Online gambling has grown considerably in the last few years, with a surge of brilliant casino games giving players the opportunity to enjoy that Vegas experience from the comfort of their home or on the go.
However, as long-term players will know, online gambling can be a tricky industry to navigate. For every legitimate bookmaker and casino site, there is a cheap imitation trying to steal honest player’s hard-earned cash.
To make sure you’re not one of the unlucky victims of fraud at the hands of an imposter gambling site, you need to be able to recognize the signs of a fake. One of the biggest red flags is what payment methods are available to new players. This guide will outline four common and, most importantly, safe payment methods that all legitimate online casinos should offer.
Credit and debit cards are the most widely used and universally accepted safe payment method for online casinos.
The continued popularity of this method is almost obvious, but major recognizable provider brands provide additional security on the best online casinos.
The very best online casinos will always offer this safe and assured payment method, and you should immediately strike out any casino site or review that suggests otherwise.
One thing to look out for though is whether or not the site has an SSL encryption. An SSL encryption will protect your details as you enter them on the online casino site, providing authentication and an encrypted browsing experience and blocks your information from potential hackers.
If you see a casino that accepts Visa or Mastercard and has the right security precautions in place, you’re just about good to go.
If you’re looking for speed and ease of service, PayPal is the payment method for you.
On top of offering players almost immediate access to their cash, PayPal is widely recognized as one of the safest payment options accepted by online casinos across the world.
The popularity of PayPal continues to grow, and with it more and more casinos make it an accepted part of their service. All the major players in the industry have adopted it by now, and a new casino looking to compete knows how important PayPal is to securing a diverse and active player base.
If you see the famous PayPal logo, you can generally rest assured that you’re working with an on the level site. Assured, simple, quick and safe — what’s not to like?
The new kid on the block.
For many people, the presence of Bitcoin or any other form of cryptocurrency on a casino site might be cause for concern. After all, despite a significant popularity growth that has seen Bitcoin and its digital compatriots make their way into the mainstream, many still view it as a dirty, underground and risky way to spend their cash.
While there is still a relatively low number of people using Bitcoins to gamble online, many casinos have hitched themselves to the crypto wagon, if only tentatively. Bitcoins can be used on some major casino sites, while crypto-only casino sites have started to pop up as space for miners to spend their digital cash.
For newcomers, the site on Bitcoin as a payment option should be reassuring. Bitcoins are secure, trackable thanks to blockchain technology and without the need for third-party involvement. It’s one of the fastest ways to deposit and retrieve cash.
While Bitcoin is some way away from becoming a staple in the online casino world, it is a safe and constantly improving payment method.
PaySafe is another slightly less well-known, but increasingly popular payment method you might want to consider using on an online casino.
A PaySafe card is a prepaid card solution primarily used across Europe.
It allows for quick depositing of cash and can be topped up on many high street stores.
PaySafe also has a mobile app, so you can gain greater transparency over your funds and keep track of how your money is moving.
While there are legitimate forms of bank transfer, we would recommend against using that to deposit cash on an online casino, primarily because this usually comes with a small fee.
Signs of an untrustworthy site
If you want to make doubly sure you’re only playing on legitimate casino sites, here are some key signs to look out for:
Poor review/No review: A website that has nothing but negative feedback is probably one you want to stay away from. In some cases, having no reviews is even worse. It suggests the website doesn’t want to open itself up to feedback.
Lack of social media: A lack of presence on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram should be a major red flag in our modern digital economy. Not only does it suggest a lack of effort on the part of the casino owner, but an attempt to absolve themselves of ways of being held to account. Searching for a social presence should be one of the first steps of your security check.
No background information: We’re talking about how much you can learn about the casino from their website. Gambling might have a mysterious air about it, but honest casino sites still have easily accessible contact information (live chat, emails, telephone) and a listed address.
Poor design: Does the website look thrown together in a couple of hours? While there are some earnest examples of legitimate websites that just aren’t designed well, a website with lax design, broken images and little in the way of content can often be read as a front for something more nefarious.
Now that you know the safest payment methods you’re ready to deposit some cash and start playing classic casino games. Time spent researching the site you’re going to use is always time well spent, so ensure you feel confident and your chosen site is recommended by experts.