How to tell if an online casino is safe

Article by Andy Potts
Question on why choose a safe online casino
Last Updated: Apr 2nd, 2024 Share On Your Network:

Gambling in Australia is on an upward trajectory as more and more players enjoy the thrill of playing pokies, betting on sports or live casino action. However, knowing how to tell if an online casino is safe is a critical element you must know.

While most Australian online casino sites are secure, some unscrupulous operators exist. Understanding how to tell the difference will ensure you enjoy your gaming experience without issues.

You will want to know that depositing money at online casinos is safe. If you have had a big win, you’ll want to process your withdrawal without hiccups. Dodgy casino sites are well known for often not returning player funds. Unfortunately, with no licensing or regulations, you will have little comeback.

Do you know how to determine if an online casino is legitimate? If not, that’s where our team at Betsquare comes in. We have many years of experience and know what to look for. We have some handy tips and ways to keep you secure when gambling online. Keep reading as we explore online casino safety and the best ways to have a fun and safe time online.

Factors Determining a Trustworthy Casino

We often get this question from our readers: How do you tell if an online casino is safe? Knowing what to look for will set you off on the right footing. We know many Australian players who have written to us for help. Some have lost thousands with no recourse. The sites they played at were unlicensed and offshore, so there was no way to get it back. 

The best way to determine if an online casino is legitimate is by checking its licensing status. This is always our first port of call when undertaking any casino review. A trustworthy online casino typically displays its licensing at the bottom of its homepage. They should also include the licensing number, which we always check with the licensing body to confirm authenticity. 

Registration with a Legitimate Gaming Regulatory Authority

ACMA logo

The Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which oversees legal gambling sites in Australia, among other things, includes this about non-safe online casino sites:


  • It will let you deposit your money but not withdraw your winnings.
  • It can close its services or move elsewhere, and your money will vanish
  • Some illegal casino operators will continue withdrawing funds from your payment source. 


To legally operate in Australia, any real-money online casino must have approval from the ACMA to offer its services. It also incorporates state regulators like:


  • Liquor and Gaming NSW
  • Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission
  • Northern Territory Racing Control Commission
  • ACT Gambling and Racing Commision
  • WA Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Interests.


How can you know the status of online casino legality? ACMA-approved casino sites should clearly display their licensing agreement. If you don’t see it, it is a possible red flag. Another check you can do is by going directly to the ACMA website, which has listed all legally operating casino sites and bookmakers in Australia by clicking here

The ACMA has many roles, but its main aim is to offer protection for players like you. They also encourage players who have been stung by dodgy offshore sites to let them know:

You can make a complaint to the ACMA if you believe a website is offering illegal gambling. You don’t have to give your name to them either. They will investigate and, if necessary, close it down. 

If you have had problems with overseas casino operators, they suggest you try one of the following:


  • Seek out independent legal advice
  • You can complain to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
  • Contact the licensing authority 


A gaming regulatory authority will ensure that casinos follow fair gaming practices and that the pokies and table games are certified as provably fair. 

SSL Certificate

So, what is an SSL Certificate? SSL stands for Secure Socket Layer. It’s a type of encryption software technology that will protect your sensitive data. When you play at an online casino, you will provide all your personal information, including your name, address, and date of birth. You will not want any of it to get into the wrong hands. You will also use bank cards and other payment methods, which must remain secure. 

To ensure your data stays safe, SSL technology encrypts your details, making them impossible for hackers to access. It is the same type of technology you will find at all our major Aussie banks and financial institutions. But knowing how to check if an online casino uses an SSL certificate ensures you only choose safe and secure Australian online casino sites. 

Many casinos will display their SLL certification on the homepage next to their licensing details. If it is not there, you can also look at the terms and conditions where they must let you know how they protect your data. One of the easiest ways to check, though, is when you type in the name of the casino website or any other type of website; there should be a padlock before your web browser’s URL. 

In Google Chrome, on a desktop, you can click on the button next to the URL, which will pop up with “connection is secure”. Click on that, and where it says the certificate is valid, a pop-up will appear with all the SSL certificate details. 


Online Reviews

We all work hard for our money, so we recommend reading online casino reviews before investing any of your cash into an Australian casino. We constantly check these when conducting our online reviews, as current or previous players are the best sources of information. At the same time, some casino sites may showcase some reviews from their players, but it is not a solid method, as they will only include the positives.

We will use various sources, but we have had much success with Trustpilot. It is slightly more challenging for new casino sites as there won’t be many reviews until they have time to establish. While reviews always have a mix of positives and negatives, we read between the lines. If there is a recurring theme, it is generally an indicator that the site is either shining or not up to standard. 

For example, it should be a concern if the ratings are low and there are many complaints about not receiving payments. However, the player may have broken the casino’s terms if it has high ratings, with only a few complaints about not receiving withdrawals. New players often miss reading the terms of an offer. They may spin over the maximum amount allowed or play the wrong games without realising it, which breaches the casino terms. 


Customer Service 

Customer support is another crucial aspect of any reputable casino, and their team should be responsive and efficient. The casino experience may go smoothly for most players without contacting customer service. There are instances when things may go wrong, and you need help.

It may be a problem with a payment, a game that has glitched in the middle of a bonus round, or even a query on a bonus. A reputable Australian Online Casino customer service is a must. Unscrupulous sites may offer an email, but you may receive no response. We prefer 24-hour services with a trustworthy site all year round, but if not, they should state their opening times clearly. 


