Online gaming provides a great deal of fun and potential profit, but it’s important to remember that some sites exist solely to steal your money. These are often referred to as “rogue casinos,” and they use a variety of tricks to separate you from your hard-earned cash. Fortunately, measures have been created to allow customers to differentiate between the good and not-so-good establishments. These measures take the form of legitimate gaming certs, and this page is dedicated to familiarizing you with the most common types.
Common Online Casino Security Designations
The next time you visit a blackjack site; check the bottom of the home page for one or more of these safeguards. The more that are present, the better you should feel about depositing your money.
- eCOGRA – Short for “e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance,” the eCOGRA seal of approval is given to casinos that routinely demonstrate fairness, responsible behavior, and safe depositing options. These sites are subject to regular monitoring of their operations to ensure the highest gaming standards.
- Technical Systems Testing Certified – Founded in 1993, this recognized brand provides a range of testing and consulting services to online gaming firms. They ensure that clients meet necessary technical specifications and regulatory requirements. This certificate may also read as “TST Fair Gaming.”
- VeriSign – While it won’t guarantee that the casino is fair, the VeriSign symbol indicates that your personal information is being protected by Distributed Denial of Service Protection and iDefense Security Intelligence Services.
- PricewaterhouseCoopers – Based in London, this is the largest accountancy firm in the world. Bearing a certificate from this company ensures that the financial dealings of the casino are routinely monitored to ensure fairness.
- Software Provider – Casinos do not create their own games. Instead, they pay a software provider to perform this service. The best companies monitor the casinos that use their products to ensure fairness, as a negative reputation can rub off on everyone associated with the offending site. Less reputable brands, meanwhile, could care less what happens once they’ve received their money. If you’re judging the potential fairness of a casino by its game designer, your best bet is to go with one of the following: International Game Technology (IGT), Microgaming, Playtech, and RealTime Gaming (RTG).
- Licensing Country – All blackjack casinos hold a license with a specific country, although some nations are more particular than others. If the license is from Gibraltar, Alderney, the Isle of Man, Malta, or Australia, you can be relatively confident in the site’s legitimacy.
CDC Corporation – This organization allows players to resolve disputes by filling out an online form. It’s available at all casinos that use RealTime Gaming software.
You may notice other designations at the bottom of the homepage such as “100% Safe and Secure” and “Percentage Payouts Are Reviewed by Independent Auditors.” While these are intended to make a player feel more secure, keep in mind that they are not specifically tied to a specific company or governing body. Even a dishonest casino could make such as claim without fear of being called on it.
Common Problems with Rogue Casinos
A rogue casino is defined as any online operation that refuses to abide by the commonly accepted methods for fairness and quality. These sites spring up, bilk as many players as possible, and then close their doors before returning under a different name.
While there are more legitimate sites than rogue operations, it still helps to be vigilant when choosing your next destination for blackjack. I suggest consulting a well-respected casino watchdog site before making your first deposit, but you can also check gambling forums and look for the behavior listed below. If a site is a chronic offender, then you’re better off playing elsewhere.
- Slow Payments – The casino will pay out winnings, but they make the process as difficult and time-consuming as possible.
No Payments – Player winnings aren’t paid. The casino may provide a number of excuses, or they may just sever ties with the player and refuse to communicate further.
- Bogus License Claim – The casino passes itself off as being licensed by a recognizable name such as Gibraltar or the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. In truth, they have no such license.
- Confiscating Winnings – If you win money, the casino simply takes back the cash before payment is issued. They may cite some manner of rules violation, assuming you get any kind of response at all.
- No Response – When you contact the casino about an issue, they choose not to respond. Even if you manage to get a real person on the phone, they can’t or won’t help with your problem.
- Hidden Terms – Gaming rules should be detailed on the terms and conditions page, but these offenders have hidden rules that will only be brought to your attention when it serves the purpose of the casino.
- Spam – Once you’ve submitted your personal information, the casino either uses it to spam you with unwanted calls and emails, or they sell it to a third-party group who does the same. Either way, it’s far beyond annoying.
- Crooked Software – The software does not operate with the use of a random number generator, which means the house edge is even bigger than normal. In many cases, the player has zero chance of winning.
- Using Shills – The casino pays employees to visit the more respected gambling sites and talk about the great experiences they’ve had. The goal, of course, is to draw more unsuspecting flies into their web.
- No Customer Service – The top blackjack sites offer 24/7 customer service to better serve the needs of their clients. Rogue casinos, however, aren’t interested in fixing problems, and some have found that the best way to avoid annoying victims is to simply not list contact information. Or, if it is listed, queries are never responded to.
Legitimate gaming certifications are an immense help to players looking for a fair blackjack session, as they indicate that the establishment is subject to oversight from a third party. Winning at online casinos and card rooms is difficult enough during a fair game, so why waste your time with those who use shady tactics?