Playing Safely Online

Safe Online Casinos?

There is no need to take a chance when deciding on whether an online casino is safe to play at.  There is a whole host of information online that you can use for your research.  I’m going to explain a little about what you should do and take into consideration to ensure that you find a safe online casino.

There are 100’s, well over 2000 online casinos that you could sign up to, so do yourself a favour, if it looks dodgy, doesn’t feel right or has had bad reviews elsewhere, move on, there are plenty of other casinos out there.

What do I or you mean by Safe?

That’s a good place to start.  What do we mean by safe?  Well “safe” should mean  that the casino isn’t going to rob you or make it difficult for you to get your money when you win.  They should treat you fairly and honestly in their dealings with you. They should hold a current gaming license or in the case of casinos registered in Costa Rica, have a good history of  treating players well.

Do the same as if you were buying a car

  • Research – The first thing you’d do is some research.  Once you’ve settled on the make and model, you’ll probably want to do some Internet searches to find out if there have been any problems reported.  Well, you should do the same for the Casino you’re thinking of playing at.  Search for terms like “rogue” or “issues”.  You will quickly unearth anything untoward.
  • Examine – So you’ve now determined that there is nothing amiss, onto the next step, which should be to examine the car.  Remember, first impressions count!.
    • Take a look at the website, what are your initial thoughts.  Does it look well designed, is the spelling OK.  Is the content up to date?. Can you easily find out what games software is being used? Are the terms and conditions easy to locate?.  What support is on offer? – is it available 24×7.? Do they have an FAQ? Do they have a good range of deposit and withdrawal options?. Are they licensed? and do they have any other accreditation’s listed?
    • So far so good, now we need to get under the hood and have a closer look at the guts of the car, or casino in this instance.  Go to the terms and conditions and READ THEM.  You will find a lot about the casino here, from what they write and equally what they don’t say.  Things to look for include wagering requirements for bonuses and promotions.  Pay particular attention to any maximum withdrawal limits on wins with bonus money, some can be quite small. Are there maximum weekly withdrawal limits?. If you are a high roller it’s important to know how much you can withdraw over what period.  Look out for terms that restrict the withdrawal of progressive jackpots.  If you win a Million you might find it will take you 20 years to get all the money!
  • Check the paperwork –  so if everything is still looking good its time to check out the paper work.
    • Check that they have a gaming licence by either following the link on their website or by visiting the licencing authority website directly.  You should be able to search for their licence.  Just check that the names are the same and it is currently in force.
  • Take it for a Test Drive – Still looking good, right, you now need to go for a test drive.
    • Contact support, via chat or email.  Ask them some general questions about the casino, who they are owned by, where they are licensed, are there any deposit / withdrawal restrictions, will you need to authenticate your deposit methods. How long do withdrawals take. Still looking good?
    • Create an account.
    • Make a small deposit.  Sign up to the bonus if you want (read the T&C’s first though to know what you are getting into).
    • Play your games of choice.  You will normally have to play the value of your deposit through once before making a withdrawal. There will be a minimum withdrawal limit.
    • If you’ve won, (well done!!), make a withdrawal and see whether what you have been told is reality.  Ask for an explanation if it’s not.
  • Make your purchase or find another – Satisfied? then play on, but always remember to keep your wits about you.  Don’t ignore your gut feeling or warning signs like payments becoming really slow, or support not being available or taking too long to respond.  If in doubt move on.

Other useful things you need to know

Reverse time  – When you make a withdrawal your money will sit in limbo for a time. It’s marked as withdrawn in your account but not actually gone anywhere.  It will stay like that for a period of time (reverse time), in which the casino will be hoping that you reverse your decision to withdraw and play it through.

Flushing – this is the term for speeding up the withdrawal so you don’t have to wait for the reverse time to elapse.  You should ask support whether this is possible.

Authenticating your deposit method – All casinos should ask you to validate who you are and especially if you try to make a withdrawal over £2000.  This is to prevent money laundering and the process is known as Know Your Customer or KYC checks.  It’s perfectly normal to be requested to do this.  You will be asked to provide ID, normally a scan of your driver’s licence and / or  passport is needed, along with a recent utility bill showing your name and address, and then finally a scan of the front and back of your credit card.  Note:- for your own security, obscure the long number on the front apart from the last 4 digits and the 3 number CVV security code on the back.  They don’t need this and this will protect you if your details fall into the wrong hands.  This process should not take that long.  I’ve experienced it happening in hours but it can take a day or so. Any longer than that get onto support and find out what is gong on.

Casino Licensing Authorities

Online Casinos should hold a valid gaming license.  They can be obtained from a number of regulated authorities and I’ve listed the most common ones below.  If  a casino says it holds a license you can check to see whether it has using one of the links below.

Government of Gibraltar – www.gibraltar.gov.gi/remotegambling

Malta – www.lga.org.mt

United Kingdom – www.gamblingcommission.gov.uk

Netherlands Antilles (Curacao) – www.curacao-egaming.com

Alderney Gambling Control Commission – www.gamblingcontrol.org

Kahnawake Gaming Commission-  www.gamingcommission.ca

Regulatory Bodies

Regulatory bodies are organisations that have been setup to monitor and regulate the gaming industry.  Sometimes the bodies are setup by the industry themselves so that they self regulate and police themselves. Other times independent organisations are setup and ask the online casinos to join their accredited lists (after having met a number of operational criteria).  The value of these organisations is that the casinos agree to operate to a minimum standard and someone is keeping an eye on what they are doing. If they fall short in any areas they are bought to task or removed from the regulatory lists.   This helps players, as we know someone is watching our backs and we have somewhere independent to go if we ever experience any issues.

Here’s a list of the most common ones you are likely to come across.

eCogra – Monitors online casinos and poker rooms that it is on its approved list.  Will investigate issues on behalf of players –  www.ecogra.org

The Independent Betting Adjudication Service (IBAS) – acts as an impartial adjudicator on disputes that arise between betting/gambling operators and their customers after they have been through the operator’s own internal dispute procedures and if a deadlock exists –  www.ibas-uk.com

 

That was a bit of a slog, but there is some important information above.  All of the casinos that I have listed and reviewed on LiveBlacksites.com have gone through this process.  It takes a bit of time to do a review so spending a few minutes upfront doing some work saves me time & money in the long run and ensures that I only end up with the best casino listed here.  Of the casinos that have failed the first steps, well they are not listed on here. I’d rather spend my time talking about positives rather than devote time to the negatives.  If your interested in non live blackjack casinos, then visit Casinocomparer.com who hold a fuller list of safe casinos to play at.