UNITED STATES—In order to use any service, you need to be able to trust it. When choosing an online casino, this can be even more important, as if you lack confidence in the company then you could be putting your personal details and even your cash at risk.

So what are the best ways to find reputable, high quality online casinos, and what aspects can you use to analyze them if you are a newcomer?

Check out your chosen casino’s reviews online

The best way to get an independent, honest assessment of an online casino before you create an account is to read reviews.

Use professional, independent sites like Gambling-NewJersey.com to check expert opinions, and also look at the customer ratings left on sites like Google so that you don’t have to settle for substandard experiences.

Look for evidence of a secure connection

Today there is no excuse for any website to be using an unencrypted connection to keep visitors safe. You can easily check this by looking out for the padlock icon in your browser’s address bar; it should be visible next to the URL of the casino website you are using.

This symbol shows that the site is using the HTTPS protocol, and while you don’t need to know the ins and outs of how this works, it should be a touchstone of trust that you rely upon from day to day when using the web.

Consider payment options

To make the most of an online casino, you’ll need to spend some cash, and ideally be able to withdraw it if you manage to win.

How money is handled obviously matters from a security perspective, so look for sites that have robust payment processing features, preferably harnessing respected third party platforms like PayPal, Neteller and others.

Be wary of sites that do not have a deposit or withdrawal option that you recognize, and if there is any doubt in your mind, an online search for the service in question will let you know if it is legitimate or suspicious.

Explore mobile apps

Another useful feature which online casinos often provide is a separate mobile app for your smartphone operating system of choice.

Having a separate app, rather than making you play in your browser, is convenient both in terms of usability, and when it comes to security.

You are not going to get duped by a phishing site if you are playing in-app. And by looking at the reviews of the apps available on the App Store or Google Play, you can get further insights from real players about the quality and trustworthiness of the brand.

Ensure casino games are well made

Casino sites don’t always develop all of the games they host; in fact for most, it will make sense to use a third party provider to handle their game development needs.

Mainstream casino game developers have a duty to players, as well as an obligation to their shareholders and casino partners, to ensure that the products they launch are secure and free from exploitable elements.

Names like Netent, Playtech, BetSoft, IGT and others are ones you can trust, so watch for them when firing up games at your casino of choice.

Embrace realistic incentives

Lastly, don’t get duped by the promise of casino offers that are too good to be true. Trustworthy sites will still provide great bonuses and incentives, but those that are out to con customers will give unrealistic or impossible promises to get you through the door.

It bears repeating that reading reviews before you play will save you from a lot of heartache, so don’t forget to research online casinos if you can.