Why Gambling Licenses and Casino Certificates Matter?

Gambling on the internet seems to be common practice these days. With new and exciting opportunities for improving your gambling experience, placing wagers online at various gambling platforms seems to be the way forward. What's more, the iGaming industry has certainly grown exponentially in the past few years. What was considered a seedy industry is now one of the most lucrative, with players from all over the world accessing their favourite casinos directly from their PC, laptop or mobile device.

Due to an influx of players and to meet the ever-growing demand, more and more online casinos are being launched regularly. When, in the past, just a few big brands were prominent in the industry, today the competition is so stiff that online casinos have to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Players can change their minds in an instant, and what could have been a depositing player can quickly turn into a lost cause. Casinos have to keep the attention of their new and existing players and the next big brand is just a click away. Based on this, gambling platforms are required to pass certain strict and stringent requirements to operate and accept depositing players.

Due to the popularity of the iGaming industry, these measures are tighter than ever. The industry is now highly regulated by various governments and jurisdictions around the world. It is unlikely that you will come across a fully-functional online casino that does not feature some kind of gaming license. That said, there are certain signs, logos and even red flags to look out for if you are concerned about playing at an online casino. Whether it is an issue of safety, security or just if you are getting a fair deal while playing, we cover all of these issues and more in our in-depth guide below.

Casino Licensing

Many of the leading online casinos hold a license from reputable government agencies to ensure legal gameplay on their platform. That said, players do not often understand what these licenses mean and how it affects their gaming experience.

The main reason online casinos seeks out licenses is that it allows the casino site to operate legally within a particular territory. As money is being exchanged, and because online gambling is still considered illegal in many countries, casinos must operate legal platforms to get players. While online casinos are essentially remote, its business operations must still be based somewhere.

Casinos must also be legal to accept players from specific countries. That said, almost all governments required operators to be regulated and taxed to supply it with a license. Without a valid gambling license from the jurisdiction in which the casino operates, will have an operating casino face stiff legal action and may even risk being shut down. In the worst cases, casino operators could face prosecution. Based on this, many online casinos look to obtain a license long before live operation commences.

As mentioned above, casino licenses also allow for players of a particular market to have access to the site. The online gambling regulations vary among countries and casino operators must consider this before applying for a particular license. In some cases, governments do not allow their citizens to gamble at a casino without a license in its particular jurisdiction.

Therefore, casino operators must consider getting numerous licenses to allow more players access to their site. Other governments are not as strict and are more lax about their rules and regulations regarding online gambling. That said, casino operators must take the time to consider exactly what license they require and why and include this in their marketing strategy. Ultimately, failure to obtain any license will put the casino at risk of being shut down while the operators could face stiff penalties and even prosecution.

Another reason for gaining a license is to make the casino more attractive to international players. A license from a reputable jurisdiction means more players will trust an online casino, but these licenses also come at a higher cost and feature stricter rules and regulations that the casino must comply with. This means that players have more faith in the casino and that its games and operations are safe and fair at all times.

On the other hand, some jurisdictions simply see iGaming as a means to make a profit, therefore issue licenses at a high price. If an online casino can pay this fee, they have no problem issuing or retaining licenses, offering no protection to its players. Therefore, choosing the right online casino is based on numerous factors, not just whether it has a license or not. A respectable online casino will make sure to offer the best services as they understand the value of new and existing customers.

Finally, licenses are obtained for convenience. Just because an online casino has a license in a particular jurisdiction, does not mean its entire operation and business model needs to be based there, just its regulated server. That said, there are benefits to having everything in one location. For example, if anything goes wrong with the server, it can be sorted out quickly and more efficiently, while problems with any other department can be handled effectively way as well.

Ultimately, the cost of having everything in one place is more affordable than having numerous licenses across the world. This is also more beneficial and convenient for online casinos with land-based venues within a particular jurisdiction as it would be easier to get an online license in this way as they will already have a relationship with local gambling regulators.

