While it is true to say online casino has become safer over the years since they first started to pop up in the eighties, the war again scammers, and online fraud continues. Fraudsters will not stop pursuing the ultimate scam to take a player’s hard earnt cash. They employ ever more sophisticated measures to achieve this aim. In response, gambling regulations worldwide become more stringent to mitigate this ongoing threat.
The question remains, where does this leave players trying to navigate the casinolandscape for a safe, fair and fun place to wager on casino games? No one wants to spend hours or days filtering through the thousands of options available online to find the best places to play their preferred gamblegames.
A few options exist for players who wish to open an online casino account safe in the knowledge that operators are legitimate and offer a fair place to wager.
Stick to Big Brand online operators;
Use a trusted platform that does the in-depth research for you;
Learn what to look for and do the online casino assessment yourself;
This article will take you through these three options and show you the advantages and disadvantages of each, while arming you with essential information to help you enjoy a fun and fair gambling experience.
Trusted platforms that research and review online gambling sites
A robust marketplace of research and review companies already exists whose sole purpose is to examine the credentials of online casinos. Authentic gambling review platforms provide users with summary information players can trust demonstrating the trustworthiness (or not) of certain online casinos. Unbiased Gambling Review platforms will conduct internal research to validate a casino’s legitimacy and only promote those they consider safe. The best companies also provide tools to help users search, shortlist and apply to casinos that meet their personal preference and that are accessible to players in the country they reside.
These services provide enormous benefits to players looking for places that are not only safe but meet their personal needs quickly and efficiently. For example, let’s say a player is not only looking for a safe big brand casino, but the casino must be able to accept deposits using the Neteller E-wallet, provide games published by NetEnt and be accessible to players in France. It is one thing saving a lot of time by just playing with tried and trusted big brand casinos, but it would be very time-consuming to sift through the information at every venue to find out if they meet these precise requirements. Also, let’s not forget that by using an authentic Casino Review company, players have the additional peace of mind they have already investigated credentials to ensure legitimacy, providing an extra level of security.
Almost all Gambling Review Platforms provide these services completely free of charge to users since they make their money from gambling platforms, not players. This, in turn, leads to the question ‘how can I trust the Review Platform’ to be fair and unbiased?’. It’s an excellent question, since unfortunately, some are not. There are plenty of rogue review sites built and run by the very casinos they are intended to vet impartially. Also, some others will rank most highly the ones that pay the most. If in doubt, the best way to gauge the good from the bad it to assess the quantity and quality of content offered and technology provided. Shady operators in this field tend not to spend vast amounts of money on high-quality reviews and content to assist gamblers. They certainly don’t offer advanced technology to help players search hundreds of reviewed platforms to select the best options quickly.
Why trust Gamblescope.com?
Gamblescope has been in operation since 2017. Since then, our expert panel of independent researchers has investigated the credentials and provided comprehensive reviews on hundreds of online casinos worldwide. Our research is ongoing. As far as possible, we endeavour to analyse all online casinos large and small from all countries and continents. We aim to offer an extensive selection of options to players to help users search and select the best options online in line with personal needs and preferences.
We occasionally discover operators that do not meet our high trust and security standards during the research and investigation process. Therefore, we do not promote or publish links or information on casinos that do not meet our benchmark standards to protect users. Neither do we have to, since there are more new and legitimate casinos appearing than we can keep up with online. Not every platform we promote is popular. Providing they are safe and fair; we choose to keep them on Gamblescope to offer choice and variety and lean towards ranking factors to help users discern the best options from any given search request.
Gamblescope.com is privately financed, and we have no allegiances or obligations to any gambling platform in the industry. It is irrelevant to us whether a particular gambling platform is profitable or not. As previously stated, our only aim is to provide users with the best and safest answers fast as every quality comparison website does.
What makes us different?
At Gamblescope, we provide everything commonly associated with online Gambliew Review websites and much more. Traditionally, review platforms offer an excellent value-added service to the gambling community when they provide critical and unbiased reviews and player feedback. The most successful sites also conduct in-depth research and promote only safe places to gamble. These core services help players learn which casinos can be trusted and provide a quick reference to casino information and topic-led suggested casino lists.