The primary means of contact for customer service are:


Live Chat: If you want instant help, live chat is one of the most effective methods. The live chat button is generally easily located for one-tap-click access. With modern technology, many will start with a bot asking questions and trying to resolve them. However, you can also choose to speak to a human. 
Email: If you have less critical queries, you can send an email, which is helpful if you have to upload documentation.
Phone: A phone is a less common method, but if offered, it is an excellent and quick way to resolve any queries. 
Social Media: Many Australian casinos have a social media presence. You can contact some of them on channels like Facebook, X(Twitter), and Instagram, among others. 

A Variety of Payment and Withdrawal Methods

PayPal for Casino Payments

A safe online casino should offer various legitimate deposit and withdrawal methods, such as Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal. The casino should also be PCI-compliant. Keeping PCI compliant involves following policies and procedures designed to protect credit, debit and cash card transactions. All card brands also require Payment Card Industry Data Security Standards (PCI DSS).

Each of the casino payment methods has its advantages and disadvantages. Some are more secure than others, and choosing a method that works best for you is essential. Many sites also offer cryptocurrency payments. It is highly secure as it works on blockchain technology and has become a player favourite due to its anonymity. If you choose e-wallets like Neteller or PayPal, you can set up 2FA, which provides an extra layer of payment protection.  

With the best online casinos, you can find out how long each withdrawal method takes so you know the best option. Legit Australian online casinos will also have a KYC process before you request your first payout and will advise you of any withdrawal delays. 


Reputable Software Providers 

There should be a selection of games from reputable software developers, such as Microgaming or Pragmatic Play, in a trustworthy casino. There are hundreds of software developers, and while most offer online casino games you can trust, some are adopted by unlicensed sites that you can’t. 

The site is legit when a casino has big software providers powering the slot games. These providers will only work with licensed and regulated Aussie sites. Another feature of using them is that they include RNG (Random Number Generators) certification on their slot and table games. 

They work because when you spin a slot or play a game of blackjack or roulette, the RNG is an algorithm that generates thousands of outcomes a second. So, when you hit the spin button, your result will be entirely random. It means that every player’s chances are the same as the next. They are also impossible to alter, so neither the casino nor the developers can adjust them once they have received their certification.

They receive certificates from external regulators with the most well-known and highly regarded eCOGRA. They run millions of test spins and ensure it meets its advertised RTP (Return to Player) percentage before certification and its release.

Why Is Choosing a Safe Online Casino Crucial?

Question on why choose a safe online casino

When gambling online, your safety should always be your number one priority. An untrustworthy casino can cause you harm and be dangerous. If it looks too good to be true, trust your instinct is always best. There are plenty of safe and secure sites you can join instead. Red flags include a history of delayed and unresolved payments. Maybe the customer support is also unresponsive, and it is impossible to get a reply. 

Taking a bit of time to do your research first will ensure an enjoyable online experience and that it will be done safely. How to tell if an online casino is unsafe? Let us look at the main points:


Money Losses:  The dodgy casino will happily take your money, but it is impossible when you want to collect your winnings. They may have impossible restrictions, delay your payments and flat-out refuse to pay your money. 
Unfair Games:  They may have games that are not fair or transparent. It will result in lower RTPs than advertised and fewer returns. 
Security concerns:  It can be at risk when you hand over your sensitive financial data and personal info. This is due to a lack of safety measures such as SSL. It can lead to fraud and identity theft, which is extremely dangerous.
Lack of Customer Support:  Lacking customer support or no support can leave you stranded with no way to resolve any issues.
No Regulations:  If a site has no gambling licence, they don’t follow any standard regulations. It will also be a challenge to resolve if you have to seek legal help. 
Unreliable Software:  The site’s software may be below standard with unverified software and the potential for technical glitches. 
No Responsible Gambling tools:  A reputable and regulated site will always have a responsible gambling page, and many will offer on-site resources like deposit and time-out limits. A dodgy site won’t have anything in place and may not impose deposit restrictions, allowing players to make massive deposits. 
Bonuses that seem too good to be true: If a bonus offer is exceptional and with low wagering from an unlicensed site beware. It is a way for you to deposit and for them to profit from you. If it is an unlicensed site, stay well clear. 


Why choose a safe online casino over an illegitimate one? It goes without saying that there are many reasons you should only choose reputable and licensed Aussie casino sites. The main is to first check the licensing and then ensure they have a proven track record that holds up. Our best advice is always to be ultra-cautious when choosing an online casino.

Final Thoughts

In summary, our article should help you decide how to tell if an online casino is safe. When you gamble online, many players do not realise the dangers of not playing at a safe site. Determining whether an online casino is legitimate is essential to a fun and safe gaming experience. 

Suppose you want to try out some legitimate and secure sites. We have a massive section of casino reviews for all the legal and licensed Australian sites we recommend. You can choose sites for real money play, high rollers or even safe online casinos

As you can see, knowing why and how to choose a safe online casino over one with negative reviews, a history of non-payment, and no licensing is essential. We also have a list of blacklisted sites, of ones to avoid. If you choose wisely, you can enjoy your time online, claim some of Australia’s finest welcome bonuses and enjoy a wide range of certified and fair games.

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