Playing at online casinos is a lot of fun, but the fun can come to a sudden end if you realize you’ve chosen a casino that isn’t legit. How can New Zealand players identify which casinos are safe to play at and which they should avoid? Here are ten things you should consider when looking for a trusted online casino.
We recommend playing only at licensed casinos since licensing authorities require casinos to adhere to strict rules regarding consumer protection, security, and more. Some of the most well-known licensing authorities are the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, the government of Curacao, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission.
Here we’ll include an important note about crypto casinos. Crypto casinos allow players to deposit and withdraw funds in cryptocurrency instead of fiat currency (NZD, USD, GBP, etc.). There are many crypto casinos online that are not licensed. They claim that the purpose of a license is to ensure that players’ financial information is protected, and since cryptocurrency is anonymous, licenses are unnecessary.
However, licenses don’t only protect players’ financial information. They also ensure that fair gaming practices are implemented, protect consumers from fraud, and more. Additionally, cryptocurrency transactions aren’t anonymous, and there have been many crypto scams. Time magazine reported that in 2021, crypto scammers stole $14 billion in total.
Due to both these reasons, we recommend playing at licensed crypto casinos.
You can find out whether a casino is licensed very quickly—scroll down on the casino’s home page and look at the small print. That’s where the licensing info should be. If you don’t recognize the licensing authority, you can Google it to make sure it’s for real.
Google is your friend when it comes to choosing a reputable online casino. Search the casino's name in question and read reviews from trusted sources. You can also look at the casino’s social media pages and read the reviews and comments if any.
3. Customer Service
If you’re looking for a legitimate casino that you can rely on, it’s imperative to check out the site’s customer service. Is there live chat? If not, can you email or call and receive a timely response? And equally as important, are the customer support representatives helpful? Do they know what they’re talking about? It’s easy to find this out by contacting support and seeing their response.
4. Promotions and Bonuses
Many online casinos offer attractive bonuses and promos, but when you read the fine print, you realise that you need to spend A LOT of money before seeing any benefits. While these bonuses are technically legitimate, they don’t do much for you. If you love a good deal, look for online casinos that offer promotions and bonuses that are worthwhile in real life, not just on paper.
5. Registration Process
The typical registration process at legitimate casinos involves entering your full name, email address, home address, and more personal details. In some cases, you may be requested to provide identifying documents so that the casino can verify that you are who you say you are (this is done to prevent fraud). If a casino asks you for your personal information more than once, it’s ample red light.
6. Encryption and Security
Legitimate casinos will use SSL (secure socket layer) encryption technology to secure their platform and ensure that your bank details are protected. If a casino doesn’t use SSL encryption, run the other way. This is another detail that’s easy to check—on the website, look for the small lock icon next to the URL. You can click on it and see whether the site’s encryption certificate is valid.
Don’t assume that if you see the lock icon once, it will be there forever. You should check periodically to ensure the certificate is still valid since sites may not always maintain it.
7. Payment Methods
Reliable online casinos should offer a variety of reputable payment methods to choose the one that’s most convenient for you. Major credit cards and various e-wallets are standard, and crypto options are becoming more and more popular.
8. Payout speed
Trusted online gambling websites will tell you when you can expect to receive your withdrawal, and it’s usually within a few days or possibly two weeks (it usually depends on the payment method you use). If it takes longer than that, you should raise your eyebrows and question the site’s legitimacy. The basic premise of online gambling is that you should be able to withdraw and receive your winnings in a timely fashion.
9. Fair gaming
Online gambling is fun, as long as it’s fair. If it’s not fair, you might as well flush your money down the toilet. That’s why it’s essential to ensure that the online casino you choose uses an RNG—random number generator—to ensure the fairness and randomness of its games. It’s also essential that the casino features games from trusted providers. You can quickly check whether a provider is legitimate by searching on Google.
In general, online gambling websites that offer information upfront should be given preference over those that don’t. If you have to search far and wide to find out when you can expect to receive your withdrawal or whether the site’s games use an RNG, the casino is not being fully transparent. We encourage players to play at casinos that are upfront about everything, from promos to withdrawals to fair gaming.
Choose Carefully and Enjoy
There are many things to check out when searching for a trusted online casino, but doing your due diligence is worthwhile. Once you are confident that the casino you’ve chosen is trustworthy, you can be free to enjoy the casino games. And isn’t that what playing at online casinos is all about?