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Safe casino sites in 2021

When you play on an online casino, the first concern is if your money is safe with the operator you choose. Indeed, you wouldn’t like to see your money getting confiscated for no reason by the casino. That’s why you should always search for safe casino sites. Lately, we observe governments and local gambling authorities’ intensifying efforts to regulate the markets and push out rogue casinos. Even the rogue casino “heaven”, Curacao, isn’t excluded from this wipeout. The Dutch government has been pulling the ropes for stricter regulation in return for financial aid to the dependent jurisdiction last year.

Someone could think that the scam casino sites era might come to an end, but based on our experience, this is far from reality. We might see a drop in their numbers but a total extinction? We don’t think so because shady operators always seem to find the loopholes of regulatory frameworks.

So, you should always be aware of how to recognize a crooked casino. How would you manage that? By becoming familiar with the factors that characterize a safe and secure online casino.

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What is the safest online casino?

A general rule would be that the safest online casino would have obtained the most trustworthy licenses by the strictest regulators. Also, it needs to have been subjected to all the necessary controls (gaming fairness, security, data protection) and passed every one of them with success. Obviously, the casino’s partnerships play a significant role, too. Top-notch iGaming providers and reliable payment methods wouldn’t just put their name anywhere, so you can evaluate their presence as a sign of high-quality casino content. Responsible Gaming guidelines should also be respected and implemented by the casino. Finally, reputation can make or break a casino. If players’ complaints continue to pile up on casino forums, that means that you should better stay away from this site.

Let’s dig deeper and analyze each factor separately:

Licensing

Licensing is obligatory for online casinos as it is the only way they can be considered a legal entity. While some countries only allow operators that have obtained the local license, the majority of the regulators will let an operator enter their markets if they hold a license by their jurisdiction. To put it more simply, some iGaming licenses are so respectable that many countries accept them.

The most recognized and reputable gaming license globally comes from the United Kingdom, better known as the ‘UKGC (United Kingdom Gaming Commission) license’. As defined by the Gambling Act of 2005, the UK framework has stringent rules. Operators that don’t conform to the guidelines are obligated to pay hefty fines. So you can be sure that UKGC sites are extremely cautious in how they run business, and they will avoid being characterized as scams at all costs. Besides, in case of dispute, players can address IBAS (Independent Betting Adjudication Service), a third party resolution provider that protects the interests of the players and ensures safe gambling.

Then there is the Malta Gaming Authority. This license is prevalent to operators in the European Union, and it’s a license that most European countries accept. They are also known for slapping operators with heavy fines in case they illegally target foreign markets. You can rest assured that an MGA stamp means a safe and regulated casino.

Finally, a jurisdiction that made a name for itself by granting loads of licenses in the last years is Curacao. Operators can claim one of the four sublicenses of the region with very few demands accompanying the purchase and a delicious 2% taxation on total net earnings! The only limitation is that the online casino must have its headquarters on the island of Curacao. Still, since we live in the off-shore companies era, this isn’t by no means a problem for operators. Casinos that hold this license are proved to be unreliable more often than not. If you decide to place your money on a Curacao-licensed casino, have in mind that you may have to deal with some pretty unpleasant situations.

Apart from these licenses, you will also encounter local ones. Some of the jurisdictions like Sweden, for example, have austere guidelines, and a casino can operate legitimately there only if it holds the local license. It is evident that the more licenses a casino has obtained, the more reliable it can be considered. LeoVegas, for instance, is among the most trusted casinos, having obtained licenses in the UK, Malta, Spain, Italy, Sweden and Denmark!

How to find out which licenses each casino has acquired? It’s pretty simple, just take a look at the footer and search for their stamps.

Independent audits and tests

Licenses are essential, but they aren’t the only factor that defines safe casino sites. Casinos’ products are games like slots, table games and live dealers games. The majority of them are based on what we call a ‘Random Number Generator’ to secure a gaming session’s totally random outcome. This is why the games must be tested by independent audit teams, guaranteeing that a game is fair and not rigged in favor of the casino. The most established testing agencies are the following:

eCogra: Founded in 2003 in London, it’s probably the most recognized audit team in the industry, providing tests to top-notch providers and online operators

Gaming Laboratories International (GLi): Established in the United States in 1989, GLi is one of the market’s oldest testing agencies. Through the years, they expanded to new jurisdictions having offices all over the world.

