Statistics show that 26% of the world population (1.6 billion people) engages in some sort of gambling. In fact, around 4.2 billion people gamble at least once a year. When considering online gambling, statistics show that at least 17% of the world population prefers to gamble online as opposed to visiting a brick-and-mortar casino.
With so many people opting for online gambling over traditional land-based, it’s natural to notice gambling sites cropping up everywhere. Every year, over 3,000 sites are available to online gamblers, with a significant number of these failing.
Because you will be committing your money – a $1,000 a year on average – it’s your responsibility (and, frankly, in your best interest) to know the difference between a good and bad casino. So, how do you choose a trustworthy casino? There are obvious signs, like a site that doesn’t look spammy, but with the advancement in technology, that’s an easy pass for anyone. So how can you choose an online casino you can trust?
Signs of a trustworthy casino
- Check if the casino accepts payments from your country
Some countries do not allow all or some online casinos to operate in their territory, and sometimes, the government doesn’t have the power to restrict operations of some sites. This means that even in countries that limit some casinos, you may still be allowed to register, deposit and play. The headache will hit when you need to withdraw your winnings. In most cases, the casinos need proof of residence to allow money withdrawal. Remember to check this requirement before engaging in gaming.
The smartest thing to do is contact the customer support team before you register and enquire if they accept your country of residence. Make sure you ask many questions about the registration process, depositing and cashouts.
- Gauge if the support team is professional
In the process of finding out if a casino is allowed to operate in your country, be keen to note how professional the support team is when answering your questions. How long does the representative take to answer you? Do they seem knowledgeable or are the answers lean and unsatisfactory?
Generally, a fast support team is a sign of a professional casino. The support team should solve your problem or answer your questions in minutes and not days. Check if the online casino has a 24X7 support team, ideally as a live chat. A casino with only a phone or email service will probably not be available to help you out when you need them.
- Check the casino’s reputation
The operator’s true picture will most likely be known once you play and need to cash out. But online reviews and ratings can give you a good idea of what to expect. Tons of casinos scam their players, but when this happens, players often talk about it with others so they can avoid the trap. For instance, if a casino is not willing to pay out legitimate winnings, they might claim that they had a software glitch and it shouldn’t have happened.
They might also talk about playing through a certain amount of winnings before you cash out, set ridiculous withdrawal limits or stall the withdrawal for days, weeks or months.
Check forums, reviews and social sites to learn the casino’s reputation. If a casino is new, it may take some time to get negative reviews, so this is not the only thing to rely on. Instead, go for older casinos that are not ashamed to show one or two negative reviews.
- Check the licence
A casino licence is an indication that the casino is operated by one of the governments of the world. A license also shows that the casino pays taxes and that citizens who gamble through it also remit taxes to the government.
While taxes are significant for any government, it can also work to your advantage. For instance, if the casino is refusing to pay your winnings, you can turn to the regulator or the license issuer for help. A regulator hears both sides out, and if you are right, the site is forced to make the payment. The casino may even lose its licence.
A reputable online casino in India would know these aspects, and will thus be careful when conducting business to ensure they comply with the rules and regulations. This strategy may not always work because some regulators will not leave their address. In such cases, always make sure all other factors are in place before you decide how trustworthy a casino is.
Obviously, some casinos will always be more generous than others, and if you are lucky, you will get a good deal. Make sure you get a sweet deal when you sign up but also ensure that the deal is reasonable. Check the conditions attached to the signup bonus to make sure they are standard and that you are not trading your mortgage away.
Most online casinos are safe, fun and legal, but it’s always better to run a background check to ensure you are not getting a raw deal.