Safest Online Casino Sites for NY Gamblers in December 2023
When it comes to gambling real money over the web, finding a safe online casino should always be a top priority. As New York gamblers well know, any gambling game carries a certain amount of risk, but you don’t want to increase that risk by playing on a site that is not safe.
Read on for a guide to the safest online casinos in New York and elsewhere, including our recommendations for the best, most secure options for online casino players.
What is a safe online casino?
When we describe an online casino as “safe,” we are explicitly referring to the player’s experience on the site. Safe casino sites enact protocols to protect users’ personal information and secure all financial transactions. They also ensure game integrity with audits for fairness and transparency with players about odds and payouts. Safe casinos also care about responsible gambling and follow best practices to prevent potential harms caused by problem gambling, including underage gambling.
PlayNY is part of the Catena Media network of sites. At Catena, we consider only legal, regulated, and licensed online casinos safe for consumers. Even among legal sites, we use circumspection and conduct due research before recommending any potential NY online casinos to our readers.
Safest online casinos expected in New York
When New York adds online casinos to its legal gambling options, expectations are that most, if not all, of the industry’s top operators, will be eager to launch in the Empire State. Reviewing those already up and running with NY online sportsbooks is a good place to start when looking for the most reputable, safest online casinos for New York players.
BetMGM Casino is the online representative of the world-famous MGM Resorts International brand. The site is licensed and regulated in multiple states. This means it not only abides by the laws of each jurisdiction but also undergoes checks from regulators to ensure its safety and security.
BetMGM Casino partners with Shift4 Payments to power its online gaming transactions through its website and app. The payment processor uses Payment Card Industry-validated point-to-point digital encryption to prevent cardholder information from actually entering the system. The site uses independently audited random number generators (RNGs) to ensure game integrity. BetMGM Casino also promotes responsible gambling in many ways, including by participating in GameSense, an award-winning program geared toward providing resources and education to gamblers.
Read our full BetMGM Casino review
BetRivers Casino is the online gambling brand of Rivers Resorts and can be found in several states. The online casino is managed by Rush Street Interactive and has become popular in jurisdictions where it operates thanks in part to the way BetRivers Casino provides a secure and safe gaming experience.
As with other online casinos discussed here, you’ll see the relevant regulators’ badge prominently displayed on the BetRivers Casino website, guaranteeing that the site maintains standards of game integrity and player security. All games are regularly tested for fairness with RNG audits by eCOGRA. The site uses encryption software to make sure player information is protected and promotes responsible gambling measures, including offering voluntary self-exclusion.
Read our full BetRivers Casino review
Caesars Entertainment is likewise a global brand with a well-established reputation for safety. Caesars Casino operates in a number of states with legal online gambling with regulator-approved licenses everywhere it is available.
Caesars Entertainment has earned dozens of awards and certificates for game integrity, company responsibility and other achievements related to player safety. Caesars Casino uses the same security protocols found at other reputable online casinos, including using SSL encryption to protect player data and undergoing checks of games for fairness. The site also implements an extensive responsible gambling policy, providing players with support and specific measures such as setting time, deposit and spending limits.
Read our full Caesars Casino review
Sports bettors and those who play daily fantasy sports are familiar with DraftKings as a reputable and safe site for wagering on sports and entering DFS contests. That experience also extends to DraftKings Casino in the states where it operates.
DraftKings Casino is licensed to offer real money online casino games in many jurisdictions, following all applicable guidelines while adding further layers of protection for players. These include using encryption and enabling two-factor authentication (2FA) as other sites do to ensure account security. The site employs Gaming Laboratories International as an independent third-party tester and auditor of games. You’ll also find DraftKings uses many of the same verification processes for banking, promotes responsible gambling initiatives and pursues other means to ensure player safety.
Read our full DraftKings Casino review
FanDuel likewise operates both its popular DFS site and online sportsbook in New York. FanDuel Casino is available in a number of states as well and, like FanDuel’s other products, offers a safe, secure way for players to enjoy real money casino games online.
FanDuel Casino employs most of the methods described above while adding its own extra layers of security. The site’s Vulnerability Disclosure Policy rewards players who identify potential vulnerabilities in their products via their Bug Bounty Program and FanDuel Security Hall of Fame. FanDuel partners with HackerOne to facilitate the program.
Read our full FanDuel Casino review
How to choose a safe online casino
As the above reviews indicate, many factors affect whether an online casino is safe. When judging the safety of a site, take each of the following factors into account.
