When you’re playing at an online casino, it’s important to know that you can trust it in every way. You need to know the games are fair and pay out well, and that your funds and personal information is as secure as possible. These factors are arguably just as, if not more important than casino games with a high entertainment value, and began to be introduced in 1996. They are intended to help keep casino operations transparent so that playing is truly safe for you.
All the online casinos that we showcase for you here are both entertaining and completely trustworthy, of course, and they’ve got all the certifications and credentials to prove it. Understanding what all the certification icons mean is a good idea, just so you know how well you are protected and you know what to look for whenever you’re considering a new online casino.
We’ve explain all the common icons for you here, and if there are other bodies that provide similar certifications we’ve given a few examples of these too. This should give you a good idea of what should always be present on a casino that you’d like to play at. If you don’t see them, think very carefully about playing there at all!
Gambling Control Boards
Gambling Control Boards are also known as casino control boards, gambling boards, gaming commissions and gaming control boards. They are government agencies set up to regulate casinos and other gaming, and to enforce gambling law in general. The rules and regulations cover the auditing, accounting, game set up and other aspects of the casinos. Compliant establishments are licensed, so you can trust that they uphold regulations and that if you have any issues you have recourse by complaining to the control board.
The appropriate Gambling Control Boards must regulate all activities, both online and offline, which are based within a geographical area. In the case of online casinos, they can be accessed and played around the world as long as it is legal in the country that the player is in. New Zealand’s Gambling Act of 2003 prohibits online casinos being operated within the country, so playing at a locally-based site is against the law. However, all overseas-based sites are allowed, and if Kiwis choose one with a respected regulatory board they should be treated well. Some of the most respected gambling control boards, which regulate a lot of the most popular online casinos among New Zealand players, are the Malta Gaming Authority, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
The Malta Gaming Authority
The Malta Gaming Authority, or MGA, controls all gaming activities in Malta. Aside from providing the regulatory framework for these commercially profitable activities, the Malta Gaming Authority also supports industry innovation through networking events and has initiated its own responsible gambling initiatives. Reports on the website and newsletters, which can be mailed to interested parties, ensure maximum transparency.
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission
The United Kingdom Gambling Commission, or UKGC, was established under the country’s 2005 Gambling Act and assumed its full powers in 2007. A non-departmental Gambling Control Board sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, the UKGC is responsible for online and offline arcades, pokies machines, casinos, Bingo halls and lotteries in the United Kingdom, but not for betting which is controlled by other authorities. You may also see legitimate online casinos based in Great Britain that are regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission or the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission.
The Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake is within Canadian borders but is considered sovereign. This means that the online casinos, sportsbooks and Poker rooms that it runs, as well as its 3 land-based Poker rooms, are subject to the regulations of the Kahnawake Gaming Commission or KGC, and not to any Canadian laws. One of the earliest jurisdictions to recognise the potential for online gambling, the KGC has generated benefits for the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.
Gambling is never legal for anyone under the age of 18, and one of the things casinos must do to keep their licences is to require proof that each player is 18 years or older. The most common and easiest way for this to be done online is to have players add their identity numbers when registering their details to become casino members online. The online casino software will then check the identity number supplied against a database, making sure it is valid and that the holder is of gambling age.
You may also be required to supply certified copies of your identity documents before a casino’s legal desk will allow you to play. Whatever measures are in place, the 18+ sign shows that the casino only permits legal-age gambling, and has procedures in place to check the age of everyone who wants to play for free or for real money.
Problem gambling is on the rise, and the issue is increasingly recognised around the world. These 2 factors combined increase the demand for online casinos to provide support to initiatives that help people who are struggling with gambling compulsions and addictions. If you see a sign on the site for GambleAware, GamblersAnonymous, Gamcare or another support resource for problem gamblers, it means that the casino’s operators are trained in identifying and dealing with maladaptive playing behaviour. The casino may also make financial contributions to these worthy institutions, as a sign of their commitment to keeping gambling safe and enjoyable for all.
The body for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, or eCOGRA, is the most well-known and highly-respected independent testing and certification authority in the field of online gambling. Other trusted bodies like eCOGRA include the European Sports Security Agency, Gaming Laboratories International and Technical Systems Testing, or ESSA, GLI and TST respectively. They test and endorse the site’s Random Number Generator and payout percentages, so that you can trust the games you are playing to be fair and relatively rewarding.
SSL Secure Connection
Seeing “SSL Secure Connection” or a similar phrase at an online casino means that the connection between browsers and web servers is totally secure and encrypted. Your personal and financial information cannot be hacked, which keeps it as safe as if you had never gambled online in the first place. There are various SSL encryption levels, but try to choose one that is at least 128-bit for total peace of mind. It’s essential to know that your money is safe when you play!