The online casino industry in the United States is rapidly growing and currently provides a plethora of options across multiple states. But choosing an online casino can be a daunting task with many options to consider and you may not know what you should even be looking for when choosing a site to sign up with. Add in the risky illegal sites that are deceptively legitimate-looking, and it gets even more confusing.
What, exactly, should customers be looking out for when picking their new preferred gambling platform? The choice can be rather tricky, as all US states have different rules and regulations when it comes to legal online casino operators. Luckily, we are here to help.
There are several ways to identify legal and trustworthy online casinos in the United States — sites that operate within the confines of the law and on which your funds will be totally safe and secure. The same cannot be said about offshore sites that are run illegally, without a license to operate on American soil. These illegal offshore sites come with plenty of risks, including the potential loss of your entire bankroll, without any legal way to recover the funds.
Questions To Ask When Choosing A Legal Online Casino: At A Glance
- Does the site have a regulator logo/seal?
- What responsible gaming measures do they have?
- Does the online casino have a land-based partner?
- Does it offer a full suite of secure payment options?
Below are our 5 Top Tips to Picking a Trustworthy Online Casino in the US. If you want to play safely and with complete peace of mind, then be sure to follow these steps before entering any of your personal info or depositing any money.
Look For Regulator Seals on the Website
Each legal online casino in the US displays the seal of the state regulatory authorities on its website, usually in the footer. Being licensed and regulated by the appropriate state agency ensures that state and federal regulators have jurisdiction over the operator and will be available to assist if customers run into any problems whatsoever. Official complaints can be made and guidelines are in place stipulating how the operator has to proceed in response to any grievances filed.
With offshore sites, your safety cannot be guaranteed. Many have no license at all and if they do, they may only have a license issued by overseas gaming authorities that have no jurisdiction in the US. If the operator is licensed at all, the overseas licensing agency may not be able to offer you any protection and the US regulators will not be able to help you either as they have no authority over offshore sites.
Payment Options as an Indicator for Safety
Accepting cryptocurrency or foreign currencies is the first sign that the online casino is not legally authorized to operate in the United States. Both are prone to exchange fees and volatility on short notice, while legal operators only work with well-established institutions.
On legal US online gambling sites, all your banking information is encrypted and secure, which reduces the risk of identity theft, stolen funds, and the possibility that your money will be used for criminal activity. Furthermore, all customer funds have to be held in segregated accounts, fully separate from the casino’s operational funds. This means that the casino cannot use your money for any other purpose and should the casino go out of business, your money will be returned. Legal operators are obliged to abide by this rule to guarantee payouts for all patrons. On illegal offshore sites, they could shut down without any notice, taking your money with them, and you will have little recourse to get your cash back.
Legal Casino Sites Have Land-Based Partners in the US
In order to obtain a license in US states to offer real money online casino games, legal operators have to form partnerships with established brick-and-mortar casinos that operate within their respective state borders. When picking a trustworthy online casino, be sure to look on the site to see who its land-based partner is. This information should be easy to find and will usually be a recognizable name that you are already familiar with. For extra confidence, you can also look up the land-based casino and even reach out to them directly to confirm that they are indeed affiliated with that site. State regulators also publicly list every licensed online casino operating in their state, usually with the affiliated land-based casino’s info as well. The state regulator’s website site is a great place to confirm that any site you are considering is legal, safe, and trustworthy.
As an added bonus of these casino partnerships, the brick-and-mortar venues usually offer online casino players the option to deposit and withdraw funds in person. This allows you the option to avoid providing any banking information online, thus adding another layer of security on top. And, of course, proper government-issued ID is required for all transactions at the casino cage.
The land-based casino partners include some of the most well-known and reputable brands in the country and they often offer some great additional benefits that online players can enjoy. For example, many have loyalty programs in place, which provide extra value by allowing customers to earn further benefits and rewards, which they can then redeem either online or at the affiliated land-based establishments across the US.
Extensive Responsible Gaming Measures Are in Place
When it comes to online gambling, providing a safe environment for all customers is of utmost importance for all. Legal operators are not only well-known but they also have sophisticated responsible gambling measures in place. Licensed sites are also obligated to check the identity of all patrons in order to prevent underage gambling or fraud from occurring.
Responsible gaming measures that you will find at a reputable casino site include the ability to set time and deposit limits, the option to self-exclude, educational resources, and access to state hotlines in case you or someone you know needs help against gambling addiction. Customers also have the option to contact the operators via live chat or phone hotline to request further help.
Without the oversight and regular audits of state authorities, such measures are rarely ever in place for offshore casino websites and can lead to severe consequences as such sites are usually not at all concerned with their customers’ well-being.
Fair Games With Reasonable Jackpots and Bonus Prizes
If a bonus offer sounds too good to be true, then if probably is. Always check the fine print first. Once you look at all the details, you will often find that the most glamorous promotions by offshore operators come attached to unreasonable requirements or very low chances to ever hit the elusive jackpot.
While the bonuses at legal online casinos may not look as enticing at first glance, they have far more reasonable requirements to unlock an extra payday. A smaller attainable award beats a larger unattainable one any day.
Regulated casinos also use complex algorithms and random number generators to ensure fair play. The fairness of their games is also audited regularly by independent bodies to ensure an enjoyable gaming environment. With offshore sites, there is no guarantee the games are fair and no way to know if they are cards are literally stacked against you.
When gambling online, your safety is paramount. With a few simple checks, you can make sure that any site is legitimate, legal, and, most importantly, safe to play on. These are some of the most important things to look out for when picking an online casino in the US. Always make sure to search the websites for any potential red flags before signing up, sharing personal information, and depositing funds.