In keeping with the times, we at Gamblescope acknowledge the benefits of this approach but believe we can offer greater value when used together with advanced technology, algorithms and artificial intelligence. Our efforts are primarily geared towards providing search solutions to improve user experience, speed and accuracy where players can search, review and decide the best options. For example, unlike most platforms, Gamblescope filters out search results of online casinos that do not provide service to players in your country of residence, by default. Players can turn off this feature if it is not required, but geo-location filtering supplies more accurate, relevant results and saves a lot of time for the vast majority.
Aside from the enormous amount of effort that goes into platform innovation, we also invest in quality content geared towards helping gamblers gain an edge when playing casino games online. We want our users to be successful and win more. In support of this effort, we have written hundreds of articles and knowledge base guides to help players in every aspect of playing casino games and gain an advantage over the house edge.
Gamblescope safe casino ranking criteria
At Gamblescope, we use two primary methods to find and rank online casinos. First, we use our expert knowledge to research and review online sportsbooks, casinos and poker rooms to gauge validity and legitimacy. After we have assessed a platform to be trustworthy in areas such as casino licences, financial stability and reputation, we look at the hard data. On its own, using Algorithms to analyse ranking criteria such as traffic levels, software quality, payment systems etc. does not give a full picture. Combined with an independent investigation, these two methods provide an accurate overview.
To date, we have never had an instance where a platform we have promoted has turned out to be dishonest and gone rogue, but situations tend to change over time. At gamblescope, we never stop monitoring. If things alter significantly, such as a significant drop in traffic levels, we are alerted to the fact, and we reassess. There have been several instances where we have dropped our support for an online gambling website for this very reason. As of yet, reviewing online casinos is not an exact science. Therefore, we are continuously evolving to find more accurate and efficient ways to keep our users safe.
There is also a secondary benefit in the way we assess gambling websites. Once the information we have obtained is published on the Gamblescope.com website, raw data is inserted directly into our database. This enables users to sort and filter a large number of betting platforms in accordance with personal preferences for instant results. Our system does much of the heavy lifting in presenting safe places to wager online that are accessible from the location you reside to save time. Players can also drill down to create a shortlist of sites where players can find specific games, software providers, and banking methods etc. that makes rapid searches of hundreds of casinos fast and efficient.
The following section provides specific details on the most critical information Gamblescope assess in its safe ranking criteria.
Manual safe casino search – Things to consider
Manual casino safety checks make a lot of sense for some players, especially High rollers who wish to make significant cash deposits. Once a casino has been found, taking time to certify validity and trustworthiness is worth the effort for those risking large amounts and a better option than taking the word of another party. Complete peace of mind takes time and effort, but it is not entirely difficult to distinguish a casino site and operators trustworthiness when you know what to look for. Here are the main things to consider:
Never underestimate the importance of a casino licence. Licensing authorities lead the way in regulating the industry. To gain and maintain a gambling license, casino operators must demonstrate minimum standards relating to financial stability, technical security and game fairness. The criteria they must meet, however, varies significantly for one governing body to another. Many countries worldwide have a governing body to regulate gambling activity. Some are better and safer than others, with European agencies leading the way in player protection. Official and safe licencing authorities you should be familiar with are as follows:
Checking an online casino has a valid casino licence is easy and takes no time at all. Take the following steps to validate:
Go to the bottom of the casino’s home page and find a licence logo;
Click on the logo and check the URL is correct;
If there is no hyperlink, open a browser and search for the authority;
The casino is listed on authority’s website if they have a valid licence.
A valid licence is the most significant indicator that a casino is compliant and legitimate. It should always be the first thing you look for when verifying an online operator’s trustworthiness.
Independent game testing agencies
While searching for a casino licence logo, it is worth keeping your eye out for a badge awarded by an independent game testing agency. Testing Random number generators (RGNs) for game fairness can be part of a licensing requirement initiated by a licencing authority or an additional measure instigated by a casino to demonstrate trust. In some instances, a casino may employ an independent testing agency’s expertise to prove the casino’s games’ are random and fair. Here are some of the more credible agencies you may come across:
Without testing random number generators for fairness, casino games may be manipulated in favour of the casino.
Brand age and experience
As previously mentioned on this page, many players prefer to stick with big brand casinos because they have a track record of trust and credibility. Not all long-established and trustworthy casino operators go on to become a big brand, however. Doing so takes a significant marketing effort. But this doesn’t necessarily mean an online casino does not have the means and experience to run a respectable online gambling operation. There are plenty of gambling operators and companies you may never have heard of that own multiple online casino brands. Many of whom have been in the industry for many years and acquired significant experience.
