At RealMoneyOnlineCasinos.com, we put a lot of effort into finding safe, trustworthy gambling sites for our readers.
However, there comes a time when you’ll have to appraise a gambling site for yourself. Perhaps we won’t have written a review of one you’re interested in, or perhaps you’ll just stumble across a gambling site one day and wonder if it’s legit.
In this guide, we’re going to teach how to find trusted gambling sites and avoid the cons. You won’t quite be ready to join our review team after reading this, but you’ll be better-informed than you were before. Let’s dig in!
What to Look for in Trustworthy Gambling Websites
Trustworthy gambling websites aren’t that difficult to find once you know what you’re looking for. The main problem is that there’s a deluge of scam sites and rogue operators covering up the gems. You’ve got to dig around in the dirt a little to find the safe gambling sites worth playing at, but it won’t take too long to uncover one.
Here’s a checklist to keep in mind when you’re on the hunt for new gambling sites.
Gambling sites with valid gaming licences are always more reliable and trustworthy than sites without one. Think about it: if a regulator is watching the conduct of a casino or betting site closely, randomly checking to make sure the games are fair, and holding the operator to the regulations they agreed to abide by, it’s more likely that they’ll play fair.
That’s not to say that every gambling site without a valid license is rogue. There are honest operators who play by the rules of libertarianism: treat the players right to beat the competition. However, they’re rare exceptions, and most gambling sites without iGaming licences should raise a red flag in your mind.
This is especially true of gambling sites that previously had a gaming license and lost it. You have to ask why. Regulators aren’t keen to kick gambling sites to the curb because they gain revenue from every license fee. If a gambling website has lost its license that’s not a good sign. We’d make it a rule of thumb that this disqualifies the site from consideration.
Some reputable iGaming licences include:
- The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
- Curacao iGaming
We’d say this list goes in order of reputability. The UKGC license is the golden ticket and the others are legit but not as strict.
If you’re dealing with United States gambling sites, it’s much more like the Wild West and is a largely unregulated environment for players from most states. In that case, gambling licences to look out for include:
- Curacao iGaming
- Costa Rica
Some players would argue the last two licences on this list aren’t worth the paper they’re written on. We won’t comment on that other than to state it. That’s why it’s important to consider other factors other than the iGaming licences.
Software Providers and Games
It’s a fact of life that brands matter a lot. Therefore, big brands with global businesses command a lot of truth and won’t erode that trust for a quick buck. You won’t find legit casino games powered by operators like NetEnt and Playtech at scam gambling sites run by digital pirates.
When we’re writing our reviews, the quality and trustworthiness of the games and the software providers behind them is the next thing we look at. It should always be high on your list of things to consider, too.
Keep in mind that we’re not talking about the types of game on offer. Most trusted gambling sites offer slot machines, keno, blackjack, roulette, etc. What we’re looking at here is the brands behind the games.
For players in the UK, Canada, and Europe, some of them most trustworthy casino games companies include:
And for players from the USA, Australia, and elsewhere, some of the best brands to trust include:
- Realtime Gaming
We’re not saying this is an exclusive list. There are other trustworthy casino games companies out there, and many of them will become established global brands within a few years. However, for now, we view new gaming companies with a degree of suspicion. We’ve seen too many fly-by-night iGaming companies come online, rob players blind, and disappear back into the void.
If a gambling site also publishes its payouts and these are verified and audited by a third-part such as eCogra that’s a positive sign. Casinos often publish payouts and link to them in the footer of their website. If you’re unsure, ask the customer support team for further information about this.
Reading gambling site terms and conditions is about as fun as pulling teeth or watching paint dry. There’s a reason lawyers are paid so much; what they do is mind-numbing, and you’d almost need a legal dictionary to unpack some of it.
Terms and conditions you want to pay attention to include:
Account Closure – Some rogue gambling sites can suspend you for arbitrary reasons or no reason at all. If they reserve the right to close your account or limit it because you win too much or at their discretion, be careful. How do you know they won’t freeze it after a big win and you’ll never be able to access what’s rightfully yours?
Bonus Terms – Fair gambling sites offer fair bonuses that give you a realistic chance to keep what you win. Look for bonuses with small minimum deposits, low wagering or rollover requirements, and reasonable minimum bets as a good sign. If the rollover requirements are 40x or more, the minimum deposit is hundreds of dollars, and all manner of games and bets are excluded in the small print, think twice before playing.
Appeals & Disputes – You should always have the right to appeal and dispute any decision taken by a gambling website. Legit gambling sites will hand disputes off to a third-party who specialized in mediation. If they handle everything in-house, you can expect them to put their own financial interests first every time. Don’t trust a gambling site that doesn’t work with an independent mediator in the case of complaints.
Banking & Payouts – All gambling sites are quick to take your deposits, but some of them are reluctant to act with such haste when it comes time to pay winners. Make sure the payout times are fast, the fees are low or at least reasonable, and the minimum withdrawals are realistic. The banking policies are one of the most important clues in your attempt to find trusted gambling sites.
Summary and Conclusion
This isn’t a complete list of everything you should consider when assessing gambling sites for yourself. We always encourage you to read our gambling site reviews for detailed information on the sites we’ve covered.
If you’re not sure what else you should be thinking about, the detailed information in our reviews will point you in the right direction. You could even make a checklist based on our reviews and conduct them for yourself.
Good luck, and remember that playing at trustworthy gambling sites is essential. There’s no point in betting if you don’t have a fair chance to win.