If you’ve already ventured to the Internet to give online pokies a go, you will have noticed the leading online casinos are all based offshore. Playing at a foreign-run casino site can make some players nervous, so we’re here to explain all you need to know about playing pokies at offshore casino sites and whether or not these offshore casinos can be trusted.
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What is an offshore pokies site?
An offshore pokies site is one operating on foreign soil, with licensing from an international gambling jurisdiction. Although offshore sites welcome players from multiple countries, keep in mind that if they are not licensed within your country they may not run in accordance with your local laws or the gambling regulations of our country.
Should I trust an offshore pokies site?
The common misconception about offshore online casinos is they operate outside of the law and play by their own rules, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Like any business, there are dodgy operators out there hoping to scam players out of their hard-earned cash, but those ventures are rare and can be avoided at all costs once you know how to identify a safe gambling site.
Legitimate offshore pokies sites obtain licensing from jurisdictions well respected within the gambling industry – jurisdictions which enforce strict laws and regulations regarding player safety and the day to day operations of running a gambling business. Although these sites operate outside of Australian borders, the gambling laws they abide by are very similar to ours. Players must be at least 18 years old, games must be tested for fairness, the operator must prove itself to be of solid financial standing, responsible gambling practices must be enforced and the business must remain free from all criminal activity.
Essentially, an offshore pokies site legally licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction and certified by a third party testing agency like eCOGRA is absolutely safe for Aussie players. Software at these sites has been tested and certified for quality and fairness, and all transactions are protected by a minimum of 128 Bit SSL (secure socket layer) digital encryption security to ensure online safety. Deposits and withdrawals are available with trusted payment methods available, and customer support teams are on standby to provide assistance via live chat, phone or email.
Why play pokies at an offshore casino?
It is understandable the term “offshore” brings negative connotations to mind, especially where in countries where we are proud to support our own businesses and eager to put our spending money back into our economy. However, if you choose to play the pokies online, playing at an offshore pokies site is the only safe choice.
In Australia, online gambling laws are covered under the Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA). While this law does not explicitly ban Aussies from gambling online (although an amendment to the bill is currently making its way through the legal system), it restricts any online casino vendor from operating within Australia or advertising its services to Australian players.
In short, this means it is illegal to play pokies at an online casino operating within our country. The loophole is there is nothing within the IGA to prevent Aussies from playing for real money at an offshore casino, so playing at an offshore pokies site adequately licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction is your only choice.
Best gambling jurisdictions for offshore pokies sites
When looking for a reliable offshore casino, it is only natural you may seek out one licensed in a country you are familiar with. However, the laws surrounding online gambling in each country vary dramatically and can be quite complex, so the best offshore jurisdictions are ones you may not be familiar with.
These are the offshore gambling jurisdictions considered the best in the online casino business:
- UK Gambling Commission
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Curacao e-Gaming
- Alderney Gambling Control Commission
- Gibraltar Betting & Gaming Association
- Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
- Kahnawake Gaming Commission
You can click our links above to read more about each offshore gambling jurisdiction, the requirements for seeking licensing and what it does to protect online players.
How to tell if an offshore pokies site is safe?
There are literally hundreds of pokies sites operating on the Web, so it can hard to know which to trust and which to avoid. When choosing an online casino, the major factors to consider to ensure player safety include:
- Is it licensed by a reputable gambling jurisdiction like the ones mentioned above? You can find this information at the very bottom of a casino’s home page, or within its ‘About Us’ section.
- Does it offer pokies gaming software from leading, trusted game studios like Microgaming, NetEnt, BetSoft, Play’n Go, Quickspin, Yggdrasil and iSoftBet? Scroll through the game selection or search by provider to find out.
- Is it protected by SSL security? Check the URL to make sure the address starts with “https://” and includes an image of a padlock before entering any of your personal or financial information.
- Is there a customer support service provided in case you require assistance? Reputable online casinos offer a help section which includes answers to FAQs and contact details for live support.
If you are still unsure, your best bet is to stick with online casinos with a solid reputation, like the ones recommended on our site. All the offshore pokies sites we recommend have undergone stringent testing by our team of casino writers to ensure they tick a long list of requirements before receiving our endorsement. We have provided comprehensive reviews of each pokies site, which you can read to gather further information and decide which venue is right for you.
Our top-rated offshore casinos also offer the option of playing the pokies for free in practice mode, so you have the chance to explore the casino and all it has to offer before deciding it you feel safe and supported enough to sign up for a real money account.
Best offshore pokies sites
Many of the world’s best offshore casinos cater to an international market and will happily allow players to sign up for an account using their local currency. Refer to our casino table above for a list of all the top-rated offshore pokies sites accepting players from your location – you can use the links on this table to read our comprehensive casino reviews, or to sign up for an account to claim an exclusive new player welcome bonus.
These trusted offshore casinos offer hundreds of pokies games from leading software developers which are available for instant-play directly over your desktop or mobile Web browser with no downloads required. We recommend checking out Raging Bull Casino, our top-rated casino site for players from United States, which has some excellent welcome bonuses available for new players along with hundreds of real money casino games to choose from, with no downloads required.