One of the first things that people contemplate when thinking about having a flutter online, is – is it safe? Generally speaking, the answer is yes, it is. The next thing that pops into people’s mind when they hear the word “generally” mentioned is, “Does that mean that some online casinos are safer than others?” The answer to this question is also, yes. Some are indeed more secure than others.
Making up your own safe-to use list of online casinos
In order to get the best gaming experience with gaming sites, you need to know what to look out for, and armed with this information, you can then do some research; establish which online casinos meet the criteria, and then make up your own “safe-to-use” list.
The first thing to check out is online casino licences.
Online casino gambling licenses to avoid
There are some countries (Belize, Costa Rica, and Panama) where the authorities that are responsible for issuing gambling licences are not concerned with who is applying for a licence, as long as they pay the requisite licence fee. Licensed gaming sites can come and go as they please and disappear right off the map without so much as a by-your-leave.
Countries where gambling licences are considered to be okay
In some countries, when an online casino applies for a licence, both their financial status, and the security of the players are taken into account. These countries include: Antigua, Barbuda, Curaçao, Gibraltar, Kahmawake, and Malta.
The safest online gambling licences
The safest online casino licences are issued in the UK, Alderney, and the Isle of Man, TuxSlots reported. In all of these jurisdictions, not only are all licence applications closely scrutinised, but licensees are continuously monitored in terms of their fairness and their financial stability. Any disputes that players can’t resolve with a particular casino can be escalated to involve the regulators.
It’s not just about licensing though. There are a number of other factors that contribute to an online gaming websites security.
MacAfee’s warning of rising cyber-crime in online gambling
In 2014, cyber security experts McAfee issued a statement that online casinos were fuelling the rise in cyber-crime by allowing cyber-criminals to cash in their ill-gotten gains too easily. This related mostly to the proliferation of unlicensed online casinos, but it was a wake-up call for everyone in the industry, and it prompted the majority of online casinos to take appropriate action. This action can come in various guises.
The introduction of SSL certificates
Many online gaming sites have now acquired an SSL certificate. SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificates are a means of establishing a secure, encrypted connection between a user and a website.
The technology involved protects sensitive data – things like credit card information, banking information etc. that is exchanged when players log on to certain websites. It prevents cyber-criminals from hacking into a session and stealing such confidential data such as users’ names and addresses, their dates of birth, their social security numbers, and as already mentioned; banking and credit card details.
The maintenance of online gaming software
The best reputable casinos also offer an improved secure gaming experience on gaming sites by ensuring that the online gaming software is regularly maintained. This includes checking out their RNGs (Random Number Generators) to verify they are working in true, random fashion.
Online casinos work with specialist partners like Gaming Labs or iTech Laboratories, who amongst other things, carry out network risk assessments with a view to protecting player safety.
State-of-the-art cyber-security website software
Cyber security for online casinos also means using the latest, state-of-the-art anti-virus, anti-hacking, spyware and general malware prevention technology.
Self exclusion personal awareness
The only other thing you should bear in mind when having a flutter online, is to always be aware. Never gamble when you are drunk or under the influence of substances. Your guard is lowered and you can do silly things, including betting more than your intended limit. Always stay sober and keep aware when gaming. If you feel you have a serious problem, you may be a candidate for self-exclusion.
One of the worst offenders when it comes down to promoting a secure gaming experience on gaming sites is you, the player. Self exclusion is a gambling tactic that has been developed as a way of you banning yourself from online gambling for a given period of time. The usual period of time is between 6 and 12 months, but a ban can be arranged for as long as 5-years.
All bona-fide online casinos operating here in the UK, must now offer a self exclusion option to players in need. To take the exclusion one step further, new national multi-operator schemes are now being introduced whereby online gaming sites will share self-exclusion information, effectively banning players from gambling on any member website.
Responsible gambling is something that the gaming industry is keen to promote, and any new methods than can promote this ethic should be applauded.