I’ve put together a short list of verifiable safe online casinos. Why did I decide to do this?
I’ve played at tons of online casino sites and I’m always astounded by the false information found in most of the reviews I can find online. My hope is that instead of reading a review written by someone with something to sell you, you’ll enjoy my own mini reports on these popular casino gambling websites.
These are brief, honest, and fact-based tidbits about sites that operate legitimately and don’t put their customers’ finances in jeopardy. I’ve included both positive and negative details about each site.
Safe Casinos List
32Red Casino is a Microgaming-powered casino site that’s been in business since 2002. One of the best features of 32Red is the site’s reputation as a legitimate gaming operator. Brian Bailey at Casinomeister named 32Red Casino of the Decade for this very reason. I like almost everything about this particular online casino, which is licensed from the jurisdiction of Gibraltar. Players from the USA are not welcome, which (unfortunately) is a sign of legitimacy.
888 Casino is one of the oldest online gambling properties still in operation. Open since 1997 (though under a different name back then), 888 Casino runs on a blend of software platforms that includes Random Logic, NetEntertainment, and WMS Gaming, none of which are particularly popular elsewhere.
Open to players from the American state of New Jersey, but currently not available in any other US states, I like the software they use for their games, but I don’t like some of the language in their Terms & Conditions page. They also seem to have a number of complaints regarding lengthy payout times. That doesn’t mean the site isn’t safe – it means potential customers should do some research before they make a deposit.
Aladdin’s Gold Casino
Aladdin’s Gold Casino is part of the Club World Casino group. Licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Aladdin’s Gold runs on Realtime Gaming software and actively targets Americans for customers. RTG games are not my favorite, but Aladdin’s Gold adds insult to injury by offering just one 9/6 video poker game amid a generally small and boring library. That said, there’s no reason to think this casino isn’t safe at this time.
Bodog Casino opened its doors to customers in 2001, so it’s a long-lived name in the gambling business. Licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Bodog’s services (which include casino games, sports betting, and poker) are no longer available to American customers. I recommend Bodog to players outside the United States, provided they understand the history of the Kahnawake licensing authority and check out all the details of their bonus and promo terms and conditions.
Bovada Casino is aimed exclusively at the North American market. The site holds a license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Originally affiliated with Bodog, Bovada is now its own entity. It’s also one of my personal favorite places to recommend to players in the US and Canada. I like to recommend Bovada to slots players, too, since the casino hosts slot games created by the best designers in the business, names like BetSoft, NetEnt, and RTG.
Club USA Casino
Club USA Casino is a Club World Casino group site. As the name implies, this Club World site is aimed mainly at Americans. Like other Club World sites, Club USA is known for its huge and varied list of bonuses and promos. Club USA’s games are all designed by Realtime Gaming and the site is licensed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
In business since 2003, Club USA appears to be a safe place designed for North Americans to do their online gambling, even though licensure from the KGC is not a great sign of legitimacy. The only downside to membership here is the relatively-small game library.
High Noon Casino
High Noon is a member of the Club World Casino group. The site has a cool Western theme and a gaming license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. All the games at the site were designed by Realtime Gaming. The site is open to American customers. One of the younger casinos on this list, High Noon has only been open since 2010.
While I’m not wild about RTG-powered sites, the collection of RTG games at High Noon is better-curated than is the norm. For one thing, High Noon doesn’t host any of their mediocre Real Series slots, choosing the (in my opinion far superior) 3D games only. Even though the KGC is not a top-notch licensing body, they are attempting a very public reputation cleansing, and High Noon is not known to be a rogue operator.
Lucky Red is a part of the Club World Casino group. It runs on RTG software. Lucky Red’s gaming license was issued by Curacao, which is the only feature about the site that I don’t really like. It’s rare to find a complaint about security or financial dealings with Lucky Red. American customers are welcome to join, and though RTG software is not my favorite, Lucky Red has a big enough collection to keep me entertained.
Party Casino holds a license from Gibraltar (a top-notch licensing body) and is run by a company that’s traded on the London Stock Exchange. Party Casino has been open since the late 1990s, making this one of the longest-lived sites on this list of reviews. Their services are not currently available to American players. Party Casino is also the only site on this list of reviews that operates entirely on proprietary software.
Slots.lv is an American-facing casino site with a gaming license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Owned and operated by Lynton Limited, Slots.lv has a focus on slot machine games (surprise!), and I love that the site uses a blend of different software designers for their game library.
Slots.lv even has some proprietary game designs running on their site. Customers outside the US and Canada aren’t allowed to open accounts. If you’re a fan of slots, this is one to check out, if only for the sheer size of their slot game collection.
How to Choose a Safe Online Casino
In the reviews above, you’ll find examples of sites that I think are safe as well as a few that I think are not so safe. Just what do I mean by “safe,” anyway?
That depends. There are obvious financial red flags – sites that slow down customer payouts with “random” security checks, or others that include the infamous “FU clause” that allows a site to pay you as slowly as they’d like or not at all for any reason they choose. Other issues are less obvious. What criteria do I personally use to decide if an online gambling venue is safe or not?
Here are the details I check when considering sending a deposit to any online gaming property:
I like to use this as a sort of “screen” to catch the obviously-rogue sites before I even waste any time looking at their games and promos. Holding a license from certain jurisdictions (I’m looking at you, Costa Rica and Panama) is a big sign that something isn’t right with a particular site. The other side of that coin is that some jurisdictions (Isle of Man, Alderney, UK) are known to have rigorous requirements for their licensees, and a site with a license from one of these places earns a quick pass to my next inspection.
Terms & Conditions
Looking at a casino’s T&C page (the page that gives the conditions for the site’s bonus and promotional offers) is a neat little trick I use to very quickly decide whether or not a site’s services are safe. I don’t usually even opt-in to bonuses, but I’ve found that reading the fine print on these pages can tell me an awful lot about how a site operates.
An example of a line from a T&C page that would give me pause: “All withdrawals will be paid in installments of up to $3,000, as determined by player class.” This isn’t taken from an actual site, but it does mirror statements found in some of the T&C pages in the reviews above. I’d stay far away from a site that contains a line like that, because it’s exactly the kind of catch-all phrase that could allow a casino to legally manipulate payouts.
Website and Customer Reviews
If I don’t find anything too scary in a site’s terms and conditions pages, I take one final step to determine if a site is worthy of my bankroll. I read a ton of customer reviews.
I’m not talking about the penny-per-word Web content you’ll find at tens of thousands of sites set up to shill for different casino groups and affiliate networks. I’m talking about actual reviews by real players. This kind of information is easy to find if you know where to look. I search the forums at Casinomeister.com, I read user reviews and comments at AskGamblers.com, and I’ll even ask friends of mine if they have any experience with a site.
The trick to working out the relative safety of a particular casino site is creating your own set of parameters. The above three tactics work for me because I’m used to taking them. At this point, it’s an automatic reaction, like shaking my foot when I’m anxious or wiping the condensation off a cup of iced tea. I firmly believe that your assessment should at least include a look at a site’s licensing authority, and I think it’s plain old common sense to read reviews before you make a deposit, but your actual method doesn’t matter.
Playing casino games safely on your laptop, smartphone, or tablet is the difference between enjoying yourself and getting ripped off. Where you spend your money is your business – I have my preferences, and you have yours. So long as we’re all playing at legal and regulated sites, we’re all staying safe. Read the reviews above for my personal take on a long list of the world’s most popular Web- and mobile-based gambling venues.