Ssl Encryption In Online Gambling

Why Should SSL Encryption Matter to Your Online Gambling Experience?

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Updated on: 15 Apr 2024
Dean McHugh

You may have read many recommendations for sticking to licensed casinos online. One of the reasons for this is that licensed casinos are required to use SSL encryption to keep your data safe.

But what is SSL encryption, and what does it matter when gambling online?

In this guide, we’ll explain exactly what SSL encryption involves, why it’s so important for online casino players, and how to check if your gambling website of choice is using it.

What is SSL Encryption?

Secure Socket Layer, usually known by the abbreviation SSL, is a type of encryption considered the gold standard in providing protection online. You may have heard of SSL encryption as it’s a phrase that’s often bandied around, but do you know how it actually works?

Let’s start with the basics. SSL is a means of protecting data as it’s sent from your computer to the casino’s online server. When you play at an online casino, you might have to provide a whole wealth of sensitive data such as your name, date of birth, bank details, and ID info. This is the kind of personal information that would be highly valuable to fraudsters, so it’s important that it’s safe from prying eyes. Online casinos use SSL encryption to ensure that the transmission can only be read by the intended recipient.

SSL encryption describes the process of coding information so that it’s not easily understood by other people, namely hackers. It does this by breaking the data into smaller pieces of linked code using 128-bit SSL encryption, which can’t be intercepted and read.

This is achieved using a process known as cryptography. As the name suggests, this is similar to the type of technology that the world of cryptocurrency is built upon. Cryptography allows data to be sent securely in small chunks with digital “keys” required to unlock the message. Digital keys are a bit like a digital password and are required to “unlock” the transmission of data and piece the linked bits back together.

Just like Bitcoin, SSL encryption uses private and public keys to protect the data and grant access to the right person. This involves the sender, the recipient, and an internet browser. However, unlike crypto, as the sender, you don’t need to do anything special other than ensure you’re using a site that uses proper SSL encryption (more about how to do that later).

From the point that you send your personal data to the moment it’s received, the information is encrypted and illegible to anyone trying to gain access for nefarious reasons.

Why is SSL Encryption Important for Online Gambling?

The internet has become such a fundamental part of everyday life that most of us rarely stop to think about the actual mechanics of how it works. Clicking a button to send information is more complex than it first appears, with data travelling at high speed through various servers.

This is because the internet works by having multiple servers everywhere, and this means your data will have to travel through many different waypoints to arrive at your chosen destination, i.e., the server for the online casino. Every time your data is processed by a different server, there is the risk of your privacy being breached and your personal details stolen. By encrypting the data in this very secure way - using SSL technology - you are protected from this risk.

With online gambling, you will be required to provide a lot of sensitive information that would be extremely valuable to fraudsters. Your personal data, payment details, and any documentary proof of ID could all be revealed and abused if the transmission wasn’t made securely. This could lead to identity fraud meaning someone could pose as you and take credit out in your name or they could make online purchases using your money.

The importance of SSL technology for online casinos cannot be overstated. It’s vital that you only use sites that provide this type of protection, or else you risk your data being unlawfully accessed for potentially fraudulent purposes.

How Does SSL Encryption Keep Your Data Safe?

ssl keeps your data safe

To understand fully how SSL encryption keeps your data safe, it’s helpful to dive into the process in more detail.

When you attempt to visit a website, a request will be sent via the browser you are using for the destination web server to identify itself. The destination web server will then send a copy of its SSL certificate for your browser to validate. If the browser thinks that the SSL certificate looks valid, an acknowledgement will be sent back to the web server. This allows the web server to commence an encrypted session. All information shared thereon between your browser and the website will use SSL encryption to protect your privacy and keep your data secure.

You may sometimes see SSL encryption referred to as TLS instead. Transport Layer Security is the updated version of SSL and uses even better technology. Although it may have a different name, it’s often simply referred to as SSL, as it follows the same principles and achieves the same final goal. Both SSL and TLS follow similar protocols that protect your data and keep your information secure.

