How to Recognise a Reputable Online Casino
For newcomers in the world of online gambling, it may be hard to set apart a reputable online casino from an unreliable one. With this guide, we will help you how to recognise the good ones and how to avoid the less reputable online casinos!
There are literally thousands of online casinos on the internet. The good news is that many of these casinos are in fact reliable. Even some of the lesser known ones which you might have never heard about before could actually turn out to be very reputable businesses.
Of course, just like in any industry, there are some bad apples to be found among them. A bad online casino might not pay out winnings or only do so after waiting months for it, use unreliable software from unknow game developers, have an unreachable help desk.
There are even some real criminals out there who might try to steal your personal and credit card data if you aren’t careful!
Recognise a reliable business
Fortunately, there are many ways how you can set apart a reputable business from an unreliable casino. On this page, we will give you some tips and advice how. What are the tells which give away a bad casino? Which are the signs which point out that an online casino is a legit affair?
Make sure that the money you win while betting online is paid out in full by only playing quality casino games at reliable online casinos!
Of course, one of the main keywords is “research”. You should always research an online casino before you register an account, deposit money and start playing.
Even when you find an online casino which sounds good on paper, you still need to do some research before signing up.
Let’s assume that you found an online casino that you think is a good fit for you. Everything it has to offer sounds like music to your ears. It has a great welcome bonus, a wide selection of casino games and many extra privileges such as a casino loyalty program.
It would however be extremely unwise to immediately sign up and deposit money. It only takes you a few seconds to enter the name of the casino in Google and search what is written about the casino.
What are the experiences of other players? What do casino test and review website like ours say about the online casino in question? It does make a different if a casino has loads of excellent reviews or none at all. It does make a difference whether a casino is talked about positively at about every gambling community or if one is not mentioned at all.
We have our own online casino reviews on our website – but we would never ever argue that our opinion is the only truth. By all means read them, but we would certainly understand it if you might want to read some other reviews too. After all, that’s what we would do if we would be in your position!
If a search result does not provide enough information, you can always ask your question at an online casino forum or message board and see what other gamblers have to say about it. Let other users of the forum reply and share their experiences with you. Ask a question such as: “Is Casino XX reliable?” or “Has anyone ever had bad experiences with Casino XX ?”
Of course, even the most reputable and famous of all online casinos will have players who have had bad experiences. Some might be bad losers who are out on a personal revenge quest after losing a lot of money, so do not take everything you read on face value. What matters is the amount of answers. If 90 percent of all replies say you should avoid a casino, that’s a clear answer. If 90 percent of gamblers are satisfied and there might only be one or two complaints, it’s quite safe to ignore those reports as they might be biased against the online casino.
Visit the online casino
When you visit an online casino for the first time, you should also listen to your feelings. The first impressions are very important because you want to feel good about your online casino experience. How does the website feel? Does everything work as it should be? Does it look remotely professional? Is the URL secure and is the transaction page protected? If you have doubts, leave the website.
Of course, you should always play at a fully licenced, registered online casino. All reputable online casinos are open about their business and will list all of their details.
This includes, but is not limited to, the address of the company headquarters, the licence number and the issuing body, as well as any parent company which might own the casino. If you see that a casino is owned by a larger entity, it is worth it to Google that as well. It can happen that an unknown, newly founded casino might sound a bit unfamiliar, but a quick Google will learn you that it is in fact fully owned by a major gambling company which has launched a new online casino as part of their huge portfolio of gambling businesses.
In such a case, even though you might have never heard about the casino before, you know for sure that the business is legit given that it is part of a much larger, reliable company.
When checking the licence, you should always look whether the casino has a licence number and what the issuing body is. Not every country is equal here. Generally speaking, any casino operating under an European licence issued by national gambling authorities is reliable. Most European casinos are licenced by the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) and the UK Gambling Commission – which are both trustworthy bodies. Any casino from these two islands nations can certainly be trusted, as casinos are fully vetted by these national authorities before receiving one of these two licences!
Some of the European ministates or semi-independent territories such as Gibraltar, the Channel Islands such as Alderney and the Isle of Man are also places from were legitimate online casinos are operated. Outside of Europe, the Dutch Caribbean islands such as Curaçao are generally reliable too. We however caution you for some Central American online casinos. It’s best to stick to those from Europe or Curaçao.