Learning a little of a casinos age, experience and ownership goes a long way to establishing credibility. The simple fact is, scammers and unethical casinos don’t tend to hang around too long. There are several things you can do to verify the age and experience of an online gambling operation. You can verify published details against company house checks. Website and URL age checkers are also available online. The Wayback Machine is another useful tool. Ultimately, this is not something you need to spend a lot of time on since websites that lie about their age and experience are often found out quickly.
Casino traffic and popularity ranking
Regardless of age and level of experience, gauging a site’s popularity is a good indicator of reliability and trustworthiness. Players don’t tend to return to a casino that they don’t trust, don’t like, and well - don’t win. They certainly wouldn’t return if they have a negative experience. While decreasing popularity doesn’t prove that a site is dishonest, a place with growing popularity does imply a high degree of social acceptance. In Gambleland, the customer is king. With so many choices available, no punter ever has to compromise, and they, sure enough, find better places to wager on casino games if the service they are receiving is anything less than satisfactory.
Fortunately, there is a swift and easy way to gauge a casino’s popularity ranking and trending. It’s called Alexa. At Alexa.com, you can view global internet traffic and engagement trends over a ninety-day period in addition to other insightful metrics. Some review companies, such as us here at Gamblescope, place a great deal of importance on popularity and engagement trends. We even publish Alexa ranking data upfront at the top of every casino review page for players to gauge how a casino compares in the market.
Payment systems and methods
The type of payment systems and methods that casinos offer to deposit and withdraw funds will undoubtedly influence a player’s decision to open an account. After all, who wants to go through the trouble of opening a new account just to make financial transactions. There is, however, an overriding reason why you should look at the payment methods provided by a casino. The type of payment processors a casino uses offer further insight into the legitimacy of a casino. In particular, players should look to see if the casino facilitates direct bank and bank card transactions.
Banks are incredibly diligent in respect of who they allow using their merchant services. As any small business owner will testify, getting a bank payment processor can be a challenge. Applicants must often jump through hoops to prove that the bank’s merchant services are only used of legal and legitimate transactions. With money laundering on the rise, it is unlikely to be easy for a new casino to obtain and keep said services if they can’t prove a high degree of honesty and transparency.
The critical thing to note here is that a casino’s ability to offer bank card transactions provides a higher level of trust and security. Banks have already done much of the heavy lifting since they would not provide their services to shady operators.
Reputation and feedback
Online reputation and feedback is often the first source that we, as players, turn to when we want to find out if an online gambling platform is good, bad, or outright fraudulent. Indeed, many casino review platforms made a good living out of offering casino information and customer feedback. Despite this obvious fact, we at Gamlescope would urge players not to rely entirely on this method to forge an opinion about an online casino website’s reliability and honesty.
The reason for this observation is simple. Casinos understand that their success, or lack of it, much depends on online opinion and feedback. Scammers and fraudulent operators will put a lot of time and resources into creating a positive online image. Anyone can pay to have positive reviews created. While it is true that the weight of public opinion will ultimately have the final say, a quick search to gauge public opinion will not reveal much, even when taken from reliable sources. Unlike other review platforms, Gamblescope.com engages with user feedback as an additional reference point. However, We don’t place too much weighting in our safe casino rating algorithms since we cannot qualify the results. We suggest you do the same.
Data Protection, platform and payment security
Understanding a platform’s security features deployed to protect its users is generally an excellent indication of whether a website is trustworthy. Fraudulent actors don’t spend a significant amount of money on platform data security and encryption. It is also worth pointing out that personal data protection is a cornerstone requirement in gaining a UKGC gambling license, as required by many other authorities. When researching an online casino for trust and integrity, consider the quality of the website build. Does it use SSL encryption, for example, and at what strength, 128 – 256 bit or more? Data encryption prevents potential hackers from stealing such information as credit card numbers, login credentials and personal data. Typically, an online casino will use 256 bit or even 512 bit in some instances.
The overall quality of a casino is a significant indicator of its trustworthiness. If it looks shakey, then why risk your money any more than you should? Besides, if an online gambling venue does not appeal, or meet your needs and standards in game range and quality, customer service availability and platform features, you don’t need to know if you can trust it. With that being said, here are the main areas you should focus on when assessing the quality of an online casino operation:
Casino software and licenses
The quantity and quality of the games offered by an online casino will, in most cases, significantly influence a players decision whether to open an account. If we like to play progressive jackpot slots or speciality games, finding casinos that provide these types of games in abundance would be one of the first things we look for in a casino. Quality and variety are essential metrics too since one of the primary reasons people play casino games is to be entertained.
