Online players are happy to spend time pondering which games to play, how much to spend, which version of a game is best, and what games have the best odds… But there’s one vital question they often ignore completely.
Instead, the first issue every gamer should tackle when heading online to play is this: is the casino you are choosing reputable, safe, and legal?
It may sound like a boring delay to overcome before getting down to the real business of playing – but it is so very important. Nothing spoils a gaming session like a site crashing, a dodgy payment transfer… or finding you’re the victim of a costly online scam.
There’s a reason that the leading online casinos clearly display their credentials to all visiting players. They’re not just showing off – this is for the players’ benefit too.
The internet is a wild and largely unpoliced global environment. Whether you are playing poker or buying a pair of shoes,it pays to be very cautious when registering your personal and financial details.
In the booming world of online gaming, there are two ends of the unlicensed scale. At one end are the slightly unprofessional operators, they seem rather harmless, but their games may be dated and full of glitches – while at the other end of the scale are genuine criminal gangs hoping to trap unsuspecting players.
If a site is unlicensed and unregulated you don’t know which end of that scale, you are dealing with. So why take the risk at all?
That’s why gaming authorities have imposed strict checks on any online casinos that try to operate in their territory. And it’s why the top reputable casinos are very keen to show that they are fully compliant with all the rules and regulations.
The enormous growth in online gaming has resulted in the potential for huge profits for casino operators. Most of us would agree that’s fair enough for the leading businesses that have spent millions creating sophisticated high-tech gaming sites.
They’ve had to comply with stringent regulations that usually include such details as having the precise operation of their random number generators inspected. The ongoing costs of running an online casino can be huge and include running a 24/7 customer service department and employing web designers to constantly upgrade and develop new games to attract customers.
But those large potential profits have also attracted many less scrupulous operators. And it’s those illegal sites that all players have to be wary of.
It’s easy to check
Don’t worry, it’s easy to check. Simply look on the landing page of the casino site you choose.
The license details are clearly displayed, often at the foot of the page. There is usually a registration number.
If you can’t find anything like that then simply click away to another site. There are plenty of established reputable operators that have all the necessary legal frameworks in place.
Look out for mention of the strictest regulators like the UK Gambling Commission the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority or the Malta Gaming Authority. With these bodies involved, you can feel completely safe in your online dealings.
Of course, once you have established you are entering a fully legal site you won’t have to keep checking each time. Register with the site and feel reassured that you, your details, and your transactions are protected whenever you return.
Experienced players report that they enjoy their games much more when they can fully relax knowing that the site, they are on is tightly licensed and controlled. If they have a big win, they know that the site isn’t suddenly going to disappear or crash.
Yes, it’s supposed to be a fun and light-hearted activity – but that only happens when you can be sure you are in a safe environment.
After all, we all know it doesn’t take long to search and find tales of disasters on the internet. There are plenty of reports out there of players robbed of their winnings or becoming victims of identity fraud.
It’s simply not worth the risk of being scammed or hacked by playing with an illegal casino – especially when it’s so easy to find a reputable one.
You would be mad to buy an expensive car from a shady seller around the back of the railway arches that keeps looking nervously over his shoulder and has got any of the legal documents – so don’t be tempted to risk your entire gaming budget, and perhaps more, with anything other than the most bona fide online casino operators.
Whichever of the regulatory bodies has endorsed the site you will know that they will have insisted that a very strict set of regulations are followed. These detailed rules are designed to protect players and ensure all casino operations are fair and transparent.
Importantly it also means there are robust safeguards in place about your personal data and any financial transactions.
That usually means that the online operator uses one of the latest high-tech cyber-security systems to protect data transfer and storage and to keep players’ money in a tightly protected segregated bank account.
It’s in all the players’ interests to make sure all the operators work within a legal framework. It’s in the leading operators’ interest too.
Online casinos are supposed to be about relaxing and having fun – but remember that nothing spoils your fun more than being ripped off.