Another tell whether an online casino is trustworthy or not is by looking at the games which they are offering. If the games of an online casinos are made by no-name software providers (either without a brand name altogether or a name you have never heard of before) you should be careful.
Always check what the software providers are of the bulk of the games in an online casino game library. If these are big names like NetEnt, Microgaming, Play’n GO, Evolution Gaming and such, you know that you are most likely dealing with a legitimate business. It might of course be the case that you encounter a casino software provider of which you have never heard of before, but just like an unknown online casino it is very easy to Google these providers and check their history and reputation! There are some relatively unknown but highly reputable software providers, many of them doing some niche work behind the scenes, so it isn’t all that rare that you might never heard of some before. But even in such a case, it should be very simple and straightforward to verify the reliability of such software providers.
Many of these software providers themselves are licenced by the same regulatory authorities as online casinos! It’s also smart to look whether these software developers have logos on their website from independent testing labs such as eCOGRA or iTechLabs, which is a great sign that they take it seriously. Such test labs check for example whether a game really gives independent results which are not tampered with in any possible way, meaning that these games are indeed trustworthy and reliable, giving you a honest and fair shot at winning!
Check casino bonuses
An online casino can promise you a lot, but if it seems too good to be true then you have to be extra careful. If you want to take advantage of a casino bonus, it is wise to read the fine print in the bonus conditions. Take your time to read the terms and conditions and to fully understand the wagering requirements so that you know when you can cash out winnings.
The online casino should not set unrealistic requirements such as that you have to clear the casino bonus more than 100 times (35 times is the industry average at the moment). Even if the bonus might be as high as 1,000 euro – it is next to pointless if the terms and conditions of the bonus renders it almost impossible to use and cash out!
If nothing is written about terms and conditions or wagering requirements, that’s another sign that you are probably playing at a bad casinos. A reputable online casino is always open, honest and straightforward about its business, and that includes the terms and conditions.
A good online casino must offer an impeccable customer service. Nowadays, it’s all about live chat. If a casino has a live chat which is properly manned by real humans (and not with an instantly recognisable chatbot) it’s a great sign that the online casino takes its help desk seriously. Of course, best of all are the casinos which can be reached both by live chat, social media, phone and e-mail!
Although it doesn’t necessarily have to be the case that a casino which only allows contact by (expensive) telephone line or email is unreliable and untrustworthy, you should definitely take note as reaching them in case when things go wrong might prove tricky.
If you are really not sure about a certain casino as the reviews of other gamblers are quite mixed, we always recommend you to give their help desk a try before signing up. Just send them an email with a random question or try out the live chat. If you get a quick reply, you know it is a good sign! If you don’t get a reply at all – that’s definitely a sign that you should probably avoid this casino.
A final tell how to determine whether an online casino is reliable or not is by looking at the payment possibilities – both when it comes to depositing money and when it comes to cashing out your casino profits.
Reliable casinos always offer multiple ways how to do this, while an unreliable casino (and certainly the big frauds!) might for example be blocked from using certain banking systems. Always check whether a sign-up and payment page are protected (check if the URL has a lock or security protocol in front of it in your internet browser). If that’s not the case, it’s an extremely bad idea to send any personal details through the internet – something which both counts for personal details and banking or credit card data!
To sum up our article, you should use a checklist like this in order to determine whether a casino is trustworthy or not:
– Is the online casino fully licenced in a reliable country?
– What are other players saying about the online casino?
– What do casino review websites say about it?
– How did you feel about the experience when you first visited the website?
– How long has the online casino been around? If the casino is new, which is the parent company which started the business?
– Are the bonus conditions clear and reasonable?
– Are there enough payment options?
– Is the helpdesk responsive?
To avoid bad online casinos, it is important that you check all of the above points before registering and making your first deposit. Although we certainly recommend you to use multiple sources before making a decision where to sign up, we do advise you to start at our list of reliable online casinos.
These casinos are all fully licenced, generally get great reviews from players, have software from reliable casino game developers and are fun to play at. Check them out yourself!