Watchdogs are organizations or in Casinoswatchdog.net case individuals who offer independent scrutiny of an online casino and its operation. So should you trust what they have to say or indeed the scrutiny that they offer. Is it safe to play at casinos that are members of the watchdog's body? If they are not members, does that mean they are not a good sites to play at?
These are very relevant questions and are more especially so if you're completely new to the world of online gaming. In this section, we will briefly explain who the main watchdogs are, what they do and how you recognize them. We'll also talk about the individual's sites that operate as watchdogs.
The following is a list of best and the most trusted online casinos we recommend. While we mainly feature best casino sites which are members of those organizations, there are good ones available which are not.
Now let's go back to the watchdog topic. Some operators choose not to apply for membership of these organizations for reasons best known to themselves and not being a member doesn't automatically make them a bad ass. But for players just venturing into this world the safeguards of playing on site which is a member of either far out way the risk factors of choosing your first venue from one that is not.
As you gain in experience and glean more information by visiting gambling forums, message boards and the like, then the more you will be able to discern the good from the bad from the downright rogues. Until then and if it's your first time, as the saying goes, it's better to be safe than sorry.
eCOGRA (which stands for e-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is an independent non-profit organization based out of the UK. Their primary goal is to identify safe and morally responsible online gambling establishments through continuous monitoring and quality standards. The sites which they deem appropriate are provided with a "Safe and Fair" seal of approval which is to be displayed on the approved company's website. You can keep your eye out for it when looking for a new gambling site or you can simply go to eCOGRA's website and get a full and detailed list on approved sites. It is important to note however that eCOGRA does not directly link you to these gambling establishments so once you have the list you will need to do a little outside research to decide out which one best fits your needs.
It has a strict criterion of things that they look for when judging whether or not a site will attain approval. To qualify for a seal of approval the company providing its services needs to be using software provided by one of the developers admitted into eCOGRA. Once that has been established they take into account a number of other important factors. First and perhaps most importantly is how a site protects a players personal information which with identity theft on the rise should be an important factor for any player whether they stick to a featured site or not. They take into account the promptness of payment as well approving only sites that pay out to its players in a timely and professional manner. Going a step further they also look at what sort of advertising is featured on the site making sure they do not advocate sites that aim to scam its players. With this and a number of other factors the site seems to do a thorough job of evaluating the overall quality a gambling establishment for its players. Should a player encounter any problems with any of the sites featured on eCOGRA the site provides further services by standing by the players as a mediator for settling disputes.
Overall the site can provide a valuable tool for players worried about the integrity of online gaming. They weed out the risky sites so players can go directly to sites with a proven history of appropriate practices. By sticking to sites on the list, a player can rest assured that they are dealing with a very professional establishment that will meet their needs. The mediating aspect of the organization provides players with a sense of security should they ever experience any misgivings. Since every site is evaluated on a continual basis, so it is imperative to all the sites featured to "be on their best behavior" throughout the year should they wish to remain on the list. This all being considered we highly suggest you check it out.
As you surf the world of online casinos, you will come across a number of websites the owner(s) of which publish themselves as being watchdogs. While there are a small number of genuine bona fide individuals who have both the player and the honesty of online gambling at heart, be warned.
There are a number of sites which advertise themselves as standing for such, but which in truth do little or nothing to protect you. In fact some are just fronts for rogue operators or some other scam.
If you are a fresh player and unsure where to play at first, then our recommendation is that you play at a casino which is a member of either eCOGRA or is listed on the above watchdog portals.