Online casinos and gambling sites have received a poor reputation in many circles. Does it deserve this reputation? If you search for online casino scams you can find thousands of results. Should you be scared of possible scams when you want to play your favorite casino games or poker or place a bet on a sporting event? That’s what this page is designed to answer.
This page is also here to help you find the safest online casinos and gambling sites that are not only secure but also have a good reputation for taking care of players. That way, you can focus on having fun and winning money, instead of worrying about becoming a victim.
Best Online Gambling Sites – Ranked for Safety, Security, & Reputation
The good news is that you can find many great places to gamble online that are as safe as shopping for your next pair of shoes or a book. As long as you stay informed you should be able to avoid online gambling scams.
One of the key ranking factors is how long a gambling site has been in operation and if they’ve used that time to establish safe and respected practices or have been lax in customer service and care.
The safest casinos tell you what they’re going to do and then do it. In other words, if they tell you they’ll send your payout in three days they do it. They also follow their terms and conditions and don’t try to hide the way they operate.
It’s really a simple process and the best casinos still make plenty of money. Most casino players lose, so all the casino has to do is treat the players well and do what they claim they will.
The ones that do are rewarded with our highest rankings and with loyal customers.
How to Safely Gamble Online
1. Do your homework and choose a casino or gambling site
Customer reviews are a great way to get feedback on an online gambling site. You should also read everything you can find on a particular site before playing at their casino. There are hundreds of online casinos to choose from and the more research you do the better. Arming yourself with knowledge can make a big difference in your level of online gambling safety and enjoyment. A few clicks of your computer keys will lead you to numerous articles that offer advice on which real money gambling sites have the best reputation, offer bonuses, are slow to pay out, etc.
A great deal of these real money casinos are located outside of regulated online gambling markets. This presents a different set of problems. Often, these sites are not held to the same regulations as casinos in regulated markets. In fact, in quite a few countries online gambling is not legalized, which presents a different set of challenges for players. Various casinos may charge you a fee to withdraw your winnings or you require you to wait for them to be sent to you in the mail. Either way, you will get paid, but maybe not as fast or efficiently as you might like.
You can learn more about the different laws and jurisdictions around the world in the jurisdiction section of the site. The reason we mentioned how a website is always growing is that you’ll find thousands of jurisdictions around the world and we don’t know if we can ever cover them all. But we started with the largest and are adding more all of the time.
Many of the same things can be said about land-based casinos, poker rooms, and sports books, Thousands of them operate around the world. We’re always adding new information, so check back often.
2. Sign up for a free account
Most casinos will allow you to play for free using just a username and password, but let’s face it you will probably try real money play at least once. The smart thing to do is to be prepared before you place your first bet.
3. If you’re comfortable with the casino, make a real money deposit
Traditionally, and especially in the United States, people fund their online gambling accounts via one of two methods: card or cash transfer. While these methods are also common around the world, there are several other methods which can sometimes be used, and some of which are relatively new and quickly gaining in popularity as more people find out about them.
Depending on where you live, you will be subject to different online gambling laws and it is important to do thorough research beforehand in order to determine what is and isn’t allowed.
It is important to note that in certain countries, such as the United States, gambling laws may vary from state to state. But for all intensive purposes, here is a breakdown of how most people can fund and cash out their earnings.
A few legitimate casinos will accept cryptocurrency like bitcoin. Almost all online gambling sites will accept a Visa or Master Card debit or credit card, although there are other options such as secure e-wallets services (PayPal, Neteller and Skrill), who act as a go-between your bank and the online casino. Pre-paid credit cards could make sense if you want to stay within a budget, but these often cost a fee to be activated. Whichever deposit method you decide to use, make sure the online casino is reputable before releasing your personal information.
Ranking the Safety & Security of Online Gambling Sites
Don’t get the wrong idea from all of the scams and scary language. A few bad apples should be avoided but you can find many legitimate online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks that can be every bit as safe as walking into your local casino. Some of them are probably safer.
Don’t focus on the negative. Focus on the best the web has to offer and you’ll have a great time. Let us help you find the most trusted and safest online gambling sites. Use our knowledge and the team’s knowledge to improve your online experience.
Any time you use a credit card or other payment method online you should consider how safe the transaction really is.
Not only can you get tricked into doing something unsafe, even when you deal with a safe and respected business, they could get hacked and lose your information.
We’ve put together a section covering possible scams dealing with the largest online gambling businesses and groups to help you learn more about where it’s safe and unsafe to play.
The ranking system is explained in the next section.
How we Rank Gambling Sites for Trust
Each online casino or gambling site we review receives a numbered safety score. The scale is 1 through 10 with 10 being the safest and 1 being a scam.
As the ratings are somewhat subjective you might want to consider including them in smaller groups when you’re trying to decide where to play.
The difference between a rating of 8 and 10 is small and you might rate them differently. In other words, a 10 may be better than an 8 or a 9, but all three of them are safe and offer quality gambling opportunities.
Likewise, we don’t recommend playing at anything rated from 1 to 3, because they all have issues.
The interesting area is the ones that fall from 4 to 7. While all of these locations can probably be used without too much worry, they all have at least a few red flags you need to be aware of before making a deposit.
Not surprisingly, only a few sites that rank below a 4 or 5 stay in business for long. The operators do something else that takes them out of business or the word gets around how poorly they treat players and they stop making money.
