Signs of a reliable online casino you can trust in 2023

  • One of the best ways to tell if an online casino is trustworthy is their licensing information.
  • Reputable online casinos will have games audited by third-party companies to ensure fairness.
  • Read through terms and conditions, as well as privacy policies to see how a casino protects user data.
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There are a ton of different online casinos out there. Some are great. Others leave much to be desired.

It’s important to know how to distinguish between the two because playing at a shady site can cost you a lot more than just money. It could cost you your identity, personal information, or even your mental health.

The last thing you want is to get duped by a sketchy site. So, it’s worth taking some time to learn what separates the bad sites from the good ones. I’ll show you some signs of a reliable online casino so you can separate the contenders from the pretenders.

1. Obvious Security Measures Are in Place

Any reliable online casino will make it obvious that they take security seriously. This means you’ll find security seals and logos from third-party organizations all over the homepage and throughout the site.

You should see logos like these…

All of these organizations specialize in testing online casino games to ensure their integrity and randomness. eCOGRA goes one step further and also tests the entire operation — including deposits and withdrawals.

These seals don’t cost thousands of dollars. Any legitimate casino can obtain them with a simple monthly fee. If you don’t see any of these logos on the site, it might not be running the games through an unbiased third party. And without this verification, you have no real way of knowing whether the games are set up fairly.

Make Sure Licensing Information Is Easy to Find

Licensing information is another thing you should be able to find prominently displayed on a reputable online casino.

The licensing regulatory commission’s logo should be somewhere on every page. As well as on the bottom and top of every game too. Because if they aren’t showing this, then it would imply that they haven’t got a license.

Along with this, you need to make sure that the licensing jurisdiction makes sense.

Most reputable casinos will have a couple of licenses under their belt.

For example, most casinos that accept American players will have a license in Malta, Gibraltar, Curacao, or Panama. These are all respected gaming commissions that have different levels of player protection.

European and Canadian casinos usually have multiple licenses within those regions because each country requires a local license to operate. Either way, the point is that they should be proud of where they’re licensed, and they should shout about it.

If you can’t see any licensing information on the website, consider it a red flag. Without a license, the casino operates outside the law, and there’s nothing stopping them from taking your money and running. Even if they have a license, I’d always recommend trying to find casinos with dual licensing. One in the country they serve plus another respectable licensing body.

Some of the worst online casinos have only been licensed in Costa Rica or some other offshore location. Unless you can find their actual address and they’ve gone through a proper background check, it’s best to avoid them altogether.

2. They Have Good Customer Feedback and Ratings

How do you think about customer feedback and reviews for physical businesses? Do you sometimes check Google Maps before going to a restaurant? Or maybe ask your friends about their experience at a hairdresser?

Well, the same applies for online casinos.

Whenever I come across a new casino that I haven’t reviewed yet, I spend a few minutes researching its reputation among everyday users. There are a few places where you can find honest reviews, but here are the main three that spring to mind.

  • Google Reviews
  • SiteJabber
  • Casinomeister

Review sites within the industry should be taken with a pinch of salt because a lot of them accept payments from operators to give favorable reviews. But Google and SiteJabber cannot be bought. Well, it would take a lot of money to manipulate millions of reviews.

When reading reviews, be critical. A lot of people post unreasonable complaints about not being able to withdraw their first-deposit bonus without completing a 40x playthrough.

Others complain about losing money. Obviously, these reviews hold little value. But if you see several people talking about the same issue — such as unpaid withdrawals or failed attempts to contact customer support— it’s probably best to avoid that casino.

CasinoMeister is run by pokeirs. A very influential and respected figure in the online gambling world. He sets the bar high when it comes to allowing a casino into his preferred list. His preferred Casinomeister Casinos go through rigorous background checks and are known to pay their players.

I strongly advise scrolling through some of the reviews on these websites before you join a new casino. The more positive reviews there are, the better.

One final piece of advice; write your own review if you feel like something needs changing. Whether it’s a bad experience or just suggestions for improvements, your feedback might help others further down the line.

