Casino Regulation and Safety
The one thing that puts the uninitiated off at playing for real money at an online casino is the concern of how the casino is regulated, and how safe your information (particularly financial) is when you fill in and submit your personal details. Opponents of online gambling will tell you with great delight that all online casinos are ‘rigged’ and you’ve nothing to gain through playing there other than empty pockets and debt problems.
The truth is, 99.99 percent of online casinos are perfectly fair and properly regulated. There is a simple reason for this – to operate online, a casino must have a licence, and to obtain (or at least keep) that licence, they must be seen to be 100 percent legitimate. Any casino that goes in for anything underhand risks not only having their licence revoked, but also the possibility of heavy fines and even prison time for any perpetrators of shady goings-on.
Casino Regulatory Bodies
There are a number of regulatory bodies for online gambling concerns all over the globe, but perhaps the number one body is eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance). This organisation is a not-for-profit business venture that which helps players identify online casinos that are safe to play at.
eCOGRA has incredibly strict standards for responsible conduct and fair gaming, and only those online casinos that meet their exacting standards receive the eCOGRA ‘Play It Safe” seal, which can then be displayed on the site’s landing page. Sites that have been deemed ‘fit for purpose’ in this way are regularly checked and rechecked to make they maintain expected standards.
If you are thinking of signing up for a site, then spin down to the bottom of the site’s landing page and search for an eCOGRA seal. If you find one, then you know that you’ll receive a fair deal from the site.
Online Casino Licensing
Every bona fide online casino must have an operating licence. If you are looking around an online casino’s site and you cannot find specific details of the licence that they hold, then you should avoid it like going all-in at Texas Hold’em with a pair of deuces. You will find that a lot of online gambling sites have licences from slightly obscure places: Antigua & Barbuda, Malta, Gibraltar, Curaçao and Kahnawake (a Canadian province) to name but five. Rest assured, there is nothing ‘dodgy’ about these casino licenses – it just means the casino in question has established an ‘offshore’ base mainly for taxation purposes.
Casino License Websites:
In the UK, the UK government passed a law in late 2014 that meant all online casinos that offered online gambling facilities to UK-based players needed a separate, UK licence. If you’re in the UK and you are thinking of using an online casino, then look for the ‘Gambling Commission’ logo which will prove that the site is above board.
Random Number Generators
Not a lot of people know that computers cannot ‘do’ randomness. Randomness is a very much a human trick, but we have no idea of how the human brain manages to come up with (seemingly) random numbers all on its own. Computers cannot simply pick a number out of thin air, so instead really on fiendishly complicated algorithms to simulate randomness as randomly as they can get. It’s important that these ‘Random Number Generators’ (RNGs) really do give an acceptable level of randomness, which is why most online casinos have their RNGs regularly checked out by independent auditors and will usually have the results of any such audits published on their website.
Of course, putting your personal information, and especially your personal financial information out on the internet does not come without risk as identify theft is one of the internet age’s biggest problems. That is why any information you give to an online casino – no matter how reputable it is – is encrypted, and usually by what is known as ‘128-bit encryption’. Every piece of information you send via the web is encrypted by having a ‘key’ consisting of a string of 128 ones-and-zeroes applied to it. This renders the information you send as being completely meaningless – unless you have the same ‘128-bit’ key at the other end of the transaction. Anyone who intercepts your data has a very, very minuscule chance of de-coding it into anything meaningful.
Online casinos – your safety is virtually guaranteed
Anyone who thinks that online casinos are ‘dodgy’ is wrong. These are legitimate businesses here to make legitimate money in legitimate ways. Unscrupulous dealings are simply not worth it, as a handful of people throughout the history of online gambling has found out with multi-million dollar fines and lengthy prison sentences.