What Do the Different Casino Compliances Mean?
At the bottom of reputable online casino and affiliate websites, such as jackpotcity.com and iphonecasino.com, there is always a host of certifications and endorsements. As a responsible gambler you probably check to make sure that there are some words and letters there, because you know that you should, but do you actually know what they all mean? What are the casino certifications that you should look out for, and which are the ones that should absolutely be present at every Canadian friendly online casino? Let’s take a closer look at casino certifications and compliances and reveal what they mean.
The area that licenses and regulates an online casino will have its own stamp of approval, which will either be seen on the site’s home page or be easily found on its information pages. This important icon verifies that an online casino complies with international stipulations and is monitored to ensure that it always does so, and that there is recourse for players if this is not the case.
If you have difficulty cashing out or claiming your bonuses, for instance, you’ll be able to take your complaint to the body or commission that has licensed the casino, if you’re playing at a legitimate site. This is an absolute deal-breaker; without a proper licence an online casino could simply make off with your money and you wouldn’t be able to follow it up through any channels.
There are no online casino regulatory bodies within Canada, so you won’t ever find a Canadian Gambling Commission or similar sign on any site. All provinces and territories within Canada have permission from the federal government to regulate their own online gambling environments but Quebec is the only one to take advantage of this so far, and only in relation to Espace jeux, a virtual online casino run by Loto-Quebec.
For the most part, you’ll be playing at online casinos that are licensed by one or more of the online casino regulatory bodies that are recognised throughout the world: the Alderney Gambling Commission; the Antigua and Barbuda Financial Services Regulatory Commission’s Division of Gaming; the Curaçao Gaming Control Board; the Dutch Gaming Authority; the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority; the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission; the Malta Gaming Authority and the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.
While it remains illegal for any casinos other than Espace jeux to be run legally from within Canada’s borders, all of these outside jurisdictions are fine and provide access to high-quality online gambling for players within Canada. The last online casino regulatory body on the legal list is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, based on the Indian reserve within Canadian borders. However, this commission is completely independent of Canada’s laws since Kahnawake is a sovereign nation, which means that it has the same status as all other regulators.
Seeing a sign that says “18+” means that the online casino has verification procedures in place to check that players are 18 or older, and thus legally allowed to gamble. This is usually done by filling in your details including your identity number on the My Account section of the site, and then clicking the “verify my details” button, at which point the casino’s software will check your ID number against a database. You may also be required to supply certified copies of documents before being allowed to play.
Assurances of Secure Sessions
Make sure that you see the words “SSL Secure Connection” or something similar on the online casino you’re considering. This means that the session between the browsers and your web server are completely secure, and that all your personal and financial information will be completely encrypted for every communication between them. If you’re playing with real money online, this peace of mind is absolutely essential.
Safety and Fairness Endorsements
While not as critical as a licence from an online casino regulatory body, an endorsement of safety and fairness from an independent testing body is always a great sign of a quality casino. These seals of approval mean that all games at the casino have had their Random Number Generators tested to be sure that they do create totally random results for absolutely fair gameplay, and that payout percentages are accurate. The reports that these bodies produce are available and will show you what the payout percentages actually are.
The best-known independent casino testing organisation is probably eCOGRA, or eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, but you can also trust the certifications provided by Technical Systems Testing and Gaming Laboratories International, often abbreviated to TST and GLI on casino sites. The European Sports Security Agency, or ESSA, monitors betting patterns for suspicious activity on sportsbooks, and is the sportsbetting equivalent of something like eCOGRA.
Casino Certifications of Support for Problem Gambling
Online casinos don’t have to provide support for agencies that help to deal with problem gambling, but many of them recognise how serious this problem is and do endorse such initiatives. The casino that you’re checking out may have its own explanation of problem gambling on a separate page, or may simply take you to the home page of the support organisation when you click on the name.
The presence of logos such as GamCare, GamblersAnonymous or GambleAware shows that an online casino endorses responsible gambling and may even make financial contributions to support services for gambling addiction. Licensed casinos also make sure that their staff has been properly trained to identify and deal with problem gambling behaviour in the best possible way.
Ensure Your Casino Complies
If you ever see a casino certification from a body or organisation that you don’t know, research it carefully before you commit to signing up. Thorough regulation and endorsement means very little, after all, if it is not from a respected authority. The different certificates, first introduced in 1996 just two years after the first online casinos made their debut, are meant to keep playing safe and transparent for you, so empower yourself and check that they’re legitimate before you sign up or part with any of your hard-earned cash. You’ll enjoy yourself and be able to concentrate on your games so much more if you know you are playing at a well regulated, legal, licensed and certified online casino.