The Importance of SSL Encryption While Making Online Payments

ssl encryption and online payments

There’s a lot of personal data that needs to be protected when you’re gambling online, but there is none more sensitive than your payment information. If you’re making online payments or make a deposit at an online casino, it’s absolutely critical that your data is protected and that you have confidence that you’re using a secure site.

The matter is so important there are additional regulatory requirements around payment processing. All sites in the UK that are responsible for processing payments or storing payment details are required to adhere to the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). These standards apply even if the processing of payments has been outsourced to a third party (which is common). And, it's not only the UK this resonates with. This is standard practice around the world and will be regulated by your jurisdiction's governing body.

The PCI DSS protocol has many requirements which combine to keep payment information extremely secure. One of the requirements is the use of encryption across public networks.

This means that when you make a payment or provide information for a withdrawal, the information will be heavily encrypted using SSL when it journeys through the various servers. If it wasn’t encrypted, anyone could potentially hack in and view your card details or payment information. SSL encryption breaks your highly sensitive payment details into various “bits” and protects each section with a digital key, making it very unlikely that a fraudster will be able to access your data.

Regulatory Rules for SSL With Online Gambling Sites

It’s advisable to always stick to licensed casino sites and to look for licences from top regulators such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) or the Malta Gaming Authority. Although there are other regulatory bodies globally, not all of them have such high standards, so it’s a good idea to look for approval from one of the bodies which take a more robust approach.

Using a licensed casino means that you should be able to trust that they’re honest, fair, and transparent and that you won’t be put at risk. To ensure this is the case, the regulatory bodies have a whole raft of rules that online gambling sites must adhere to - and this includes the transmission of data.

Top regulators such as the UKGC or MGA will not issue a licence unless a casino can demonstrate that it uses SSL encryption or equivalent technology that encrypts and protects data to the same degree. In practical terms, this means to get a licence from any reputable body, an online gambling site must be able to demonstrate that it uses SSL.

Although it’s a regulatory requirement from licensing bodies, it’s also a government requirement too. The GDPR regulations introduced in 2018 make it compulsory for any site to treat data securely. This means that they must handle, store, and process all data securely, including basic data from customers who visit their website. SSL technology ensures that online gambling sites operate legally and comply with their obligations around data security.

How to Check for SSL Encryption

how to check for ssl encryption

As mentioned above, there is a legal obligation for sites to treat data securely, which means that there should always be a current SSL certificate.

Google takes the subject of data protection seriously and will automatically carry out a check for a site certificate before allowing customers to connect. If there is no visible SSL certificate, Google will not allow customers to proceed to the site automatically. Instead, a warning will be provided that advises that there is no SSL certificate, giving you the chance to backtrack.

This doesn’t mean that it’s impossible to access websites without SSL encryption, especially if you don’t use Chrome. Therefore, it’s important to be able to identify what sites are secure and how to tell if they are protected by SSL encryption.

The easiest way to check is to look at the toolbar. If the website’s address starts with ‘https://’ rather than ‘http://’ and has a little padlock visible, you can be reassured that it’s secure. However, if the toolbar doesn’t show the padlock, it doesn’t automatically mean that it’s not encrypted. On some sites, certain pages may not look secure, but once you move to a more sensitive area, such as the Cashier section or playing a game, you’ll see the padlock pop up. If you’re in an area of the website where you need to provide sensitive data, such as your login details, you should always expect to see the padlock.

If you click on the padlock, you should receive a message that says “this site is secure” or something similar.

In some browsers, the toolbar changes to a green colour when sites are encrypted; this is an easy identifier that you can view at a glance.

If you have a virus protection programme on your device, it may also carry out checks when you try to visit a site. Most anti-viral software will automatically check for an SSL certificate and block access if there isn’t one or if it’s expired.


The internet has evolved since its initial launch, and we now know much more about keeping data secure. Protocols such as SSL encryption are extremely effective in keeping personal information safe as it’s transmitted from your device to the end server. The technology behind SSL encryption is complex and protects your data in a variety of different ways, making it virtually bombproof as it’s transmitted.

Checking to make sure you are using a secure site when you play online is an easy step to take and doesn’t require any technical know-how. Once you are confident that you are using an online casino that is protected by SSL encryption, you can enjoy playing with peace of mind.

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