Most Common Casino Licensing Jurisdictions

Licensing jurisdictions can be a complex matter for new players to grasp. There are a few governments issuing gambling licenses that are regulated, legitimate and thorough, while others are simply keen to collect the money it takes to buy the license. That said, most of the most popular and common jurisdictions have an associated organisation that handles the legal and regulatory matters required to obtain the license. Some jurisdictions are excessively strict, while others are more relaxed. Not all licenses are created equally and jurisdictions will have different standards for licensing and regulation.

As a player, it is always a good idea to understand the laws related to online gambling in your country before attempting to join any iGaming platform. You don't want to break the laws of your country without even realising it. It may also be helpful to do some research on specific regulatory practices in various jurisdictions and how they impact on your preferred casino so you can make the best decision. The casino licensing should be readily available on its website, usually in the footer, in the About Us section or in the terms and conditions.
Let's look at some of the most popular and credible gambling authorities that offer licenses to online casinos across the world.

Gibraltar

Gibraltar is one of the best-known jurisdictions for online gambling. It has been providing licenses to online casinos all over the world since 1998, making it one of the longest-running authorities as well and one of the first regions to offer this service. Gibraltar is home to many of the biggest and most renowned online casinos in the UK and around the world and operates from the small British-controlled offshore territory.

Gibraltar forms part of the European Union and is often regarded as one of the most stringent and thorough jurisdictions in the world. It also forms part of the UK Gambling Commission-issued 'whitelist', which allows all online casinos featuring a Gibraltar license to operate and accept players from the UK.

Due to the popularity and reputation of Gibraltar, many betting and gaming sites boasts a license from this jurisdiction and go out of their way to obtain the license and meet the requirements. What's more, any operators featuring a Gibraltar gambling license are also governed and regulated by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority, or the GRA.

To obtain this license, operators must go through a series of very stringent and thorough tests to meet the requirements set out by the GRA. The GRA has put very strict processes in place, which includes thoroughly investigating the eligibility of all possible candidates for this license. Therefore, this is not an easy license to get as the operator must have a proven track record, be in good financial standing and have a business plan in place for future growth and operations.

Furthermore, the Gambling Commissioner will also issue a Code of Conduct that operators must abide by after the license has been granted. This ensures that once the license has been obtained, the operator continues to adhere to the terms and conditions of license-holders. This includes abiding by advertising guidelines and putting data protection schemes in place to protect all its players.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom is one of the most progressive regions in terms of online gambling and as such, the country has one of the most booming iGaming industries. For this growing industry to continue to positively influence the British economy, the UK makes sure that it is extremely well regulated through the UK Gambling Commission. This authority was formed in 2005 under the Gambling Act 2005. It was put into place to regulate commercial gambling in Great Britain, which was becoming a big business in the country.

The act meant casino operators wanting to operate in the UK and advertise in the country must obtain a UK license to legally do so. In 2013, the Gambling Commission also took control of the regulation of the National Lottery. The Commission is an independent authority and public body, which is key when it comes to licensing bodies and is sponsored by the Department of Culture, Media and Sport.

Under this license, casino operators are allowed to operate in the UK and offer online gambling services to UK residents. This is quite different from many other jurisdictions, who allow operators to provide online gambling services to foreign countries but not within the region they are based.

The Commission's main role is to regulate the industry and make sure that gambling sites meet the required standards before and after the license is issued. This includes making sure that gambling is not becoming a problem in the country and that casino sites conduct operations fairly, that underage and vulnerable people are being protected, and that no player is being exploited, scammed or harmed.

The Gambling Commission regulates casinos, gambling software, arcades, betting sites, bingo sites, lotteries and remote gambling within the UK. One caveat is that the Gambling Commission does not take responsibility for any customer complaints and arrangements must be made by the individual gambling operator for third party authorities to handle any disputes.

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is an independent, self-governing island that has ties with the UK. The island itself does not form a part of the UK but offers a safe environment for gambling operators and reputable and fair regulatory practices. Unlike many other countries, the Isle of Man actively encourages the development of the industry and gambling on the island.

