Online gaming in Canada is on a roll. The market is expected to hit US$2.31bn by the end of the year, that’s an annual growth rate of 8.57%, which could mean US$3.21bn by 2027.
Great news for the industry and, with an ever-growing market, the consumer is almost spoilt for choice for top-notch games to play. Unfortunately, not every game supplier is as reputable as the vast majority of platforms offering quality games.
For this reason, we thought it prudent to publish a simple guide to staying safe while playing slots in Canada. We only singled out slot games because they are the most popular online game, but the advice applies to all online casino games.
Before we start, it’s a good idea to know where you, the gamer, stand from a legal point of view. Crucially, the federal government doesn’t control the industry, it’s governed by province, so rules may change depending on your location.
That out of the way, we’re going to dive into a list of what you need to look out for and implement to ensure you’re safe. And some of these tips may apply to general online safety, with the first on our list acting as a prime example.
Secure Socket Layer (SLL)
Even if you don’t know what this is, you probably see it multiple times a day. The SLL is the little padlock that sits to the left of the https address.
This symbol tells you that the information between you and the website is encrypted, meaning any data you share remains private to third parties. But do be aware that the SLL isn’t a one-size-fits-all consideration.
A casino that uses 128-bit or 256-bit SSL encryption is really your only option. And SLLs aren’t just for casinos, they’re useful in anything that involves personal data.
Data Protection Policies
While SSLs are great for preventing any dodgy third parties from peering into your business, the casino will have access to your data. And the casino in question will publish a data protection policy to assure you it won’t sell your data on.
Just to be clear here, ‘data’ can be anything from passwords to bank details, things you don’t want sold to crooks. So, make sure the casino, and only the casino is going to be using this information.
Making a bank transfer is a risky way of transferring money online, whether it’s a casino or a tee-shirt from Amazon. Digital wallets such as PayPal are encrypted, which means your information when it’s stored and transmitted is confidential.
Nor can it be intercepted when travelling from you, to the digital wallet, to the casino. And Pay Pal, for example, doesn’t share your payment details with the seller.
Crypto wallets are similarly encrypted but with one additional advantage. You are completely anonymous to the casino and your transaction is 100% secure with blockchain technology.
Online Casino Licenses
You’ll be pleased to know that licensed casinos have to jump through a series of rigorous hoops before they’re allowed to operate. This means that there will be easily accessible information to ensure your casino has a license.
But check properly as some may not be what they claim to be. Make a note of the licensing authority and check them out online for anything suspicious.
The best way of doing this is to visit the licensing authority to see if your casino is listed. We suggest you collect a bunch of these in advance so if you want to spontaneously jump to a new casino, you know it’s safe.
Check Independent Auditors
To save you time checking a casino out by trawling through reviews, third-party auditors are on hand to regularly check to ensure a casino is playing fair. Companies like iTech Labs and eCOGRA are there to make sure a casino is following guidelines, so use their services, and then trawl through reviews as well!
Incidentally, for an additional level of protection, some casinos are awarded Certified Fair Gaming Seals. You can be confident that these sites have excelled in being fair and safe.
Know the Rules of the Game
This may sound glib, but we can assure you, that you’d be staggered at the number of players who fancy having a crack at the slots and play for real money. Don’t do that.
If you like the look of a game, watch it being played on YouTube or similar, they try it for free to get the hang of it. Only play with real money when you know the rules back to front.
It may also be an idea to set a limit on how much you want to spend in a session, maybe even setting money aside in a designated account.
However you do it, always play safe.