Here’s a newsflash for you – you should only join the safest online casinos.
No duh, you know that. But how do you do it?
I’ll be honest… it’s not easy. Not with there being hundreds of online casinos to choose from. It’s not so much the quantity of casinos that get you – it’s how the majority seem hell bent on screwing people over.
So, what do you do? How do you find casinos you feel safe joining and spending money with?
That’s the focal point of our guide below. If you want to know how to find a safe and legit casino on your own, I highly recommend you give it a read.
Another option is to follow our recommendations, which you’ll find in the chart below.
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Let’s start with learning how to identify unsafe casinos.
Think about it like this – by learning how to identify who the bad guys are, it makes it that much easier to figure out who the safe ones are.
Common sense, yeah?
Anyway, here are some signs a casino isn’t safe enough for you to join.
Casinos who change terms on the fly usually do this to back up whatever they say the customer is doing wrong so that they don’t have to pay them. They do this during the conversation with the customer – which is as big a scam as they come – as opposed to before or after, which is when they SHOULD change their terms.
How can you trust a business who won’t even follow their own terms?
Another shoddy thing rogue casinos do is force bonuses on players.
They do this so that you have to comply with their bonus terms – you have to roll over your bonus money and deposit (thousands of dollars) before you can cash out.
What’s more likely to happen is you’ll lose your money (back) to the casino, thus relieving the casino of having to cash you out.
There are software companies who do bad business, too. Their games might not be random or there’s simply no way to win at them.
Other software companies, such as Betsoft, have agreements with online casinos they work with that, when a player hits a progressive jackpot, that Betsoft will pay the player, as well as cut the casino a percentage of the income.
But then they don’t.
Then there are casinos or software companies who rip off games and try to pass them off as their own – like Affpower.
Another thing to watch out for is how a casino markets their business.
There are some casinos who will spam players by email or phone. Or, they’ll acquire your information from other (shoddy) businesses, and then spam you without your permission.
But you don’t want to only watch out for how casinos market their business, but what sorts of marketing practices they condone from their partners.
A couple years ago, tons of websites were hacked and injected with an affiliate’s code so that they’d earn a commission each time a player signed up. Some casinos banned this affiliate and didn’t pay him any commissions he “earned,” while others did little, if anything to punish him.
You want to avoid the casinos and networks who think online gambling hacking scandals are okay.
You want to avoid casinos that either are slow paying or not paying you. If, after a few months, you haven’t received any money from a casino, you should stop spending your money there. Don’t make another deposit until you get cashed out, and it might be a good idea to never play there again.
Another thing to look for are casinos who give players the runaround when they request a withdrawal. The casino might make bogus requests for player verification or ask them over and over to send in proof of who they are. Or, the casino might ‘investigate’ the player’s account – each time they request a cash out.
The items above are clear cut examples of things rogue casinos do. There are no ifs, ands or buts about it. If you know of a casino who has done, or is currently doing any of the items on the list, you should avoid them at all costs.
But that’s not all – we have a list of additional things rogue casinos do, which we’ll share with you in just a second.
But first, I want to share a few things that aren’t rogue, but should definitely set off alarms for you.
Many of these things aren’t make or break issues. But if several of them apply to a casino – or, when combined with the shoddy things listed earlier – that’s when you know that a casino is unsafe.
Now, this is a shortlist of all the shenanigans rogue casinos pull. You can find more, as well as a list of casinos and networks known for pulling these stunts, on our casino blacklist page.
In a perfect world, you’d figure this out about a casino BEFORE you signed up and made a deposit. You’d learn about it while reading a review or doing additional research in a forum or on a watchdog site.
But that doesn’t always happen, unfortunately. Sometimes you learn the hard way.
When that happens – and I can’t stress this enough – you need to cash out ASAP. If a casino starts tweaking terms on the fly, giving you the runaround or is slow-paying you, don’t give them the benefit of the doubt – just cash out.
Because there are so many legit and safe online casinos out there, it makes no sense to stick around with the bad ones.
Now that we’ve gone over some of the warning signs of an unsafe casino, let’s cover what we look for from a casino BEFORE we can deem them safe enough to recommend to our readers.
Here are the things we look for:
The biggest differences between jurisdictions is how much player protection there is and/or how much oversight or regulation there is. How much can the casino get away with?
The games should be regularly tested for fairness by an independent 3rd party auditor, too.
While far from a perfect approach, it should be pretty clear that the casino has the means to handle nearly any cash out that comes across their desk.
I also look at how fair the terms are. This is subjective, of course, but 400x playthroughs on a blackjack bonus, or $50 fees for accounts that have sat for a couple of months, is predatory terms in my book.
So many casinos nowadays omit details about who they are, which brings the trust factor – and, thus, the safety factor – way down.
It’s a bonus when the casino is large enough to warrant their own Wikipedia page. However, this is rare, and often reserved for public gambling companies (for example, 888.com) or large non-public companies (Bet365.com).
So, the list above is what I’m looking for when I review a casino. However, that’s really only half the battle.
In other words, it’s not possible for me to play at, or have in-depth knowledge of every single casino on the internet.
So, what I have to do – and what I recommend you do – is look outside of the casino (and our website) for a second opinion.
Here’s where I recommend you look.
Like you, they want to play fair games at casinos who’ll pay them when they win. And when that doesn’t happen, you can bet your bankroll you’ll hear about it.
Usually if a casino is unsafe, I can trust these guys to write about it. And, while everyone’s moral compass points in a slightly different direction, when there’s smoke, there’s fire – it’ll be pretty obvious when a casino is unsafe.
But that’s not all – we also double check the player ratings and complaints.
Player ratings are sort of like forums – you get honest info straight from the horse’s mouth. And while you need to ignore the bonus abusers, multi-accounting and conspiracy theorists, you will spot the (bad) patterns if they exist.
As for complaints, 3rd party mediators such as AskGamblers.com allow you to see what (common) problems players are having, and whether the casino is willing to discuss it publicly. This is an invaluable source of information.
Keep in mind – all of us have a financial interest in recommending casinos. So, if a casino makes the blacklist, that means we’re not recommending them, thus missing out on potential revenue.
The point – if we’re willing to pass on money to blacklist a casino, you can bet your balance that casino is one of the shadiest and unsafe casinos on the internet.
Finding the safest online casinos is no different than finding any other company you’re willing to do business with.
You do your research. Read reviews. Contact support and ask questions.
Then you keep the honest ones for a trial run, and skip the shady ones like the plague. Because otherwise your bankroll may get sick – maybe even die.
The guide above should help you accomplish just that.
If all else fails, you can use our recommendations above. And if for some reason those don’t work for you, or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll do our best to point you in the right direction.
Because everyone should be able to find, join and play at the safest casinos online.