Beyond game entertainment, having an extensive collection and variety of high-quality games is also a very accurate indicator of an online casino pedigree. For instance, if a casino develops their house games, like 888 casinos, this requires a substantial investment. Almost all of them, however, license software from third-party software providers. Casino software providers power much of the functionality of a gambling website. In addition to games, they may also provide site security, payment mechanisms, marketing and customer service support etc.
As you might image, casino software licences don’t come cheap, and some providers are better than others. Here are the top software providers in the industry:
Online casinos that use top software providers are making a sizeable long-term investment and are unlikely to be scamming the public. We can also assume that the software providers themselves are keen to maintain a reputable image and are unlikely to provide services to any site or organisation that is not 100% legitimate.
Entertainment and functional features
Casino websites invariably tend to emphasise functional and entertainment features to differentiate themselves from the competition, as in most industries. In Casinoland, this manifests in many ways. An online casino may, for instance, focus their efforts on branding and site design. Others may introduce gamification features that allow account holders to play a storyline game while playing casino games. On the other hand, others will offer free play games to help players practice before playing for real money.
These are just a few examples of the numerous features a casino might typically deploy to appeal to their target audience. Either way, incorporating advanced functionality requires time, effort and money. Online fraudsters are not interested in long-term profitability, only short-term gain. Therefore, incorporating additional or advanced site functionality indicates the casino site deploying such assets has first the financial means to do so. Secondly, they are both ethical and trustworthy.
Casino gambling apps
The demand for mobile casino apps has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years. In 2021, it is estimated that there are as many players using a mobile app as there are those using a desktop to play casino games online. Pre 2014, building and maintaining a mobile app version of a gambling website was a considerable investment, especially since an individual app for all the major operating systems was needed, particularly iOS and Android.
Today, a few well established online casino still offer mobile casino app downloads via Google Play, the App Store, and directly from the casino site. Since 2014, however, casinos have primarily moved over to HTML 5 browser-based mobile casino, which is supremely faster and cheaper to deploy. Nowadays, any reputable casino will offer a downloadable app or mobile access through a browser. If it doesn’t, it is better to avoid playing at any casino that doesn’t offer casino games accessible to mobile users.
Casino bonuses, promotions, VIP offers
As previously mentioned, the size of a casino ‘Welcome Bonus’ offers little insight into trustworthiness, since smaller casinos tend to offer larger bonuses to gain customers fast. It’s by far better to look at the type, number and frequency of bonus and promotion offers in its entirety. Precisely, how many different kinds of bonuses does an online casino offer? Is the focus on new, regular or VIP players? And what are the general wagering requirements? Taking a holistic view of a casino bonus strategy provides additional insight into its underlying intentions.
For example, Let’s say a new casino offers a ‘too good to be true’ welcome bonus with high wagering requirements (like x50 or above) and little else. Should you trust this casino? On the other hand, many established and experienced casinos focus on keeping the customers they already have engaged with frequent daily and monthly promotions, loyalty programs, cashback offers, free spins and generous VIP programs.
While it is true that scammers will deploy any strategy to deceive unsuspecting players, including unrealistically high bonus offers, it is also true that reputable operators will often favour long-term gain over short-term results. Assessing the breadth and depth of a platform’s bonus offering can provide some indication of a casino’s stability, but it’s not always a reliable indication.
Customer support service and facilities
The quality of customer support at a casino site speaks volumes. Scammers and fraudulent operators never want to explain themselves while fleecing their customers. In contrast, a trustworthy operator will do everything possible to ensure the best user experience, which means being there for customers when they need help and assistance.
The difference in customer support provision in terms of contact methods, time availability, language support as well as helpfulness and friendliness varies greatly in Casinoland. Here are the primary forms of customer support offered by online casinos globally:
Social Media Messaging.
Support can also be in multiple languages and various working hours in different time zones. As a minimum, we suggest that 24/7 live chat is available in a language you speak.
Before opening an account and depositing funds, it is highly recommended to establish whether the customer support supplied by a casino meets your requirements. The best way to do this is to reach out to customer service services with the questions you have about the casino. Sometimes this may be limited before opening an account. Either way, this will allow you to gauge the staff’s efficiency, timeliness, and helpfulness before moving forward.
