Do you know how many cybercrimes happen every day? Apparently, it’s more than 40,000. But how many of those are gambling?
No idea. But anyone with experience in this industry KNOWS shenanigans happen. You don’t have to look any further than Casinomeister’s Rogue Pit for proof.
Players are being ripped off right and left. That doesn’t exactly instill a ton of confidence in online casinos, does it?
Here’s just a smidgen of the scams casinos pull:
Don’t worry – there are plenty of legit casinos you can join. You can look at any one of our top site lists to see that. But what if you want to find a casino on your own? An honest and safe casino you could trust with your hard earned money.
What signals or signs would you look for?
Here are 5 different safeguards you can look for that should point you to a fair and secure casino online.
Casinos use 128 or 256-bit encryption.
Both of these turn whatever personal and financial data you send to the casino into strings of unbreakable code.
How secure are they? Well, it’s the same level of protection your bank uses.
You can tell your casino is using some form of encryption by looking at your toolbar. If it says https in front of the website name, they have a SSL certificate, which means your information is encrypted.
A random number generator is an algorithm casinos use to deal the games.
Casino algorithms don’t need any outside input to run. Instead, they use a seed number. When combined with the algorithm, you get results that are seemingly random.
Both the algorithm and seed number are unknown. It’s the only way to prevent the algorithm from becoming hackable.
The reason being is because algorithms (combined with seed numbers) are essentially mathematical formulas. And 2+2 always equals 4. Which is why algorithms are hackable IF you know what algorithm and seed is being used.
But there’s another safeguard at work here: 3rd party companies whose sole focus is to test casino RNGs and software for fairness. Probably the most well-known company is Technical Systems Testing (TST), now owned by Gaming Laboratories International (GLI).
They test all sorts of important things. For example:
If the casino passes, they get a little badge they can place on their website. Companies like TST usually post the latest information about each company on their website, too. This includes if they passed and what their payout percentage is.
Privacy policies are important because they tell you how the casino plans to use your information.
Do they plan to sell your information (name, email, phone number) to other companies? Rent it out? None of the above?
This is important because if you agree and sign up, and the casino decides they’re going to sell or rent out your information, you might be able to take (legal) action. You’ll want to chat with a lawyer to know for sure.
By sticking to casinos that state they will not sell or rent your information, you keep your information secure from less than stellar companies. Or, just companies interested in harassing you.
Offline casinos have to go through a rigorous process before they can open their doors to the public. Part of that process is getting their license from the local or state gaming authority.
These gaming authorities or commissions make sure the casino is legit and above board before they give them their license. Then they continue to check on them over the coming months and years to ensure they still deserve it.
They look for all sorts of things – player complaints, bug-free software, random games, player exclusion options, and so on.
If they pass, they get (to keep) their license. But if they fail?
They lose their license, which means they can’t do business anymore.
This is a quick and easy way for you to determine if a casino is fair and secure. But there’s one thing to keep in mind.
Online gaming authorities, commissions and licensors are different than those offline. Some of them are more lax than others, which means the casinos they oversee have more margin for error. It’s a good idea to know who those commissions are, so you can either avoid or keep a watchful eye on the casinos they’re supposed to be keeping in line.
Most online casinos post who issued their license at the bottom of their website. Some gaming authorities also post who they’ve given a license to – or taken a license away from – on their website.
These pages make it very clear what the rules are for things like welcome bonuses, cash out policies, and what happens if you hit a huge jackpot.
You want to read these very carefully. In fact, I’d go as far as to take a screenshot – and I’ll tell you why.
One of the nasty things rogue casinos do is change their terms and conditions on the fly. Usually so it sides with whatever decision they make in a casino vs. player dispute.
For example, say you take advantage of a deposit bonus and clear the rollover requirements. Then you go to cash out and the casino tells you that you can’t.
What some of these casinos will do is tweak the terms to benefit them. They’ll say you played the wrong games or didn’t play enough. Then they cancel your bonus money and winnings.
Often, the problem here is the casinos don’t have the money to pay you. Or, they don’t want to. So, they’ll tweak the term.
And in many cases you’ll be lucky to get your original bankroll back – let alone any bonus money.
Having read the terms and conditions – and preferably saving a screenshot – may not get your money or bonus money back (offshore sites are harder to fight due to current laws), but you can harm their reputation and do other players a favor by warning them of the casino you’re having problems with.
The terms and conditions can be found at the bottom of every casino’s website.
Let’s be clear about something – safeguards are nice. But they are in no way a guarantee the room you play at or plan to join is a legit one. Instead, think of these safeguards as minimum table stakes.
If your casino doesn’t have these safeguards, skip them and play elsewhere. There’s no shortage of better options online.
Okay …but if safeguards aren’t a guarantee a room is legit, what else can you do or look for?
I think the more effective approach is to become a member of a casino community forum or two. A place where others who play online come to talk strategy – and more importantly – of their experiences at different casinos.
This will help you in many ways, but the most important is this:
You’ll be one of the first to hear about a casino that is no longer fair or secure. One player complaining usually means nothing. But when there’s smoke there’s usually a fire. And if one complaint turns into two, and two into three, you know there’s something up – and you’ll be one of the first to hear about it.
So, use these safeguards as a barrier to entry – to ensure casinos are doing the bare minimum for fairness and security.
But, if you truly want to know if a casino is on the up-and-up – if they’re truly a fair, secure and legit casino – your best bet is to join an online community.