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Jun 2, 2017

Security and Fairness of Online Casinos

author Peter S.

Once you decide for some of the online casinos, not only will you have to deposit your money in some way, but you also need to tell the casino quite a lot of sensitive information about you. It does not matter if it is your name, address, birth number or your card or bank account number.

All of these data are crucial and, of course, your finances must indeed be thoroughly secure, especially in an online environment. In the case of their loss or theft, you would lose your money and data, and that is certainly not an encouraging view. That's why the online casinos are doing certain steps to protect you, but also themselves. Before you decide to enter an online casino, you should know a little about their online security system.

Are Online Casinos Safe?

Beginner players often wonder whether it is safe to play at online casinos. Will you lose your data, will the casino payout any winnings or will the casino misuse your payment information? In the vast majority of casinos, none of this will happen to you. It depends on what kind of casino you find.

Land-based casinos have to undergo a rigorous approval process that results in a license from the local authority. Online casinos are very similar. Before they can start offering services, online operators have to obtain regional or international permission. This license then guarantees that the casino has met all the conditions and will not cheat players.

How to Find a Safe Casino

The primary sign of safety is, therefore, the license. It is effortless to see if a casino has a valid licence. Focus on the footer of the website, where this information is traditionally listed. In some cases, you will find the logo of the licensor there, or the casino has written it there directly.

The most common licensor

  • Malta Gaming Authority
  • UK Gambling Commission
  • Curaçao eGaming
  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission

If you don't know how to choose an online casino, try some online casino comparison. There you will find licensed online casinos, including their reviews and the experiences of other players.

Privacy Policy

As soon as you send your personal details and make an account for the casino, you will bump into the first type of security. It’s called is Privacy Policy. This kind of security determines what information the casino will take from you, how it uses and find the best way to protect it from third-party misuse.

The basic information that every casino will want is the player’s personal data, i.e. name, address, telephone, email, etc. Other information about your finances, i.e., card number, bank account, or e-wallet. This information is required because a casino must verify where to send your winnings and also it is a countermeasure against money laundering. Some casinos will also need info about your location to ensure the maximum quality of service and product offerings.

Online casinos always guaranteed not to provide any of this information to a third party. Thus, except when a casino hires outside firms or workers to protect sensitive information. Access to them only has some top position and perfectly scrutinized casino workers. However, far more important is due to protect your data from hackers. That is why casinos use the best firewalls and other available security systems and methods. Before you sign up for an online casino, always read the Privacy Policy carefully before agreeing to the terms.

SSL (Secure Socket Layer) Security Encryption Protocol

If you decide to send your own money into an online casino, you will definitely want to be absolutely sure, that they are properly protected. Not only in the casino account but also during the transaction. Today, there are billions of dollars transaction every day on the Internet, so it's not just a matter of online casino security, but a whole e-banking system. This is why the IT experts have developed an encryption protocol, such as the 128-bit Secure Socket Layer, which guarantees the complete security of each transaction.

And how does it work? The principle is quite simple. The party which sends the money, whether the casino player or vice versa, encrypts all the information and sends the data package. The cipher then breaks down only the user to whom the sender has sent instructions. If a third-party get this ciphered information, they cannot use them in any way because they have no key to deciphering the message.

Most casinos use state-of-the-art and latest SSL encryption, which is currently considered as one of the best. Moreover, the best casinos have their security systems checked regularly by independent companies such as Thawte or VeriSign. So, if you choose some online casino, look for their logos on their site.

How Are Online Casinos Tested

Like any company, online casinos have internal due diligence performed by independent audit firms. If you are looking for a quality and fair casino, look for certificates from these companies. They guarantee that the casino does not cheat and adheres to a strict code of ethics. Who does these audits and what they checked?

Surely, you've ever wondered who tests that random number generator in games. It is the random number generator and payout ratios that are essential for legitimate gaming. For example, the player can find the payouts on the casino's website, but where there is a guarantee that they are correct.

Software developers such as Microgaming or NetEnt already have some responsibility for honest game programming, but in general, every game, casino, and even the developers themselves should be controlled by an independent third party. And at this moment, the auditors come on the scene.

