How To Know If An Online Casino Is Legal

The easiest task before indulging in in the art of online gaming is often one of the most overlooked: Learn the easiest and most effective ways to instantly recognize the legitimacy of online casinos.

The Importance Of Having a Casino License

Whether you are a seasoned player, or a gaming rookie, playing at a regulated and legal online casino with the proper license should be your number one priority. Especially since these days, there are hundreds of illegal gambling operators waiting to ‘snatch’ some customers. The most worrying part is that some of these operators look so professional and convincing, that they can easily fool even the most experienced online players.

That is why being able to distinguish a transparent, i.e. legal online casino, from the seemingly legal online gambling operator can be a real money-saver.

The truth is, that many players tend to overlook certain aspects when determining whether an online casino is legitimate. Regardless if this happens unintentionally or on purpose, one thing is a fact. And that playing at unregulated online casinos will always come with certain risks. As a result, there is frequent news about players not getting paid out by an online casino.

To save you the effort, and most importantly, your money, Gamblers Connect created a full-blown guide on how to recognize legal and transparent online casinos. Just keep reading and learn how to easily spot every illegal online gambling operator that you encounter on the web.

URL Lock – A Trait Of An Online Casino With A License

While it may seem like a funny idea, this is a foolproof way to distinguish legal online casinos. Many online players tend to forget that little padlock icon in the upper left corner of the URL address tab. The truth is, it is just as important as it is easy to miss. Especially since a lot of online players do not waste time checking that particular small detail. A detail that can truly make a difference. Simply put, any website without that lock icon in the URL tab is a scam, i.e. not safe.

URL Lock

The padlock is a guarantee that the online casino is using any of the cutting-edge encryption technologies, SSL(Secure Socket Layer) and TLS (Transport Layer Security). This is currently the best way in the business to guarantee the absolute safety of any sensitive data that you may possess. The reason for this is that legitimate online casinos use this technology to store your information. By using features such as firewalls, regulated casinos are obliged to provide you with the utmost safety and transparency. Remember, if there is no padlock, there is no safety.

The License – Online Casino Safety

Probably the easiest and least painstaking of all, licensing is also one of the biggest indicators that the online casino you just visited is legitimate. We say the easiest to spot since in 99% of all instances, the licensing badge is located exclusively at the bottom of the page, usually in the footer. The reason for this location is that the purpose of the license badge is to be easily visible to everyone who visits the online casino. As such, every time an online gambling operator fails to provide a license in said location, it usually is bad news.


The number one reason why bearing a license from a respected regulator is the number one priority is the guarantee that you will get professional and prompt attention. That is because gambling regulators impose strict rules and guidelines for all of their licensees. In addition to frequent audits, background checks, monitoring, financial inspection, etc. The point of a regulator is to keep the online casino in check, and consequently provide you with a secure and enjoyable gaming environment.

Part of the job description of these online gambling regulators includes:

  • Criminal history check of the owners
  • Financial auditing and monitoring
  • Quality of software/entertainment
  • Player fairness (iGaming software)
  • Establishing/ensuring ethical protocols

Customer Service

Establishing contact with the customer support team is another highly beneficial way to find out the intentions of an online operator. That is because the customer service team is the medium between you and the casino. As such, we do not need to tell you how crucial is communication with the customer service team. In most instances, online casinos offer several ways for you to contact and communicate with them. This is usually done via email or live chat. In addition, you can also expect some casinos to have a phone as an option as well. Having any of these is a good indicator. Having them all is the real deal.

Customer Support

However, should the casino lack a license (back to the previous point), then you need to contact customer service at that online operator. Then, you need to ask for an explanation about the licensing, and all of the things that don’t seem right to you. Simply put, just ask questions. You will quickly see whether the customer service is legit.

Keep in mind that a good and legitimate customer support team will provide fast and clear responses. Opposite of illegal/suspicious online casinos that will take forever to return, only to send you an incoherent and confusing message. If this happens, the best course of action is to simply leave. You can also report the operator to an authority, eventually helping a fellow gambler from suffering an unpleasant situation.

