Safe online casinos
Online casinos are like any other regular business and thus are not exempt from a few bad apples making a few bad choices. Some online casinos fail and go aground and some actively scam and lie and steal from their customers. This is normal in any business line and in any industry and should not be seen as exclusive to online gambling. Unfortunately online casinos suffer from two specific stigmas, people don't trust gambling companies and people don't fully trust internet based companies.
Innate distrust towards online casinos also depends on your cultural and geographical background. For example, the European online gambling industry is far more regulated and safe than the online gambling industry in other areas of the world like Asia, Africa and the Caribbean. The last factor influencing distrust of online gambling is personal views, and this is the hardest to change. People will always think online casinos are rigged or purposely programmed to make you lose when in fact its just a matter of luck whether a player wins or lose (of course the house edge influences the outcome too).
There are more legal and regulated online casinos than rogue casinos and most online casinos are licensed and regulated by some form of government organization. Many online casinos belong to corporations which are duly registered and certified and which even feature on stock markets.
Safe internet casinos
A safe online casino is basically an internet gambling shop which offers a guaranteed safe and secure gaming environment to their players. They process deposits and withdrawals through safe servers and encrypted data transfer and most are audited by some independent organization. These certifications and labels are important since they offer proof and peace of mind when choosing your new online casino. The random number generators (RNG) are tested constantly throughout the year. Another good way to get hands-on information on a specific online casino is to read player reviews or visit watchdog sites like CasinoMeister where the community can offer recommendations on where to play safely and where they also name and shame rogue casinos.
What to avoid?
If you're unlucky enough to have signed up with a rogue casino you will sooner realize your funds and personal information might have been compromised. Clues to consider include lack of certificates, meaning the casino has not been granted a license to operate, its not being monitored or regulated and there is no official government or independent organization making sure all aspects of the operation are safe and secure including player funds. Other clues involve long waiting periods for withdrawals, constant excuses for shady or improper behaviour and overall bad customer support and gaming experience.
Choosing a safe online casino
The best way to avoid being the target of a scam casino is using common sense and gut feeling. If something doesn't seem right, it probably isn't. Maybe the site is lacking a professional website, there are no secure pages when accessing the cashier (https), no certifications or mentions of licensing or jurisdiction and very unprofessional customer support. But keep an eye out especially for documentation or certificates showing independent testing results, which government regulates the operations and what organization they got their license from. If any or all of these are missing, you should be hearing alarms ringing in your head.
These are the governments, areas and regions which offer the possibility for land-based and online casinos to apply for a license and which will monitor and regulate the business operations and financial transactions of these companies in exchange for a licensing fee and as long as these operators operate within the established laws and regulations put in place by the licensing body.
A safe, secure and regulated online casino will hold a license from any of the many jurisdictions or licensing organizations in the market which guarantee that all operating and financial operations of the company are being constantly monitored and regulated. These operators must abide by a certain number of rules like paying taxes and hosting their servers within the jurisdictional area where the license was issued.
Certification is of the utmost importance since its the only way for an online casino to show that it has undergone rigorous testing of its software, servers and random number generators. There are many third-party and independent organizations out there which offer a barrage of tests and certificates which add value and confidence to the online casino.