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There’s no inclination to visit dodgy brick and mortar casinos which are run out of a basement so why allow this level of risk when we go online?
With the emergence of regulated online casinos, there’s no need to play at disreputable Internet gaming establishments. The problem is, players who don’t know how to find out if the online casino is unregulated or not can fall prey to a seemingly innocent online operator.
How, though? Well, there aren’t obvious signs like there is when operators are running a suspicious land-based venue. We want players to be safe when gambling online, just as we are when playing our favourite titles, so we are sharing our insider knowledge so you know what to look for when going online.
What is an unregulated online casino
An unregulated Internet casino is one which hasn’t been tested or approved by a third party organisation or gaming jurisdiction, thus leaving vulnerable players susceptible to having their personal and financial details stolen.
These sites aren’t necessarily rogue online casinos, nor have they necessarily been blacklisted (though they can be), but they are more likely to be dodgy than regulated online casinos.
The best way to understand exactly what it means for an Internet casino to be unregulated is to take a look at the differences between a regulated online casino and an unregulated one.
Player protection at regulated Internet casinos – Unlike unregulated online gaming establishments, players are offered support and protection in terms of both their personal and financial information at regulated Web casinos. This is because reputable sites generally have a third party organisation which ensures a set of criteria is satisfied before issuing a certificate of approval. This certificate of approval indicates online operators offer safe and reliable transactions as well as support if a dispute arises. Unregulated online casinos don’t offer this type of service to their players and therefore if a dispute arises, they will not have anyone on their side offering their help. Some unregulated casinos can state they are certified by a third party organisation, but this organisation can be falsified or dodgy itself, so it’s important to do your research on these organisations, too. A prime example of a trustworthy third party organisation is eCOGRA, which only offers its seal of approval to online casinos that have met their high gaming standards. Not only are players protected when they make a deposit or withdrawal due to the indication that the online operators have a solid track record, but if an issue occurs eCOGRA can step in and act as an unbiased voice to mediate the issue between the player and online operator. This is especially good for players located in different regions of the world to the online casino, which is generally the case for Australian players.
Gaming jurisdiction licenses can be unregulated too – Reputable online casinos are generally licensed by a jurisdiction which adhere to advanced gaming regulations. This contributes to their reputation as it offers an avenue for players to understand the level of fairness and what criteria they had to meet before gaining this license. This level of transparency means players can know what they’re getting into before signing up. Gaming jurisdictions which go in-depth in terms of stellar gaming standards include Malta, Isle of Man, the UK, Curacao, Alderney, Gibralta, and Kahnawake. If an Internet gaming establishment has a license from a jurisdiction where the rules aren’t very advanced, players may find themselves running into a few problems, even if the online casino isn’t dodgy. For example, if a player was to make a deposit at an online casino which was licensed in Costa Rica, where they are quite lenient in terms of granting licenses, they may have a few issues with payment methods and support or even end up finding themselves involved with a rogue online casino. Additionally, some Net casinos state they are licensed by an advanced gaming jurisdiction such as Malta, but have been found to have falsified this, something easily done on the Internet these days. This is why it is extremely important to do your own research to confirm their credentials, regardless of where the online operators state their jurisdiction license is from.
Regulated casinos offer fair games – Without regular monitoring and testing of games, online casinos don’t have to worry about whether or not their titles are fair for players, meaning unregulated casinos can offer rigged games. Regulated online casinos go through routine check ups to ensure the games offered aren’t fixed in the online operator’s favour. If they are found to be acting in such behaviour, they’re instantly blacklisted and players can find this information out by doing a simply Google search of the casino name and the word ‘blacklisted’. Steer clear of any online casinos which come up here as they are notorious for being unfair. Fair gaming, on the other hand, implements Random Number Generators (RNGs) which determine the outcome of every game at random. These are reviewed consistently to ensure players are granted legitimate games. Unregulated online casinos do not have these facilities and can therefore manipulate their games to be rigged in their favour and can see players having money stolen from them.
Why are there so many unregulated Internet casinos?
Online casinos are in abundance and finding a reputable one amongst so many unregulated online casinos can be like finding a needle in a haystack. This is because online casinos, as opposed to their land-based counterparts, are incredibly cheap to start up meaning anyone with the money and the means can create their own online casino with the additional protection of remaining anonymous.