Licensed and regulated
All real money online casinos legally operating in the United States have been licensed to do so by the regulators of whatever jurisdiction they serve. In New Jersey, for example, all online casinos must be licensed by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. When visiting an NJ online casino’s website or when opening the mobile app, you should see a seal or logo indicating the site is licensed and regulated by the NJDGE.
Being licensed requires an online casino to follow numerous safety and security measures, including all of the ones discussed below. Before ever playing games at a real money online casino, be certain the site is licensed and regulated in the state or jurisdiction where you are located.
Security and auditing
The safest online gambling sites implement multiple security measures, including player verification, encryption of user data and testing of games for functionality and fairness. In most cases, holding a license to operate an online casino requires the operator to undergo regular audits of all aspects of the site. Regulators generally handle these audits, although some sites voluntarily invite additional third-party audits to check game integrity.
You can usually find information about a given online casino’s security and auditing on the website or by consulting the regulators’ reports. Legitimate and legal online casinos generally aren’t shy about advertising their security and auditing as they help demonstrate sites’ commitment to player safety.
You will sometimes hear players who lose money playing games at an online casino or online poker site complain the site is “rigged” against them. If the site is licensed and fully legal in the jurisdiction where it operates, these complaints are almost assuredly unfounded. Online casinos must ensure the fairness of each and every one of their offered games, with independent audits required to prove them as such.
Ensuring fairness in the games includes making certain the odds of winning and the payouts fall within reasonable industry standards. For slots, the RTP or “return to player” percentage of each game is carefully calibrated, just as happens with slot machines in retail casinos. The software, including the random number generators powering the games, are checked as well.
Some online casinos are backed by well-established industry brands whose reputations as trusted operators extend far and wide. When choosing an online casino, it makes a difference when the site carries a recognizable name such as BetMGM or Caesars, companies that already have a strong reputation in the industry. DraftKings and FanDuel, meanwhile, are two of the biggest and most trustworthy names in online sports betting. That credibility carries over to their online casinos.
You will notice most online casinos offer a variety of ways to deposit and withdraw funds. With licensed and regulated sites, you will also find they implement a number of precautions to ensure such transactions are conducted smoothly and safely. User identities and banking details must be verified. Sites incorporate encryption and other means to make sure all sensitive information is protected. You will find with the best online casinos payouts and deposits are always managed carefully to make all transactions safe and secure.
When it comes to licensed and regulated online casinos operating in the US, none allow deposits or withdrawals with cryptocurrency. You may encounter so-called “crypto casinos” inviting you to deposit and play, but none are regulated as yet in any US jurisdictions.
The games at online casinos have to work properly and as advertised. Hence, the functionality of a site is another element contributing to its overall safety. When payouts aren’t correct or other elements of gameplay malfunction, those are obviously issues that need fixing, but they could also indicate larger problems with the site. To head this off, licensed and regulated sites frequently audit their games.
Finally, online casinos must provide adequate customer service to field users’ inquiries and complaints. Most reputable casino sites offer quick and easy-to-access customer support by a variety of means, including live chat, email and phone. The best casino sites also have comprehensive and (ideally) searchable FAQ sections providing answers to frequently asked questions.
Sites lacking in customer service should be avoided. Indeed, it is a sign of greater problems with an online casino if your queries are back-burnered or ignored. Much as a retail casino has staff on hand to answer customer questions at all times, so should an online casino provide immediate assistance whenever issues arise.
Consider all of the above factors when judging the safety of a particular online casino. The site should prove satisfactory in all of these areas. Truth be told, if the site satisfies the first criterion—that is, if it is licensed and regulated—it should satisfy the others, too. Keeping a license to operate usually requires providing these other safety measures.
How to tell if an online casino is a scam
As with anything having to do with the exchange of money online, there are bad actors out there pushing illegitimate online casinos designed to cheat unwitting players out of their funds. Here are a few red flags signaling an online casino may not be on the up and up:
♦ Inadequate registration requirements (e.g., sites asking for too little information)
♦ Unreasonable demands when registering (e.g., sites requiring deposits up front when simply creating an account)\
♦ The license cannot be verified or is not listed anywhere beyond the site itself
♦ The license is not listed on the regulatory body’s site (e.g., the site displays a NJDGE seal, but the NJDGE does not list the site among its license holders)
♦ Promotions that seem too good to be true
♦ Oversized deposit match or reload bonuses (getting you to deposit large amounts, then making it difficult later to withdraw)
♦ Limited banking options, including a reliance on cryptocurrency (or exclusive use of crypto)
♦ Unexpected issues with withdrawals, including very slow payout times or surprise requirements to fulfill before money can be withdrawn
♦ Lack of customer support or inability to receive help from an actual human (i.e., support consists only of “chat bots”)
♦ Installation of strange software on your device (some fake online casinos will infect your machine with malware or even ransomware)
If you do become victimized by an online casino-related scam, collect evidence supporting your claims of fraud or other wrongdoing. Then, report the site to the appropriate law enforcement agency. This could include your local or state law enforcement agencies, as well as the FBI, which has an Internet Crime Complaint Center to field such complaints.
