The online casino world can seem dicey, with new gambling sites popping up every day. While most are legitimate, some unreliable and even fraudulent sites slip through the cracks. Before signing up, it’s wise to look for certain red flags that indicate an online casino likely isn’t trustworthy.

Licensing and Registration

One of the first things to investigate is licensing and registration. Reputable online casinos will hold valid licenses from well-known gambling regulatory bodies like the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, or the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner. These jurisdictions thoroughly vet gambling sites before granting licenses, so unlicensed casinos should be avoided.

Game Offerings

Beware online casinos that offer very limited game selections from just one game developer. Legitimate sites will have diverse game offerings and feature titles from major casino game studios like IGT, Microgaming and NetEnt. For fairness, their games should be recently tested by third parties like eCOGRA.

Bonuses and Promotions

Promotions can be enticing, but be wary of unclear bonus terms or bonuses that seem fancifully large. Read the fine print: reliable casinos clearly spell out wagering requirements. And remember, if a welcome bonus looks too good to be true, that’s likely the case. Initial deposits and withdrawals give further indication of reliability—or lack thereof. Reputable casinos process payments promptly and don’t charge egregious fees.

Data Security

While assessing banking policies, check whether the casino uses adequate encryption to protect your data. Secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption shields the information you provide to register or play games, securing it with an https URL. Outdated platforms without SSL put your data at risk.

Reviews and Reputation

  • Searching “[casino name] scam” should surface watchdog sites verifying legitimacy and monitoring blacklists of non-recommended casinos.
  • Genuine independent customer reviews can also give reasonable insight on casino practices.

While most realize gambling online carries inherent risks, avoiding unreliable casinos lessens the odds of wasted money—or worse yet, predatory behavior. Using keen discretion by following best practices goes a long way in online casino security. With myriad trustworthy options available, there’s no reason to settle for questionable roulette wheels or slot machines.

By Michael