When it comes casinos, the scams that you must be on the lookout for are online casino
scams. When you gamble at a brick-and-mortar casino, you’re protected from scams by local gaming commissions who strictly enforce fair gaming laws. That’s not the case on the Internet.
While online casinos are a fun and convenient source of entertainment; some online casinos are overly greedy operations started with the sole intention of scamming players. Other times, the casino simply runs out of operating capital and disappears with as much player money as possible.
Warning Signs of a Potential Scam
Here are some warning signs of a casino that may be scamming players.
Slow Pay / No Pay
This is when you request a withdrawal and it takes weeks to receive, or you never receive it. Casinos that are planning to close often have customer service stall players in order to keep as much for themselves as possible.
NOTE:If you live in a country that doesn’t have legalized online gambling (such as the United States) you WILL experience cash out delays. That’s because the casino itself has to jump through more hoops in order to get you the money. However, if your net winnings are delayed more than a few weeks, or customer service tells you that you were paid when you weren’t, you could be getting scammed.
Unexplained Account Closure
Predatory Terms and Conditions
Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed by Online Casinos
Online casino scams happen every day – even to veteran players. Don’t become a victim.To avoid Internet casino scams, follow these tips for determining whether an online casino is safe, legit, and secure.
Make sure the online casino uses reputable software
First let me explain what I mean about casino software. There are several companies dedicated to providing casino software to entrepreneurs who want to start an online casino.
This is both good and bad. It’s good that there are well-known companies who are committed to programming quality casino software that is fair, safe, and secure.
The bad part is that some of these companies will provide their software to anyone with enough money to purchase it. That means there is a lot of potential for online casino scams.
After you’ve been around online casinos long enough, you will develop a feel for the differences in various casino software.
Most online casino players have their favorites. Based on my 10+ years of experience with online casinos and in the online gaming industry and listening to other players, here is my list of the best online casino software providers.
Look for online casinos that are licensed and regulated
All reputable online casinos are required to be licensed within the jurisdiction that they conduct business and operate their computer servers.
Because of the strict or lack of online gambling laws in most major countries, the majority of online casinos are operated from small island countries. Common countries with online casinos are Gibraltar, the Isle Of Man, Malta, Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, Curacao. There are also online casinos that operate in Kahnawake, a small Indian reservation in Canada.
Recently, the UK had online casinos legal. The United Kingdom has very strict requirements for becoming licensed. Therefore, you can feel confident in any online casino licensed in the UK.
If the casino you’re interested in doesn’t provide a location where they are licensed and regulated, stay away. There are plenty of safe & reputable online casinos where you can gamble real money.
Look for endorsements by online casino watchdog sites
Besides making sure the casino is regulated by a local jurisdiction, look for online casinos that are endorsed by 3rd party watchdog sites such as eCOGRA(eCommerce Online Gaming regulation and Assurance). These watchdog sites act as a mediator between the casino and the player should any dispute arise.
Read the online casino’s terms and conditions
This is an important tip that many new online casino players overlook (because it’s a pain in the butt). Every online casino should have a link to their terms and conditions. NOTE: If you can’t find the T&Cs or the casino will not send it to you, avoid them at all costs.
Just like other terms and conditions you may have tried to read in the past, casino T&Cs are filled with jargon and legal-speak that can be hard to understand.
Even though it’s important to read over the casino’s terms, there’s no need to stress over every word. What you want to do is familiarize yourself with the rules that aren’t explicit on the main website.
Things to look for in an online casino’s terms and conditions
Jurisdiction and age requirements
This should be standard practice, but still needs to be mentioned. Because of uncertain laws in countries such as United States, not all casinos accept all players. Just to avoid the frustration of downloading, installing, and trying to set up an account, it’s important to verify that the casino accepts players from your country.
Also, some casinos allow 18 year old players, while other casinos require players to be 21 or older. If you’re under 21, save yourself the frustration and verify the casino’s age requirements in advance.
Some online casinos limit the amount you can withdraw on any given day or week. Casino withdrawal limits are not necessarily an indication of the casino’s ability to pay. However these limits are still the source of a lot of frustration and complaints about online casino scams.
If you are a high limit casino player, you may view these restrictions as too much of a pain to deal with. On the other hand, you may not mind it taking a little longer to withdraw your winnings. Either way, it’s important to check for online casino withdrawal restrictions in advance.
Bonus Wagering Requirements and Game Restrictions
Casino bonuses used to be a lucrative way for players to gain back a lot of the house
edge. Other the years, many bonus hunters abused the system to make some quick money. Now, online casinos have implemented a lot of restrictions and requirements for online casino bonuses.
Wagering requirements are used to prevent someone from accepting a bonus, betting big a few times, and then cashing out. You are required to wager or roll over your deposit plus the bonus money a certain number of times before requesting a cash out.
For example, lets say you sign up for a 100% bonus offer. You deposit $100 and get another $100 free ($200 total).If the wagering requirement is 10x
deposit + bonus, you must wager a total of $2000 ( 10*($100+$100) ) before cashing out.
Many casinos also have game restrictions when you use bonus money. Sometimes these are reasonable and sometimes you find online casinos that don’t allow bonus money to be used on any game except slots and keno. That can be frustrating to players who didn’t know about the restrictions.
In some cases, the casino may refuse to pay winnings to players that play restricted games with bonus money. This is another area where many people call it an online casino scam, where in reality the casino is simply protecting itself from bonus abuse.
A lot of veteran online casino players will tell you that bonuses are too much of a hassle these days. I tend to agree for the most part. There are still some good casino bonuses out there, but they’re hard to find.
Most of the best casino bonuses are small but have few (if any) game restrictions and low wagering requirements.
Look for online casinos without plenty of deposit options
Honest online casinos will have a decent variety of casino deposit options. The most popular options include Visa, MasterCard, (credit, debit, and prepaid cards), eChecks, Paypal, Neteller, eWalletxpress, and Moneybookers.
While most online casinos also accept methods like Western Union, wire transfer, and money orders, beware of online casinos that only accept cash payments. Safe and secure online casinos should give players plenty of deposit methods to choose from.