There was a time in the history of online casinos when things were not as rosy as they are today. In the early days, the industry was beset with issues pertaining to online safety, fraudulent behaviour, and unfair gaming. The tables only began to turn when passionate gambling professionals collaborated with gambling regulators to set higher standards. Today’s multitude of reputable online gambling sites is thanks to strict licencing protocols. However, even today, it is possible to come across online casinos without a license.
The Similarities are Striking
An online casino operating without a licence looks almost exactly like a licenced casino. The layout of the site, the design, and the graphics will look professional. The quality of the overall effect may appear lower than a licenced site, however; it is unlikely that a player will be able to tell the difference. An unlicenced site will likely make a big song and dance about their welcome bonus and they will try to distract players will grand promises regarding how much they could win. Players need to look past the smoke and mirrors and pay close attention to the terms and conditions. An unlicenced site is highly likely to make it impossible for a player to actually walk away with any winnings when playing with bonus funds. This could be down to ridiculous wagering requirements, extremely tight time limits, deposit limits, and payment methods.
Another big difference between licenced and unlicenced sites is the selection of games. At first glance, the games will seem legitimate. However, an unlicenced site is unlikely to be able to offer casino games from any of the licenced and reputable software providers that power the industry. The quality of the games on offer is likely to be significantly lower, and there can be no guarantee of fair play. Players could find themselves spending a huge amount of money placing bets that they will never be able to win – and it will have nothing to do with luck.
Do Your Homework
Regulators, which you can read about if you follow this link, keep a close eye on all the new casino sites hitting the market, but some sites do still slip the net. The onus is on you, therefore, to ensure that any casino you sign up to is fully licenced and regulated. The good news is that it is surprisingly easy to check the licencing credentials of an online gambling site. Scrolling to the bottom of a casino’s homepage, you should be able to see the logo of whichever licencing board has licenced the site. The details of the licence should also be displayed at the end of the page. If you have any doubts about the legitimacy of the logo or licence details, you can head to the licencing board’s website and use their search function to confirm that the casino is listed.
The importance of a gambling licence cannot be stressed enough. The regulator responsible for issuing the licence is also responsible for ensuring that an online casino plays by the rules. And should a player run into any problems with their online casino, such as failure to payout a jackpot, they can turn to the regulator for help. The main European gambling regulators to look out for are the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), the Swedish Gambling Authority, and the Gibraltar Gambling Commission.
As we’ve already said, the state of the gambling industry today is so much better than it was twenty years ago. Much has been done, and continues to be done, by professionals within the gambling industry to combat fraudulent behaviour and unlicensed sites. But it is important not to be complacent when it comes to online safety.