Casino games are fun and exhilarating, allowing you to play your favourite games and potentially win money in an exciting environment, and online gaming takes the best parts of casino gaming and brings it into your own home – or in the case of mobile games, wherever and whenever you want to play.
There are so many types of games that you can play online now, including all your usual favourites from poker to blackjack and craps, but also many variations of slots. There are several sites that offer online casino games but choosing the right one can be complicated. Especially when you are considering how safe a site is when you will be sharing personal and financial details with them.
Choosing the right brand to use to play your casino games like Virgin Games means ensuring that the site is easy to use and navigate, that the games are fair, and that your deposits and withdrawals are as safe as your personal information.
What Makes a Casino Safe?
The UK Gambling Commission must regulate all online casinos that are based in the UK, and other regulators like the Malta Gaming Authority are responsible for providers who offer services to users in the UK.
Regulated brands must also be regularly audited by an independent third party to ensure that all rules are being followed, and that the games themselves are fair.
Some of the best online casino sites in New Zealand are listed at CasinoBlacks guide with full reviews and ratings. This guide is one of the best examples of how the independent online gambling authority can give you insight into a particular casino brand online.
You will also want to be sure that the connection you are using is safe, too. All casino sites must have encryption to protect your data, but they must also be UK-GDPR and PCI compliant to be able to manage your financial information and transactions in a safe way.
In terms of other security, when you sign up to a casino site you will need to choose a strong password. Many operators also offer Two-Factor Authorisation (2FA) to further protect your details and financial information.
You can tell a lot about an online casino brand through their reviews, so a look at what users have to say about the site will be useful for you to decide to sign up. Of particular interest should be the way the company deals with customer problems, and how well-regarded their customer service offering is.
Your Safe Casino Checklist
Before you sign up for a shiny bonus at a new online casino brand, take a few moments to go through the following list.
Is the brand of the casino well known? Is it the online branch of a recognised bricks-and-mortar casino or bookmakers? Some companies might not be typically affiliated with online gaming, while others might be.
Recognisable, reputable, and trusted brand names are a safer bet when it comes to online casino gaming.
Some online casinos are part of larger conglomerates, so while you might not recognise the casino name itself the parent company might be more familiar.
Casino sites (and brick-and-mortar casinos) based in the UK must be regulated by the UK Gambling Commission. Their role is to ensure that certain rules are followed and provisions made to protect players, their personal information, and that the games are fair.
They must meet certain standards to obtain a license, protecting vulnerable people and children while ensuring that casino games (and other types of betting) are not a source of funding for criminal activity.
When you are looking at a new casino site, the information about their regulation will be at the bottom of the page, usually as a hyperlink with a license number.
The security of any site where personal information is used can be checked by looking for the padlock at the start of the URL. This means that the site is SSL encrypted and more likely to be a genuine site.
You can also protect yourself by using a secure Wi-Fi network when completing a deposit or withdrawal – it is not a good idea to be logged in to an open network when you are inputting your account or credit card details, just in case there are prying eyes.
The safest sites will use Two-Factor Authorisation (2FA) to ensure that it really is you logging in, and on your mobile device you should use biosecurity like face recognition or a fingerprint log in.
Getting a feel for the site can be done by browsing what is available on their home screen, but for an in-depth look at what you can expect, it is a good idea to check out the reviews.
Aggregate sites can help you get an overview of what games are available, what the pay-out time is like, how simple deposits and withdrawals are, and in some cases, you might be able to get special bonuses like free spins by using them.
Customer reviews are sometimes more useful if you know what you are looking for. Try and ignore the stories about losing money or winning millions, and keep an eye out for mentions of:
- Ease of use
- Responsiveness of Customer Service team
- How long withdrawals take to make
- Any hidden fees/complications to withdrawing winnings etc.
Use Your Instincts
It might be a cliché, but your gut instinct can usually be relied on to help you decide about whether to share financial information with an online entity – and if it seems too good to be true, or there is something that just doesn’t feel right, then look elsewhere.
There are potentially hundreds of online casino sites available from brands that you will already know and trust, so choose one of those instead.