Therefore online operators can create a seemingly trustworthy online casino on the surface, attract players, lock their accounts at any time, steal their money, and disappear without a trace. That is why it is important to only play at regulated online casinos which have a reputation for being reliable as they are monitored and exist as an actual business which will face consequences if they were to engage in any kind of fraudulent behaviour.
Since there are so many unregulated casinos it can be hard to find trustworthy and secure Internet establishments.
How to find a trustworthy online casino
Figuring out whether or not the online casino is regulated or not is recommended prior to signing up and making a deposit. While it can seem time consuming, it is ultimately worthwhile if players want a safe and fun online casino experience.
1.Find out what jurisdiction the Internet casino is licensed in – If it’s licensed in any of the above mentioned gaming jurisdictions, this is a good sign. However, as we mentioned, some online operators can falsify their licenses and therefore this shouldn’t be the only sign players look for in regulated Internet casinos.
2.Determine if the online casino is eCOGRA certified – An independent company which regulates the online casino and produces reports for players to read is important, and one of the best is eCOGRA. If it has a seal of approval, which is found by locating the logo at the bottom of the online casino’s homepage, and it can be clicked on and taken to the external certificate, then the site offers fair gaming and is reviewed by this third party. Again, Web casinos can falsify this so a number of other factors should be taken into consideration.
3.Read reviews by real players online – Players understand the importance of playing at a trustworthy online casino and therefore if it isn’t reliable, has a poor payment record, or a player has had a bad experience, then a review generally shares this in the online casino community and on Internet casino forums. Simply do a Google search of the online casino with key words such as ‘rogue’, ‘secure’, or ‘payment history’ to find comprehensive and true reviews which haven’t been created by affiliates. This is your best bet to finding a secure and trustworthy online venue.
4.Read the terms and conditions of the online casino – Terms and conditions are also imperative as they detail a site’s policies, and more importantly outline how they go about paying out winnings. Even if the website is regulated, the terms and conditions may not sit well with you so it’s always a good idea to read the fine print even if it can be somewhat tedious.
5.Figure out what support services are available – By going to the contact page, players will be able to figure out what sort of support is on offer. If the online casino offers an array of contact options which are open 24/7, this is a good sign as help is always on offer and they take their customers seriously. If only an email is available then it might be best to skip this Internet casino, especially if you are new to the online gaming world.
6.Look at what deposit and withdrawal methods are available – Deposit and withdrawal methods are important when it comes to playing online. Always check if you can use the methods available otherwise you may find yourself eligible to deposit real money, but not able to withdraw it.
Unregulated Internet casinos
We understand researching can take quite a long time which many players don’t have in this day and age. Therefore, we’ve taken the liberty of doing it for you and we have listed a few of the unregulated casinos which you may come across in the world of online gaming.
7Spins – A dead giveaway with this online casino is that it is licensed in Costa Rica. Once we discovered this, a simple Google search with the name and the term ‘blacklisted’ revealed many unhappy players, proving that even if they have a jurisdiction license it doesn’t necessarily make them reliable. Additionally, Costa Rica is notorious for handing out licenses and not continuing to monitor the Internet casino, so if the online gaming establishment is licensed by this jurisdiction be sure to follow up with some research.
Casino Classic – Although this casino site is powered by top leading software developer Microgaming and licensed in Kahnawake, an advanced gaming jurisdiction, Aussie players are actually restricted from playing here. We found we were still able to sign up easily just by changing the country and making a deposit was still available, but withdrawals weren’t available due to the countries not matching up. So while the deposits worked, which is actually unlawful due to Australians being restricted, withdrawals didn’t. We only found out the online casino does not allow Australians by doing our research, so once again it is imperative to do so.
Olybet – Olybet is a prime example of why it is important that Internet casinos offer good customer support options, otherwise they will be blacklisted. It offers a multitude of top leading software developers including Net Entertainment, Playtech, and Microgaming, but upon research it has been found to be rogue due to its lack of customer support and regularly ignoring players. This was then confirmed by us going onto the web casino and going to their contact page where they are only available certain hours of the day by a chat, otherwise via an email which is a good indication they aren’t customer-focused.
Safe and secure online casinos
The best advice is to do your research in order to find online casinos which are secure, however visiting our recommended Internet gaming establishments will save you time as we have made sure each are trustworthy and reliable after performing our own research. These include:
- Roxy Palace
- Leo Vegas
- Casino Mate
- 32 Red
- Royal Vegas