Playing at secure and safe Internet casinos is imperative to an enjoyable online gaming experience. If you weren’t aware that there were differences between both regulated and unregulated Internet casinos, as well as safe and rogue web casinos then you should read on, as the discrepancies between these online gaming establishments impact your overall experience.
Regulated casinos are governed by third party organisations and hold licenses from advancing gaming jurisdictions which have put the online operators through intense testing in order to wear their seal of approval. It’s extremely important to play at online casinos guided by a regulatory framework so that player’s information isn’t compromised.
We’ve put together an informative guide to detail what exactly it means for an Internet casino to be regulated, the importances of advancing gaming licenses and third party testing agencies, as well as certain rogue casinos to avoid which have been blacklisted due to being unregulated by industry watchdogs.
What is a regulated online casino?
The best definition of a regulated Internet casino is one which can protect its players. This can only be confirmed by having third party testing agencies as well as accreditation from advanced gaming jurisdictions which details that the online casino has been through serious testing.
There are some better jurisdiction licenses than others as they are bound by better regulatory framework, which we will discuss below. Playing at online casinos with the best licenses means they have proven themselves to be player-friendly.
What jurisdictions offer the best regulated Internet casinos?
Licensing from certain jurisdictions indicate an operator’s reputation. If they’re from the following online jurisdictions, then they’re generally regulated Internet casinos. However, some dodgy online operators can falsify gaming license certification so it is important to conduct research and follow up on the specific Internet casino and what it claims. This can be done by going to the web pages of the jurisdiction licenses and reading what online casinos they have granted their certification.
The following jurisdiction licenses put the online operators under intense investigation before granting them their seal of approval.
Malta – Malta is one of the most respected jurisdictions to be given a license from. This is predominantly due to the stellar reputation of all the online casinos which have been granted a license from Malta.
Alderney – The Alderney Gambling Control Commission is one of the UK’s most respected jurisdictions and is white-listed, meaning they’re allowed to advertise to UK players. Online casinos operating under this license are generally considered regulated and secure.
Isle of Man – Another incredibly respected gaming jurisdiction licenser which is self-governing and independent. It offers player protection and operates to ensure customers get the best experience, which many other jurisdictions aim to do.
Curaçao – In 2010, the Netherlands Antilles dissolved, meaning Curaçao was the only region which could grant gaming licenses as it became an independent country. It has been granting licenses since 1996 and sees a six week long investigation into the online operator when they apply for a license, meaning the online casino has been tested intensely to ensure players are safe.
Gibraltar – This jurisdiction licenser only grants their licenses if the Web operator has a good financial transaction record. They offer seven different types of licenses so players can truly understand what the online operator offers in terms of their platform and level of security.
What jurisdiction licenses indicate an unregulated online casino?
While it’s important an online casino has a jurisdiction license, some can actually indicate the Internet casino is unregulated. This doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s rogue, it just means it is easier for the operator to operate in a fraudulent way and get away with it. This can actually be worse than a rogue casino as they aren’t identified online as quickly, meaning they can get away with rigging games and stealing money for longer than already blacklisted Internet casinos can.
Hopefully, our guide can help you determine if an Web casino is unregulated and thus help steer you away from playing at fraudulent sites.
Costa Rica – There is a lack of legislation in terms of Internet gambling in Costa Rica and therefore the jurisdiction license offered is one of the worst online operators can get and is a good indication of an unregulated online casino. These licenses mean there isn’t really any regulation in place and the online operators are free to offer dodgy payment methods and ultimately act fraudulently. It’s best to avoid casinos which operate under a Costa Rica jurisdiction license which can be determined by scrolling to the bottom of the casino’s homepage to locate the license in fine print.
Fake licenses – Unfortunately, some Net casinos advertise that they are indeed certified by an advanced gaming jurisdiction such as Malta or Isle of Man, however they actually have falsified these credentials. They trick players by offering fake documents that mimic the certification available to players when they click on these links. The best way to find out whether these documents are valid, is by visiting the websites of the jurisdiction licenser to see if they have certified that online casino, or just research and read player’s reviews in order to figure out whether or not the Internet gaming establishment is actually licensed.
Why are testing agencies important for regulated web casinos?
Players may ask why testing agencies are even relevant if the online casino is licensed by an advanced gaming jurisdiction, but they are important as they continuously check in and review the Internet casino, while licenses only test when they first grant the license.
So if an Internet casino has put in the hard yards to keep a clean financial track record along with a stellar customer support service initially, just so they can obtain an advanced gaming license to appear as a regulated online casino, they can instantly slack off once they have obtained the credentials.
That’s where testing agencies enter. The top leading ones even have the power to revoke gaming licenses if the online operator does slack off. Similar to gaming licenses, some testing agencies are better than others.
Best online casino testing agency
The best testing agency for online operators to gain approval and accreditation from is eCOGRA. It’s an independent testing agency which makes sure each game the online casino offers is reviewed regularly so players can be confident they are gambling real money on fair games.
On top of this, eCOGRA also offers players with the ability to help them out if a dispute arises. For example, if a player believes they have won, but have not been given their winnings, they can contact eCOGRA, provided the online casino is regulated by the testing agency and that the player has already tried to contact the online operator, and eCOGRA will conduct an investigation as a mediator and ultimately act as the voice for the player.
They make an unbiased decision using the information provided to them and are especially helpful to Australian players as we are playing at online casinos operated overseas which can make it quite difficult in terms of communication.
Technical Systems Testing (TST) is also another agency which players should keep an eye out for when they are looking for a regulated Internet casino, as it is another third party organisation with a credible testing reputation.
Worst Internet casino testing agency
Although there are plenty of bad testing agencies out there, we believe Thawte is the worst. Basically, any online operator can purchase a license from Thawte and claim that they are regularly tested by the organisation.
Thawte claim they are important as they offer a digital signature that is said to confirm that the online operator is real and viable. However, on closer inspection they don’t actually provide protection to the end user.
Since they don’t take action like eCOGRA does when fraudulent or dodgy behaviour occurs we class this one as one of the worst testing agencies available for online casinos and we think players should avoid Internet casinos which have this logo on their homepage.
How to ensure an Internet casino is regulated
Checking to see if an online casino is regulated, reputable, and secure can be difficult, especially if rogue online casinos are trying to trick you by falsifying accreditation such as who audits and reviews their online website as well as what jurisdiction they have been licensed in. So while the above two external features to online operators are important to look for and note when playing online, it is also important to do some extra research to back up the web casino’s claims.
To find out if the site is regulated in the first place, scroll to the bottom of the online casino’s homepage and look for both the logos and the fine print. Usually the jurisdiction license is written in the fine print, while the third party testing agency is represented by a logo which you can click on and view the accreditation in an external window. Once players have done this, it is a good idea to also do a Google search with some key terms such as ‘forum’, ‘regulated’, ‘rogue’, or ‘blacklisted’, to find real players reviews, as opposed to affiliates associated with the online casino, as well as if they have been listed on rogue lists through out the online gambling community. Here, you will also be able to find the experiences of human players and whether or not it was positive or negative.
It’s a good idea to keep an eye out for how withdrawals went, their experience with customer service, and how fair they felt the games were. This gives you a real understanding of what the online operators are offering and whether or not what they claim on their homepage is true. Players can also go to the third party organisation as well as the jurisdiction licensing webpage to find out if they are indeed monitored and reviewed by these governing bodies.
Overall, it is incredibly important to conduct thorough research before playing at Internet casinos even if it can be time consuming. It can ultimately prevent you from playing at Internet gaming establishments which have the potential to turn rogue without consequences and without being noticed so your money can be easily stolen.