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How to check if you are playing at a legal online casino

Published by Niki | October 28, 2020

The online casino industry is a massive market worldwide with multiple thousands of sites and operators based around the globe. While the choice is always a luxury, players like you need to learn to navigate the myriads of selections effortlessly, to ensure that you invest in the services of safe and fair gaming platforms only.

Some undesirable sites are offering their services online, which you should avoid at all costs!

We provide this guide with the express purpose of educating online gamblers on how to choose reputable online casinos to play at and how to weed out the bad ones. Be sure to check that the online casino you choose to play at adheres to the following protocols before making your first deposit on the site.

Legal or Not, That is the Primary Question

CasinoWow promotes legal gambling and strongly advises that both players and operators legally engage in the market.

  1. Laws of the Land

    You must find out your country’s regulations and views on online gambling before you play on any website. You are not safe when playing online games illegally. Whether the operator is legitimate or not, playing without the covering of a regulator means that there is no recourse against unfair treatment.

  2. Blacklistings

    The quickest way to distinguish between reputable sites and rogue operators would be to visit well-known gambling regulation sites, especially those governing your region, and checking for blacklistings of bad casino providers.

    Regulators make weeding out illegal or undesirable sites a priority and may provide a helpful list of casinos to avoid when online.

How To Find A Legal (And Secure) Online Gambling Site? - CasinoWow

Top Sites are Always Marked

There are other ways of checking to see if an online casino is legit or not. This includes verifying their online casino licenses, certification, security, and responsibility. All top casinos will have these particulars readily available to you for further investigation.

Online Casino Licensing

Legitimate casinos are all licensed by regulator bodies. This means that they are held to a specific standard of service by the overseeing authorities. Good regulators will ensure that each casino is well vetted before licensing them. The checks include:

  • The criminal history of all key figures at the casino.
  • Financial standings of the casino.
  • The quality of the gaming software.
  • Ensure long-lasting fairness of all gaming software.
  • Ensure that ethical protocols are adhered to.

There are a handful of gambling regulators that stand head and shoulders above the rest. If at all possible, play at sites holding one or more of these licenses - UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority.

The respective license numbers for the operator platform can usually be found in the footer of the casino homepage. You can cross-reference these numbers with the respective regulator’s site to ensure that the numbers are legitimate and correspond correctly.

Certification of Fairness

All licensed casinos will have their gaming software and RNGs tested regularly. Look out for certificates and approvals from leading independent auditing companies. Top-rated auditing companies include the following.

  • eCogra;
  • GLI (Gaming Laboratories International);
  • TST;
  • iTechLabs.

Testing by these companies ensures that all game outcomes remain random, unbiased, and entirely fair.

Many top casinos release monthly payout reports generated to show the gaming public how the games respond and payout after they are tested. This is usually represented as a percentage value and can be found at links in the footer of the webpage, in the help sections, or the casino’s fairness policy section of the site.

Site Security

All reputable sites will be 100% secure. There should be information and registration certificates for Secure Socket Layer (SSL) Encryption on the site. This form of security ensures that players’ details remain safe and private when using the platform from their browser and that there are no viruses on the casino software.

The easiest way to check the security on the site is to examine the URL address in the browser bar. If it holds an ‘https’ prefix before the web address, it is secure (the ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’).

It is also vital that the payment methods offered on the site are secure in their own right by SSL procedures. All methods should be PCI approved to ensure the safest services.

Responsible Gambling

There is a worldwide move to promote responsible gambling. All legitimate casinos, therefore, implement various protocols and tools to help their players manage their gambling habits more responsibly.

Some of the easier signs to recognise when it comes to responsible play or not is to check for the following:

  • Some of the top casinos in Europe register with GamStop - an independent network organisation sold out to responsible gambling.
  • Links to a Responsible Gambling Page with tools and helplines for vulnerable players.
  • Taglines that say, ‘’Gambling is Addictive, gamble responsibly’’.

In a bid to protect vulnerable and under-aged players, reputable casinos should offer you the following tools.

  • Deposit Limits: Most casinos will allow you to impose deposit limits on your account to help you manage your spending.
  • Session Limits: At some casinos, you may set a time limit on your sessions. Once you have reached the limit, the casino will boot you out of the site. These can be set for daily, weekly, and monthly timeframes.
  • Loss limits: Here, if you lose a certain amount of money, the casino will prevent you from playing any longer.
  • Time Alerts: Also known as a ‘Reality Check’, you can set an alert to show up on screen every so often during your session to remind you of how long you have been playing for.
  • Cool-Off Periods: If you believe you need a break from gambling, you can implement a cool-off period, usually between 24 to 72 hours. The casino will not allow you to access your account until the timeframe is complete.
  • Self Exclusion: For those who experience severe gambling issues, you can select to self exclude yourself from play on the site for up to 5 years. The casino/network of casinos will lock you out of your account until the timeframe has lapsed. Organisations like GamStop will allow you to self-exclude from the entire network of online casinos in the UK if you live there.
  • Self Assessment: All respectable casinos will provide you with a self-assessment questionnaire. By answering the questions there, you will soon be able to tell if gambling is a vice in your life.

Most of the proactive tools listed above can be modified to suit you. Once limits and restrictions are set, they can be changed, but there are delay times in place to do this, to put off those who are acting on a whim.

CasinoWow Round-Up

At CasinoWow, we do much of the legwork for you in vetting for Play Safe protocols at online casinos. We only support well-licensed and reputable operators on our site, which means you can choose any one of our number of ‘WOW’ partners for a safe and secure gaming session. We are professionals in the market and know exactly what to look out for when choosing the cream of the crop.

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