Here’s an overview of the rating system, number by number.
10 – A site or group that receives a 10 is so safe that not only would we trust them with our money; we’d trust them with our kid’s college fund and our mother’s grocery money. The only way a site receives a 10 is by operating in a perfect manner over several years.
9 – To receive a rating of 9 a site can have a few minor issues, but overall must have a long track record of safe and fair play. Minor infractions may include slightly delayed cash out times or occasional slow support response time.
8 – If a group receives a rating of 8 we consider them safe but they have a few more issues than a 9. The issues are still minor but can be frustrating at times. Another possibility is a fairly new group has been doing a great job taking care of their customers but don’t have a long track record yet.
7 – The differences between the next few numbered ratings are small. All of them have some issues, mostly dealing with bonus terms, poor communication, and extended withdrawal times. We trust and will play at the groups or casinos ranked from 4 to 7 but don’t expect the same level of service as the ones from 8 to 10. 7 is not far removed from the top tier so in many cases you could play there and never have an issue.
6 – Getting close to the middle mark, a rating of 6 is still good enough to consider playing, but anything below here and I usually deposit a smaller amount than usual and expect longer waits for withdrawals.
5 – The groups listed at 5 and 4 should only be considered when better options aren’t available. These groups are still considered mostly safe but they have some issues that some players won’t be willing to overlook.
4 – Just barely above the danger zone, casinos rated 4 are in danger of slipping into the not recommended area or are trying to climb out of that area.
3 – Any casino or gambling establishment rated at 3 is not recommended, but they can change their ways and move up the scale. As you’ll see below, a 1 is beyond hope and a 2 is close behind, but every once in a while a group or casino improves their service and can be trusted. If you see a 3 rating don’t play but don’t be completely surprised if the same group moves up or down at a later date.
2 – Only a step above a 1, a business ranked as a 2 is probably on their way out of business. They usually haven’t processed cash outs for quite some time, have predatory terms and conditions, and/or are just outright stealing from players. Never play at a 2.
1 – The sites or groups that receive a 1 are either already out of business or are so bad that they should be. You shouldn’t consider playing at a 1 no matter what. It’s not even safe to sign up for a free account because they might sell your information to thieves.
More Safe Online Gambling Tips
Here are a few important online gambling tips to consider before making a deposit at any site. These tips will help ensure that if you win big, you get to keep those winnings. The last thing you want is to hit a huge progressive jackpot and have the casino void your winnings because you violated their terms.
The main thing you need to be aware of at any online gambling site is their Terms and Conditions. A site’s terms will tell you all their rules regarding age requirements, country limitations, and rules for their bonuses.
- Avoid sites that have poorly written terms and conditions. Gambling site terms and conditions often include too much legal-speak as it is. If the person who writes the document does not have a mastery of the English language (or any other translation) it’s probably a good idea to move on. Poorly written terms and conditions will usually lend to problems down the road.
- Make sure the site allows players from your country. Certain casinos may not allow players from the United States, Canada, Denmark, Australia, or Russia. Also, make sure you comply with the laws in your local jurisdictions.
- Make sure you are old enough to gamble online. Some casinos allow players aged 18-21 while others do not. If you are between the ages of 18 – 21, look through the terms and conditions to ensure you are meeting the site’s age requirements. When in doubt, contact support to guarantee that they will pay your winnings if you win. Save any chat sessions or get in writing by email.
- Always read the wagering requirements and other bonus terms. Many gambling sites offer deposit bonuses to both first timers, and returning customers. However, because of people abusing bonus offers, site’s have become stricter with their guidelines. Always read the bonus terms and conditions before you accept an offer. For instance, some bonuses are for wagering purposes only. With these bonuses, only your winnings may be cashed out. Most no deposit bonuses have a maximum amount you can cash out without depositing. It’s always wise to understand how a site’s bonuses work before claiming them.
- Does the gambling site accept players from your area? Some online gambling sites prohibit players from certain countries from downloading their software or taking advantage of bonus offers. We do our best to only show you site’s that accept players from your area, but it’s still a good idea to verify the site before attempting to deposit.
- Make sure your system is compatible. In the past, this was a much bigger issue. Most online gambling sites were only available to PC users. Now, however, sites have developed Mac-compatible and mobile sites as well. These instant-play casinos use Flash software. So most of the time it doesn’t matter if a player runs a Dell, HP, Acer, or Apple computer. Flash casinos can be accessed in most of the popular web-browsers such as Firefox, Chrome, and Safari. It is still important, however, for all Mac users to make sure the online casino is compatible before attempting to sign up.
More About Us
Currently, five people contribute to this website and collectively we have over 50 years’ experience in the gambling world. Our main contributor Kyle has over 15 years’ experience working in many different parts of the industry.
Mike and Wendy each have at least 10 years’ experience and offer valuable insights to help you find the best places to gamble online.
Our team has seen just about every rotten scam over the years and recognizes many of the warning signs when things start going bad. We bring this experience to you.
Online casino scams are not something to be ignored. But they also aren’t something that should keep you from playing at safe gambling sites.
Use the rating system and the scam reviews to learn which sites are safe and which ones you should avoid.
You should check back here every time you consider a new online casino, poker room, or sportsbook. Online gambling sites can change their stripes at any time, with poor ones improving and old ones reducing their quality of service.