Stayng Safe Gambling Online

People like you who like gambling know when to take risks and when to avoid them – and the one thing you do not want to gamble on, is the security at online casinos. You want to know the following basic things:

  • If the transfer of data such as personal and financial information is protected
  • If the games on the site are conducted in a fair and legal manner.
  • Whether you are dealing with a site that is well regulated, (meaning that it is registered, licensed and assessed by a recognised international governing body).
  • Most importantly, that money can be transferred safely, that fraud is prevented and that any disputes can be resolved quickly.

Encryption technology

Trustworthy online gambling sites know that their players have these concerns, and they ensure that financial and other sensitive data can be transmitted safely by making use of encrypted secure sockets layer (SSL) software. A minimum of 128-bit SSL software is the current industry standard. Check on the pages where you do financial transactions, or where you have to enter personal information and contact details whether SSL is in place.

You can normally see this from the URL of the particular page (not all the pages on a website need to be protected to the same extent, but check all the areas where sensitive information may be exchanged). The normal ‘http’ part of the address becomes ‘https’ if a page is secure. Also look at the bottom of the screen where there is a padlock symbol that shows the page is secure and/or right-click on any blank area on the page and select ‘view page info’, where you will then see clearly if your connection to the site is private or not. If it is not private, then it means SSL technology is not working on that page. There are a number of SSL providers called certification authorities (examples are VeriSign, Thawte, the Comodo Group, Network Solutions, Swisscom, GlobalSign, and SwissSign) that provide extended validation certificates. In turn, they are also audited by third party organisations such as WebTrust.

All our recommended sites make use of appropriate SSL technology.

Registration at regulating bodies

New Zealanders may only play legally at online casinos that are registered outside the country. Those casinos are not regulated by New Zealand law, but by the laws of the country where they are hosted. This means it is even more important to have other means to ensure that you are protected against unfair practices or fraud and that any disputes can be settled effectively.

International regulatory bodies are the answer, because the online gambling industry is global one with considerable amounts of money involved. Bodies such as e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA) and Technical Systems Testing (TST) set standards, regulate and accredit the online casinos, and verify that casinos comply with the relevant regulations and standards. They also test the random numbers generators (RGNs) that online casinos use to run their games.

All our recommended sites are accredited with international gambling bodies.

Fair play

A basic requirement for fair gaming is that every online gambler has an equal chance with other players to win. Online gambling sites casinos use random number generators (RNGs) based on sophisticated mathematical algorithms to ensure that this is the case, and also that it will be impossible to predict what numbers will come up or to manipulate the system.

Players also want to know whether online gambling sites rig specific games to make more money. But in fact is that online casinos do not make their money in such a way – they earn their income through the so-called ‘house edge’. This does not mean that the casino has the ‘edge’ in the sense that they are more likely to win than the players, but rather that they keep a specific percentage of total amount of money bet on any particular kind of game. For instance, if the house edge on a certain game is 2%, it means that the casino keeps 2 cents out of every dollar, irrespective of the outcomes of the games. The rest (98%) will be paid out as winnings to players.

Our recommended casinos have reasonable house edge policies, and their RNGs are tested frequently.

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