Licensed and Legit: What Makes an Online Casino Safe

As an avid gambler in the digital age, you have a wealth of options when it comes to online casinos. However, not all casinos are created equal. Some operate legally and ethically, providing players a fair chance to win and promptly paying out winnings, while others are little more than scam operations looking to take advantage of unsuspecting customers. How do you find a safe and reputable online casino to play at? There are several factors you should consider to ensure the casino you choose is licensed, legitimate, and trustworthy.

Why You Should Only Play at Safe Online Casinos

 When selecting an online casino, your top priority should be safety and legitimacy. Licensed casinos that are regulated and audited provide significant advantages over unlicensed operators.

Licensed casinos are regulated by reputable gaming authorities like the UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority. These regulators ensure the casino adheres to strict standards for player protection, responsible gambling, and fair play. Licensed sites also undergo regular audits to guarantee the integrity of their games and payout percentages.

Secure payment methods are another indicator of a trustworthy casino. Reputable sites use encrypted payment gateways and don’t store players’ financial data. These measures reduce the risk of fraud and protect your personal information.

Long-standing, well-established casinos are also more likely to be legitimate. They have years of experience serving players and value their reputation. In contrast, fly-by-night casinos may disappear quickly and without warning. It is also preferable if the casino is owned by a major corporation with a proven track record in the gaming industry.

Fair play is essential. Reputable casinos have reasonable wagering requirements on their bonuses and promotions. Their games are certified as fair by independent testing agencies. Most importantly, reputable casinos guarantee accurate and timely payouts when players win.

In summary, licensed and regulated casinos, secure payment methods, years of experience, and a commitment to fair play and responsible gambling are the hallmarks of a safe online casino. Protect yourself by playing only at legitimate sites that meet these strict standards. Your money and personal details will be much safer, and you'll have a much better chance of actually getting paid if you win!

 Our selection of safe and trustworthy online casinos.

 Based on the above, we propose 6 of the best online casinos that meet all the legitimacy requirements we have indicated. These are definitely well-known brands, and may not need our review at all; however, you may find a few that you haven't paid attention to yet!

  • 888 Casino

    888 casino

    $/€88 no deposit welcome bonus

    888 Casino stands out as a distinct online entity, initially launched with its own bespoke software. As time progressed, it expanded its offerings to include a wide array of popular games from renowned software providers like Netent, Microgaming, Pragmatic Play, and more. Active since 1997, 888 Casino ranks among the most decorated online casinos. It has garnered a plethora of industry recognitions, notably clinching top honors at the EGR Operator Awards by winning three major categories: Casino Operator of the Year, Operator of the Year, and Poker Operator of the Year. Additionally, it was awarded Best Digital Operator in 2014 at the Global Gaming Awards and was named Best Casino Operator at the Gaming Intelligence Award in 2015. These accolades were just the beginning, as 888 Casino continues to be nominated for and win various awards each year. Furthermore, it adheres to regulatory standards in every country it operates, ensuring unparalleled reliability.
    18+ | Gamecare | Bonuses under T&Cs

  • JackpotCity Casino

    jackpot city casino

    20 Years of Trusted Service and Diverse Bonuses

    JackpotCity, a trailblazer among Microgaming's esteemed line of casinos, was launched online in 2001 and has successfully weathered the test of time while maintaining its original essence. Although it has broadened its horizons by incorporating games from various other software developers, Microgaming continues to be the cornerstone of this brand. A pioneer in catering to a multilingual audience, JackpotCity now offers its gaming platform and customer service in over 24 languages. The longstanding welcome offer of a $1600 multi-deposit bonus persists, along with regular promotions and time-limited bonuses. For instance, players can enjoy 50 free spins with no deposit on the "Boom Galaxy" video slot. Legally operating in multiple countries where it has secured necessary local licenses, JackpotCity also functions in jurisdictions without specific gambling laws under licenses from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Kanahwake Gambling Commission. Indeed, it is rightly counted among our top-rated casinos.
    18+ | Gamecare | Bonuses under T&Cs 

  • Casino Classic 

    casino classic

    A Timeless Classic Consistently Offering Free Bonuses

    Continuing with casino brands steeped in 'tradition', Casino Classic stands out, boasting over two decades of experience. Throughout the years, it has made a name for itself by adeptly catering to player preferences, particularly through its bonus offerings. Casino Classic has consistently been at the forefront of offering innovative rewards, especially known for its no-deposit-required bonuses. Its initial no-deposit bonus, introduced over 15 years ago, was a groundbreaking move. The casino provided $500 to be used on a 'light' version of its software (back then, download-only) for 60 minutes. If players ended this period with a positive balance, their winnings were transferred to their real game account! While this specific promotion is no longer available, Casino Classic continues to captivate its users: offering a no-deposit chance to try a jackpot game simply for signing up!

