Safest Online Gaming Sites
Safe gaming sites aren't as rare as some people like to make. Yes, there are bad apples out there, but if you do your research, everything will be fine. The key is to join sites that are established and thoroughly reviewed.
Staying safe in online gambling is kind of like staying safe in a big city. As long as you stay out of the bad parts of town, you should be able to go about your daily life without any trouble. Continuing that analogy, the following sites would be considered the exclusive gated community of any major city:
TopBet has one of the best reputations around when it comes to safety. They have a wide variety of deposit options and a customer service team to make sure you're secure.Read Review
WinPalace definitely makes a case for being the safest gaming site. They offer their players many different deposit options and they have fast and reliable withdrawals.Read Review
With being in the US market, there are always a lot of questions about legality. BetOnline never seems to have any problems with it though and have kept customers safe.Read Review
Play your games at these sites and life will be easy. You won't have to worry about delayed payouts, unfair games or unsecure software. In total, these sites have decades of experience in running real money games and paying winners.
How to Identify Safe Sites
From the perspective of an absolute newbie, finding a safe site must feel like finding one person in a crowded bar. Everywhere you turn, there are loud banners, flashing advertisements and claims that "we're the best!" It's a problem because anyone can set up a website and make those types of claims.
You can cut down the noise by taking a look at a few of the gaming sites that you see often. If you look at a few different review websites, you'll start to see some names pop up more than others. That doesn't necessarily guarantee that those sites are safe, but it does give you a good starting point for more research.
For example, you can take a look at any of the websites mentioned near the top of this page. These are not obscure, unknown gaming sites; these are some of the biggest names in the industry. However, a big name alone isn't always enough.
When you have a list of big name gaming sites, you can do a little checking up on those sites. Run a few Google searches and see what kind of press those sites receive. Do they get mostly positive reviews? Do they accept players from your part of the world?
I would also recommend checking a few discussion forums and running a search inside those forums for the names of big gaming sites. With some of these more well-known brands, the odds are good you'll find dozens of threads about those sites. Use discussion forums as a resource to see what real players have to say.
There are 4 key features that we like to look for when researching safe gaming sites:
- Low number of player complaints
- Fast cashouts
- No predatory terms and conditions
- No history of scandals
Every casino in the world is bound to have some player complaints. You can't make 100% of the people happy 100% of the time. But, there's a difference between a few scattered complaints and an avalanche of complaints. When you see way too many player complaints, it's time to dig a little deeper.
Speedy withdrawals are a must-have when it comes to real money gambling. Online casinos, poker sites and sportsbooks may hold your money for you, but it's still your money. They have no good reason to keep your money a minute longer than necessary.
The only leeway I'm willing to give a gaming site is if the player lives in a hard-to-service area. For example, players in the United States are accustomed to waiting a couple weeks for their withdrawals thanks to strong anti-gambling banking laws.
No Predatory Terms and Conditions
Every gaming site in the world has a page somewhere on its website devoted to listing the terms and conditions. These terms cover everything from the bonus rules to the withdrawal rules. It's important to read through this page carefully because some gambling sites like to throw in tricky little clauses that cause problems for players.
For example, there was a bingo site a while back that had a rule that stated - the player must have made a deposit within the last week before any withdrawal is allowed.That kind of stuff is unacceptable and is meant as nothing more than a cheap way to hold YOUR money hostage. Don't play at sites that have predatory terms and conditions.
No History of Scandals
Word travels fast when a gaming site suffers a major scandal. Back in 2007, for example, a big scandal was uncovered at Absolute Poker in which employees of the poker site were using administrative access to see players hole cards and steal their money. The poker site tried to cover it up at first, but word got out and the site never fully recovered.
Quality sites should not have a history of big scandals. They should have security locked down and their employees in line. It's one thing if a gaming site has a minor security issue that causes problems (look at how much damage hackers do in the banking industry), but it's a whole other issue if you find out that the site was in on the scandal and/or tried to cover it up.
Safe Gambling Practices
Everything covered so far has focused outwards. As important as that is, it is equally important that you practice safe gambling practices for yourself. The number one rule for safe gambling is to only play with money that you can afford to lose. If you always follow that rule, you will never have one of those "wow, I wish I didn't do that" moments.
Gambling only with money you can afford to lose goes a long ways in keeping it all fun and lighthearted. You can even experience worst case scenario luck and lose everything and you'll still be able to shake it off. Nothing is guaranteed in gambling, so always play with money that isn't set aside for bills, groceries, college tuition or any other purpose.
Second, don't be afraid to take your business elsewhere if you don't like the service you're getting at your current gaming site. Even if it's nothing more than a vague sense of concern, you can easily try your luck somewhere else. There are hundreds of casinos on the internet that would love to have your business.
Third, always keep an antivirus installed on your computer and only log in to your accounts from home. Don't gamble on public WiFi or at internet cafes.
And finally, stay away from third-party software that claims to have secret cheats for online gambling. It would be great to find a way to one-up the casino, but that kind of software is always either a rip-off or a scam for your financial information. If anybody has such software, you can be sure they aren't selling it for $19.99 on some cheesy website.