Certification by SafeBet

17 August 2000
SafeBet, an independent Internet casino testing laboratory, boasts thorough checks to make sure online casinos are fair and safe for punters. The organization was founded in 1998 by a group of software developers who, according to General Manager Sherry Nisen, had a simple question: "Is online gambling fair?"

The first element of SafeBet fairness is technology. Engineers conduct mathematical testing on the games at each site to make sure the odds are fair and the games are random. Nisen cautions punters that online games can be "easily rigged to fool the average user." SafeBet's stated purpose is to perform "regular testing of casinos to ensure that they are fair and remain fair."

The second component of fairness is policy. A player who wins a game must be paid within a certain amount of time. SafeBet holds 10 standards of fairness which are outlined on its website. Some of the standards include a requirement that games must follow their stated rules and that free games and money games must have the same rules and odds. Also, stated odds must check out. Virtual representations of real objects such as dice must behave in the same way as the object behaves in reality. Casino sites must maintain sufficient funds to pay players at all times, and logs must be kept of each game and transaction. Players can complain to SafeBet if they find one of its certified casinos acting in an unfair manner.

SafeBet makes three levels of certification available to online casinos: silver, gold, and platinum, each with its own price. To become a platinum member, the most expensive certification, a casino must meet all of the ten standards of fairness, undergo a software audit and sign an arbitration agreement. Gold members must fulfill the standards and pass the audit, and silver members need only to meet the standards.

The SafeBet website can be visited at www.safebet.org.