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission was formed back in 1962 and has always been involved with licensing and regulatory issues regarding land-based casino operations before including iGaming into its business. While it is also responsible for regulating land-based casinos, it is now also responsible for all online gambling in the Isle of Man. Possessing a license from the Isle of Man means you can operate in the jurisdiction and accept Isle of Man players at your casino site.

Once a casino operator has obtained an Isle of Man license, their job is to maintain the integrity of the license by continuously providing players with a safe and fair platform. That said, the Commission monitors the activity of a casino site to ensure that they are meeting the requirements and abiding by the island's gambling laws.

Kahnawake

If you have not heard of Kahnawake, rest assured that it is a reputable gambling authority. It is an Indian territory based in Quebec, Canada and forms part of the First Nations reserve of the Mohawks. This is the official licensing and regulating authority for the region of Kahnawake, but not the official authority for Canada.

Kahnawake was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to start licensing online gaming sites and seeing the potential it had on the gambling industry as a whole. Because of, Kahnawake is one of the first gambling jurisdictions in the world, having been formed in 1996 for land-based operations and in 1999 for interactive gambling.

In addition to licensing online casinos, The Kahnawake Gaming Commission also looks after sportsbooks, poker rooms and a variety of other online gambling platforms. The Commission prides itself on its stringent and strict requirements for obtaining and retaining a license. Casino operators must adhere to its terms and conditions even after the license has been granted or risk having it evoked.

According to the Kahnawake Gambling Commission, operators must ensure responsible, fair and honest gameplay at all times. Additionally, operators must ensure that all players receive their wins on time and that all player's financial information is safe, protected and confidential. The basic principles of gambling, like no underage or vulnerable players, must also be proven and adhered to.

In addition to offering licenses, The Kahnawake Gambling Commission has also made impressive strides in the gambling industry as a whole. The company has been working closely with other regulatory bodies to make online gambling a safer, smoother and more convenient experience for all players. What makes Kahnawake stand out is that it provides a Logo Certification Program, which means all licensed sites will have a clickable logo on their site, which players can access to read all the terms of the license.

This gives the player peace of mind that the casino is a trustworthy site, which will be highly beneficial to casino operators acquiring new customers. This is not something that every jurisdiction offers, so obtaining a Kahnawake license will surely give your gaming platform an extra boost.

Malta

Malta is another one of the more popular and common licensing authorities in the world. It forms part of the British Commonwealth and the European Union and is an Independent jurisdiction. Malta is also the very first member state within Europe to start regulating online gambling and is one of the largest and most trustworthy gambling jurisdictions in the world.

The Malta Gambling Authority, or MGA, is responsible for all gambling activity in Malta, both land-based and online. The authority is known for its strict and thorough requirements and investigation of all potential applicants before a license is issued. To date, the authority has issued licenses to over 500 gambling sites in Malta. An extra benefit to having a Malta license is that the governing body deals with any complaints from customers as well. If you have an issue or dispute with an online casino or gambling site with a Malta license, you can contact the MGA directly.

The requirements for receiving and keeping a Malta license include protecting minors and vulnerable persons, promoting responsible gambling, safety, security and fairness, safeguarding player's rights and personal information and ensuring a gaming platform that is free from criminal activities like scams and fraud.

Alderney

Alderney is often considered as one of the leading offshore centres in the world for finances. This self-governed region is the third largest of the British Channel Island and boasts one of the world's most thriving and active gambling industries. Many of the casino operators sporting an Alderney license will likely be based in Guernsey, another one of the Channel Islands. The gambling industry is regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, an independent, non-political and unbiased agency that was formed in 2000.

Alderney is well-known as an extremely difficult license to achieve as they have an extremely stringent acceptance process and are quite picky with who they choose. The jurisdiction has also been whitelisted in the UK, which means that gambling operators with an Alderney license can accept players based in the UK. This gives an Alderney license an extra appeal.

The gambling authority has high standards when it comes to licensing and regulating online gambling operators, holding transparency and fairness in high regard. Not only does the jurisdiction offer licenses to operators in the region, but they monitor and supervise operations after the fact to ensure that all player's needs are met safely and fairly.

