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Standards for Accredited Casinos | The Toughest on the Internet

What it is...
Only Casinomeister Accredited Casinos are allowed to actively promote their casinos at Casinomeister.

And to become an accredited casino is a challenge for many operators. Becoming an "Accredited Casino" at Casinomeister is not as simple as it may look. Besides going through a testing period or Baptism by Fire, they need to either meet or exceed our standards - which are the most stringent on the Internet.

Prior to 2000, we took a number of things into account when listing casinos here - we called them "reputable casinos" mainly because they had reputable reputations. But after running Casinomeister for two years, I felt that I needed to state in writing what the standards really ought to be. So it was in October 2000 (our newsletter from then: How We Choose Casinos at Casinomeister) that we made a list of certain things casinos needed to do or have in place in order to advertise themselves to our members. It was a rudimentary list - but it was really the first - no one else was doing this. Since then, it has evolved just like the industry has. There are many more things that we consider than the good ol' days of 2000. Mainly in player protection and operational procedures.

Why do we do this? Well, there are several reasons: one - to protect the player from dodgy operations. Our philosophy at Casinomeister is that the player should be considered in every aspect of online gambling. Without the player, there would be no industry - this is something I remind industry folk on a regular basis. And we have these standards to drive home that fact.

Another reason of course is to give credence to casinos that go above and beyond their competitors. There are quite a number of operations that are run by fantastic people who have the same philosophy towards players as I do.

And of course, it's to separate the crappy from the good. Many players lack the skills or patience to do the vetting themselves, so they leave it up to Casinomeister to present them with places to play. We have many members who will not sign up at a casino unless it is a Casinomeister Accredited Casino.

We have many affiliates that will not advertise casinos unless they are listed here.

And we have many casinos that take pride in being a member of our Accredited Casinos.

Casinomeister Accredited Casinos are required to meet the following criteria:

Standards for Accredited Casinos

Player and Responsible Gaming Focused
  1. Must forbid underage play.
  2. Must have a clean history of fairness towards their customers.
  3. Must be able to take care of any player issue swiftly and professionally.
  4. Must display information about responsible gambling, with links to relevant organizations.
  5. Must offer and enforce spending limits in addition to both temporary and permanent self exclusion options.
  6. Must process KYC (Know Your Customer) documents: confirm validity while ensuring personal privacy is upheld.

Marketing Standards
  1. Must not use false, misleading or deceptive advertising.
  2. Must not spam, and must take appropriate actions against any affiliates or any third parties who do spam.
  3. Will not text or call players on their phones without explicit permission. And this form of aggressive advertising must cease immediately upon request.

Operational Standards
  1. Must pay winnings in a timely manner.
  2. Promotion terms and conditions must be clearly displayed, hyperlinked from all promotion pages or pop-up banners, and must contain a date and time stamp.
  3. Must not disqualify any player from a payout if terms & conditions are met, except for situations of fraud (multiple-accounts, bogus ID documents, chargebacks, etc.,).
  4. Must not confiscate winnings for vague & unclear reasons, such as "irregular playing patterns" or "bonus abuse", without specific T&C violations.
  5. Must not implement terms that can be construed as "unfair" towards the player.
  6. No player shall be involuntarily placed into a situation which breaches the terms and conditions during the course of play.
  7. Must pay out progressive jackpot wins in full or in reasonable chunks, regardless of any terms and conditions limiting payouts.*
  8. Must remove any bonus and associated play-through requirements at the request of the player if play has not commenced.
  9. Will not aggressively entice players to reverse cash withdrawals with bonuses or other incentives.
  10. Will not use outsourced support. Player support must be in-house.
  11. Must offer live chat support.
  12. Must disclose all "sister" or related properties when applicable. If players are bound by terms that are enforced across a group of casinos, these casinos must be identified in an obvious place on the casino's website. For example: if a player is allowed only one sign up bonus for a group of casinos, these casinos need to be listed in the bonus terms and conditions (or an equally noticeable spot). If a player self-excludes from one property, the casino needs to identify all related properties that are affected by the exclusion as well.

Affiliate marketing Standards
  1. Must not cross promote to other properties without giving proper credit to affiliates and/or their advertisers.
  2. Must not implement retroactive terms and conditions to their affiliate programs without explicit permission and agreement from the affiliate.

Industry and Player Assurances
  1. RNG and/or software must be audited by a third party.
  2. Must have an active representative (who can walk and chew gum at the same time) listed in Casinomeister's forum. This representative must be directly involved with customer/player service, or who can make decisions involving player issues. This representative needs to log in at least once a week.
  3. They must be licensed in a jurisdiction that offers gambling licenses for online casinos. This licensing entity must be responsive to player complaints, and they must have an effective infrastructure that oversees and enforces compliance with regulations that protect players from fraudulent or unethical activity.**

* Excluding IGT progressive jackpots - this is noted within their listings.
** Nine casinos listed in the Accredited section are licensed in small jusrisdictions that have limited regulations. These casinos have a proven track record, some have been listed for years and their history of fairness and proper management overides this one clause.

Additional Requirements on Becoming Accredited:

Before the Baptism by Fire: We require that any casino up for consideration must be in business for at least two years* before attempting to come on board. Our experience is that many new casinos lack the proper business skills to safely maneuver their way through the rocky straits of online gambling. Many of these casinos either fail or are acquired by larger groups.

*Casinos without the mandatory two year experience can be accepted with a 120 day testing period.

Casinos need to be self sustaining independent businesses that do not rely on third parties for finances and/or support. This disqualifies many white-label casinos.

Also, casinos that are accepting US bets are disqualified unless they are licensed in the US. These casinos will be listed at Casinomeister.US.

Casinos that are licensed solely in the Caribbean - Antigua & Barbuda, Curaçao, et al, are disqualified. These are rubber stamp licenses from banana republics.

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