3. Audited Financials and Transparent Business Practices

The best online casinos don’t have anything to hide. They publish their payout percentages, rtp, house edge, and lots more. If a site is secretive about how returns-to-player are calculated or refuses to share payout reports, you have to wonder what they’re trying to conceal.

You may not understand all the figures, but it’s reassuring to know that an independent accounting firm has audited the financials and confirmed that everything adds up.

A prime example of a site with transparent business practices is Bovada. If you visit their “About” page, you’ll find details of their gaming commission licenses, a breakdown of their management team, and copies of their accreditation and awards.

They also publish a return-to-player (RTP) report every month, which shows how much has been paid out to players in comparison to how much has been wagered. For instance, if the RNG slot machines paid out $100 million and received $10 billion in wagers, the RTP would be 98%.

Most online casinos publish RTP reports for slot games. Table games are a bit different because the results aren’t generated by a random number generator (RNG). Instead, live dealers determine the outcomes in real time, so the numbers don’t really apply.

Even if you don’t understand everything you read, transparency is key. If a site doesn’t publish this kind of information, you have to question why not. Maybe the numbers aren’t in their favor?

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Unregulated casinos can do whatever they like. They don’t need to prove their RTP rates or even disclose where they’re based. And this is why you should never play at one.

4. Offer Multiple Payment Methods

Another sign of a reliable online casino is that they offer plenty of deposit and withdrawal options. Of course, the specific methods offered will depend on which country you’re located in.

Popular payment methods include VISA, Mastercard, bank transfers, Neteller, Skrill, Paysafecard, Apple Pay, and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum.

Having options is important because it gives you the freedom to use the method you prefer. It’s also a sign that the company behind the casino understands that different people have different preferences. 

Additionally, it suggests that the casino is healthy financially. Accepting payments takes money from the company’s bank account and puts it into yours. Therefore, the operator has to cover the costs of processing the transaction and ensure that it has enough funds to do so.

Some scammers get around this problem by using fake dashboards that allow you to make it look like you’re withdrawing money. However, when it comes to actually sending the cash, they find an excuse as to why it can’t be processed.

According to the , around half of all Americans have let their plastics expire. Meaning they no longer have physical credit or debit cards. As alternatives have grown in popularity, card fraud has reduced year-on-year since 2016.

Making the shift to a more alternative method of payment is definitely a trend we will see increase year on year.

5. Provide Plenty of Game Options From Multiple Developers

Legitimate online casinos typically have hundreds, if not thousands, of games spread across every category.

Every single game on the site will be created by one of the many software development companies in the industry. Most casinos have exclusives with one or two providers while also offering titles from smaller, less well-known developers.

Examples of major casino software developers include:

  • NetEnt
  • Playtech
  • Microgaming
  • Realtime Gaming
  • Pragmatic Play
  • Evolution

Companies like these only license their games to reputable casinos. Therefore, if a site has a small selection of games or titles from unknown developers, it could be reason for concern.

As well as this, look out for the Return to Player (RTP) percentage. All legitimate casinos should provide an RTP for each game. Remember, anything above 95% is considered good.

Live dealer games are expensive for casinos to run. Therefore, the house edge for most of them is higher than that of RNG versions. For example, blackjack has an RTP of 99.4%, whereas live blackjack tends to be closer to 95%.

If you’re unsure about where to start, ignore the flashy welcome bonuses and instead focus on sites that partner with reputable developers. Here’s a list of some of the best casino software providers.

6. Have Detailed Terms and Conditions

The terms and conditions might be the most boring page on any website. But they’re incredibly important because they outline the rules between yourself and the operator.

Like it or not, entering into any gambling agreement implies that you have read and agree with those terms and conditions. It acts as a legally binding contract, regardless of whether the site is regulated or not.

Reputable casinos have lengthy terms and conditions pages that cover all bases. They will contain dozens of pages explaining deposit and withdrawal procedures, how they calculate wagering requirements, how they test their games for fairness, how they protect your private data, and loads more.

