Playing casino games, in real life or online, carries a risk and is mostly about chance. And it is these two factors which people find so intoxicating and which makes them come back for more. Without risk, there would be no fun and excitement and you might as well dedicate your time to playing UNO or solitary. But there is also a huge difference between playing risky games and playing at risky casinos.
You should at any cost avoid playing in any place (real or virtual) which is not 100% safe and secure and which does not offer some sort of guarantee that your personal and financial information are stored with the highest of security measures. You should also avoid playing at any site which does not display any kind of certificate that their servers and systems have been tested for safety and randomness.
A certificate will guarantee that the applicant or operator has fulfilled and complied with a series of rules, regulations and practices which benefit the end-consumer (player) as well as any party involved in the day-to-day operations of the online casino. Some of these practices and rules cover but are not limited to paperwork for identity and ownership, financial documents, practices of integrity and competence, criminal background checks and more.
There are hundreds of bodies and organizations which offer technical testing and certification procedures for many types of industries. The ones we're interested in reviewing are the ones in charge of testing systems and servers, random number generators and overall business practice of online casinos.
Verisign was created in 1995 which makes it roughly the same age as the oldest online casinos. With headquarters in Virginia, the company has seen a steady growth in business and revenue year after year, having surpassed the $1 billion yearly revenue mark in 2009. There are currently over 2000 people working for Verisign all over the world and the company is quoted on several stock markets.
Verisign has been leading the security certification industry for many years and it has received licenses to key cryptographic patents which were held by RSA. Verisign's business mission reads: "providing trust for the Internet and Electronic Commerce through Digital Authentication services and products". That pretty much sums up what the company is all about. To date, Verisign has granted over 3 million certificates for businesses in every conceivable industry including online gambling. Verisign is by far the biggest certification organization for encryption and authentication currently on the internet.
Thawte was created in 1995 in South Africa by Mark Shuttleworth and became the first certificate organization outside of the USA to be allowed to issue certificates to public entities. It also was the first certificate authority allowed to recognize and secure internationalized domain names. According to the latest independent survey, Thawte has already granted over 945,000 SSL and code signing certificates in over 240 countries, which help protect the identity and transactions of its users. Amongst its clients one can find online casinos which need to guarantee the security of sensitive credit and debit card data, personal information of customers and protect them from identity theft and fraud. Thawte currently controls over 40% of the worldwide SSL market. In 2000, Thawte was bought out by Verisign Inc. and together both companies have pretty much dominated the market ever since. Thawte's securing of internationalized domain names has allowed the online gambling industry to expand into multi-lingual gaming operations.
Gaming Associates is a company specializing in certification services for the online gambling industry. Gaming Associates documents regulatory requirements and applies them to internet gambling systems. All Gaming Associates consultants are accredited internationally and recognized as systems security professionals by ISO, IEC and ANSI. Gaming Associates provides an expert service for customers in need of specific technical requirements to operate in a regulated online gambling industry. Their consultants are experts with many years experience in the field and qualified to operate within most online gambling jurisdictions.
Technical Systems Testing (TST)
Technical Systems Testing was created in 1993 and has ever since provided a number of testing, certification and consulting services for online gambling companies. Their main purpose is to ensure their client and customers meet all the technical specifications and regulations set forth by their competent regulatory body. The certificate awarded by TST may also be read as TST Fair Gaming since the company is an accredited independent testing facility and serves as an impartial mediator according to ISO 9002 certified systems. Their certificates are approved and accepted by many international gambling jurisdictions.
Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC)
Price Waterhouse Coopers provides a number of consulting and auditing services for the online gambling industry. These services include public trust assurance, secure e-gaming business practices and legal services according to each jurisdictions. The higher standards set forth by PWC enhance perception of trust and security for online casinos.
They also audit tax and financial reports as well as human resource management. They provide services as advisers and consultancy for stake-holding of public gambling companies. PWC is the biggest accountancy company in the world and offers certificates to assure that all financial transactions are constantly monitored thus guaranteeing fairness and security.
BMM is an independent and private gaming certification organization. Founded in 1981, BBM is one of the oldest such companies in the world. BMM manages over 14 offices in 13 countries which offer certification and testing services, consultancy on regulatory practices and field services to clients over the world. BMM also offers its expertise on online gambling certifications, training and education. Other fields include gambling compliance issues for developers, operators and regulators. BMM has an office in Las Vegas which handles the same issues for the North American market. BMM is recognized in over 400 different jurisdictions worldwide.