Slots have come a long way, with the first ever machine that had an automatic payout being credited to Charles Augustus Fey, way back in 1895. They continued to develop, becoming more and more sophisticated, until, eventually, in the mid-1990s it became possible to play slots online. As to who opened the first online casino, more than one will try to lay claim to that endeavor. What is certain, though, is that the industry has boomed ever since. Internet users have an almost overwhelming choice when it comes to deciding where to play slots online. They can carefully make their selection on which of the top new slots sites to play at through visiting reliable comparison pages.
Unfortunately, if you don’t have your wits about you, you can fall foul of a rogue casino, out to make more than a few easy, illegal bucks. How do you know which ones are safe and which are bogus? You have to look for the signs. Here are a few questions you can ask yourself to determine whether the site is legitimate or you’re dealing with a fraudster.
Does the casino have a license?
All casinos must have a license. If the casino doesn’t have one, that doesn’t mean it’s a complete fake, but you’d be better off not playing there. And if it does have a license? Check who the authority that has issued the license. The UK Gambling Commission is a highly reputable one, for instance. A legitimate casino is likely to have a badge that leads to the homepage on it. If the link is broken, it’s better to avoid playing at the casino.
Has anyone blacklisted the site anywhere?
If a casino isn’t legit, people who have played there will jump straight online to let everyone else know about it. Have a look online to see if the casino has got caught up in any scandal at all. That scandal might be one of not paying winnings. It could be of closing a profitable account. Maybe it’s of changing the terms and conditions of a bonus at short notice. Whatever it is, you can be sure the enraged customer will have commented online about it.
Note that some players will badmouth completely legitimate sites, simply because they’ve lost several consecutive games or have received some poor service. Beware of half-baked conspiracy theories. If an operator has been going for more than five years without any scandals, there’s a fair chance it’s legitimate.
Can you deposit with PayPal?
If a site works with PayPal, this is an excellent sign. PayPal won’t work with just anyone. A reputable operator will offer several different deposit options and most of the top new slots sites, if not all of them, will allow deposits by PayPal.
Can you consult anyone?
A legitimate casino will be there to support its customers. Many provide some type of live chat service around the clock so that no matter when you’re playing, you can contact someone and get a quick response, if not an immediate one, when you have an issue on the site. You should always be able to contact the casino as well, 24 hours a day, by telephone or by email.
Does the site encourage responsible gaming?
Casino operators want to make a profit, yes; do they want to plunge someone into poverty to do it? Not if they’re legit. A shady casino operator won’t care, however. They’ll squeeze every single dollar they can out of you, regardless of who you are and how you have to deal with the consequences. They just want the money, pure and simple.
This is quite unlike legitimate sites, who encourage responsible gambling. If you’re under 18, you won’t be allowed to enter the site. If you feel you might struggle with compulsive gambling, you can take advantage of the tools that they provide to help you control your spending and/or the amount of time you spend in the casino. These include suspending your account for a specified period, creating reminders and time limits on games, and setting deposit limits. The casino can also point you in the direction of counselling resources to help with gambling addiction. They want their customers to enjoy their services safely and responsibly.
Have they been tested?
Online casinos want to prove to customers that their games are fair. If you’re on a real online casino site, the site will bear some form of testing certification. This could be from eCogra, Technical Systems Testing or another reputable testing company or agency. These auditors test and certify online gaming services to ensure they meet high standards and the operators are providing them with integrity. If the operator has certification, you know you can play safely on the site.
What is the general quality of the site like?
Scammers are too occupied with trying to con money out of people to invest much time in the design of the site. Many will spend very little — and it shows — whereas legitimate operators will have a clean design, use quality graphics and provide all the necessary information about themselves and their services.
Contrast this high quality with the site quality of a shifty operator. The latter’s is likely to have lots of spelling mistakes, poor quality images and little information, and it will probably lack basic pages such as a Contact page. If you notice any of these flaws on a site, avoid clicking on any links and ignore any requests for personal details. They’re not going to be using them for anything good.
Unfortunately for unsuspecting online gamers, there are lots of unscrupulous casinos out there. They’ll try all manner of tricks to get you to part with your cash for what will be nothing in return. You can protect yourself by conducting the checks above — certification, deposit options, responsible gaming policy, licensing, contact options, site quality and general reputation — to ascertain whether you’re dealing with a genuine operator or a bogus one. Hopefully, you’ll be on the site of the former, where you can then enjoy your game safely.