  • Prime Slots

    Prime Slots

    Enjoy a €131 Bonus on Your First Deposit!

    Prime Slots, true to its name, emerged as one of the pioneering online casinos to establish a significant segment dedicated to online slot machines. This brand was an early adopter in curating a diverse platform, featuring games and slots from various software developers, now boasting a collection of over 1,500 video slots. The leadership at Prime Slots quickly recognized the massive appeal of free spins among a large portion of their player base. To this day, their bonus offerings are centered around this form of reward, providing 123 spins with the initial deposit. However, their gaming repertoire extends beyond just slot machines. A unique feature of Prime Slots is its dedicated section for scratch cards, offering an impressive array of 64 different titles. Plus, their live casino adds another layer of entertainment, ensuring there's something for every type of player!
    18+ | Gamecare | Bonuses under T&Cs

  • Play OJO Casino

    Casino Cruise

    Indulge Players with Luxurious Five-Star Treatment!

    Play OJO, as the initial venture in a now extensive group that encompasses over 10 distinct brands, set the standard as an innovator and a pioneer in the field. The key to Play OJO's success lies in its obsessive focus on understanding and fulfilling the desires and needs of its players. From its inception, Play OJO has offered highly personalized, almost concierge-level support to online gamers, who were previously more accustomed to navigating the digital casino world on their own. This approach includes a welcome bonus with free spins, a loyalty club, VIP support, all mirroring the experience of a physical casino. A standout feature of Play OJO is its straightforward approach to your money: there are absolutely no bonus requirements, ensuring that players have complete control over their funds.
    18+ | Gamecare | Bonuses under T&Cs

  • Betway Casino & Sports  


    Embark on Your Journey , from Live Casino to Esports.

    Betway, a globally renowned brand, initially began as a sportsbook and has since broadened its offerings to emerge as one of the most extensive gaming portals in the world. By creating a single gaming account on Betway, users can explore a diverse range of options, from virtual and live casinos to a 'Vegas' section teeming with thousands of slot machines. However, Betway's offerings don't stop there. It caters to traditional sports betting enthusiasts and those interested in esports betting. Moreover, each gaming category is complemented by constantly evolving and varied promotions. Adding to its credibility, Betway is a sponsor of several prominent football teams, including West Ham and Tottenham in England, which further bolsters its trustworthiness.

    18+ | Gambling Therapy | Bonuses under T&Cs

Warning Signs of Untrustworthy Online Casinos

When choosing an online casino, it's critical to find one that is licensed and legitimate. Untrustworthy casinos pose serious risks, as they are unregulated and can withhold your winnings or personal information. Here are some warning signs to watch out for.

Lack of Official Licensing

 Reputable online casinos obtain licenses from trusted gaming authorities like the UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority. These licenses indicate the casino is regulated and audited. Unlicensed casinos operate illegally and without oversight. They could steal your money or close down without paying you.

Unsecure Payment Methods 

Legitimate casinos offer secure payment methods like credit cards, eWallets, and bank transfers. Untrustworthy casinos may only accept cryptocurrency, wire transfers or checks which offer little fraud protection. They may also charge high fees for withdrawals or delay payouts. 

No Track Record or Online Reviews 

Established casinos have been in business for many years and have thousands of reviews from real players online. New or unregulated casinos likely have little information available. Do some searching to find reviews, complaints, or warnings about any casino before joining. Lack of information is a red flag. 

Unrealistic Bonuses and Promotions 

Licenses and Regulations: What to Look For

To ensure a safe and responsible gambling experience, choosing a properly licensed and regulated online casino is critical. Look for the following signs that an online casino operates legitimately:

Government Licensing 

The most reputable online casinos obtain gaming licenses from respected government agencies. For example, casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, or Kahnawake Gaming Commission follow strict regulations to protect players. Check the casino’s website for licensing information and verify the details with the agency.

 Secure Payment Methods

 Legitimate casinos offer popular, trusted payment methods and ensure all transactions are secure. Look for options like credit/debit cards (VISA, Mastercard), eWallets (PayPal, Skrill, Neteller), prepaid cards, bank transfers, and Bitcoin. The casino website should clearly state that all payment details are encrypted and not shared with any third parties. 

