When playing at an online casino you’ll notice that these venues are usually licensed in foreign countries, some you may never have even heard of. Many players are skeptical about these offshore licenses, concerned with the unfamiliarity of the unknown, and we’re often asked whether it is safe to play at offshore casinos. The quick answer is yes it is 100% safe to play at verified international casinos, we explain why below.
What is an offshore online casino?
An offshore casino is a venue licensed and operated by a jurisdiction outside of Australia, but offers its services to players all over the world. A majority of all online casinos are based offshore. In fact if you see a casino claiming to be licensed in Australia, you should click out of there quick smart as it’s likely to be a rogue operator.
Offshore casinos with legitimate licensing from their country of jurisdiction are actually the safest, most trusted casinos you’ll find on the Web and are the only ones that Aussies should be playing at.
Just like any online gambling venue, offshore casinos host games from trusted software developers like Microgaming, NetEnt, BetSoft, iSoftBet, Thunderkick, Ezugi and Evolution Gaming. Deposits are accepted in multiple currencies using secure, reliable payment methods like Visa, MasterCard, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, POLi and direct bank transfer. International casinos are run by English speaking staff and dedicated customer support teams who are there to help 24/7 regardless of what country you’re playing from.
Is it legalto play at online casinos based overseas?
Yes, it is completely safe and legal for Australians to play at online casinos based overseas, provided the casino is licensed and verified. Due to the Australian online gambling laws, offshore casinos are the only safe place that Aussies can legally play real money online games.
It all comes down to the laws stipulated by the Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 (IGA). The IGA was passed by the Australian Commonwealth Parliament to curb problem gambling in Australia, and specifically excludes Australian casino operators from offering or advertising real money gambling services to residents of Australia.
Australian vendors found to be offering real money online gambling services to Aussies face a maximum penalty of AUD $360,000 per day for individuals and $1.8 million per day for companies, although to date there is no record of this fine ever being imposed.
The IGA targets the casino providers, not the actual customers, so there’s nothing in the laws to punish a player for placing bets online. To put it as simply as possible, Australian law excludes anyone from our country to operate an online casino, but there’s nothing in the IGA to exclude Australian players from placing real money bets at a legitimate offshore casino run on foreign ground.
Licensed and regulated offshore safe casino sites
The major factor to consider when gambling at an offshore site is to make sure the venue is legitimately licensed by its country of jurisdiction. International gambling laws are strict and firmly imposed, it’s not the offshore free-for-all that some may think.
The best online casinos operate under solemn gambling laws that aim to protect customers and ensure fairness and security for all, with the best offshore casinos being licensed by the following jurisdictions:
- The Malta Gaming Authority
- UK Gambling Commission
- Curacao eGaming Authority
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
- The Alderney Gambling Control Commission
- The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA)
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission
You can find out where an offshore casino gets its licensing by scrolling to the very bottom of the casino homepage, or heading to the ‘About’ section. If a casino is legitimate and verified, it will proudly declare so. Any casino that doesn’t mention where it’s licensed, or claims to be licensed by somewhere like Australia, USA, or Russia, is most likely running illegally and should be avoided like the plague.
Another telltale sign as to whether a casino is verified or not is to check if it has the eCOGRA seal of approval. eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance) is an internationally recognised watchdog for the online gambling industry, acting as a third party auditing service to ensure casinos are running above board, while working as a voice for players if any issues arise.
The easiest way to know you’re playing at a safe, legitimate offshore casino is simply to stick with the casinos recommended here at SafeCasinos.com.au. Here are our recommendations for top international casinos that accept Australian players:
- Leo Vegas Casino
- 32Red Casino
- Guts Casino
- >G’day Casino
Not only are these venues licensed and certified by eCOGRA, but they’re also protected by a minimum of 128 Bit Digital SSL (Secure Socket Layer) to protect your personal information at all times.