Shifty operators often have a single paragraph disguised as terms and conditions. It might say something like, “By creating an account at, you agree to abide by the rules outlined on this page.”

The lack of detail leaves them open to all sorts of corrupt behavior. Why would you willingly hand over your money to people with no regard for the rules?

In some cases, they can simply change the T&Cs whenever they like. Altering the wagering requirements from 35x to 50x, for instance. Some might add clauses that allow them to confiscate your balance if they believe you’re winning too much.

Needless to say, this isn’t acceptable. Always read the terms and conditions of any site before joining. The more detailed they are, the better.

7. High Quality User Interface and Web Design

This isn’t exactly groundbreaking news, but running an online casino costs money. Therefore, if you come across a site that looks like it’s been made in Paintshop Pro 5 by your amateur graphic designer cousin, it might be best to steer clear.

I am not saying that you need a massive wallet to launch an online gambling site. There are tons of mid-range pricing structures when it comes to web design. In fact, ready-made scripts and platforms like can sell for a couple of hundred bucks.

Obviously, the design does not necessarily indicate trustworthiness but it might indicate due diligence and investment. There are a lot of rogue operations out there who claim to be generous casino giving away large signup bonuses, but once you try to withdraw, the process seems impossible.

Poor designs may lead to poor processes. We are talking about gambling money here. Money that people have worked hard for. They trust you with it, and it’s crucial that you hand their winnings back to them efficiently and effectively.

Sometimes these rouge casinos disappear overnight, and you’re left wondering where your money has gone.

Of course, the flip side to all this is that lots of big sites get it wrong. For instance, I have always found BetOnline easy to navigate, despite its rather basic design. Likewise, Ignition Casino uses a super simplistic layout, and I’ve never had any problems finding what I’m looking for at

So, don’t dismiss a site purely based on its visual appearance. Use the points raised in this article as a guide when assessing whether an online casino can be trusted.

However, if a site looks like it was designed in Microsoft Paint, it might want to invest in a redesign.

8. Have Clear and Responsive Customer Support Channels

What happens when you have a problem at an online casino? Hopefully, you’ll never find out. But if you do, it’s important to know that the operator has channels in place to resolve your query in a timely manner.

Phone support is best because it allows you to speak to someone directly. Although email and live chat are also good options. Whatever the method, the most trustworthy casinos have representatives available 24/7.

When I’m review casinos, I test the customer support channels to see how long it takes to get a response and how helpful the staff are. The quickest I’ve ever gotten an answer was four seconds via phone at BetUS. Bovada also impresses in this area, with several options and very fast live chat.

However, not everyone gets it right. Some casinos take more than 30 minutes to respond to emails, and their agents sound as though they’ve just woken up from a nap.

Slow or unhelpful customer service is indicative of larger issues within the organization. If they can’t be bothered to answer your questions, how are they going to look after your money?

I won’t name names, but I have lost count of the number of casinos I have spoken to in the past who seem more interested in closing my account and keeping my deposit than helping me resolve a minor issue.

9. Show Commitment to Gambling Addiction Prevention

Responsible gambling tools and partners are becoming increasingly common on gambling sites. In fact, it is now a requirement in many states and countries.

Operators must display phone numbers and links to organizations that specialize in treating gambling addiction. As well as letting you impose betting limits, time outs, and permanent exclusion from the site, if needed.

IGB is the global organization for the prevention of gambling related harm. A great resource that a lot of gambling establishments turn to, for guidance and education.

Between 1-5% of adults experience gambling disorder during their lifetime. That’s why it’s so important for operators to promote responsible gambling initiatives and provide access to help if you need it.

From my experience, BetOnline and Bovada are particularly strong in this area. Not only do they offer a huge range of responsible gambling tools, but they are also proactive in getting people who are struggling the help they need.

Other online casinos merely tick boxes by providing some crude self-exclusion tools and links to Gamblers Anonymous. Again, this is a box ticking exercise to get their license, rather than truly caring about their customers welfare.

If you, or anyone you know is suffering, get in touch with Gambling Therapy.