Responsible Gambling Policies 

Reputable casinos promote responsible gambling through tools like deposit limits, self-exclusion, and links to problem gambling support organizations. Their websites provide information about responsible gaming and ways to get help if needed. Unlicensed casinos typically lack these policies and safeguards. 

Fair Bonuses and Promotions 

The bonuses and promotions at licensed casinos always come with fair terms and conditions. Wagering requirements, if any, are reasonable (10-50x the bonus amount). Unlicensed casinos often impose unrealistic wagering requirements (100x or more) to make it very difficult to withdraw winnings. 

Track Record of Trustworthiness 

Established, licensed casinos that have been operating for many years have a proven track record of treating players fairly and paying out winnings. Check online reviews to confirm the casino’s reputation and see if there are any unresolved complaints about issues like non-payment of winnings, bonus terms violations or poor customer service. New or unlicensed casinos may not have a verifiable reputation. In summary, choosing a licensed and regulated online casino is the safest approach to gambling responsibly while still enjoying the games. Do your due diligence to verify the casino’s credentials and track record of honest, ethical operations. Your time and money deserve nothing less. 

Reputable Countries That License Casinos

To ensure an online casino is properly licensed and reputable, look for licensing from countries with strict regulations and oversight. Some of the most trusted countries for casino licensing include:

Malta is a popular licensing jurisdiction for online casinos. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) holds casinos to high standards, requiring secure player funds, responsible gambling practices, and transparent operations. MGA-licensed casinos must also submit to regular audits and oversight. Many reputable casinos like LeoVegas and Casumo hold MGA licenses. 

United Kingdom The UK Gambling Commission is widely respected and regulates hundreds of online casinos. Casinos must implement measures to prevent underage gambling, money laundering, and problem gambling to obtain a UK license. UKGC-licensed casinos include popular brands like William Hill, Betfair, and Paddy Power. 

Kahnawake (Canada) The Kahnawake Gaming Commission in Quebec, Canada, has been licensing online casinos for over 20 years. KGC focuses on fair gaming, player protection, and responsible business practices. While not as well-known as UK and Malta licenses, KGC oversight is quite stringent. Many reputable brands like Casino Room and SlotsMillion hold KGC licenses.

  Costa Rica has been licensing online casinos since the 1990s. However, regulations and oversight are not as strict as in Malta, UK or Kahnawake. While some reputable casinos do hold Costa Rican licenses, many unscrupulous operators have also obtained licensing there. If choosing a Costa Rica-licensed casino, do additional research on the brand's reputation and practices. 

In summary, licenses from Malta, UK or Kahnawake indicate an online casino adheres to strict regulations and aims to operate legitimately and ethically. Costa Rican licensing can be riskier, so extra vetting is advised. Always check where and how a casino is licensed before playing to ensure a safe, fair experience. 

Secure Payment Methods to Use at Reliable Casinos

When choosing an online casino, one of the most important factors to consider is the security of payment methods offered. Reputable casinos will provide trusted and regulated payment options to ensure the safety of your funds.

Regulated Payment - Processors Look for payment methods that are regulated and licensed. This includes options like Visa, Mastercard, and wire transfers through regulated banks. These provide secure transactions and fraud protection. Avoid using unregulated e-wallets or prepaid cards which lack oversight. 

SSL Encryption - Any payment information you provide should be encrypted using SSL (Secure Socket Layer) technology. This scrambles your financial data to prevent unauthorized access. Look for the lock icon in the browser address bar to confirm the site uses SSL. 

Quick Payouts - Reliable casinos offer fast payout times so you can access your winnings promptly. The specific timeframes will depend on the payment method, but should generally be 5-10 business days or less. Slower processing times may indicate issues with the casino’s financial stability or management.

Reasonable Bonus Terms - Be wary of casinos that offer bonuses with extremely high wagering requirements (e.g. 60x or more). This makes it very difficult to actually withdraw any winnings from the bonus. Reputable sites will have more reasonable terms, around 15-30x the bonus amount. 

Responsible Gaming Policies - Trustworthy casinos promote responsible gaming by allowing players to set limits on deposits, wagers, and time spent playing. They also provide information on problem gambling support organizations and have strict policies prohibiting underage players. 

By choosing an online casino that prioritizes safety, security and responsibility, you can enjoy the games with confidence your funds and personal information are properly protected. Conducting thorough research on the payment methods, licensing, and business practices of any casino before playing there is the best way to gamble securely and avoid potential issues. 

