Are Online Casino Games Legit?
It’s easy to understand an online casino is a business, and so must cover its overheads and make a profit. But that does not mean it is entitled to provide misleading information, illegally interfere with gaming equipment, or misrepresent the casino games it seeks to promote with the intention of gaining an unfair advantage for the casino at the expense of the players. No legitimate online casino operator would risk damaging their reputation in this way. But, as this article will show, there can be risks attached to playing online casino games. Therefore responsible players should remain aware of such risks and get into the habit of taking certain safety precautions.
Is the online casino licensed and audited?
Gambling is regulated by law in the vast majority of countries across the world. Therefore those who operate gambling sites must hold a license to do so. All reputable online gambling sites, such as JackpotCity, are of course aware of this requirement. And more importantly, a trustworthy and properly regulated site will also understand that potential customers will be keen to check that such important formalities have been observed. So it is in everyone’s interest to see that licensing details are clearly posted in a prominent position on gambling websites. That will give potential new customers confidence that they are dealing with a responsible online casino.
Online casinos in Canada are most likely to be accredited by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, a regulatory body with a worldwide reputation. And in addition to licensing, reliable gambling sites should also be able to demonstrate that their gaming systems and business practices are of a high standard. This usually means that an online casino is regularly audited by a body such as eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance), a London-based internationally approved testing agency whose focus is on player protection and maintaining consistent industry standards. So for website operators, eCOGRA certification is vital proof that their gaming is conducted fairly.
Does the site use trusted banking methods?
When you participate in online gaming you will, of course, be making account deposits, placing bets, collecting prize payouts and much more. So before doing that, you will want to be sure that your chosen online casino operator has a broad choice of online banking methods you can trust to process such online financial transactions. For instance, gamblers in Canada should be able to find a number of familiar brand names which are commonly available right across the world. So does your preferred online casino have the support of banking entities such as Visa, MasterCard, Visa Electron, Maestro, PayPal, paysafecard, NETELLER, InstaDebit, Instant Banking and EntroPay? And can you see familiar logos displayed to prove it?
Should you spot any unfamiliar names, these could possibly be more country-specific facilities. However, the only way to be sure about unusual banking options is to check these out via your own trusted bankers. It goes without saying you should do this before you use the site, and if you are left in any doubt at all, the best course of action is always to choose an alternative banking method, or alternatively, choose another gaming provider altogether.
The Random Number Generator
A random number generator is a chip or software program which employs mathematical algorithms to create a continuous stream of random numbers. In online casino games, it’s randomness which guarantees fairness. Nevertheless, urban myths imply casinos can somehow manipulate an RNG sequence to their own advantage. It’s important to understand online casino RNGs are frequently audited, and that it would require the examination of billions of instances to discern any pattern. Even with the requisite knowledge and a database to conduct experiments, no one would have enough time to predict the next winning number in an RNG-governed roulette game!
Consider also that online casinos need their RNG facility to be unpredictable. Otherwise, if such information got into the hands of unscrupulous players, the casino could go bankrupt overnight. Provided you play at a regulated online casino where auditing and testing take place, there is no need to worry.
Documented Rigging Examples
It is known that disreputable companies have been caught rigging slot games to produce frequent ‘near miss’ jackpot results in order to coax players to keep spending on a game. During the 1980s, the American Coin company were found to have altered some gaming machines so that top jackpots would never pay out. Around 1,000 of their machines were confiscated and this large-scale organised cheating eventually cost the company more than $1 million in fines.
In 2007, Absolute Poker, a Quebec-based Canadian company, were discovered to be setting up fake tournaments. Through administrative incompetence, a detailed spreadsheet documenting tournament play fell into the hands of a suspicious participant, who realised that regular tournament prize money was being illegally awarded to two company principals. Further investigations revealed an accomplice was also able to see the cards all other players were holding. The scam is estimated to have enabled Absolute Poker to steal between $500,000 and $1,000,000 from legitimate players.
– Install anti-virus software, and keep it updated. Avoid downloading gambling software to your PC unless you are certain you can trust the source website.
– Only play on secure sites which encrypt your information. Such sites will have an ‘https’ address and display a padlock security icon.
– Create a secure password and don’t share it with anyone.
– Always read a website’s terms and conditions, and avoid setting up multiple accounts for your online casino gameplay.
– When you explore an unfamiliar site or try out new games for the first time, play for free until you are sure you understand the rules and are completely familiar with the website.
– Don’t consider gambling, especially for real-money stakes, if your judgement is affected e.g. through excess consumption of alcohol.
– Never gamble with money you are not in a position to lose. Like any other form of entertainment, you should set yourself a budget beforehand, and stick to that commitment.
– Never attempt to continue gambling just to win back your losses. This is a very risky strategy which could get you into serious debt.