Ever heard of a rogue casino? It is a type of online casino that exists to take your money but not allow you to win. In other words, it's the type of online casino that cheats. I'm here to let you know about these casinos so you can avoid being taken like I was in 2001 by a casino that popped up for just long enough to take a lot of people for a ride before disappearing. Because the industry wasn't regulated at the time, there was little I could do to protect myself other than trial and error.

I was an amateur gambler for many years. Mostly I played in Las Vegas on weekend trips, which wasn't so convenient. But being from LA meant that it wasn't that hard to get to either. I have won a lot and I have lost a lot. What sets me apart from all the other weekend warriors was the fact that I won significantly more than I lost. My father was a mathematician so I grew up with math, which made it so much easier for me to see patterns and figure out what works and what doesn't. You could say I'm a professional gambler and you wouldn't be too far off the mark. I certainly win like one. But I'm actually a statistician by trade and I teach in the economics department of a local college. Nowadays I only play online because it's convenient and it's something I enjoy doing on my time off. Since I have been playing online for a long time, I know the safe casinos to play at. If you go for these casinos, listed in no particular order, you can be sure that the software is honest and that the casino won’t just disappear in a puff of smoke before you can withdraw your winnings. These casinos are where I earn a lot of my disposable income, so I know first hand that they are good.

888 Casino

The original is still going strong. 888 Casino were pioneers in the online casino industry. They went into business in 1997 with their own in-house software, which they still use today and update constantly with new technological advances as they become available. Their business is built on honesty and reliability. They are licensed out of Gibraltar, which is part of the EU. They have over 1000 employees worldwide. They're traded on the London Stock Exchange. This is no longer just a website. It's an institution. Among the 888 Casino's achievements is bringing a degree of regulation to the industry. They partnered with Microgaming in 2002 to set up eCOGRA, a not for profit, independently run organization whose purpose is to be an industry watchdog. They give their seal of approval to casinos who pass rigorous standards of conduct, among which is a criterion that checks the software. If a casino passes all of eCOGRA's checks, it is deemed "safe and fair". If you see this seal on a casino, it's a good indication that the casino is honest and safe to play at. You can thank 888 for this welcome development in the industry. They paved the way to safe gaming online.

JackpotCity Casino

Also part of the old guard in the online casino universe, JackpotCity opened up in 1998, just a year after 888. They attracted customers with their appealing tagline, "more jackpots, more often", which actually turned out to be true. One of JackpotCity's selling points is the very low house edge. The software is licensed from Microgaming, one of the eCOGRA co-founders, and it is excellent. They have one of the largest game catalogs out of all the online casinos and each game is crafted with care to be playable and fun. Players don't need to worry about a poor internet connection. If the connection falls, games aren't forfeited as they would be in a less reputable casino, they remain on hold at the exact moment of disconnection until the player returns. Of course, they also carry the eCOGRA seal of approval. Additionally, they have their licensing out of Malta, which means that the Maltese government is directly accountable for their actions. Malta, being based in the EU, is clearly not going anywhere—and neither is JackpotCIty.

Royal Vegas Casino

Royal Vegas is rather newer as far as online casinos go. They followed in the example set by JackpotCity and are licensed in Malta, by the LGA, audited regularly and voluntarily, and adhere to extremely high standards of operation. This has not gone unnoticed by eCOGRA, whose seal is proudly displayed on the Royal Vegas Casino website. As with JackpotCity, Royal Vegas is powered by Microgaming. What distinguishes Royal Vegas is the care they took to make the graphics unique and their own. Everything looks polished, as though it belonged to a high end Las Vegas casino. The illusion is actually very good, especiallz the virtual poker tables, considering that they are based in the EU and nowhere near the United States. As with the other casinos I list here, their security is stellar, as they boast 128-bit SSL encryption as well as around the clock customer service. Of all the casinos I recommend, Royal Vegas is the nicest looking.

Swiss Casino

Swiss Casino is also one of the newer casinos out there. It was established in 2007. What's different about the Swiss Casino is that it didn't want to just copy what came before, they wanted to improve on the formula. Instead of licensing the Microgaming platform, as so many casinos do for good reason, they opted instead for the excellent Playtech software platform instead. They are licensed in Gibraltar, as is the 888 Casino, and have to answer to a high level of oversight in order to maintain their licensing. Their main selling point, however, is their security. They claim that their security systems are as tight as those employed by Swiss banks. This is a big claim, but they have lived up to their reputation so far. They are safe and trustworthy.