Technical Systems Testing (TST): They emerged in 1993 and were bought by GLi in 2010. However, they continue to operate under their original name. They conduct tests not only for online casinos but for land-based ones, too. 

 iTechLabs: The Australians entered the business in 2004, and ever since, they have become a significant player in testing and certifying gaming solutions across the globe.

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Payment methods

The availability of multiple payment methods in a casino is also a sign of safety. The more payment solutions, the more trustworthy is an online casino. Why is that? Because payment processors are considered partners of the casino operators, and they wouldn’t desire to associate their names with scam sites. In particular, Paypal and Trustly are two companies that hand-pick their partners, and they don’t collaborate with just anybody. If you see a gambling site offering them, it’s more likely to be a trustworthy online casino.

Local payments can also be proof of safety. Players feel more familiar with the processor, and they can contact their customer support to complain over any inconsistencies. Moreover, you should note down the withdrawal times and the casino’s transaction limits you are interested in. Low maximum withdrawal limits, transaction fees or too long pending times could mean that the casino cannot be trusted.

Finally, you should always check if the personal data that is going to be processed during your transactions is held safe by the casino. Nowadays, most casinos use SSL encryption and security software that keeps your data safe. Have a look at the footer to spot their stamps.

A newly founded casino needs to be treated with caution. In many cases, we have noticed that they come with uncharacteristically low maximum withdrawal limits. This is due to the business risk that they take by starting their operations. They have made a considerable capital investment, and they would like to balance their losses at least initially. This casino policy shouldn’t frustrate you as it is a ‘take it or leave it’. If you don’t like it, you can move to the next one. If you are uncertain of what to do, you can always consult our casino reviews or even send us an email requesting advice.

Software Providers

Like payment processors, software providers are cooperating with casinos by distributing their products. It’s apparent that the big heads of the industry like Playtech or Novomatic wouldn’t just go with any guy that happened to set up a new casino. In a way, iGaming suppliers are the first who conduct a safety test for the operators by allowing them to use their games. Reliable and safe online casinos usually have a wide range of providers, mixing both the powerhouses and the industry’s smaller names.

It’s not unusual for operators to buy a platform that is offered by an aggregator and has integrated all the providers. The platforms are approved by the providers themselves but also by the regulators, so you can rest assured that you play in a legit site.

Localization

Localization is another factor not as significant as the ones we mentioned, but it could imply an online gambling site’s safety. International casinos that face many markets usually try to familiarize themselves with their local audiences by adding the local language, currency, native-speakers as customer service agents and even special promotions or details in the site’s design. For example, Royal Panda has integrated the flag of the market you are browsing to its banner to welcome you to the site.

Reputation and history

These are intangible concepts, yet they play a vital role in the reliability of the casino. First of all, it’s understandable that a casino that has outlasted the test of time has frequent customers who value it. It’s not rare to observe casinos vanishing overnight due to a lack of players or bad management. A visit to casino players forums can prove enlightening as you could check the popularity and the complaints that each brand gathers.

Awards and presence at annual casino conventions are also indicators of the trustworthiness of a casino. The industry will reward safe and reliable casinos, not the scam ones.

Finally, transparency has to derive from the casino itself. A clear presentation of the operator’s details at the footer or, even better a “About Us” page show that the casino has nothing to hide. Responsible Gaming page should also be at a visible part of the website and include links to independent organizations that help people protect themselves by gambling-related harm.

Εxtra tips you should know

All of the above are very useful stuff that you should know before engaging with online gambling, but the problem is that most of the players don’t educate themselves to be protected. As a result, we see a bunch of complaints on casino forums over situations that could have been prevented if the players had just done their ‘homework’ before investing money in unreliable casinos.