Of course, when it comes to protecting yourself against such scams, your best strategy is to avoid them altogether. Always perform due diligence and research an online casino thoroughly before creating an account, depositing funds or playing on it.
Are offshore online casinos safe?
A quick search online might lead you to a number of real money online casinos operating outside the US that claim to be legal for New York players. In fact, these offshore online casinos (as they are often called) are not regulated in NY or anywhere in the US and, therefore, do not abide by New York gambling laws. As a result, we strongly discourage you from playing on these sites.
They are much too risky for several reasons. There’s no guarantee such offshore online casinos will follow any of the safety guidelines enumerated above. Even worse, if you should encounter any difficulties, such as suspicions of fraud or problems withdrawing funds, you might not have any legal recourse since the sites operate in non-US jurisdictions. The bottom line is to steer clear from offshore online casinos.
Are sweepstakes casinos safe?
There are also social and sweepstakes online casinos that invite players from New York and across the US to play slots and table games. These sites use virtual currencies rather than real money, although in some cases, players can redeem their winnings for actual cash prizes. Popular examples of such social and sweepstakes casinos include:
These social and sweepstakes sites provide a fun and safe option, especially in those states that have yet to legalize real money online casinos.
Safest online gambling sites tips
Here are some do’s and dont’s to keep in mind as you try to make sure your experience when gambling at an online casino remains a safe one.
♣ Read customer reviews and verify the site’s gambling license when choosing an online casino.
♣ Look for further security awards or certificates as well as information about site audits by eCOGRA.
♣ Choose a strong password and opt for two-factor authentication when available. Check that the site employs SSL encryption for financial transactions.
♣ Restrict your play to private networks (e.g., your own home wi-fi).
♣ Protect your personal information.
♦ Register accounts at unlicensed online casinos.
♦ Play on sites that lack tools like SSL encryption, two-factor authentication, player verification requirements and other security measures.
♦ Create an account and play at an online casino for which the terms and conditions are not clearly available (and reasonable).
♦ Play on public networks.
♦ Share your personal information with anyone else.
Finding the safest online casino on which to play should be part of your broader strategy to practice responsible gambling. After all, by choosing a safe and trustworthy online casino, you do not expose yourself to risks associated with unsafe sites.
In a similar fashion, you always want to be smart when managing risk and reward when gambling. Practice moderation, observe limits when necessary, and consciously work to avoid the pitfalls of problem gambling.
Only gamble with trusted online casinos in NY
When it comes to gambling at online casinos, always put safety first. You should already be careful with your money and personal information whenever conducting business online. Take that same approach when looking for the safest online casinos to play your favorite table games and online slots in New York.
Safe online casino FAQs
It is safe to gamble online when playing at licensed and regulated online casinos where many measures are in place to ensure the security of your funds and personal information and guarantee the fairness of the games. You run a serious risk, however, when venturing onto unlicensed sites, offshore online casinos and other dubious gambling platforms. Review our tips above for how to spot a scam online casino.
You can gamble safely at an online casino using a mobile device such as your smartphone. Many licensed and regulated online casinos have mobile casino apps that allow you to play using your phone. That said, be certain only to play while connecting to the internet via a private network.
Look for a site’s gambling license and double-check to make sure it is legitimate and applicable to the jurisdiction where you are playing at the online casino. Check other factors as well from the above list of ways to determine how to choose a safe online casino.
It is difficult to say which method of depositing or withdrawing funds from an online casino is the safest. Note that some banking methods require extra checks and verification in order to ensure your security. Often even the fast payout options might take a little extra time when you first use them thanks to these precautionary measures. If the online casino is properly licensed and regulated and follows standard security protocols when conducting banking transactions, the available methods should be equally secure.
Online casinos use a number of methods to protect your personal information, including creating unique login credentials with added security questions, inviting you to use two-factor authentication as well, employing additional verification measures when necessary, and using encryption and other tools to ensure privacy and security when conducting financial transactions.