Opinion piece – by Jake Fox CEO of Casinopedia, the online definitions and educational resource for players. During more than 13 years Jake was involved with the online development of several well known global casinos. In this article he simply explains how to look out for yourself and be safer online.
Whenever you gamble you risk losing money. You enter into the game knowing that you stand a chance of losing as well as winning, which is the element of jeopardy that adds to the fun of gambling. This is an accepted risk that comes as part of the bargain. However, it’s also possible to lose money while gambling online in other ways that you have never signed up for – ways that involve criminal activity and online insecurity that could be very damaging to both your short- and long-term financial well being.
So, before you gamble online, you need to make sure you are doing so in a safe and controlled environment where the only risks of loss you face are those that come as part of the game.
There are several steps you can take to make sure that you and your money are safe when you gamble online. Before you share any of your sensitive personal or financial information on the net, you should always try to make sure you are doing so with a trusted casino.
Here’s a checklist of what to look for before you click ‘agree’.
Look for the licence
Just like physical casinos, online gambling forums must be licensed. Do your research and make sure that the site you’re on has a licence in play and has agreed to adhere to a set or rules and standards that protects you. Licensed casinos are also significantly safer from hackers.
Make sure you’re playing on a site where you have to create a login and password that are encrypted and stored securely. There are sites where security is lacking and all information is stored in its raw form, making it very susceptible to hackers.
Make sure there are guarantees in place about your privacy, and that your information is not available to anyone that shouldn’t be able to access it – including employees of the casino itself.
Your safety is not just looked after by the casino but by the payment operators they use. Always look for recognisable names such as PayPal, Mastercard and Visa to be sure of getting a more secure payment option.
ID checks are your friend
If you’re not being regularly asked to identify yourself and log in, then this is a warning sign. In fact, the more forms of ID and more regular the checks, the better it is for you. Some casinos may even ask for copies of physical ID before you make your first withdrawal. It’s a bit of a hassle but if it keeps you safe, it’s well worth doing.
What to look for
As well as making sure you keep in mind all of the above, there are generally some tell tale signs that an online casino is legitimate and above board. Look for player review areas, where you can find out what other people have said and experienced. If possible, try to look for reviews on external sites and trusted forums for a more impartial description.
Also look out for longevity and brand recognition, Casinos that will provide a safe environment. Yes, it can be exciting to find a new casino that seems to offer great games and odds, and the chances are it’s fine, but established names with good reputations and a lengthy online presence offer that extra guarantee of security. We review these elements for you at Casinopedia.org
On the flip side, watch out for casinos with complicated terms and conditions and those making false promises about bonuses and promotional offers. Unreasonable withdrawal delays are another giveaway about shady operators, with often a barrage of excuses about why you can’t have your money.
In short, use your common sense. Look for all the usual signs you would online, including secure servers, recognised payment operators and accreditations. Check reviews and ask for recommendations from trusted sites. And, of course, use your intuition. If it feels wrong, or you’re unsure, then it’s best to stay away.