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1: Does the casino use 128 bit encryption?
We won’t bore you with all of the nerdy details here; suffice it to say, 128 bit encryption software is the same kind of technology that the military uses to encrypt their data; and if it’s good enough to keep the launch codes safe, it’s good enough to keep my home address and mother-in-law’s maiden name secure too. To be fair, there are casinos that don’t use 128 bit encryption software that are still fair operators, but 128 bit is the gold standard. If a casino is willing to pony up the money to pay for the best software you can be pretty sure they’re not running a fly-by-night operation.
2: Do they support third party banking services?
Rogue casinos will almost always insist that you make your deposits via cheque, money order or wire transfer. Reputable casinos, by contrast, will also accept third party services like Neteller and FirePay.
3: Do they open their books to an independent auditor?
The overwhelming majority of safe casinos are routinely audited by a third party. These auditors check to make sure that the games are paying out at the percentage advertised on the web site, and that all of the games are above-board. Some of the more respected auditors in the business include eCogra, PricewaterhouseCoopers, and OPA ( Online Player’s Association).
If a casino is audited by a third party they will invariably put a logo of the auditor on their website, so it won’t take much research on your part to determine if the casino has a contract with an auditor.
NOTE: There are bogus auditors out there; don’t assume that all auditing services are created equal. If the casino has been audited by a firm whose name you don’t recognise it’s probably worth running a quick Google search to learn a bit more about the auditor and their reputation within the industry.
4: Do they use an external vendor’s software?
Rogue casinos love to use proprietary software (that is, software they’ve developed themselves), since it allows them to access the program code and rig the games in favor of the house. For the most part, though, safe casinos don’t use this kind of software; instead, they pay to have a third party provide them with their gaming software.
Some of the more reputable software providers include Playtech, Microgaming, and RTG. If a casino is running software from one of these providers (and there are others with equally good reputations, of course) you should feel perfectly safe playing there. Again, research is important. If you see that the casino is using a brand of software that you don’t recognise, stop and do a quick search. It should only take a couple of minutes to determine if the software is originating from a legitimate provider.
Remember, your online pokie play should never require you to take a walk on the wild side of the Internet. Just make sure the casino at which you’re considering playing satisfies the conditions set forth above, and don’t hesitate to do a spot of research if you have any lingering questions.
By making sure all casinos you play at meet the above standards you’ll be well on your way to establishing a similar track record of safe, secure (and fun!) online play.
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