The iGaming sector has enjoyed tremendous growth in the past decade. While online gambling is banned in most US states, it still generates millions of dollars in revenue each year (reaching $16m in 2016).
The success GVC (owners of iconic British brands Ladbrokes and Coral) has achieved in the US is further proof of the US’s increasing acceptance of online betting. But while sports betting and bingo have contributed to the proliferation of iGaming, online casinos are particularly commonplace.
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Hundreds of websites provide consumers with an extensive selection of casino-gaming options, with virtual slot machines the most popular type by far.
But as playing slots at online casinos costs money (unless you’re happy to stick to free-to-play slots), keeping your payments secure is crucial. How can you do that?
1. Only Play Slots at Licensed Online Casinos
One of the most practical and effective ways to identify a secure online casino is to check its licensing.
Reliable websites will carry a license from a recognized regulator (such as the Kahnawake Gaming Commission) as proof of their high standards. An online casino regulated by a reputable commission is likely to incorporate solid encryption software to protect your financial details.
2. Use an E-wallet or Mobile Payment Platform to Avoid Inputting Key Data
E-wallets (PayPal, Skrill, etc.) are common payment options at online casinos. These platforms essentially act as a middleman, so there’s no need to enter your banking details directly (as you would with credit cards).
Mobile-payment platforms, such as Boku, are another top choice to maximize your safety. Adding your expenses to your phone bill allows you to sidestep entering any banking details into a website altogether. Many high-quality online casinos accept Boku, too — find more detailed info here.
3. Choose Websites with SSL Encryption
Never, ever make payments at an online casino without a lock symbol in its URL bar.
Why? This shows the site incorporates Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption, ensuring a secure connection that protects your data during transmission. While a website without a lock symbol can still be legitimate and ethical, it’s simply not worth the risk.
4. Try to Play In-browser Only
You have two options when playing slots online: download a website’s software or stay in-browser. This doesn’t apply to every online casino, and some reputable sites allow downloads, but it’s increasingly common for slot games to be available without.
Unscrupulous businesses may hide viruses in their software to gain access to your data, or poor design could lead to genuine (but still risky) oversights. Look into any brand’s reputation and credentials carefully before you download any of its software. Be sure you can trust the site first.
5. Choose Casinos with Cutting-edge Games and Features
Another telltale sign of a trustworthy casino is a large collection of big-name slots and games.
Hosting slots produced by the industry’s best developers (Yggdrasil, NetEnt, Red Tiger) doesn’t come cheap. That means online casinos offering customers the chance to play slots with high production values, based on blockbuster movies and TV series, must be committed to running a reputable business.
In short: the better and more polished a site’s slots portfolio is, the more secure your payments will be.
Follow these tips to keep your details and your finances safe when playing online slots. Always check for trust signals, such as licensing and certification badges at the bottom of the site.