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Picking a Safe Online Casino

We all know that security and reliability is a must for any online gambling experience. Players rightfully expect that their deposits and wagers are made with the certainty that the risk is essentially as advertised and consistent with – if not limited exclusively to – the rules and odds of the game.

Fortunately, illegal or ‘scam’ online casinos are the exception, rather than the rule. Reputable and reliable online destinations abound. Although their shadier counterparts still exist, believe it or not, they’re actually much harder to find. This of course assumes, however, that you know what to look for.

Again, the good news is that this is relatively straightforward and most players – or even regular e-commerce users – know what signs to look for when trusting an online casino or any establishment where you may share personal information, particularly bank numbers.

Many of the most popular – and publicly-traded – companies can be trusted more or less on their brand alone, but nearly all of the best sites are still eager to boast their fair gambling credibility and will usually provide a link on their homepage for more information on their recognized reliability.

We’ve tried to help a bit by providing a few of the more explicit ways to verify that an online casino is a reputable, safe destination where you can deposit money confident that you won’t be the victim of a scam.

This may be review or obvious for a lot of players, and is by no means a comprehensive list. But, if you’re just starting out or simply want to see if you’re looking for the right things, you might enjoy the below. [view:fakegadds]

Seals, certifications, and non-profit endorsements

Consumer organizations and industry groups have developed a number of self-regulatory trustmark-bearing programs to help identify safe, reliable and responsible online gambling establishments. Companies are proud to boast these credentials and consumers can be assured the destination is meeting appropriate standards.

eCOGRA, for example, is a non-profit organisation based in London and established in 2003 as a player protection and standards organisation that provides an international framework for best operational practice requirements. Nearly 80 of the leading operators and software suppliers are now reviewed by eCOGRA, which has approved close to 150 websites featuring software from more than 20 of the best providers.

A site which has obtained eCOGRA approval usually displays the association’s Safe and Fair seal, and is subject to eCOGRA’s player dispute mediation service. Complaints about all eCOGRA approved sites can even be filed officially through a dispute form on their website. Similar groups with high quality standards and corresponding certifications and seals include entities like Gamcare, Interactive Gaming Council, GambleAware and others.

E-commerce/transaction certifications

Although the above certs generally apply to a site’s e-commerce transactions and safety as well, more specific groups and standards boards exist to verify a site’s banking integrity and reliability.

TRUSTe, for example, is one of the leading internet privacy services providers. It helps thousands of businesses – not just online casino/poker/bingo rooms, promote online safety and trust and guides consumers to sites that protect their online privacy.

TRUSTe’s program requirements are based upon the US Federal Trade Commission’s Fair Information Principles and sites bearing its trustmark can be relied upon for their e-commerce safety and security in terms of protecting players’ personal data.

These are just a couple examples of course of quick and easy signs to look for. Take the time to compare records and reviews of reputable establishments before depositing your money somewhere. Big brands, especially those listed on public stock exchanges, can pretty much guarantee safe gaming experiences.

Fortunately, more and more quality brands and companies are emerging all the time and customers continue to demand increasingly high standards of safety. While scams might still be out there, knowing a few of the big names and most popular certifications can at least keep you in the right direction.

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