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How safe and reliable are online casinos?

There’s definitely no shame in being too cautious when it comes to online casinos. You are, after all, playing with your hard earned money. But are they safe and reliable?
Generally, yes. No online casino company would want to lose customers as this would also mean lost profit. But there will always be bad apples. There are a few rogue casinos out there which are in it for the quick kill and vanish as soon as they appeared online.
So how do you know if an online casino is safe? It all boils down to three things: Software, licensing jurisdiction and how long they’ve been operational.
Most (if not all) reliable online casinos are powered by random generating software from any of these companies:
• Wager Works
• Play Tech
• Cryptologic
• Micro Gaming (outside of the US)
• Realtime Gaming
• Net Entertainment (outside of the US)
• Novomatic
• Aristocrat

But these days, a lot of rogue casinos make use of software from Play Tech and Realtime Gaming due to lax licensing policies. So bring in other factors when looking for a reliable online casino to play in.

Licensing jurisdiction

Where the online casino is hosted and their jurisdiction says a lot about an online casino. Casinos, which licensed jurisdictions include Costa Rica, UK, Gibraltar, Alderney, the Isle of Man, Malta, Kahnawake, Netherland Antilles, Antigua and Curacao are generally safe. But still, tread carefully as some of the bad ones are also hosted in these countries.
If, however, an online casino is hosted or includes jurisdictions not mentioned above, err on the side of caution and avoid these casinos at all cost.

How long they’ve been around

Generally, casinos which have been around for more than a few years are probably legitimate as rogue casinos don’t often stick around too long. Small scale shady casinos often run for a couple of months to less than a year when someone finally reports them and get shut down.
A lot of research can go a long way. By checking online reviews on online casinos, you’ll be able to avoid the bad ones and put your money on safer casino choices. There are many resources where you can check the reputation of a particular online casino.
First, you can start by checking if the online casino you want to play is in the blacklist or not. You can go to pages like TheWizard of Odd’s blacklist and Casino Man’s Blacklist to see which online casinos have been reported as scam (or do really bad service. Sometimes, that’s enough to have an online casino blacklisted according to some users).

Second, you can check out forums and communities where you can get feedback and information from seasoned online gamblers on which online casinos are safe and fun to play in and which ones to avoid.
Online casinos are a great alternative to Vegas, if you’re not too keen on spending on airfares, hotel rooms and expensive buffet lunch or dinner. But while they are generally safe, it’s best to do your homework first if you don’t want to see your money go down the proverbial drain.