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10. Regularly Publish Their Payout Report

Payout reports are essentially audited accounts that show how much money has gone into and out of the casino. Publication of this information varies depending on the region.

For example, all licensed British gambling operators must publish their payout reports on an industry-run website called . This shows the overall industry contribution to charity as well as individual payments made by each operator.

Offshore casinos accepting American players don’t have to publish payout reports, but it’s good practice if they want to build a strong reputation.

The reports themselves contain lots of technical jargon, but the key part I look at is the holding period. This tells me how long it takes for them to pay winners.

Ideally, you want a casino that settles withdrawals as they come in rather than accumulating them and paying a bulk amount at a later date. Otherwise, there’s a chance problems could arise if the company doesn’t have enough cash flow to meet demand.

Publicly publishing payout reports shows confidence and pride in the speed and efficiency of their payment processes, and I have never had an issue with any of the casinos mentioned on mine.

What Is the Safest Online Casino?

Is there an online casino you can trust with your life? Probably not, but there are some safe options out there.

Anyone can create a website and call it an online casino, leaving you vulnerable to identity theft, wasted time, and financial losses. However, the sites listed below have proven they are trustworthy over extended periods of time.

## Ignition Casino

The first site I want to talk about is Ignition Casino. This site has been online since 2016, making it a virtual senior citizen in internet years. And in a world where the average lifespan of an online gaming site is a few years at best, this is significant.

They offer dozens of table games, video poker, specialty games, a live dealer suite, and hundreds of slots.

Perhaps the biggest seller for Ignition Casino is their generous welcome bonus. New players can claim up to $3,000 in bonus credits by using a special promo code when making their first batch of deposits. You then have 280 days to clear the bonus by earning rewards points while playing your favorite games.

I have cleared countless welcome bonuses over the years, and this is one of the best I’ve encountered. The main reason for this is the low playthrough rate of just 25x. This means you only need to wager 25 times the total amount you’ve deposited +bonus before it is eligible to withdraw.

Another great thing about this bonus is that you receive 100% match on deposits of $20 or more, regardless of how much you deposit. So, if you want to double a $10 deposit, you just need to use code IGWELCOME when depositing $10.

However, if you want to double a deposit of $1,00 or more, you just enter the same code, and the bonus will be yours.

The only slight negative point is the timescale. 280 days sounds like a long time, but this Bonus arrives in $5 increments based on the reward points you earn. At a rate of 1 reward point per $2 wagered on most games, it will take a lot of playing to earn 30 reward points - the equivalent of $150 worth of bonuses.

But again, if you clear $150 worth in a day, a bonus of that amount will be added to your account automatically.

The best thing about this bonus scheme is that it applies to all Slots and some specialty games. Check the full T&Cs at the casino site for complete details.

## BetUS

BetUS has been operating since 1994 and has built a solid reputation as a reputable sportsbook, racebook, and online casino. The site is fully mobile-optimized, meaning you can bet and play wherever you are in the US.

Their casino section contains hundreds of games from leading developers like Betsoft and Dragon Gaming. You can play slots, roulette, blackjack, video poker, and much more.

New players at BetUS Casino are welcomed with a 125% bonus worth up to $2,500. You can use this offer on any games in the casino except for live dealer titles, which contribute just 5%.

The minimum deposit to claim this bonus is $10, and the only catches are the 25x playthrough requirement and the fact bonuses larger than $100 require additional approval from management.

I have been in the gaming industry for 15+ years, and BetUS Stand Up Guy has been a fixture in my gym the whole time.

## Bovada

There aren’t many online casinos that can rival Bovada’s reputation for trust and quality. Hundred of professional poker players were left out of pocket when a site called SealsWithClubs went rogue in 2014.

Bovada stepped in to repay the affected players, demonstrating its commitment to doing the right thing. Since then, it has continued to grow its reputation as one of the best sites for players in the USA.

The casino is home to hundreds of real money games, including live dealers. And new players can claim a 100% matched bonus worth up to $3,750. This offer can be used across the casino and poker site, plus the sportsbook.

