In 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic developed, cities went under lockdowns and people had to comply with social distancing measures to contain the spread of the virus. This led to most land-based casinos being shut down, and online casinos became an attractive alternative for online punters.
Since their emergence, in the late 1990s, online casinos were never seen as their brick-and-mortar counterparts, and many people feared being scammed or defrauded while playing on these websites. But with security advancements in the last few years, the development of new protocols and encryptions, and the constant auditing performed by governing bodies, online casinos are safer than ever.
From licensing regulations to data protection, there are several factors that contribute to a casino website being secure. These features are extremely important to grant players online safety and anonymity, but they also help ensure fairness and unpredictability in online casinos.
Some of these sites even started accepting cryptocurrencies as a form of payment, due to their decentralized structure, which makes for quicker and safer transactions, and for being virtually unhackable.
Thanks to these enhancements, many companies now provide a huge variety of trustworthy gaming sites, and players can choose from different selections of games and bet limits. But there are a few important aspects to look for when playing on an online casino.
Licensing and auditing
Every online gambling company must present the correct gambling licensing from reputable organizations, which guarantees constant regulation by an official agency. Online gambling licenses are granted by gambling regulators, which usually are government bodies dedicated to monitoring and maintaining fairness and security in these websites. Most online casinos and betting agencies are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority or the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, both public agencies from their respective governments.
To keep its license, an online casino must meet specific requirements, including responsible gambling policies and financial regulations, and undergo constant audits by third party agencies. These audits ensure there aren’t security flaws, payment and money storage issues, or unfair games and irregular random number generators. Random number generators are the algorithms that decide the outcome of online casino games, except those with live dealers, and must always generate fair and unpredictable results. Regulated online casinos must use a hash algorithm called SHA-3, which prevents rigging and hacking, and must be tested on a regular basis.
The audits and tests are conducted by companies like eCOGRA, the eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, an internationally recognized testing agency and standards organization. The company was founded in 2003, and has been a certification body for the industry since then. It complies with ISO and IEC regulations and norms, and has been awarded the United Kingdom Accreditation Service.
Game developers are also an important factor when choosing an online casino. Companies like Microgaming and Play N Go, which have been on the market for some years, are recognized as trusted developers and provide fair and secure online casino games.
Payment and security
Online casinos must conduct their payment transactions through trustworthy platforms like PayPal or PaySafeCard, using the latest security protocols to protect funds and personally identifiable information.
There are many other protocols and security standards that regulated casino websites must employ. From deposits to withdrawals, all transactions must be completely secure by using the highest levels of SSL encryption and RSA data protection technologies, therefore making it impossible to be intercepted by malicious subjects.
Most reputable online casinos now use two-step verification processes to prevent unauthorized access and data breaches. These websites must also provide players with financially secure environments by keeping funds segregated; players’ funds must be separated from casino operational funds. Responsible gaming policies are evaluated as security standards as well, as online casinos should ensure players with gambling issues are protected from playing.
Since the emergence of cryptocurrencies, many iGaming operators now accept these currencies as means for deposits. As cryptos are decentralized, which means they are not controlled by a central governing body, their conversion is quicker than conventional deposits, and often present fewer fees and taxes. Bitcoin is the most popular cryptocurrency in these websites, but there are a few that accept different cryptos, like Litecoin and Ethereum. With traditional currencies, deposits would take days to be completed, and withdrawals could be charged with feest up to 20% of the total amount. But when making deposits with cryptocurrencies, these fees are much lower, and funds are made available almost immediately.