Auditors

There are some gambling auditors around the world. eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is probably the best known and most frequently used. This London-based audit firm was founded in 2003, and it focuses primarily on the gambling industry. Each casino that was audited also receive a "Safe and Fair Seal".

Other well-known audit companies include Gaming Labs, which, in addition to testing programming and the code of ethics, also provides consulting services. And last but not least, the audit giant, one of the ten largest private companies in the world, Price Waterhouse Coopers.

How to Test a Random Number Generator

Software testing in a casino audit begins with a random number generator, which determines the result of all online casino games. The correct and legitimate functioning of the RNG is therefore essential for the player. The auditing company IGtech described the testing in 2 phases:

Testing of source code:

  • Identification of RNG algorithm and its weaknesses
  • Verification of the internal state of the RNG
  • Verification of unpredictability and non-repeatability of RNG
  • Verification of the use of random numbers, including change of values

RNG statistical testing

Several statistical methods can be used. The best known are the "DieHard" test or the Chi-square test. The specific analysis is selected by the test laboratory depending on the RNG system.

However, every auditor has its own and well-protected know-how to check the validity of the random number generator. Here is just an example of what a test procedure might look like.

Testing of the Payout

The second most frequently checked element is the average return to player. Players give enough credit to it. The auditor's task is to confirm that the advertised payout for individual games is the same as the real payout. Auditors, again, use statistical analyses and their technological procedures.

Game Platform

Of course, the tech part of the audit does not end with just testing the RNG and the payouts. It also includes testing of game systems. For example, it is tested whether the casino can re-launch the game with all the necessary data within a specified time after the fall.

It also examines how the game stores information about the user and about the game itself. For example, how long the player played it, how much he/she bet and how much he won or lost. The emphasis is mainly on jackpots and above-average winnings. Jackpots may be a separate area of interest in some audits.

Online Casino Security Check

An essential part of every audit is checking how the casino is prepared for crises. As everyone can think of, they test how servers are protected against attacks and how well casinos protect players' information. But that's not all.

Casino employees are also tested in the areas of relevant training. The auditors check the legitimacy of access to the personal information of players by all employees, contractors and other third parties. The casino must also submit an emergency plan, which includes, among other things, how it will respond to unexpected situations in the media.

Responsible Gaming

If a casino wants to be certified, it has to prove that it does not support dangerous gambling. For example, every online casino must create a responsible gaming page on its website, which must be accessible from every page. Most casinos place it on the bottom bar along with general information.

In addition to this information obligation, the casino must provide the possibility for the player to set limits:

  • The number of bets
  • The amount of loss
  • Deposit amount
  • Maximum time spent in online casino

The player should also be able to block some games himself, temporarily or entirely. Once he/she does so, the casino can no longer accept further bets or deposits from the player. Both of these options should be available from the responsible gaming site mentioned above.

What Is Not in Audits

As you can see, the audit of online casinos has a lot in common with the audit of a regular commercial company. However, what these independent companies do not offer is a financial audit, which is quite essential for other in-depth inspections. It is because most casino testers are technology companies or laboratories that cannot check the accounting.

Tips for Choosing a Safe Online Casino

💡 Check out our complete guide on how to choose the best online casino.

Find information

Reviews and comments from other players will help you. Find out what others are saying about the casino. A relatively easy way is to type a casino into Google and check its ranking, which will tell you a lot. You can also try typing in "casino name" along with the phrase "payment problems" or a similar variation and see what Google finds in that context. Don't forget to check out detailed and independent reviews of online casinos.

Deposit a small amount first

It is possible that if you deposit a smaller amount, you will lose part of your welcome bonus. For example, a casino offers up to 100% on your first deposit of $500. On the other hand, loyal players are rewarded with bonuses and small amounts of free funds to play within the long run anyway.

Get to know the terms and conditions of withdrawals well

After you have found out the information and decided to load a small amount of money, take another look at the terms and conditions of the withdrawals. Most of the problems with online casinos come out when the client is trying to withdraw his money. Some casinos may come up with unfair conditions that the client must meet before withdrawing.

If there is a problem, be polite

Politeness usually pays off in any situation. Be sure to stand by your arguments. Rude name-calling usually gets you nowhere. If you're particularly suspicious, you can also try contacting the casino by email before you start playing. If you get a reply, you have confirmed that the casino is communicating properly with its clients.

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