Recent world events have put great financial strain on casinos around the world. Not only that, but many of the world’s greatest casinos were forced to close down to comply with lockdown orders and social distancing guidelines. Combine that with a rise in unemployment and a sharp decrease in tourism, and it all amounts to the industry going into great financial strife.
If you are a long-term fan of gambling and want to continue supporting the industry while in quarantine, online casinos are the best option right now. But if you never tried playing online before, you might be wondering: can I really trust those websites? It feels like it’d be much easier to cheat a player at an online game than a real one. And it’s true; it is much easier. But scammers are also easier to spot online, as legitimate casinos make great effort to prove themselves as legitimate.
1 – Legitimate casinos have licenses
Let’s start with a simple one. Most countries in the world require that casinos have licenses to operate within their territory, and online casinos are no different. If you are dealing with a legitimate gambling venue, they’ll proudly display their license number and all the relevant documentation on their website. That license number can then be used to confirm the casino’s legality via the site of the relevant governmental authority.
Scammers, on the other hand, will often make their license information — if it exists — hard to find. They do so because that information is likely to be false, and they hope you’ll stop looking if it’s hard to find.
2 – Legitimate casinos have great websites
Great web design is not expensive, not on the scale at which bit companies measure money. On top of that, casinos have a vested interest in having a beautiful and responsive website, since you’ll be betting and playing or watching games on their platform. This means that if the site is ugly, broken, or unresponsive, players will lose trust on the platform. As a result, legitimate online casinos have some of the most well-built websites in the market.
Scammers, however, often have cheap-looking websites, which were built reusing assets available online. You may also spot unusually long loading times, confusing site layouts, and pages that don’t scale up well when opened on your desktop or your phone. An over-reliance on ads is also a cause for concern. Usually, casinos make enough money that their page does not need to be ad-supported.
3 – Legitimate casinos offer payout options
Financial institutions like PayPal and Mastercard have limitations on who gets to accept payments using their platforms. An online casino that only accepts and offers payments in Bitcoin isn’t a bad thing on its own, but it is a red flag. Alternative payment methods could mean that the casino values privacy, or it could mean that they are trying to avoid scrutiny.
It’s also a good idea to look for evidence online that a casino does pay. Also, look into the payout options and methods before you start playing. Scammers often make their payout options very confusing and hard to navigate, in the hopes that the player will just give up and keep gambling their winners.
4 – Legitimate casinos have a history
It’s hard to keep a false casino running for long periods of time. Scam enough people and word of mouth starts to go around, tanking the fake casino’s reputation. As a result, scammers often resort to changing their website and brand name every few months, so that they can avoid the negative coverage associated with the previous brand.
On the other hand, a casino that has been an online market leader for years is very unlikely to be scamming people. One of the best ways to stay safe is to stick to famous and well-established brands.
5 – Legitimate casinos have a reputation
By far, the best way to know if a casino is legitimate is to read reviews online. Other gamblers will be eager to warn others if a casino is a scam operation. Legitimate online casinos will have hundreds of positive reviews spread across the web. Remember to look past the reviews on the casino’s homepage, as those can be faked.