Curacao

Curacao is another jurisdiction you will often come across at online casinos. The Curacao e-Gaming Licensing Authority was established in 1996 in the Netherlands Antilles and was responsible for regulating land-based operators in the region. In 2002, the agency started including iGaming into its operations as the industry grew to record numbers. The Curacao Internet Gambling Association is in charge of all things iGaming in Curacao. The company ensures that all license seekers meet the requirements and adheres to its Code of Conduct.

All licensees must operate under the Curacao Code of Conduct, which includes a full audit trail, responsible gambling, protection to minors and vulnerable players and regular third-party auditing. To get the license, casino operators must prove to be in good financial standing and refrain from any marketing and advertising practices that go against its regulations. Additionally, the Curacao seal of approval must be displayed on the casino's site, which gives players the peace of mind in knowing that the gambling provider complies to the rules and regulations of the e-gaming authority.

Other popular jurisdictions include:

Antigua and Barbuda

A popular jurisdiction for offshore banking and online gambling, this Caribbean island was the first gambling jurisdiction to offer licenses to iGaming platforms back in 1994. The islands are whitelisted by the UK Gambling Commission, allowing UK residents to play at online casinos with an Antigua and Barbuda license.

Panama

An independent country in Central America, this is one of the largest offshore gambling jurisdictions in the world and offers licenses to casinos, bingo houses, poker rooms and horse racing taking place in the region.

Costa Rica

Another Central American country, Costa Rica is well-known for its more relaxed attitude towards gambling providers operating in the region, although online gambling in the country is illegal. That said, because the server is not located in the country, casino operators can still offer their services in Costa Rica as long as residents from its actual location are also serviced.

Watchdog Organisations and Testing Labs

In addition to licenses, online casinos and gambling platforms are also monitored by third-party watchdog organisations and testing laboratories. Their job is to ensure that players get the most of their gambling experience fairly and honestly. These third-party organisations ensure that the casino is operating above-board and is key to ensuring the safety of players. It also helps maintain the integrity of the industry and helps it remain profitable and legal. There are four main organisations that you will see at online casinos. They include:

  • eCOGRA
  • The International Gambling Council (IGC)
  • iTechLabs
  • Gaming Laboratories International (GLI)

eCOGRA

eCOGRA is probably one of the most common agencies you will come across at online casinos. The acronym stands for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. The company is based in London but offers its services internationally. They provide testing and auditing and ensures that standard measures are in place for player protection. The company was formed in 2003 and are currently the leading agency for certification of online gaming systems and software.

Being a 'watchdog' for the industry means they also need to be certified. The company was awarded the United Kingdom Accreditation Service's ISO accreditation, which is required to perform testing and auditing functions. The company does both online and remote views on many of the world's leading online gambling platforms in almost all jurisdictions, including Alderney, Malta, Kahnawake, Spain, Croatia, Gibraltar, Latvia and the United Kingdom, to name a few.

In addition to being highly trained and specialised, the management team and engineers can perform these functions and evaluations both on and off-site. Under eCOGRA's compliance policies, they check for the following:

  • Underage gambling
  • Protection for vulnerable persons
  • Protection of a player's privacy and personal information
  • Preventing of illegal, fraudulent or criminal activity
  • Efficient and accurate payments
  • Fair gaming
  • Responsible gambling and marketing
  • Safe, secure and protected gaming environment
  • Customer support and satisfaction

One of the key considerations, when eCOGRA evaluates sites, is the use of Random Number Generators and the Return to Player policies. The company has created customised testing and monitoring for these. Currently, the company provides evaluation and monitoring for over 100 of the leading gambling websites in the world in various languages.

Once an online casino has received its eCOGRA seal of approval, the certification will be displayed on its website's homepage. What's more, eCOGRA conducts regular reviews and evaluations - it's payout reviews are conducted monthly while its RNG reviews take place twice a year and include all casino games on a website. These evaluations are extremely thorough and if there is any discrepancy at all, it will likely pick it up.

