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Gambling Site Security- OnlineGambling.ca's Primer
A false stereotype of online casinos is that you are entrusting your money to some random guy with a computer in a basement somewhere, hoping he doesn't steal your information while you play. In reality, the online casino business is a billion dollar one, and considering how competitive the market is, online casinos have too much at stake to not have state-of-the-art security technology protecting your info.
Below we have compiled all the relevant information to help you understand the lengths at which online casinos go to protect you. Following these guidelines when choosing an online casino will help you find a safe place to play.
Who Regulates It?
One of the first things you should look at when choosing an online casino is the issuing regulatory body for the site. Ideally, the casino is based in a jurisdiction where online gambling operation is legal. Some of the more common places for online casinos to be based are Malta, the Isle of Man, and the Mohawk Territory in Kahnawake, Canada.
This information is usually found at the bottom of an online casino's site or on their About page. If an online casino doesn't list this information or makes it hard to find, they may be operating illegally in a country or region where online gambling operation is prohibited.
Secure Socket Layer Encryption
The most reputable online casinos are going to use something called Secure Socket Layer (SSL) encryption to protect both your money and personal information. SSL establishes an encrypted link between a website and browser, and is the same security technology that banks use to protect your private information.
You can tell if an online casino has SSL by going to an online casino and seeing if the URL in the address bar says https:// instead of just http://. Casinos without this encryption should be avoided, as it signifies that it would be much easier for hackers to steal your information.
Another thing to look at before playing on an online casino is their listed payout percentage. This figure will usually be somewhere in the 95-98% range and signifies on average how much you can expect to win for every dollar you spend (e.g., 96 cents back for every C$1 you bet).
The lower the number, the more of a profit the online casino is making. A casino that doesn't make this information readily available might be a site you want to avoid.
Seals of Approval
Scrolling to the bottom of any online casino's homepage should reveal several different seals and verifications that signify the site has passed certain quality standards and regular inspections. Some of the seals you might come across are that of Verisign, a security certification company, and eCOGRA, a fair play testing agency (see box).
You will probably also see some sort of certificate or logo from the regulatory body in which the casino operates (like the Malta Gaming Authority). If an online casino doesn't display any of this information loud and proud, you might want to consider that a sign to go ahead and look for another online casino.
Other Things To Look For
If an online casino meets everything on the above checklist, it is probably a safe bet. Another smart to thing to do is Google the online casino's name and see if it has been in the news for controversial practices. Checking that the site accepts more than one payment and withdrawal method is also a good idea.
Finally, be sure to read our reviews of online casinos, as security is something we look intensively at before promoting any gambling site. Keep in mind too that online gambling is a very competitive market and the casinos have everything to lose. If a site has poor security there are many safer options out there for players to take their business to.
eCOGRA At a Glance
eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is an independent online casino testing agency that is considered the gold standard for online casino security. Seeing an online casino with an eCOGRA Safe and Fair seal displayed means that the site meets stringent player protection, fair gaming, and responsible operator behaviour standards. eCOGRA also issues Certified Software Seals to online gambling software companies.