Before you go anywhere, you’re going to need to know how to tell a good casino from a not-so-good one and if you want someone to do that for you, the Casinomeister Accredited Casinos page is where to start. There are several factors in deciding the right casino which I’ll attempt to explain below and within these pages, but first, draw the distinction between “safe” and “good”. I regard a “safe” casino as one that will pay you your winnings in a timely fashion with no fuss and one that will treat your personal information as exactly that: personal.

A “good” casino factors in all sorts of other things: service, games, support…but to be “good”, in my eyes it has also to be “safe”. In this section, we deal with “safe“! If you find a casino that looks appealing and despite reading what I’ve written below, you’re still struggling to decide whether to sign up, check out the How To Tell If A Casino Is Legitimate page, and Spot the Rogue.

How To Tell If A Casino Is Legitimate

When you arrive at a casino website, you will undoubtedly see some “seals” or mentions of various approvals from various organizations. Some are good, while some are little more than a pretty picture. The first thing I look for is the “software” the casino uses and then for the “licensed in” (or “regulated by”) information. Finally, there are some independent (unofficial) bodies that offer casino “certification”.

Not always easy to tell, but there are things to look for. A generalization: if the casino uses Microgaming or Cryptologic (Wagerlogic) software, you can be pretty sure the software vendor is pretty stringent on who gets their licenses. If you go with a Playtech, or IGT casino then you’ll usually be in safe hands, whereas with the other vendors it’s a bit hit and miss – good and bad exist out there!

A number of casinos display various “seals” of legitimacy from independent regulators, along with audited payout certifications. While none of these guarantee safety, seals from eCOGRA and auditing by PriceWaterhouseCoopers are generally signs that the casino is at least working with people with the right intentions.

One of the things I always look for is the “about us” page. I expect to see information here that reinforces the casino’s operations and gives me confidence. Transparency of information is not a good thing, but if they are licensed in Gibraltar, Australia, the Isle Of Man, Malta or Alderney, these are strict jurisdictions that care about how the business world views them. You’ll be able to add the UK to that list in the coming months I expect as new laws are introduced. Here’s my own perception of the strictness of jurisdictions that regulate online gambling companies: Alderney (strict), Australia (strict), Antigua & Barbuda (not very strict), Costa Rica (not very strict), Curacao N.V (not very strict), First Cagayan Philippines (not very strict), Gibraltar (strict), Isle Of Man (strict), Kahnawake (reasonably strict), Malta (strict), Vanuatu (reasonably strict). There are one or two other minor jurisdictions but not ones I know much about to be honest. More on this in the Licencing and Regulations section.

Obviously, the best recommendations come from other players, and there is little better than to search the forums at Casinomeister to get an indication of how a casino is performing. As a general rule, the less threads in the “complaints” section the better, although the vast majority of complaints are bonus related and do not necessarily reflect on the operational aspects of a casino. You have to bear in mind that casinos don’t generally like players trying to profit from “free money” without taking a risk of their own, which is why bonus terms get convoluted and cause so many disputes.