Fair and responsible gaming is also highly important and is enforced by eCOGRA through reviewing and continuous monitoring. Once online operators have proven themselves and complied to the eCOGRA's accepted practices, they are awarded the Safe and Fair Seal, which is a benefit to all gambling operators. To receive this honour, operators must prove that they offer player protection in all instances, fair gaming, responsible advertising and marketing and timely and accurate payouts.

These reviews are conducted annually so there is no escaping it once you have received your certification. Once you have received the seal, you must bear it on your website as a sign of compliance. This proves to the players that your gambling platform is fair and regularly monitored to maintain a high standard of operations.

In addition to being a testing agency, eCOGRA also acts as a third-party watchdog. The company boasts an Alternative Dispute Resolution Service, making them an impartial, unbiased service capable of handling any disputes between casino operators and its players. Should any player have an issue or feel that the casino has gone against its eCOGRA terms and conditions, they can file a complaint using this dispute service.

That said, there are measures that must be followed. Firstly, players must have reached out to the casino first to try and resolve the situation. There should be a two-week buffer between the time the issue first arose and the time you get in touch with eCOGRA. Also, eCOGRA will not offer assistance to players with multiple accounts at the casino.

Once you have met these criteria you can open a dispute with eCOGRA. You will not be able to post about your grievance on any forums or social media or ask other third-party agencies for assistance. If this happens, eCOGRA will not assist you. If you contact eCOGRA with a dispute, you must be clear and concise about the situation so that they can handle it most efficiently and accurately.

Do not use aggressive language in your complaint, or it will likely be ignored. Try to be as calm and professional as possible as you have a better chance of receiving feedback and assistance. Once you have submitted your complaint, you should be contacted within two working days to confirm receipt of your dispute. You will also get regular updates on the status of your complaint. While eCOGRA will do their best to settle your dispute, they don't have the authority to enforce any outcome with the casino site.

Interactive Gaming Council (IGC)

The Interactive Gaming Council, or IGC, is a non-profit organisation that aims to address and solve a variety of issues and opportunities within the iGaming market. They also provide players with the assurance that they are playing in a safe, fair and responsible gaming environment. The company was established in 1996 in the United States before moving to Canada in March 2000. The company is licensed and regulated by numerous European jurisdictions, including Malta, the Isle of Man, Spain, Denmark, Alderney, Gibraltar, Denmark and the United Kingdom, to name a few.

When it comes to operations, the IGC covers numerous areas within the iGaming space, however, their main goal is to ensure fair and safe gambling to all players. Firstly, the IGC has adopted its own Code of Practice, which is self-regulated and intended to protect players making real money deposits at online casinos. The code is enforced as a way to ensure that all gambling advertising and marketing is legal, honest and responsible. This means no false advertising or marketing that could negatively affect or harm potential players and vulnerable persons. If a casino operator fails to adhere to this Code of Practice, it could affect its IGC membership or even end up being revoked. That means that should an online operator possess an IGC certificate, you can be assured that they have met the requirements and operate using the best, most protective measures to all its players. That means you can enjoy advertisements and promotions that are truthful, transparent, fair and not misleading or deceptive.

In addition to covering promotions, advertising and marketing, the IGC also evaluates other important links available on the casino site like the following:

  • Deposits and withdrawals
  • Registration information
  • Licenses
  • Responsible gambling practices and resources
  • Underage gambling information
  • Privacy policies

All members of the IGC must adhere to the Code of Conduct. This helps players choose an online casino that complies with the online gambling laws, regulations and requirements to safely run a business. The Code of Conduct includes the following areas:

Integrity and accountability - This improves a player's confidence in a gambling platform. All IGC members must make every reasonable effort to perform and operate in a fair, safe and truthful manner.
Consumer privacy and data protection - IGC members must ensure that all players' privacy and personal information is protected at all times.

Dispute resolution - All disputes must be handled is the correct way i.e. submitting it to the jurisdiction of its licensing authority.

Underage gambling - Protective measures must be put in place to prevent minors from accessing and playing at an online casino.

