Last Updated on August 14, 2023
Online Casino Security
In the early days of the internet, gambling at an online casino was much like stepping into the wild west. With online security largely an afterthought for the vast majority of operators, gamblers were rightly cautious about where they chose to play and how they transferred their money there securely.
Luckily, these days things are a little more structured. Where once there was a collection of loosely regulated entities, we now have credible, global corporations who strive to ensure that online gambling is safe and that players are always protected. On this page, we’ll take a look at what makes a secure online casino and give you some pointers on finding the safest online gambling sites around.
Online Casino Security: Background & Evolution
While it used to be very much a case of “every man for themselves” in the online casino industry, in recent times, the need for consistent rules and standards has become far more recognised. Regulatory bodies like the UK Gambling Commission have been established to hold online casinos accountable and safeguard the rights of customers, ensuring sites are secure and responsible gambling is enforced.
For those beyond the jurisdiction of the Gambling Commission, a number of similar entities have been established. Depending on their location, non-UKGC casinos can be regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao eGaming or any number of state-approved regulators across the U.S. and Canada. This ensures that online casino licenses must be obtained before a site can operate, allowing the appropriate regulatory bodies to review online casino security before they grant their final approval.
Ensuring Secure Casinos Online
So how exactly do organisations like the Gambling Commission ensure online casino security and safe online casino games? Well, there are a number of factors that come into consideration, including the strength and reliability of an online casino’s encryption technology, the quality of its random number generator and whether or not its games have been independently audited for fairness/transparency.
Regulatory and Testing Bodies – In order to be considered a secure online casino, all sites must not only acquire a casino gaming license from their local regulator, but also verify that they offer safe online casino games. To do the latter, they will typically approach an independent third-party auditor like eCOGRA to review their software and verify that it’s fair, random and transparent in its pays.
Random Number Generators – Of course, whether they’re offering safe online casino games or safe online slots for real money, all of the safest online gambling sites use random number generators to ensure that game outcomes are fair and unpredictable. These RNG machines are also typically reviewed by an independent third-party auditor to ensure that they’re truly as unbiased as they claim.
While these aren’t the only factors that define a secure online casino or a safe mobile casino platform, they are all undoubtedly hallmarks of the safest online gambling sites around. More often than not, customers can find information about a site’s online casino security and its casino gaming licensing at the bottom of the homepage, allowing them to quickly identify if it provides safe online casino games.
Should you need a little more help finding the safest online gambling sites licensed by the UK Gambling Commission – or non-UKGC casinos that nevertheless offer safe online casino games and safe online slots for real money – you can find a list of safe online casinos below:
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Online Casino Licenses: How Are They Acquired?
Although the process of acquiring online casino licences varies from regulator to regulator, they nearly always involve an extensive review of the applicant that includes a software audit, a systems audit and background checks on the owners that consider their principles, suitability, solvency and so on. The great thing about online casino regulation is that you never have to wonder how it’s done because all major casino gaming license issuers outline their process and criteria in publicly available documents.
While regulators like the UK Gambling Commission are known to be incredibly strict in their definition of what constitutes a safe and secure casino, other organisations may offer a bit more leeway. It’s for this reason that non-UKGC casinos that hold a Curacao eGaming license are not held in quite as high esteem as their UKGC-licensed counterparts, despite still being able to offer safe online casino games.
Online Casino Safety Protocols & Security Measures
Of course, safe and secure online casinos typically offer a similar set of player protection protocols and online security measures. Chief among them is the use of encryption technology, which essentially encodes any personal or financial information supplied at the site and renders it unreadable by unauthorised third parties. Some of the most widely-used encryption technology measures include:
The first line of defence in network security for over 25 years, firewalls essentially allow safe casino sites to monitor and regulate both their incoming and outgoing network traffic. Online casino safety can be maintained by setting up predefined security rules, such as restricting traffic from countries where your casino games do not hold valid online certification.
- Secure Sockets Layer Encryption
Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption was developed by Netscape in 1995 as a means to ensure the privacy and integrity of internet communications. Whereas in the past, any data input on a site was transmitted in plain text, SSL encryption transforms it into a selection of garbled characters, meaning even if it were intercepted, it’d be nearly impossible to decrypt.
- Secure Banking
Naturally, the encryption technology used by safe casino sites and secure mobile casino sites alike also extends to online banking. With customers understandably being wary about revealing their financial details online, all information submitted is again encoded – meaning it can’t be read by a third party and will arrive at its intended destination untampered with.
The addition of these important security measures at safe and secure online casinos mean that these days, customers actually prefer to play on virtual platforms when compared to their land-based counterparts. The simple reason for this is that while fairness and integrity can be assumed at a bricks-and-mortar casino, online it can be quantified, verified and independently certified by a licensed party.
Fair Gaming At Secure Online Casino Sites
As we mentioned earlier in this page, all of the safest online gambling sites submit their games for review by independent third-party auditors such as eCOGRA. This ensures that rather than merely telling customers they’ll be getting a fair gaming experience on their platform, truly safe casino sites can display actual certification confirming their games are fair, random and free of extra house edge.
This is, of course, essential for any sites professing to offer safe online casino games or safe online slots for real money as it basically reassures players that they won’t be taken advantage of. As such, when visiting an online casino site, you should always check to confirm that its games have been certified by a third-party auditor – with this info usually being available on the main homepage footer.
Cryptocurrency Transactions At Safe Casino Sites
If you’re looking for an extra degree of online casino safety, you may also wish to consider using cryptocurrencies for your transactions. Increasingly available at safe and secure casino sites – particularly non-UKGC casinos – cryptocurrencies are usually exchanged via an online wallet, meaning you won’t even have to submit your banking details at the cashier to deposit or withdraw with them.
These days, the most widely available cryptocurrencies at safe casino sites include Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Ethereum and Litecoin, though other methods such as Ripple and Tether can also be found.
FAQs About Safe & Secure Online Casinos
A) Standing for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, eCOGRA is a London-based testing agency that independently reviews online casinos to ensure their processes are fair and responsible. Accredited operators will always display the eCOGRA seal on their homepage footer.
A) TST (Technical Systems Testing) is widely recognised as one of the top testing and compliance organisations in the iGaming industry. Essentially a Canadian counterpart to eCOGRA, the company provides a variety of auditing services to secure online casino and safe mobile casino platforms.
A) A payout percentage is the theoretical rate of return for a given game over the long term. For example, a slot with a 98% payout percentage would – on average – return £0.98 from every £1 wagered on it. Naturally, safe and secure online casinos have these numbers verified for fairness.
A) A random number generator (RNG) is essentially a piece of software that is used to ensure the outcomes of slot spins and table game rounds are provably fair and random. Secure online casino sites typically submit their RNG software for independent review to prove they don’t hold an unfair edge.
A) Generally speaking, yes. Though the UK Gambling Commission is an incredibly reputable regulator, there are many other casino gaming license distributors that are similarly well thought of. Just make sure you review any online casino homepage for its certification or use our list of safe online casinos.
Gabe Harper has been working in the online casino business for a bit over a decade. He has worked on the backend of more established casinos, and has also watched scams come and go. While mostly an avid table game and poker player, Gabe is also known for his tips and bets whenever the Premier League rolls around.