Navigating the Internet to find online casino sites that are safe, secure and trustworthy is a difficult task these days. There is no shortage of scammers out there operating oversees that set up fake casino sites with the aim of cheating you out of your money. Players are reeled in through attractive and compelling ads found in search engines such as Google Advertisements and through sponsored content found on social media promising quick and easy cash. There are even times when fake sites invest in large amounts of SEO in order to get their sites up to the first page of search engines for major keyword inquiries. Some people unfortunately fall for these gimmicks and get wrapped up in the idea of a get rich scheme, leading to no shortage of financial losses.
Here we take you through the most important aspects of identifying safe online casino sites and what to look out for when it comes to the sketchy stuff. We also point you to the right site where you can deposit and play safely. The goal in composing this article is to make the Internet gambling world a better place and to make sure your experience playing casino games online is positive.
The Signs of a Sketchy Casino
- Sketchy social media ads and complaints
- Google ads that are too gimmicky
- Unverified casino software
- Poor design and functionality
- Lack of Internet security
- No customer service
There are many casino sites that go over the to with their social media efforts and pay large amounts of money for sponsored content. These ads usually have some sort of click-bait title and a catchy image such as a sexy live dealer. This is not to say that all advertisement through platforms like Facebook or Instagram is like this but the context is crucial. Typically, large casino operators do not invest in such efforts due to their popularity and rely on organic search results to bring in their traffic. They know the people searching for a legit casino site are actual players instead of everyday viewers on social media suddenly seeing ads display in their newsfeeds who may be attracted to the bells and whistles instead of the actual game itself.
If you do come across these ads make sure to click in the social media feed and read the responses. Most of the time you will see people writing comments such as “I tried to withdraw but was told I cannot” or something sketchy along those lines. Other times you will see players stating they have won big and that other players should ignore others’ comments, but this could be fake accounts or paid services to make such statements so please be weary.
This is also something to watch out for but when searching online. Paid advertisements through Google and other search engine’s pay-per-click (PPC) programmes do not differentiate between fake and legit sites, and more often than not make it through the editing process at Google to be verified in the search results. A usual giveaway that a casino site is offering deals too good to be true through these ads is the use of language such as telling you to sign up with a specific credit card or other contingency.
Casino Software Verification and Functionality
Legit casino sites will list their software provider’s information and you can go to that company’s page to verify whether the casino platform is indeed using their services. The software should also be compatible with all modern devices ranging from smartphones, tablets and computers. You can also tell if a casino is legit, as it will typically invest in really nice, customized designs meant to elevate the player experience instead of using basic designs that look like they were put together rin one day.
This is one of most important factors and dead giveaways. First off, the URL domain name of a site should include an “HTTPS” to indicate it has a secure platform for making transactions. Secondly, the site should be verified by Entrust – an Internet security platform that oversees security between website transactions. Entrust not only is the leading provider of security, it also only approves sites after conducting a thorough audit of a site’s legality, functionality and legitimacy.
A casino should always have customer service and it should be from someone who knows the ropes of gambling. If you have a question and the rep seems entirely unsure of how to answer chances are s/he was not trained because it is a forwarded number to a generic customer hotline.
The Signs of a Safe Casino
The key signs to identifying a safe casino include:
- Associated with the Malta Gaming Authority
- eCOGRA certification
- Part of a publicly traded company such as the Fortune Lounge Group
- Legally operating
- Wide range of banking options
Malta Gaming Authority
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) oversees all legally operating casino platforms on the Internet. Getting a stamp of approval from them basically means a casino has submitted its entire operations for review and has been approved.
This organization operates much like MGA but looks more in depth at a casino’s algorithm and software. The company is also referred to as a testing agency, which for a casino site is important because its software is being tested to make sure it pays money back to the consumers.
This falls under the category of what we mentioned when it comes to a company being publicly traded. A company such as the Fortune Lounge Group has several casinos operating under its wing such as Royal Vegas so players can be assured that any associated platform is operating under fair and legal conditions.
And speaking of legality, local Canadian operators are not allowed to provide real money gambling services to Canucks but this doesn’t mean Canadians are forbidden from gambling at platforms established oversees. In fact all of the sites promoted have Canadian affiliates but their headquarters are technically oversees in order to jump around these parameters. Think of this like a local company that although calls itself Canadian has established its headquarters elsewhere in order to avoid taxes or some other kind of regulation.
Lastly, you can tell if a casino provider is safe based on the banking options it provides. In order to receive credit and debit card transactions on any site the credit card companies must approve, which requires validation of an LLC, corporation or some other type of proof that a legal business is fit for making transactions. If a site only takes something like Bitcoin this is a sign that perhaps the casino is trying to beat around the bush.