Problem gambling - The casino must protect vulnerable players and abide by responsible gambling practices. They should put measures in place to identify and prevent problem gambling.

Banking and financial matters - All financial business should be conducted by following safe and legal standards. Additionally, casinos must ensure that they are in good financial space to payout players reasonable and accurately.

Character, integrity and honesty - Finally, IGC members must display good character, honesty and integrity in their business dealings. They must also be ethical and responsible at all times.

It is the responsibility of all IGC members to meet not only the basic requirements but the higher standards set by this organisation. Casino operators must abide by the Code of Practice and Conduct at all times to remain in good standing with the IGC. This seal of approval means players can confidently use the gambling platform.

Gaming Laboratories International (GLI)

Gaming Laboratories, or GLI, is one of the largest and most prominent independent testing and evaluation companies in the world, offering these types of services to the industry and all types of gaming technology. The company has been around since 1989 and provides world-class testing, certification and evaluations to gaming platforms. The company maintains the highest standards of integrity and responsibility and provides testing to several jurisdictions around the world.

GLI offers its services to online gambling operators, gaming regulators and jurisdictions and boasts a team of highly trained and specialised experts in the fields of gaming, software, systems, compliance and more. Their key function is compliance evaluations on numerous gaming machines, systems, software and equipment, including slot machines, table games, progressive jackpot games, networked games, mobile gaming, RNGs, and bingo, to name a few.

Companies like GLI work to ensure that all its registered platforms produce fair and safe gaming to all its players. To sufficiently do this, there are numerous requirements that all gambling operators must meet to get approval and various factors the agency must consider during auditing and testing. Firstly, security must be of the highest level to ensure that gamers are protected at all times. This protects players from the threat of illegal and criminal activities like hacking and fraud.

The company's rigorous testing also includes evaluation of the RNG to ensure that it works to produce the most random, unbiased and uninfluenced results. Once a gaming platform has met all of GLI's requirements and passed its testing, inspection and compliance requirements, it will be certified. Currently, GLI caters to over 475 jurisdictions around the world.

GLI has been in operation for over 25 years and remains one of the best, industry-leading quality testing and consulting services for the gambling industry. They boast around 20 labs across the world covering every continent. It carries international accreditation for its technical competence and compliance standards in the iGaming, wagering and lottery industries and renowned across the world as one of the best in the business.

Once a casino operator gets GLI certified, they will receive the 'Gaming Labs Certified' mark on their website, which is a registered trademark of the company. If you see this certification on an online casino, you have the assurance that the brand has met all the stringent requirements and high standards of the GLI and has gone through all the necessary and appropriate testing and evaluations. This 'Site Seal' is a sign of trust, safety and integrity. If you like, you can click on the logo and follow the link to find out more about what this seal means and how it contributes to a more fulfilling gaming experience.

iTechLabs

iTechLabs is another certified testing centre for online gaming, systems and software that has been around for over 10 years. The company endeavours to test and certify a range of casino games on various online gaming platforms and boast an expert team with over 50 years of combined experience in the industry. The testing lab conducts evaluations on gaming platforms in multiple jurisdictions, with each jurisdiction setting the standards for gaming systems. Some of the jurisdictions the company covers include Alderney, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Kahnawake, Spain, Malta, Tasmania and the United Kingdom, among others. During the evaluations, the lab tests:

RNGs and RTPs - Thorough and rigorous testing and evaluation goes into ensuring that all iTechLab members use RNGs that are 100% fair, random and unbiased. These audits are done monthly and published on the casino website, so players can expect transparency at all times.

Platforms, software and games systems - Platform testing includes casino and poker platforms. Here, they check things like registrations, accounts, player protections, privacy, security, and recovery.

Casino and multiplayer games - The company carries out testing on all games to ensure the highest standards are met in terms of fairness, reliability and payouts. This includes testing online slots, video poker, table games, keno, dice games, multiplayer games, mobile games, scratch cards and more.