An honest and trustworthy casino should always be there for you when you need them. Anything less is substandard. Surprisingly, there are plenty of venues online that provide less than adequate player support.
As you can see, from the information provided above, there are many things a player can do to verify the validity of an online casino. The following chapter sheds light on issues surrounding the online casino. This may help improve your online gambling experience and increase accessibility and potential profitability.
Casino licencing with cryptocurrency casinos is a bit of a grey area. Many hold one from less authoritative jurisdictions such as Costa Rica or Curacao, for instance, or simply do not have one at all. On this basis, you would be right to be sceptical about its legality and legitimacy, especially since cryptocurrency scams do sometimes turn out to be news that receives comprehensive media coverage.
There are, however, a few extenuating circumstances that make this new breed of casino somewhat different from the traditional online casino:
Peer to peer cryptocurrency transactions are not subject to banking regulations;
Central governments do not control Cryptocasinos;
Cryptocurrency casinos on the blockchain do not require third-party game testing since players can audit provably fair games.
Acquiring a gambling licence can be very expensive, particularly from authorities held in high regards such as UKGC or the MGA. Consequently, many new blockchaincasinos cut costs by licencing with a less expensive authority or bypass the process altogether. Contrary to the standard rules governing fiat currency casino, it should be noted that not all unlicensed, or barely licenced crypto gambling sites are scams or untrustworthy. Some simply choose not to license for the reasons mentioned above.
At Gamblescope, we would urge players not to write off a bitcoin or cryptocurrency casino completely, but exercise more caution and diligence in the safe casino discover process.
Geo-location and VPNs
In your pursuit of finding the ultimate online gambling destination, you may find that you reside in a jurisdiction that the casino doesn’t support. Geo-location uses your IP address to establish the country you are in currently. If a casino doesn’t support payers from your country of residence, you will land on a page that says something like ‘We do not support players in your country’.
There are indeed ways around this problem for players determined to circumnavigate this restriction. Commonly, VPNs mask your current location’s actual IP address and replace it with one that will give you access to the online casino you wish to use. There are many VPN’s on the market you can use, such as:
Private Internet Access;
A Word of Caution when using VPNs
Before you go ahead and use a virtual private network (VPN) to circumnavigate player restrictions, we urge you to consider the following. Whilst bypassing Geo-location protocols is possible utilising a VPN, problems can arise when in the personal verification process prior to depositing and withdrawing funds. You are essentially breaking the terms and conditions of service by using a VPN to mask your location. Even if you manage to log in and play games, there is no guarantee you can withdraw winnings since the casino will have the right to block such transactions due to false declaration.
RTP, House Edge and Variance
A basic understanding of "Return to Player Percentage" (RTP) and game Variance will help you be more profitable when playing real money games at an online casino. If you don’t yet understand the concepts of Variance and RTP, here is a basic summary:
Return to Player Percentage (RTP)
RTP is the average percentage a casino game pays out for every 100 currency units wagered. RTP is displayed as follows – RTP 97.5%.
This means that for every $100 gambled, the game pays out $97.5
However, note that this does not mean that if you stake $100, you are guaranteed to receive $97.5 back. The percentage is calculated over 1000’s of games, so you might win more or less as every game has an equal chance of winning the jackpot.
The House Edge
The house edge is the percentage a casino stands to profit, on average, on every casino game and is the complete opposite of RTP.
So, if RTP is 97.5%, the House edge must be 2.5% (100 – 97.5 = 2.5)
This means that for every $100 gambled, the house (casino) will win $2.5 on average.
Variance relates to the frequency a casino slot pays out over time. Variance can be described as low, medium or high.
Low Variance: Less risk with frequent payouts of lower amounts.
High Variance: More risk with less frequent payouts of higher amounts.
The location from which a person chooses to gamble has a significant influence on potential success and profitability. As previously outlined, the jurisdiction you live dictates which online gambling platforms are accessible from your current location. Furthermore, there is also the issue of gambling taxes. Each country has its own unique attitude, rules, regulations and tax thresholds to gambling.
In some countries, gambling is legal, safe, and occasionally tax-free. Others may impose high taxes on winnings if it is not altogether illegal or restricted. In almost all countries, gambling in all forms is heavily controlled by national governments. To find out more about gambling in different parts of the world, visit our gambling guides by country list for in-depth geographical reports.
Ten countries where you can gamble online Tax-Free: