The initial launch phases of any entity or service is often unquestioned and unregulated. This is also the phase when the most scams occur. It’s only once the scams get reported along with the number of people affected by these scams increases; is when the relevant bodies and legislation come into place. When money comes into the picture, scams occur – then be it online payments, online games or online live casinos.
Let’s look at gambling and casinos for that matter. Gambling can be traced back to the Paleolithic period, i.e., even before history was accounted for. Do we really think that gambling was regulated at that particular point of time? It was not even considered legal to gamble till 1931. While the first live casino was setup in 1638 in Venice, Italy and it was closed in 1774. The reason being that the city government felt that the well-bred and well-to-do members of the city were being robbed. Again casinos started as saloons in America, a place where travellers would meet, talk and gamble. Again in early 20th century, gambling was banned by the government and the social reformers. It was later in 1931 that gambling was legalized and the first legalized casinos started being setup. This was also done with the intention of development of the state and generation of revenue and employment.
With the advances in technology, online gaming started becoming popular. And around the 1990s, the first fully functional gambling software came into the picture. However, when we talk about gambling we also talk about loads of money; if you remember – the reason for the first casino being banned was money. So yes, since ancient times when we have talked about money, we also need start considering ways to protect it. So what makes online gambling any different? The origin of the online gambling software also came online security companies so that the transactions conducted online are safe. And this led to licenses that needed to be acquired for an online casino to be opened and the first online casino started around 1994. Then came the question about playing fair and everything being transparent. This further led to more licenses and regulations. Now, as we talk about the growth of online casino or online gambling establishments, we have gone from 15 websites in 1996 to 200 websites in 1997 and now there are thousands of online websites along with the prediction that the online gambling market would be seeing a growth of $56.05 billion by 2018.
Technology has further advanced and so has the security and the scams. Everyone looks for making quick money and that’s when security is bypassed. Today, as the number of online gambling websites have gone up so has the technology in terms of the user experience, the licenses and the security. Be it in the past or even now, people do want to come into a place with looks and feels secure – be it in the form of a Hulk-looking person at the door in case of live casinos or be it online encryption in case of online gambling establishments. Most the online casinos are perfectly safe – provided the relevant licenses and security measures have been taken.
So why are we looking for a safe online casinos? The reasons are as follows –
- Fair games and fair payouts;
- Licenses and regulated by gaming authorities which can be approached in case of any concerns;
- Best encryption technology and well-reputed payment options;
- Online casino bonus, which the player can use while playing games.
So finally what should a newbie or a first-timer or even a well-seasoned player look for while searching for safe online casino? Below are some things that one can keep any eye out for while registering for an online casino –
- Licensing and regulation
Every country has its own set of legislations and gaming authorities. This information is freely displayed at the bottom of the website. One needs to ensure that the website is licensed and regulated by the relevant gaming authorities, as per the country that the website is registered with.
- Legislation in place
In certain countries, the legislation is stricter and they would allow you to play only on sites that are regulated by your country or State’s gaming authority.
- Type of software used
Most of the online casinos use games developed by the most trustworthy software providers. However, certain states only allow players to be play using a software called – RTG (RealTime Gaming), which unfortunately is not very strict in terms of checking whether the online casino has been licensed and registered appropriately. Hence online casinos use external audit firms to review and test the games. Ideally the logo for the company used would be displayed at the bottom of the page of the casino’s website.
- Ownership of the online casino
Check the “About Us” and the “Terms and conditions” page on the website. Ensure that the “About us” page has all the relevant and correct information about the name of the company running the casino, the company’s phone number and the address where the company is registered. The other checkpoint is the “Terms and Conditions” page, where most of the online casinos would mention all possible information without worrying about it.
- Security of the website
The security of the website can be checked using the below signs -
- https:// at the beginning of the URL – The “s” stands for secure and is mostly present in any website that deals with online transactions.
- Site Lock – There is a lock in the web address when its opened in the browser. This indicates that the site is authentic.
- Casino Game verified by authorised 3rd
There are software auditing firms that review and test the online games provided by the website and make sure that the games are fair as claimed by the company. Once the software has cleared review, it is certified by the testing third party company by either a badge or by a certificate. This would be displayed on the casino’s website.
At the end of the day, it is also put to the user that they ensure that take the necessary precautions to avoid any fraud being committed. Below are some points that the gamer or used needs to keep in mind while and after registering –
- Create a strong alphanumeric password with special characters while registering for an online casino.
- Use the 2-step verification, if its present.
- Use security questions.
- Change your passwords regularly.
- Don’t give out your username and password.
- Keep an eye on your bank statements for any unauthorised payments.
Generally summarising, most of the online casinos are definitely safe. However, like everything else there are good ones and bad ones, though the good and safe ones outnumber the unsafe ones, Check the reviews of the website before registering, good customer service, faster withdrawals and fair games are indicative of a secure and safe online casino; whereas bad customer service, non-payment and repetitive phony requests for IDs are spoilers for a bad website. Happy Gaming!