Safe online casinos give you the opportunity to enjoy slots, virtual table games, scratchcards, and live dealer games. However, entertaining games aren’t the only aspect of a quality gambling experience.
You also want to choose a trustworthy online casino that’ll keep your money safe, offer fair games, and process withdrawals in a timely manner. Finding these sites is easier said than done, though, because the gaming industry features multitudes of internet casinos.
Our purpose is to help you weed through the numerous gaming sites to find quality operations. We pour over multiple aspects of online casinos to bring you the best when it comes to trustworthiness.
The table below features reliable sites that meet our standards for fair gaming, excellent customer service, reasonable bonus terms, reputable ownership, and more.
How do you know if an online casino is safe?
Finding a reputable internet casino doesn’t happen by focusing on just one or two aspects. Instead, you want to consider a broad range of criteria to make sure a casino inspires trust in every area. Here are the factors that we consider before endorsing casinos.
Any online casino can claim that it offers fair gaming. However, these claims should be backed by a third-party audit.
Auditing agencies test casino games to ensure that their results are entirely random and meet the advertised return-to-player (RTP). An auditor can catch programming flaws that cause a game to offer incorrect payback or predictable results.
These audits instill confidence in players by proving that the games are not fixed in the house’s favor. Audits also ensure that the casino isn’t cheating by offering higher RTP or results that can be easily manipulated.
Trustworthy software providers
Some online casino providers boast a long history of fair gaming and only work with reputable sites. Microgaming, NetEnt, and Playtech are all excellent examples because they’ve each been operating since the 1990s with no major scandals. Online casinos that use established developers like these provide more assurance in their games.
Of course, good casinos can also feature newer game developers that have already proven themselves. Elk Studios, Quickspin, and Thunderkick are respected providers that have offered fair gaming in their short histories.
Some developers, on the other hand, have a less-than-stellar history. Realtime Gaming (RTG), which has been operating since 1996, is known for serving “rogue” casinos.
We’re not saying that you should automatically dismiss any site with RTG software. However, you should be on guard and do more research before depositing at RTG casinos.
Reputable parent company
Many internet casinos work under parent companies that operate a number of gaming sites. For example, GVC Holdings owns and runs several popular casinos like bwin, Coral, Foxy, Ladbrokes, and PartyCasino.
Other sites are backed by a single brand. For instance, Hillside Media only operates the Bet365 casino and sportsbook.
Whatever the details behind a casino, you want to be sure that their parent company is a legitimate and reputable brand.
You don’t have to worry about playing at sites like Bet365, Paddy Power, and William Hill. These are internationally recognized brands that work hard to satisfy players and protect their reputations.
What you should worry about are companies with a history of negative incidents. Sometimes you’ll find a casino that looks good on the surface, only to learn that their ownership group has had issues with the other sites they operate.
Most reputable online casinos feature an “About Us” page that you can view to find more information on the parent company. You can then google the company for additional details.
If the website does not include an “About Us” page, look for the parent company’s name in the Terms and Conditions section. Another option is to google the casino along with the term “parent company.” Assuming this search turns up nothing, you’re better off avoiding the site altogether.
Transparent ownership & management hierarchy
Quality casino management groups aren’t afraid to make themselves visible. Once you find the name of a casino’s parent company, you should be able to locate information on their ownership and management with little effort.
For example, let’s say you search for William Hill’s ownership and management. You’ll eventually find that Philip Bowcock is the CEO, Gareth is the Chairman of the Board, and Capital Group Companies owns the largest share percentage at 9.97%.
Companies that run sketchy gaming sites like to avoid public attention. Doing so helps them dodge negative criticism from customers and possibly evade the authorities if their website is outright scamming players.
Most internet casinos obtain licensing so that they can legally operate within a given jurisdiction. For instance, an online casino company that obtains a license from the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA) can base their offices in this British territory and serve any country/territory covered by GBGA licensing.
When it comes to reputability and requirements, not all iGaming licenses are created equal. Some jurisdictions impose tougher standards on applicants and the way they deal with licensees.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is widely considered the world’s top iGaming jurisdiction. Applicants have to pass stringent requirements to receive UKGC approval, and they must adhere to high standards to retain their licensing.