Sports betting systems - iTechLabs also cover the testing and auditing of sports betting sites and events. The audit ensures that all odds and wagers are correct, fair and unbiased.

What You Need to Know about Casino Certifications and Seals of Approval

As mentioned above, certifications and seals of approval from various third-party auditing and testing agencies are important to iGaming platforms. All reputable casino operators will proudly display their seal of approval on the company website, in the footer, on the homepage or in the About Us section, depending on the setup of the website. In most cases, it is displayed as a clickable logo linked to the website of the organisation that provided the certificate and performed the audit. If you follow this link, you can learn more about what the certification or seal of approval means and how it benefits your online gaming experience.

One of the biggest concerns for both new and experienced online gamers is safety and security at online casinos and gaming platforms. With so many new casinos and betting sites popping up all over the internet, this fear is warranted as players are no longer reassured of the legitimacy and credibility of the sites and the industry as a whole. It seems that anybody can launch an online casino these days, which leads players to question the so-called stringent requirements needed by licensing authorities, auditing agencies and testing labs. Ultimately, players just want to know that their money and personal information is safe and protected, that they will get paid out as they should and that any complaints will be handled in a timely and professional manner.

Many countries are strict when it comes to online gambling - in most countries that allow legal online gambling, the industry is highly regulated, while other countries ban the activity completely. Despite numerous efforts to provide an extremely safe and secure gaming space for players across the world, sometimes the odd unscrupulous casino operator slips by and creates panic in the entire industry. In this case, casino certifications and seals of approvals mean that the casino operator has proven itself to be a safe, secure and fair platform and has done its duty in maintaining the integrity of its players, the industry and the auditing company.

Every time you visit a new casino, check for these seals of approval or certifications. These will differ from casino to casino depending on their license and what third-party organisation is auditing the platform. That said, a reputable online casino would have more than one of these logos readily available and displayed on its website. It should not be hard to find as this tells players that the casino is trustworthy. An online casino is only allowed to display this logo if they have passed the testing and auditing process and received certification.

So, if you come across an online casino with various logos and certifications, do they all mean the same thing? And should you check for these certifications every time you play? Third-party organisations like eGOGRA or iTechLabs conduct independent reviews and testing to prove the reliability and safety of an online gambling platform. That said, there are a few different types of certification seals available and a reputable online casino should feature all of these or a combination of them. Some of these seals and certifications include:

  • Safe and Fair Seal
  • Affiliate Trust Seal
  • Certified Software Seal
  • Certification of a Live Dealer
  • Randomness Review
  • Percentage Payout Report

For an online casino to receive any of these certifications and approvals, they have to pass rigorous and stringent testing and accept regular monitoring and evaluations. Even once they receive the seal of approval, they must still meet the requirements or it will be revoked. These casinos must display responsible gambling, fairness and security at all times and must ensure that the highest standards are met continuously.

Once a casino receives this seal, you can be confident that the operator uses fair and random RNGs and pays out promptly and accurately. This does not mean that you will never experience some sort of issue at an online casino, but if you do, you can rest assured that your issue will be handled in the best way possible. Let's take a closer look at the type of certifications and seals worth mentioning.

Certified Software Seal

The Certified Software Seal is awarded to casino operators that abide by the strict rules put in place by eCOGRA. This is a certified seal that is given based on rigorous testing and assessments not only on the casino games but on the casino's management, security, software and systems. It also tests the functionality of the software, its mobile applications and everything in between. Finally, it tests the RNGs and whether or not the results are fair, random and uninfluenced by outside factors. They will also monitor RTPs every monthly.

This seal will only be awarded to software suppliers that have met and complied with all regulations and requirements in the above areas. These casino operators must also agree to be monitored and assessed regularly after the seal of approval has been received. If you see that an online casino features this seal, you can play in confidence known that gameplay is completely fair and safe. Some of the best online casinos will feature the Fair and Safe Seal as well as the Certified Software Seal.

TST Certified

Technical Systems Testing is a company that was founded in 1993 and is an independent agency that provides testing and consulting within the gaming industry. Currently, TST services a variety of online gambling operators around the world. The organisation aims to ensure that all casinos meet the standard software and other requirements of the industry.