Long-Standing Casinos With a Proven Track Record

Long-standing online casinos with years of experience in the industry are usually a safe choice. They have had time to build a positive reputation and are proven to operate legitimately. ###Established Track Record Reputable online casinos that have been operating for many years will have an established track record of fair practices, secure transactions and timely payout of winnings. Players can look for reviews and ratings from independent watchdog sites to confirm the casino’s track record. Casinos in operation for 10-15 years or more have demonstrated stability and longevity.

Long-standing casinos often offer generous loyalty programs and VIP rewards for dedicated players. Their regular promotions, bonuses and competitions also tend to have fairer wagering requirements and conditions. Reputable casinos aim to build lasting relationships with players through valuable rewards and trustworthy operations. In summary, choosing an online casino with a proven track record and long-standing reputation is the safest approach. Their experience, licensing, software, payment options and rewards programs have been tested over time to provide players an enjoyable, secure experience. While flashy new casinos may attract with big bonuses, established casinos are a wiser choice 

Checking a Casino's Reputation and Player Reviews

To ensure you have a safe and legitimate experience gambling online, it is crucial to choose a reputable and trusted casino. When searching for a suitable platform, consider the following factors. Established, reputable companies are more likely to treat players ethically. Look for casinos backed by major corporations with a proven track record in the industry. These groups have too much to lose by deceiving players or engaging in predatory behavior. Newer or unknown brands may be riskier. earch online for player reviews discussing the casino’s payment processing, winnings distribution, and customer service. Legitimate sites offer secure payment methods, fair wagering requirements on bonuses, and quick payout of winnings. They also provide responsive, helpful customer support via live chat, phone, and email.

Carefully review the casino’s terms and conditions to understand any restrictions or limitations. Reputable casinos disclose all rules openly and honestly. Be wary of misleading marketing or “too good to be true” offers. Responsible casinos also promote healthy gambling through tools like self-exclusion, deposit limits, and session timers. By thoroughly evaluating these critical factors when choosing an online casino, you can enjoy your gaming experience confident you are playing at a safe, legitimate, and trustworthy site. Take your time to compare different casinos and don’t hesitate to ask questions to determine which one best suits your needs. Your money and personal information will thank you.

Licensed and Legit: FAQs About Safe Online Casinos

An online casino can only be considered fully safe and legitimate if it holds proper licencing and accreditation. ### Licensed by Reputable Gaming Authorities Licensed online casinos are regulated by international gaming authorities like the UK Gambling Commission or Malta Gaming Authority, who ensure fair practices. These authorities audit casinos to guarantee player funds are secure, payouts are fair, and responsible gambling measures are in place. 

Some key signs an online casino is properly licensed:
- It displays licencing info clearly on its website, including licence number.
- The licence is issued by a respected authority, like the UKGC or MGA. The licence is valid and not expired.
- Expired licences mean the casino is operating illegally.

Secure Payment Methods and Payouts

Licensed casinos offer secure payment methods and fair payouts. They use encrypted software to protect player details and funds. Popular, trusted payment options like Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, and bank transfers are accepted. Payouts are subject to audits to confirm they match the advertised odds. Winnings are paid out promptly without unfair delays or excuses. The casino's terms and conditions, including wagering requirements for bonuses, are clearly stated and reasonable.

Experience and Reputation 

Established, reputable casinos have been operating for many years. They are not fly-by-night operations that may disappear with player funds. Well-known casino groups, like 888 Holdings or The Stars Group, operate some reputable casinos. Check independent reviews from sources like Wizard of Odds, AskGamblers or Casinomeister to gauge a casino's reputation. See what real players say about their experience. Reputable casinos value their reputation and work to resolve any issues. In summary, properly licensed online casinos that use secure methods, have a proven reputation for fair practices and prompt payouts, and reasonable terms can be considered legitimate and safe for players. Do thorough research to ensure any casino you join meets these standards. Your security and enjoyment of the games depend on it.


In conclusion, choosing a safe and reputable online casino is crucial to ensure an enjoyable gambling experience without unpleasant surprises. As you have learned, licensed and legit casinos are the only option if you want to gamble responsibly. Do your research, check the licenses and certifications, read reviews from other players, evaluate their business practices and support. While the temptation of large bonuses and flashy promotions from shady casinos can seem appealing, it simply isn't worth the risk. Stick with established, trusted brands and you'll be able to sit back, relax, and enjoy playing your favorite casino games with peace of mind. The time you invest in finding a secure casino will pay off through fair games, prompt payouts, and quality customer service. Your money and personal information will be in good hands.