Spotting Casino Trust Factors

Normally, the website of any online casino will give the experienced eye enough information to make an informed decision as to whether or not it is trustworthy. Some are just common sense issues like grammar, spelling and a general feel for what is written and how it is written. But beyond that there are some more important things to look for and that's where this page comes in. Each online casino list on this site contains casinos that conform to the ideals I lay out below.

Before I delve into the main factors I would like to make one distinction: a " rogue" casino is one that is trying to swindle you in one way, shape or form. Identity theft, card theft, stealing your money - any or all of those things. There are a lot of casinos that simply aren't very good! They aren't criminal, just slow to pay or respond, try a few tricks to get you to deposit more and are perhaps pushy or employ low cashout limits. Using the TOC site will help you identify those but beyond that it is hard to tell if a casino is in the latter camp. My best advice: Read the T&C's of any casino before you play!

1) One of the key indicators is the casino's licensing jurisdiction. Any casino that has an Alderney, Isle Of Man, Gibraltar or Malta licence is likely to be a legit and well-backed operation. The licensing terms in those terrirtories, most notably Alderney and the IOM are very strict. By the time you read this you can probably add Jersey (Channel Islands) to that list.

Casinos licenced in the Netherlands Antilles or the islands like Curucao, St Kitts etc can be a mixed bag. Personally, I would need to consider other factors before playing at one. Some are very good and perfectly respectable operators but there are also a fair few who sail too close to the wind. With just one exception (inetBet) I would avoid Costa Rica like the plague and anything that mentions Eastern Europe is also worth avoiding, though rarely found.

2) The next indicator is the software. Most online casinos use software from one of several prominent and respectable casino software providers. These include Wagerworks (IGT), Microgaming, Playtech, Crytologic (Wagerwlogic), WMS and Realtime Gaming. In fact, all of my top 10 casinos use one of those with one exception. Beyond that I wouldn't take software as a measure of trust without mitigating factors.

In fact, Realtime Gaming (RTG) licences are dead cheap and they are not a guarantee the operation is a good one - we have seen many rogues use RTG software, even though the software itself is widely recognised as legit and fair. I would also raise a note of caution about Playtech. The software is great - in fact I love it - and while they do tend to licence well (I can't remember ever seeing a truly "rogue" outfit using Playtech) they do tend to licence to operators who sail a bit close to the wind for my liking. Slow cashouts and bonuses that tie you in to wagering when you didn't want them - that type of thing. Not all though...

3) Brand awareness counts for a lot. All the UK bookmakers are quality outfits (actually, I found William Hill very pushy when I played there but still safe as you'd expect from a highstreet name) and I'd suggest you can almost ignore software platform if it's a big brand. An example of that might be Party Gaming who are perfectly reputable company, even though personally I don't lke the software.

4) A few other tips for you: First, read the casino's "About Us" page. A transparent operation will tell you who is behind the casino, when it was established and general info that could put your mind at rest. Second, look at the "Banking" page (or "Cashier") for info on depositing and withdrawing. If there is no information on withdrawals and withdrawal time then that might be seen as a red flag. Third, look (normally at the bottom of the homepage) for links to Problem Gambling sites and other signs of trust like eCOGRA, the UK Gambling Commission or other authorities.

If all else fails then Google for opinions on a casino! More often than not a player has been there before you and if there is anything dodgy will have left some info somewhere!

You might also want to check out the aspects of a casino that might point to it being a rogue casino although using the above information, you can probably use a process of elimination to arrive at your own idea of what is/isn't legitimate.