Regulated Online Casinos that are Safe to Play At
The internet is a weird and wonderful place. Where else can you play poker against eight people playing in eight different time zones? Or place bets at a licensed casino located on the other side of the world from the comfort of your living room couch? On the other hand, it's a bit scary, as you are sending your money to some unknown entity and might be unsure about whether or not you'll get anything in return. That's why we're here to review the sites for you and share only safe and regulated online casinos in 2020.
The Importance of Choosing a Licensed and Regulated Casino
If you were to play at an unlicensed online casino, you would have no guarantees of ever seeing your winnings. Unregulated sites might keep your money, rig the games, or they could be shut down by a regulatory body, and your funds could be seized. The first thing you should do when you go to a new site is to scroll down to the footer of the website and see if there is a watermark stating the regulator that they are operating under. Also, some of the governing bodies have searchable websites so you can look up the online casino to be double sure. Here's a list of some regulatory bodies you will come across that you can trust.
- UK Gambling Commission - Casinos that provide online gambling in Great Britain will need to be licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. The UKGC is the largest online gambling regulatory body.
- Malta Gaming Authority - Next in size is the Malta Gaming Authority, providing licensing to online casinos throughout Europe. As one of the first commissions to provide safe and secure online gambling, the MGA is well-known and highly respected.
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission - The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the only regulatory body in Canada that can accept players from anywhere in Canada and countries from around the world. While a few provinces have provincially licensed sites, those sites can only accept players from their respective provinces, so players from other parts of the country and the USA will have to look elsewhere.
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission - With its business-friendly tax laws, the Isle of Man is a hotbed for online casinos and gambling software providers. Although the island is small in size, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission oversees many sites and is completely above board.
Warning Signs of a Bad Online Casino
- Hard to Contact - The best safe online casinos are very responsive and have 24/7 means of communication. It's a sign of a bad site if they don't offer live chat or some kind of contact info like a phone number or email and if they take forever to get back to any of your queries.
- Missing or Empty Pages - If a site can't take the time to have a fully developed website, they are likely not safe to play at. Go through each page like the FAQs, promotions, providers, and about us sections, and if any are missing or incomplete, be very cautious.
- Few Reported Winners - Legitimate casinos love to show off how much money they've given away and how frequently the jackpot is won on their site. If there are no reported winners, it could be that the site is just new, but if the site has been around for a while with no jackpots ever being won, that would be highly suspect.
Safe and Responsible Gambling Tips
Now that we've covered what to look for in a safe online casino and how to spot bad sites, it's time to talk about what YOU can do to protect yourself when you do find a licensed site.
- Stick to Your Budget - The saying goes, "Know your limit and stay within it." Have a weekly or monthly budget category for gambling, and don't dip into other categories once you've used it up. And, of course, never view online gambling as a means to make money, but rather a means of entertainment.
- Clear Your Head - Never play if you're overtired or you risk making mistakes and losing count of how much you've spent. Also, set a time limit so that you can step back and objectively assess your situation. Those spinning wheels on a slot machine can be mesmerizing, but remember that you're playing them, not the other way around.
- Know Your Stuff - Go into online gambling with as much info as possible. If you want to play baccarat or poker, be sure you know the rules first. Research and keep in mind the odds of each game. Know that games like slots or keno have much higher house edge than games like blackjack or video poker. Also, if you are playing slots, look up the return to player (RTP) on the machine you want to play - the higher the RTP, the better. This is not always listed, but the best sites will have no reason to hide it from you.
Use No Deposit Bonuses to Test New Sites
Before you commit to spending money on an online casino, use no deposit deals on new-to-you regulated sites. This will give you a better feel for the site than just poking around the website, and you can learn a bit more about how the games play and how the casino operates. There will be no deposit promotions for new and existing players at all the safe sites, so look for free spin deals, bonus cash, and free play promos.
The top priority in using the internet for online gambling is to make sure you are protected. That's why it is advisable to only go to licensed sites like the safe online casinos that we promote here. Make sure you have a gameplan going into it by setting limits for yourself and thoroughly reviewing each site by using no deposit bonuses before you risk your money.