Payment Methods

Being able to recognize safe and secure payment methods, is another life-saver when spotting a legal operator. That is usually, big payment companies (Skrill, Neteller, Visa, PayPal, etc.) are always more prone to working with legal and licensed operators. And for the same reason as with the plethora of online casino players, safety. Considering that the logos of the payment methods are usually prominently displayed on the front page, an operator who lacks information about them is a bad sign. Which is practically the equivalent of you finding out suspicious and unreliable payment mediators, without any visible legal information.


Which is practically the equivalent of you finding out suspicious and unreliable payment mediators, without any visible legal information.

Even if there is any information on the payment methods, don’t forget to check the other signs of legality. For example, if you decide that is the casino for you, start with small amounts. This is to test the speed with which the online casino processes payments. Both for deposits and withdrawals. Moreover, always check for hidden fees or any additional charges. Legitimate operators will disclose any such information transparently. Shady operators will tend to ‘bury’ that information in the terms & conditions, or even not publish it at all.

That is why you should always read the T&C, and keep your eyes open for any irregularities.


Just as the name suggests, if an online casino ends up on a blacklist, it means that something is wrong. If you find a casino on certain blacklists, that means that a big number of players have complained about this operator. And if that is the case, that usually indicates criminal/illegal practices. You can easily check the legitimacy of an online casino simply by conducting a small research on Google. Just type in the name of the operator, and the word blacklist. That is pretty much it.

You will quickly learn that numerous specialized online gambling sites can provide you with the answer. Hence, checking the blacklists before depositing at your new casino is never a bad idea.

Another very similar way to find out about the intentions of the casino is by reading online casino reviews. You will find that the same specialized online gambling sites providing the blacklists will also provide you with online casino reviews. And there is hardly a better way than to read a scrutinizing, detailed report on pretty much every category and feature of the online operator.

In addition, reading reviews may also help you in finding your new favourite online casino. In other words, you can use reviews to obtain literally every bit of information about the casino, including its legitimacy.

Fairness Certificate

Whenever an online casino proudly displays a certificate of fairness it is usually a good sign. That is because these certificates are created to ensure that all players at the casino get a fair and transparent gaming experience. In order to guarantee that, there are specialized software testing companies with a specific duty of monitoring the entertainment aspect of the online casino. Moreover, these auditing companies have a job to ensure a fair, non-biased, and random game outcome.

As a result, top-notch casinos usually tend to display the monthly payouts from how exactly the games respond to deposits and payouts. Again, the casinos tend to display this information in the footer of the site, the fairness policy of the casino, or the help section. Regardless of the location, finding the certificate of fairness should be no issue whatsoever at a legitimate online casino.

Take a look at some of the best iGaming auditing companies on the market:

Responsible Gambling

One of the most important and highly regarded aspects of the entire online casino experience is the responsible gambling section. All legal online casinos use various gambling protocols and tools to assist in preventing potentially harmful gambling behavior. That is why casinos are obliged to specifically highlight these sections. This is only natural, especially since we consider this department to be one of the most important categories at any online casino. As a result, you should look for the following signs:

  • Gamstop badging
  • Responsible Gambling links leading to harmful gambling guidelines and helplines
  • Gambling taglines (Be Responsible, Gambling is Addictive)

Some of the most important, and consequently most frequently used tools for treating problematic gambling behaviour are:

  • Self Assessment
  • Self Exclusion
  • Deposit Limit
  • Session Limit
  • Loss Limit
  • Time Alerts
  • Cool-Off Period

Final Thoughts

Underestimating online gaming is something that is bound to get you in trouble. The harsh reality when it comes to online casinos is that in this business, things can change in one instant. It literally is a game of seconds and details, and recognizing a legitimate online casino with a license is all about the details.

Many online operators will try and pose as certified and legal casinos. They will use vivid colours, lucrative titles, big bonuses, and even falsified certificates to make you believe you are dealing with the real deal. However, it takes very little effort to immediately make a distinction.

Consequently, just remember that legal online casinos will always make sure to display their badges and certificates. In addition, they will be backed by proper and active links, leading directly to the site of the regulator. Also, don’t forget that responsive and truthful customer service can make a difference. Ask as many questions as you wish, regardless of their nature. After all, it is all about having the edge. And this way, you are always in a more favourable position.

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