One of the main reasons I rate Bovada so highly is the speed of its withdrawals. Unlike other sites that receive hundreds of payment requests each week, Bovada can cope with spikes in demand.

And unlike many other sites, it authorizes each request on a case-by-case basis, thus avoiding issues further down the line. This helps it to deliver all withdrawals within 2-3 hours.

Bear in mind that you will need to provide identification documents and complete account verification before Bovada will authorize your initial withdrawal. However, once this is done, subsequent requests should be dealt with extremely quickly.

How to Protect Yourself When Gambling Online

Being a skeptic has served me well over the years. Whenever I encounter a new online casino, I immediately go into detective mode, scrutinizing every little aspect in search of inconsistencies.

Here are a few tips that can help you stay safe when playing at internet casinos.

Stick to Reputable Websites

The best way to gamble online is using established brands you can trust. Sites like BetUS, Bovada, and Ignition Casino have thousands of happy customers and glowing reputations.

I appreciate some of the newer casinos that hit the market. Generally, the platforms run smoothly, and the welcome bonuses are often huge. However, if anything goes wrong, there’s nobody to turn to.

Reports are like gold dust. Happy customers may mention how great a site is but remember it takes just one dissatisfied punter to report a negative experience.

The good news is there are plenty of reliable casinos that have been processing deposits and withdrawals for years.

Try Some Games First

Most reputable casinos have free play options that allow you to try games risk-free. This is a great way to see if a site is legit.

If you win a bunch of free chips but then find it nearly impossible to withdraw your winnings, it could be cause for concern. Hopefully, you will never find yourself in this position, but it happens. Especially with some of these crazy welcome offers that seem almost too good to be true.

I always try to activate any free spin offers or mini-games that come as part of a deposit promotion. Now and again, you manage to grab a decent prize, proving that the system is working as it should.

If you win $20 in free plays and attempt to withdraw $200, however, and the casino refuses or imposes impossible conditions, alarm bells should ring.

Remember it’s not just the casino that’s at stake here. Shonky sites that treat customers unfairly are often linked to nefarious organizations involved in money laundering, identity theft, and human trafficking. So, it’s in all our interests to stick to sites that treat their customers properly.

Don’t Be Fooled By Bonuses Over $3,000

Massive welcome bonuses can appear appealing, yet they don’t constantly have the best problem. The tough playthrough demands frequently make them challenging to clear, and the small print includes regular restrictions.

For example, slots generally contribute 100% towards clearing a bonus. Yet most video poker games are limited to 5-10% contributions. As a result, casinos encourage you to play video poker, thereby providing themselves with an exit strategy.

They can void your bonus if you contact their support team and claim that the majority of your wagering was on video poker. Since you’ve only cleared a fraction of the bonus without this adjustment, you finish up with nothing.

This isn’t something shad casinos regularly do, but I have experienced it a couple of times, which is why I am not overly fussed by massive bonuses.

My advice is to stick with sites offering 100% bonuses up to $1,000. If an operator has a good reputation and plenty of positive feedback, you can be confident they will honor modest bonuses. The playthrough demands are typically lower, plus you’re less likely to fall foul of hidden terms and conditions.

Look Out for Third Party Software Certification

When an auditing agency like eCOGRA, GLI or TST gives a casino the thumbs up, it indicates that they are serious about playing by the rules. After all, these companies can close their offices tomorrow if their testing shows that a site cannot be trusted.

The logos of eCOGRA, GLI and TST are shown on the bottom of each game page.

Gaming Calibration Certificates ensure that each game is genuinely random, and the RTP is fair. Plus, they provide an added layer of security to deposits. If a casino has been certified by an external agency, the chances of it vanishing with your money are slim.

If you visit a site, and these symbols are nowhere to be seen, it doesn’t mean it’s a rogue operator. However, it is something to bear in mind.

Read and Understand the Terms and Conditions

I know what you’re thinking. No one enjoys trawling through pages of small text, especially when there are exciting games waiting. However, the Ts & Cs contain vital information regarding bonuses and how to clear them, so please take the time to read them.

