There’s no doubt safety has improved in the online casino industry. A license is compulsory, operators must encrypt use data and provide clear data protection rules. The days when casinos worked with unknown developers are also gone.
Today, almost every online casino has slots and table games from well-known software providers. But to be clear, casinos aren’t created equal. If you haven’t gambled online for a while, these are the criteria for finding a legitimate casino in 2021.
A License from a Trusted Regulator
The first step of finding a genuine casino is to look for a license from a trusted regulator. There are multiple jurisdictions that give out licenses to gambling businesses. But not all of them hold these companies accountable.
That explains why it’s necessary to look for a license from a trusted regulator. The best examples are the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. A license from the UKGC not only provides proof of legitimacy but it also shows you the casino accepts players from the UK.
A license from the MGA shows an operator is genuine. However, casinos with this license operator in numerous countries. As such, you need to take an extra step to confirm an MGA-licensed casino operates in your country.
Alternatively, find legit online casinos on casino review websites. You won’t have to worry about licensing, security or games. Review experts do the hard work for you and publish a list of recommended sites. All you need is to pick one of them.
Security and Safety Features
Many licensed casinos are required to secure their websites and apps by law. They use SSL encryption to keep your personal information safe from hackers. On the flip side, they let you set a unique password to safeguard your account from unauthorized users.
The best online casinos also welcome independent auditors to audit them. You see, many players love casinos with fair games. But there are few ways to verifying the fairness of slots and RNG table games. Independent audits help assure players a company is safe.
These days, identifying an unsafe casino is straightforward. The first rule is to confirm a padlock sign on its address bar. If it’s absent and your browser says the website is unsecure, don’t register an account. If it also lacks a license or has a licensed from an unknown regulator, look for a better alternative.
Safe Payment Methods
Far too many casino players experience payment challenges. Sometimes they use a deposit method that doesn’t support withdrawals. Sometimes it’s a problem caused by the casinos—they charge high fees or take too long to process payouts.
Part of a legitimate casino, therefore, is providing safe, smooth banking during deposits and withdrawals. For starters, you’ll have a decent range of payment methods: Visa, MasterCard, Skrill, EcoPayz, PayPal and wire transfer, to name a few.
Then the limits and fees are friendly. Usually, casinos support deposits of between $10 and $10,000. They don’t charge deposit fees but you can expect charges during withdrawals. The exact fee ranges from zero to three percent of your withdrawal amount.
Still on payments, legitimate casinos tend to provide quick payouts. For e-wallets, they complete payout requests within a day or two. Withdrawals to credit cards and wire transfer take on to three days.
One of the most important rules of any legitimate casino is to provide high-quality games. A decade ago, the goal was to provide fair games. Fairness is still essential. But guess what’s even more important? High-quality games.
How do you define quality casino games? For slots, start by looking at the RTP rates. Short for Return to Player, an RTP shows you the percentage of gambled money a game pays out to winners. On average, the best slots have RTPs of above 95%.
Payout rates aside, another crucial mark of a quality game is design. You want beautiful, responsive games. And you want them to have exciting storylines and interactive features, inspired by sports, TV shows, ancient mythology or science fiction.
When it comes to table games, look at the quality of software. Then check the house edge and how the game works. House edge is the opposite of RTP: it shows the guaranteed profit a casino keeps from every game.
Everyone likes free stuff. The only reason we reject them is when they come with strings attached. Unfortunately, many casino bonuses have terms and conditions. And sometimes, these conditions show the difference between genuine and fraudulent operators.
The most popular bonuses are welcome offers. You register an account and receive free spins or betting credits to play a few slots. If you make a deposit, your money is matched 100% up to €100, €200 or €1000.
As mentioned, the most important factor to consider when finding bonuses is the conditions involved. What games can you play with a bonus? How much can you win and withdraw? What must you do to withdraw your profits?
If a bonus has strict policies that you must fulfil within an extremely short period, then it’s better to avoid the offer. Instead, look for a bonus that gives you enough time to fulfill its terms and conditions.
Contacts and Customer Service
If a casino looks legitimate but you’re not sure whether it’s worth your time or not, try interacting with its customer service staff. How easy is it to find contact details? How fast do agents respond and are their messages helpful?
In many cases, casinos with quick to help service agents provide quality services in general. That’s because customer service is one of the weakest points of many casinos. They tend to feature high-quality games and fair bonuses.
But when it comes to customer service, only a fraction of operators does it right. The rest provide slow or non-functional support. For clarity, the standard way of providing quality services these days is through live chatbots. The best operators run their chatbots 24/7. However, most companies offer customer help during normal office hours.