Other jurisdictions with good reputations include the Alderney Gaming Control Commission (AGCC), Danish Gambling Authority, GBGA, and Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
Not all licensing authorities impose high standards on applicants and the way casinos conduct themselves. Antigua, Costa Rica, and Curacao eGaming are considered among the lower-tier jurisdictions.
You don’t have to immediately discount a site that holds one of these licenses. However, you should be more cautious before proceeding with such casinos.
Internet casinos should do their best to make sure your banking and personal information stay private. They can accomplish this by using Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption.
SSL technology ensures that the data exchanged between your computer or mobile device and the casino’s browser is encrypted. This protection makes it nearly impossible for hackers to steal your information.
Look for “https://” at the beginning of a casino’s URL address to ensure that they’re using encryption technology. The “s” in the “https” section stands for “secure.”
If you’re using Google Chrome, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, you can check for encryption by looking for a padlock followed by the word “Secure” at the top of the browser.
Financially solvent online casinos with enough staff should have no problem processing your withdrawals in a timely manner. Generally speaking, withdrawals should take 0-48 hours with eWallets, 1-5 days with credit or debit cards, 1-7 days with bank transfers, and 7-14 days with checks.
Casinos that have trouble operating within these timeframes may be struggling financially. These sites may also purposely delay withdrawals in hopes that you’ll become impatient, cancel the request, and gamble away your funds.
Clear bonus terms & conditions
Casinos attach terms and conditions to bonus offers to ensure you’re fully aware that you can only earn your bonus through play. You can find the T&Cs link towards the bottom of gaming websites.
Reputable casinos offer clear terms and don’t try to prey on unsuspecting gamblers. You may not always agree with the requirements behind earning a bonus, but as long as the terms are expressed clearly, then you can make an informed decision on whether an offer is worth pursuing.
Paying big wins
Casino sites have different policies for handling big wins. Some casinos exclude jackpots from withdrawal limits, meaning they’re willing to pay you right away. Others include jackpots in their cashout limits, signaling that you’ll need to withdraw your winnings in installments.
Whatever the case, the casino must ensure that you receive your money at some point. Sometimes gaming sites carry the direct responsibility of paying jackpots. In other cases, the game provider must handle large payouts.
Believe it or not, some rogue casinos and software providers have failed in their duties to deliver jackpots. You should never play at an online casino that’s unwilling to honor big wins.
Good customer support
Quality customer service is a hallmark of all internet gaming sites. An online casino support staff should be helpful and knowledgeable.
You can check to see what players think of certain casinos by looking at comment sections on relevant websites. Any casino that receives a large volume of negative comments about their customer support is likely a poor operation overall.
Major online casino scandals
Most gaming sites make an effort to serve players in a fair manner. Unfortunately, some casinos have scammed players in areas like payouts, game results, and honoring jackpots. Here are some scandals that have rocked casino gaming:
- Betcoin.ag/Betsoft doesn’t pay out progressive jackpot – In 2016, a Betcoin.ag player named Justin won a progressive jackpot on Betsoft’s Glam Life slot. Betsoft refused to pay the win, citing that Justin won it during a bonus round, which wasn’t stated in Glam Life’s rules. Betcoin.ag failed to help Justin receive his money and merely blamed Betsoft. He later settled with Betsoft for less than the 1 million coins that he should’ve received.
- Gibson Casino fails to pay winners – Gibson Casino has been the subject of many complaints for failing to pay legitimate winners. They also offer poor website security and have been flagged by Google Chrome for this issue.
- Rome Casino offers slots with missing wild symbol – Rome Casino (now Rome VIP Casino) was found to be running SkillOnNet slots without a crucial wild symbol needed to win the jackpot. Rome failed to remove the slot games until they received repeated complaints about the matter.
- Virtual Casino Group features predatory bonus terms – Virtual Casino Group (now owned by Ace Revenue) ran multiple RTG-powered casinos with substantial welcome bonuses. The problem, though, is that these offers came with predatory terms that made it nearly impossible to cash out the bonuses.