For example, the terms explain what happens if you win a big prize. Can you withdraw it instantly, or will the casino place holds on your account?

If you breach any of the terms and conditions, they also set out the consequences. Maybe you’ve accidentally broken a rule and closed a pop-up advertising a new game? If so, you may not be eligible to win big prizes while the pop-up is active.

Failure to adhere to the rules could see you banned or have wins voided, so please read the Ts & Cs carefully before signing up for what you thought was a great bonus.

Check Gambling License Details

Regulatory authorities such as the UKGC and MGA have vastly different resources and remits. As such, a license from one organization isn’t comparable to a license issued by another.

When researching an online casino, therefore, you need to identify the regulators with the most far-reaching powers. Here is a list of the best regulatory bodies in order:

  • United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)
  • Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  • Gibraltar Gambling Commission (GBC)
  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC)
  • Curaçao eGaming
  • Norwegian Gambling Authority (NGL)

Any site regulated by Curaçao eGaming or the NGL should concentrate on marketing Scratch Cards and Lottery products due to limited powers over casino games.

If an operator mentions accreditation from an organization not listed above, take a second to do some research. There are lots of dodgy credentials floating around the internet. So, if you’re unsure, check the authenticity of any license using the regulator’s website.

Use Major Credit Cards

Visa and MasterCard are two of the biggest credit card providers in the world. They also have world-class legal teams.

If you pay for goods or services with your Visa or MasterCard debit card and they turn out to be bogus, the most you’re liable for is $50. Section 75 of the Consumer Protection Act covers all credit cards, giving you substantial protection.

Section 75 means that if a credit card merchant charge is fraudulent, you’re entitled to a refund. The card companies have no option but to comply; otherwise, they will be in breach of sec 75 of the Consumer Protection Act.

American Express and Discover Card are also subject to Sec 75, so you’re protected if you use any major credit card to deposit at an online casino.

Avoid Rogue Casinos

Complaints can help you spot a rogue operator, but it’s sometimes difficult to verify whether stories are true or not. Fortunately, there are blacklists provided by reputable sources that outline sites you should avoid.

PokerListings is a good place to start. They have a casino blacklist that highlights sites that have wronged players in the past. Poker player forums like TwoPlusTwo and Wazzpoker also feature various sections that highlight potential bad apples.

Again, remember that these sites are listing accusations. Some of the casinos may have changed ownership and improved their processes. However, it’s always wise to do your due diligence before you sign up.

What Is the Largest Online Casino in the World?

Based on revenue, employees, and games, I estimate that is the largest online casino in the world.

Best International Online Casinos (Outside US) of 2023

It has more than 300 employees and offers 4,000+ games from leading developers like NetEnt, Playtech, and Microgaming. Almost 2,000 of these games are slots, and there are dozens of live dealer tables for roulette, blackjack, baccarat, and Hold ’em Poker.

As a publicly traded company, BetUS is required to publish its annual revenues, and, in 2021, it exceeded $6.37 billion. Granted, not all of this income came from the casino, but it’s the biggest segment of the BetUS platform alongside the sportsbook.

I have been using the site since 2001, and it has consistently grown its reputation as a brand you can trust. Its speed of withdrawals is unmatched in the industry. While other sites receive hundreds of payment requests each week and struggle to cope, Bovada can deal with surges in demand.

This enables it to authorize all withdrawals within two to three hours. Bear in mind that you will need to provide identification documents and complete account verification before Bovada authorizes your initial withdrawal - but once this is done, subsequent requests should be dealt with extremely quickly.

Advice for Playing at Online Casinos

We are fortunate to have plenty of consumer rights in America, but this only works if you use your initiative. If someone tells you an operator is a crook, it’s worth listening.

At the end of the day, though, you’re responsible for ensuring your own safety online. Simple precautions - like sticking to reputable casinos and checking licensing information - can save you a lot of trouble.

Some of these top sites have been online for 25+ years - proof that you can trust online gaming.


How Can You Tell if an Online Casino Is Safe?


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