If you are a keen learner, though, we suggest that you memorize what we have said so far. But we aren’t done yet, we have some more inside info for you. The following are factors that you wouldn’t relate to whether a casino is safe or not, but allow us to explain why they certainly are.

Bonuses and promotions

Bonuses and promos are great, indeed. They are the spices that give an uplift to the casino’s flavor. Still, the bonuses can differ greatly and not all of them worth claiming. Safe casino sites that don’t want to deceive the players will have average amounts of matching bonuses and rational terms regarding wagering them. Trusted casinos don’t need to promise huge amounts to their players or advertise dozens of promotions on their page.

What should you look out for as a sign of a safe casino site? Primarily, down to Earth bonus amounts. Suppose you come across a ‘€10,000 bonus plus 500 free spins’. Guess who will never achieve to fulfill the terms and will walk away empty-handed.

Then, you have ALWAYS to read Terms & Conditions, which should be comprehensive, fair and transparent. The wagering requirements are usually feasible at safe casinos, meaning they range between 25x to 45x. Anything above that makes the wagering procedure quite tricky especially if the time window until the expiration date is short. Our lucky guess would be that casinos that apply high playing through requirements want to secure that not many players will meet them.

Reliable customer support

If you are an experienced player, you must have mingled with a casino’s customer support more than a couple of times. At some point in your gaming session, a question or a complaint would arise, and you would have to contact the casino. Safe casino sites regularly have many communication channels from live chat, to email, to phone and other platforms like WhatsApp or Telegram. Live chat should be 24/7 and not just some hours of the day, and the responses should be fast. Customer service agents should be polite, knowledgeable and on point because they function as the front desk of a casino. A gambling site that doesn’t take care of its CS probably doesn’t care that much for its image, and the chances of being a scam site grow.

Gambling Control

Gambling is a recreational hobby, and if it is treated as such, you could have great fun. However, when it ends up defining other parts of your life, it can become harmful. To protect players, the regulators demand the casinos to advertise a ‘Responsible Gaming’ page where players can opt to take measures like defining deposit/wagering limits, taking cooling-off breaks, or even self-excluding to deal with gambling-related harm.

Of course, casinos don’t enjoy featuring this page; however, they have to conform to the guidelines and place it in a visible spot, typically at the site’s footer. You should become suspicious of a casino when you cannot locate the aforementioned page anywhere on the site.

Reliable and safe online casinos have taken things a step further to ensure safe online gambling conditions. Live chat service agents are trained to recognize problematic behaviors while communicating with the players, and if they realize that the player has lost control, they could ban them.

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Safe Casinos FAQ

You should check if the casino has reliable payment processors, sane maximum limits and reasonable pending withdrawal times. 

A casino that has obtained a license by an established regulator is legal, but this doesn’t automatically make it a safe option to play on. You should check a series of factors before you decide.

Of course, there are, and you have to be careful not to invest your money there. Always check if they hold an online gambling license.

RNG games should be periodically tested by agencies to guarantee their fairness. Look out for audit team stamps at the casino footer. 

 

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How to find a reliable casino

Security is important when playing at online casinos. These are 5 signs of safe casinos:


1. License from a respected regulator
2. eCogra & TST certified
3. SSL Encryption (https)
4. Fast Customer Support response
5. Games by well-known casino providers
Signs of a scam brand

Most rogue casinos have certain characteristics you should use as a warning sign. These include:

• License with a non-clickable logo
• Fake casino games
• Hard-to-meet wagering requirements
• Withdrawal request delay or denial
• Cheating RNG

Online casino comparison
Why compare online casinos? Because ratings and reviews, as the ones found on Best50Casino, are the best way to find top casino sites. This way you know you are playing at a casino that’s safe and has the best bonuses and games.
Responsible Gambling tips

We value Responsible Gambling practices above all. Make sure you follow the tips below:

• Handle your gambling budget wisely
• Don’t play online when you’re drunk
• Never try to win back what you lost
• Don’t gamble when you’re upset
• Try other forms of recreation as well

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