There are thousands of online casinos that are operating right now. The vast majority of them are perfectly safe and secure, operated by companies that are reputable and trustworthy. Though gambling has something of a negative reputation, it’s actually not that dangerous at all. Most people who gamble online with real money don’t encounter any major problems.
Having said that, there will always be those who try to scam others. While most online casinos can be trusted, a very small number of them are dodgy and should be avoided at all costs. In this article, we’ll run you through some of the things to look out for so you can protect yourself from online casino scams.
Avoid Unlicensed Casinos
For an online casino to legally operate, it has to obey the laws of the countries it’s operating in. Most of the time, a casino has to have a license. If it operates without one, it’s technically breaking the law.
Having a license matters because for obtaining it, a casino has to undergo a thorough check by a third-party regulatory authority. The company reviewing the casino has a lengthy list of criteria that the casino has to satisfy for it to earn a license. Basically, if the casino and its operator tick the boxes and prove to be trustworthy and reliable, a license will be issued. If there are any red flags during the review process, a license won’t be handed out.
There are several regulatory authorities that hand out licences. Some of them are listed below:
- The UK Gambling Commission;
- The Malta Gaming Authority;
- The Government of Gibraltar;
- The Alderney Gambling Control Commission.
When you visit an online casino, there should be some text at the bottom of each page mentioning where the casino has obtained its license from. At Playojo casino, for example, there’s a small paragraph that mentioned what company the site is operated by, where the company is based and what authority the casino is licensed by. If there’s no text mentioning licenses, you should see logos representing the regulatory authorities instead.
Before you sign up to a casino, you should check if it has a license. If you can’t find this information anywhere on the site, there’s a chance that the casino doesn’t actually have it. If a casino doesn’t seem to be licensed, you should avoid signing up to it and choose a licensed casino instead.
A casino that’s unlicensed may not be trustworthy or reliable. The operators may be running some sort of scam, or they may be doing something else that’s considered criminal. Don’t take a risk by signing up to a casino without a license – there are more than enough licensed casinos to choose from instead.
Stay Away from Blacklisted Casinos
We’ve explained how a casino and its operators have to pass a test of sorts to obtain a license. Most of the time, licensed casinos aren’t problematic in any way- people who play at them have no issues at all and have perfectly enjoyable gambling experiences. However, it’s still possible for people to have problems even at casinos that are fully licensed.
Some of the problems that people have encountered at online casinos include:
- Not being able to contact customer support;
- Issues put forward to customer support haven’t been addressed;
- Withdrawals taking too long to arrive;
- General terms and conditions being unreasonable;
- Wagering requirements being too high;
- Advertisements for bonuses have been incorrect;
- Games are rigged in some way.
If a casino does the things listed above – it can end up getting blacklisted. As usual, reviewers strongly discourage people from signing up there. At a typical online casino review site, there will be a list of casinos that have been blacklisted. For each casino, the site will mention why the casino has been blacklisted.
Reviewers don’t want to promote casinos that may be unsafe or dodgy in any way. If they send people to a casino that turns out to be problematic, people won’t trust the reviewers and their site will end up getting a negative reputation. For review sites to remain trustworthy and reliable, they can’t point people in the direction of unreliable sites; they have to give them warnings.
If you find an online casino and want to sign up to it, do a quick online search to see if it’s been blacklisted or not. If it hasn’t, feel free to become a member. However, if you find that the casino has indeed been blacklisted, you should choose a different casino to play at instead.
Know What the Signs Are
In the section above, we mentioned a number of problems that can cause an online casino to get blacklisted. We’ll discuss them more in this part of the article because it’s important you know what to look out for. Even if you’re at an online casino that’s fully licensed and hasn’t been blacklisted, things can still go wrong. You should always be aware of what the signs of a scam are. Even popular and reputable casinos have got into trouble and been fined for practices that haven’t been in line with the rules put in place by regulatory authorities.
Have a look at the table below for a more in-depth explanation of what you should keep an eye out for when playing at online casinos:
|Can’t contact customer support||Each and every method of getting in touch with customer support fails. You try each contact method, but never get to communicate with anyone and no one gets back to you about anything|
|Customer support won’t resolve issues||You do manage to contact a customer support team member, however they’re unable to resolve a simple issue, or refuse to get things sorted for you|
|Withdrawals take too long||When you make a withdrawal, the money takes longer than expected to reach you. For example, the casino says it takes up to three working days to process withdrawal requests, but after five days nothing has happened|
|Unreasonable terms and conditions||There are points in the casino’s terms and conditions that are too restrictive or require too much from players. The deposit and withdrawal limits, for example, could be too low or too high|
|Wagering requirements are too high||Most casinos have wagering requirements you have to satisfy before bonus winnings can be withdrawn. If the wagering requirement is higher than average and you have a limited amount of time to satisfy it, this may be a sign the casino’s asking too much of players and may be dodgy|
|Incorrect promo terms and conditions||When casinos advertise bonuses and other special offers, all the details should be correct. If a casino changes certain aspects of a promo, e.g. the amount of bonus money you can claim, it doesn’t go down well with players and isn’t a decent thing to do|
|Rigged games||You never win and there are noticeable patterns in the outcomes to suggest that the outcomes aren’t down to luck alone|
If you’re at an online casino and you notice something wrong – anything in the table above, for example – you should, as a precaution, not make any more deposits. Contact customer support and try to get the issue resolved. If that doesn’t happen, withdraw your money and play at a different casino instead. If you have problems withdrawing your money, contact a regulatory authority and report the matter to them.
It’s very important that you’re able to withdraw your money; it is yours, after all. At most online casinos, you have to wait up to three working days or so for the casino to process your withdrawal request. Then once this has happened, the amount of time it takes your money to reach you depends on the payment method you’re using. With an online casino instant withdraw, you should receive your money on the day you withdraw it, if not within 24 hours. A growing number of sites offer this function because people prefer to get their hands on their money quickly without having to wait. However, even at casinos promising fast or same-day withdrawals there can still be issues.
Not getting your money is pretty much the biggest sign that a casino is dodgy. If you have problems with withdrawals, this is perhaps the most serious thing that can go wrong at an online casino. Thankfully though, this happens quite rarely. If you do have problems with withdrawals, remember to contact third-party regulatory authorities and keep contacting the right organisations until your money is in your hands.
It’s always best to act sooner rather than later if there’s something that doesn’t look right. Even if it turns out to be nothing at all, it doesn’t do any harm to check. When you sign up to an online casino, you should have a problem-free experience. Most casinos provide this experience. However, you should always be on the lookout for signs that something isn’t right or that the casino operators aren’t doing what they should. The good news is that help is available for those who find themselves getting scammed – if this happens to you, don’t hesitate to contact your regulatory authority as soon as possible.
Online casinos are very different and most of them are perfectly trustworthy and reliable. Most of the casinos try to provide you with ideal customer support, casino instant withdrawal methods, security and exciting gambling experience. However, some operators attempt to scam people and no matter how much regulation the industry has, there will always be some people who fall victim to scammers. Fortunately, there are some telltale signs to look out for and if you do get scammed, there are companies that are willing to help you out. Don’t be discouraged from gambling online – by all means, sign up to online casinos and have fun playing at them, just be on the lookout in case something untoward happens.