacklisted Casinos?
Check Forums and Watchdog Sites
Casino players like to talk about their playing experiences and there are a number of forums where they can do this openly. Browsing a site such as this can be a perfect way to identify any rogue operators – ones that are trading illegally or those that simply don’t honour bets or impose unfair restrictions.
Picking the best of these sites can be tricky but we would suggest looking for ones that are monitored and have an administrator. Moderated casino forums are more likely to have fair and honest comments built up over a period of time.
Similarly, there are watchdog sites that are independently set up to assess the trustworthiness of casino operators. Some will allow comments that can provide additional information to help you make a decision.
The majority of casino operators will have a welcome bonus and this is likely to be followed up by ongoing promotions that can be used through the life of an account. Those offers are very useful things to have but they should never be made compulsory.
If a casino insists that you should use their bonuses then it should arouse suspicion. Just why are they insisting on this – is there a large financial outlay that you have to put up front before you can supposedly access those deals? The act of forcing bonuses is one way to identify a site that may be best avoided. To be sure, players can always check further on forums and they can ascertain whether the operator is actually licensed and regulated to provide services. It’s a questionable act and we would suggest avoiding a site if bonuses are ‘forced’ upon you.
The existence of suspicious software should also act as a warning but what do we mean by this? It can get a bit technical at this stage but the most common types of suspicious software include Malware, Spyware and Ransomware. All of these are looking to cause harm in different ways and, if they can get to your personal information then they will.
It could be that the casino operator is perfectly innocent in this respect and that they are simply under attack from a third party source. However, if they have sufficient security in place then the suspicious software shouldn’t be arising in the first place and if attacks are getting through, this is a concern.
Few Banking Options
If an operator only offers a small choice of funding options then the player should ask why this is the case. The minimum requirements for customers to get on board are bank cards but if those are the only deposit and withdrawal methods, we would suggest using a little more research.
The online casino industry is a highly competitive one and, one of the ways in which operators can get an edge over the competition is by providing a wide range of funding methods. EWallets such as Skrill, Neteller and PayPal are commonplace inside the industry and most casinos have these, plus a choice of smaller companies.
If a casino only offers bank cards as a means of funding then we would suggest carrying out some further research. This doesn’t necessarily mean that they are not trustworthy but it is a ‘flag’ so why not look on some forums and, if you are still unsure, you can always post a question asking members for their own experiences of the operator in question.
Having a bad reputation is something that any honest casino operator wants to avoid. For all legal, safe and secure websites, maintaining a good reputation among the playing community is essential because they just want to build up their business and add more customers who trust them and want to continue playing there.
Identifying a company with a bad reputation can be tricky but, as well as using your instinct, there are certain aspects to consider. Firstly, have you gone onto a gambling forum and found just one or two negative reviews? If that is the case, it may just be that the person making the post may feel that they have been treated badly but, when you look at the complaint in greater detail, the casino has acted perfectly fairly.
If, however, there are many complaints and they all seem to follow the same thread – wins not honoured, withdrawals not received, personal information compromised – then this is a concern and we would suggest avoiding the casino in question.
On very rare occasions, you may attempt to log on to a site that is having some issues with its license. This could occur at any stage in their lifespan and the problems could arise for any number of reasons. The gambling commissions that regulate and issue those licenses have the right to revoke them at any time and, while the reasons behind their decisions may not always be evident, this should raise concerns for any prospective players.
Once again, you can carry out some research into why this might be the case: Perhaps it’s a fairly innocent case of late paperwork but it may involve other, more worrying problems. In any event, this should be another ‘flag’ and we would suggest avoiding the site in question before returning at a later date to see if those licensing issues have been resolved.