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Verifying Legality of Gambling Sites - How Do You Know if a Casino Is Real?

With so many online casinos and sportsbook sites available these days, it’s much easier for illegitimate operations to slip through the cracks. That’s why verifying legality of gambling sites is essential! Many players are interested in online casinos for one thing, and that is the games. It is natural for many not to be aware of the potential risks of playing online with real money. Whether it is regarding the security of your personal information or the fairness of the games, it is best you make sure you keep yourself informed to avoid disappointment. As such, we have created this guide on how to verify that a site offers legal online gambling.

Before Getting Started

Before you commit a single letter to that registration page, you should know that most sites will still make a note of your incomplete registration. This could mean they already hold some information about you without you ever confirming the creation of an account. While this isn’t a problem at a verified site, it could pose a concern if done at an illegitimate one.

That is why we recommend you go through the steps listed below before typing a single word into any kind of registration page. Black-market operations often use people’s personal information that they trade back and forth in exchange for money. As unlikely as it may seem that it would happen to you, it only takes a simple precaution of checking before typing to avoid these kinds of situations.

Check Casino Security and Privacy Policy

Check Its Licensing

The first thing you should do when visiting a casino for the first time is to check the licensing of the gambling site. This is the easiest way of determining whichonline gambling sites are legal. If there is no sign of a gambling license attributed to that site, then stay away at all costs. It could also be that the site is licensed but in a jurisdiction outside of your country of residence. Playing online or mobile casino games at such a site will generally exclude you from certain protections offered by your local government.

For example, if you are living in the US, you will not be able to claim any kind of remuneration from a site with a UKGC license. A UK license only pertains to players residing in the UK. It is generally rather easy to confirm whether a site has an active license or not. Most licensing authorities will provide certification that is publicly available online. So, if you want to verify whether the casino’s UK license is legit, simply check out the Gambling Commission public register.

In addition to a license from a gambling authority, you can look for certificates from reputable third-party regulatory bodies. One example of this is eCOGRA, which is a UK-based testing agency that’s internationally accredited. If the casino in question gets the eCOGRA certification, you’ll find it at the bottom of the homepage.

Checking a Casino License Status – Step by Step

In most scenarios, checking whether a casino license exists and it’s valid takes one click. Here’s how verifying legality of gambling sites work:

  1. Go to the casino’s footer (bottom of the homepage).
  2. See if there’s a clickable logo of the authority that issues the license (UKGC, MGA, and some Curacao authorities offer these)
  3. Click on the logo, and it should lead you to a separate page that gives you licensing information.
  4. It’s possible to double-check this by visiting the individual registers of authorities (MGA, UKGC, SGA, and others have this).

Check Its Security And Privacy Policy

Another important aspect to cover when playing online is the safety of your information. Most legal gambling sites act as a front to get you to hand over your private and personal information. Other unlicensed online wagering operators are simply not secure enough to stop hackers from getting into their systems. We, therefore, recommend that you never play at a site that isn’t TLS or SSL secured. This technology is a type of data encryption that encodes your information when on a site. Modern browsers will typically represent this with a padlock icon at the beginning of the URL bar. If your browser does feature this and you don’t see it when hopping on to a casino, you should assume your information is not being secured.

Moreover, trustworthy gambling operators will provide players with secure payment methods. The list should include reputable payment providers, like Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, Neteller, etc. This way, users can rest assured their financial data is well taken care of and enjoy their iGaming adventure.

Legal online gambling sites will also provide a privacy policy that outlines the different ways in which your information is used and stored when on the site. These policies provide a detailed breakdown that does require some computer literacy to understand. While this is generally a good sign that a site is considerate of protecting your data, a privacy policy can be easily copied from one site to another and is, therefore, not necessarily a guarantee.

Read Casino Reviews

Test Customer Support

Another great way to determine which online gambling sites are legal is to check out their customer service section. In 2023, the industry-standard requires casinos to offer a chatbot and an e-mail address at the very least. Preferably, you’ll find a site with live chat support. You can use these communication channels to ask questions regarding licensing and security. If the operator provides you with quick, helpful, and genuine answers, you’re likely at an honest and decent casino. However, if you receive delayed, unclear, and unhelpful responses, you’re probably just better off at another casino site. Remember, the casino’s number one priority should be the satisfaction of its members. Hence, operators will ensure that customer service is professional, timely, and helpful.

Check the Game Developers

The iGaming industry is home to some pretty big names when it comes to online casino game developers. Some of the most popular providers include NetEnt, Microgaming, Pragmatic Play, Play’n GO, Evolution, etc. Not only do these developers provide top-class casino games, but they also only collaborate with reputable and legal online gambling sites. Meaning, you should pay attention to the game menu when you’re checking if the casino is legal or not. If the games provided are from reputable developers and there are no issues in the gameplay, you’re in safe hands. If, however, the games don’t run smoothly and have low-quality audiovisuals, you should look for another casino.

Read Reviews

Reading reviews is one of the best ways to get a clear image of a site without ever having visited it. The important part is to either find a source you trust or at least consult on multiple sources to get a more balanced perspective. Player reviews can be a great way to understand the feelings of the casino’s customer base. They should however generally be taken with a pinch of salt. Most players tend to only write reviews when something out of the ordinary has happened. It is therefore incredibly hard to analyze an online casino based on a single player review. You can also check out reviews written by industry veterans like the ones found here at GoodLuckMate. All of our casino reviews cover aspects such as security and the licensing status of the site.

Legit Gambling Sites You Can Trust

It’s possible to be confused if you’re new to the online gambling world. Rather than looking for licensed casinos yourself and spending time reading reviews from other players, you can trust our experts. At the time being, we can recommend playing at Wheelz Casino, BitStarz, and National Casino as three legit and popular gambling sites.

Alternatively, just visit our section, where we list and review the most reliable gambling operators. The results there will show based on your location, so you can rest assured to get useful recommendations rather than generic ones.

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Nerijus Grenda
Nerijus Grenda
Last Update: 13 Mar 2023
Nerijus Grenda is a prolific contributor to the GoodLuckMate site. With a deep understanding of the online casino industry, gained from his own experience as an avid player, he offers valuable insights on what sets the best casinos apart from the rest. As a writer, Nerijus shares his expertise through expert analysis and thoughtful commentary on various topics related to online gambling, including casino reviews, game guides and industry trends.

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