Verisign

Oftentimes, you may come across a Verisign certification at online casinos. This certification has nothing to do with how fair the casino is and everything to do with the protection of your personal information. Verisign checks to make sure that the online casino has taken the appropriate security measures to ensure the complete protection of your personal and financial information.

It is extremely hard for casinos to get all of these certifications. So if you are concerned about the safety and security at online casinos, rest assured that if an online gaming platform boasts even one of these, let alone a combination of these or even all that they have gone to great lengths to prove their eligibility. Online casinos adhere to very strict guidelines to receive and keep these certifications. That means that once they receive these seals, they cannot lower their standards or risk losing the certifications.

What About Your Personal Data?

Another concern for online gamblers is whether personal data is safe or not. As mentioned above, extreme steps are taken, both by online casinos and third-party organisations, to ensure the complete protection of your personal and financial data at all times. Modern technology has revolutionised the way we do everything, including gambling, and thanks to software and applications, data protection is as secure as ever. Playing at a respected, reputable online casino means you can add your personal and financial details with confidence that it is 100% protected and safe.

Data encryption plays a key role in protecting your personal information and overall privacy at online casinos. When it comes to the protection of personal data, this is something that affects both the casino and its players. Reputable gaming platforms should take this issue very seriously and ensure that they make use of the latest technology and software for the best protection.

When we refer to personal information, this can be any information that is unique to you and includes basic things like your name and date of birth, to more private information like your address and financial details like your credit card information. This type of information will be required when joining an online casino, therefore casinos must endeavour to keep it protected and encrypted to prevent hackers from accessing this data. If you are playing for real money, your banking details will be required.

One of the most common data encryption technologies used at online casinos and websites, in general, is called SSL, which stands for Secure Socket Layer. These days, the most reputable online casinos will use 128-bit or 256-but SSL Data Encryption technology to ensure that your personal information is protected. It works by scrambling all information that is transferred over the internet and turns it into code that is almost impossible to decipher, making it extremely difficult for hackers to make sense of the information. This data encryption is often used at banks so you can be sure that your information is safe and secure.

It takes everything, from your name to login and banks details, and scrambles and un-scrambles it to produce an illegible set of letters and numbers that only authorised people can understand. This scrambling creates a key that is shared by the users and those partaking in the secure transaction. Since unauthorised people won't have access to this key, the information is useless to them. Another thing worth noting is that this key expires and is discarded once you leave the website. That means that is will be even more useless to potential hackers as it will mean nothing once you leave the site. Every time you make an online transaction, a new, unique key is created and discarded once you leave the website.

In addition to knowing your information is safe from hackers, it is also useful to know where this information is stored within the casino. Any personal or financial information shared with an online casino is stored safely and securely on hard drive servers owned by the online casino. Since this information remains on the server, casinos must also take additional precautions to prevent hackers from accessing this information.

In this case, cutting-edge firewall systems and security tech staff need to be employed. In the case of security management, online casinos will usually outsource this to third-parties like Verisign and Thawte. These companies specialise in tech security, therefore a hiring a reputable, third-party company is always better for the casino and its players. If you are concerned about the safety of your data at online casinos, be sure to look for the logos of these companies on the casino website, which will usually be located in the footer of the website.

Reputable online casinos pride themselves in offering players a safe and secure environment in which to play their favourite games. Also, going through the whole assessment and monitoring process takes a lot of time and money but it is a requirement for casinos to operate legally and fairly. That said, it is unlikely that a casino would go through all this effort just to try to scam its players. Check the About Us page and the website footer and see what accreditation, licenses and seals casinos feature.

If it is in line with what you have learnt and understood about security and fairness in online gaming, then the casino is a reputable one that has its players' best interests at heart. Casinos will also pay special attention to security measures as this will deter players from joining the site and making real money deposits. At the end of the day, if a casino wants customers, it will have to do the groundwork to continue operations, avoid penalties and prosecution and make a profit.

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