After guiding you towards the best, it’s time now to steer you away from the worst online casinos. Rogue casinos are a sad reality in the online gambling world and the purpose of this article is to reveal their identity. Plus, to pinpoint the clear signs of scam online operators, in order to know what to avoid, as well as how to protect yourself from them.
If you have already had enough of scam sites, you may want to check the safe casino sites that you can play on.
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Are rogue online casinos a common sight?
Far from it actually. Lots of the online casinos that you will find out there are legitimate, especially the ones featured on our website. Many have obtained a legal operating license. So, they are controlled by a country’s national authority, which drastically reduces the chances of online casino fraud. We also have to distinguish the worst online casinos from casino sites that may simply be inconsistent with specific aspects, like payments. A casino that delays your withdrawal a few days isn’t automatically placed in the blacklist. That’s why we should note down in detail the characteristics of a scam online casino.
What makes a rogue online casino?
In the years that we have been dealing with the world of online gambling we have witnessed pretty much everything when it comes to rogue online casinos. From slow-paying or even no-paying ones, to pirate software with cheating RNGs, all the way up to absolutely absurd wagering requirements that are just impossible to meet. Even casino owners who took away players’ money and ran away. There are some telltale signs that indicate you’re dealing with a phony casino. The most common ones are listed below so you may always be aware of what you’re up against.
Fake license sites
There’s a possibility of playing at a casino that isn’t legally operating. When it comes to licensing we usually see the following 3 hoaxes by rogue casinos. The first one is when an operator doesn’t have-and actually never had-a license. This is often happening in Bitcoin-related casinos, since Bitcoin as a payment does not require casinos to have a gaming license in order to cooperate with them; as opposed to other payment methods such as cards or e-wallets.
We have also seen many blacklist online casinos using a fake license. Casinos are obligated by regulators to display the licensing authorization seal on their website’s footer. This logo also needs to be clickable. So, in case a valid link is not apparent, then something’s definitely off.
The third and last indication of a license scam is when it is actually expired. You can see this simply by clicking on the respective logo. You will then be redirected to a page indicating that the site is listed as “inactive” or “surrendered”. This usually happens because some online casinos want to avoid the cost of license renewal.
Online casinos not paying out
This is the most common sign of the worst online casinos. So, you’ve got your first big win, sent all the required verification documents and you’re all set up for your withdrawal. Some shady casinos will go to the extent of not paying you at all or making your life difficult by delaying payments for weeks. And the truth is we’ve seen tons of lame excuses to avoid withdrawals by online casinos which simply won’t pay out. Scam operators can get very creative when it comes to that.
Some will have unusual verification procedures requesting you to take a photo of yourself with your ID right next to your face. We’ve also heard about casinos that want to talk to players on Skype or Telegram via video call, or others that will call players on their phone at inconvenient hours just to check if they will pick up. The reason behind all that? To delay or avoid withdrawal requests altogether. We try our best to keep those casinos out of our lists and to have you covered with the best online casino payouts instead.
Can you sue a casino for not paying out?
Well, that would be a bit far-fetched. First of all, it depends on where the casino is located. If it has its base in the UK, Malta or Sweden, meaning it is licensed by reputable authorities, it is highly unlikely that your case will ever come to the point of needing legal action. However, if you are playing in a Curacao-based casino, then good luck with travelling to the Netherlands Antilles for the court hearings. Seriously, it isn’t worth the effort or the money; so, what you should do instead, is learn to identify scam casinos before they hurt your pocket.
Pirate casino games
Have you ever come across a rogue online casino with a suspicious feel in its games? A feeling that you never win or at least that you don’t win enough? Well, you might be right as many scam casinos use pirate casino games. NetEnt and Novomatic fake games are among the most popular ‘baits’ used by scam casinos, which control the Return to Player percentage. An inexperienced eye cannot tell a rigged software, so if you’re unsure about a gambling site’s game legitimacy just send us an email.
A good example of that was Desoft Gaming/2WinPower. A few years ago, this Russian scam casino game provider used to make cheap knock-offs and sell them to blacklisted casinos that didn’t have the budget to buy the real games. The artwork and design of their titles, even the sound effects are ripped off and they also use an RNG that’s hardly tested for its fairness.
Misleading Terms & Conditions
Last but not least, shady T&Cs are the icing on the cake. If you see extreme wagering requirements that are just impossible to meet, then that should be your first warning sign. We’ve often heard about people not being able to withdraw their bonus money because of the casino claiming that they didn’t meet the turnover requirements. The truth is those blacklisted casinos went ahead and changed their T&Cs after the withdrawal request was made, just to avoid paying out winnings.
How to protect yourself from scam casinos
To actually save yourself from all the trouble of dealing with a rogue casino, you should be proactive. Before signing up to claim that juicy bonus take a step back and follow the ones below:
1. Do a simple Google research
It might seem the obvious thing to do, but we cannot tell how many times players neglect it. Run a search by simply typing in the casino’s name along with the terms ‘review’ or ‘complaint’ and see what comes up on the results. If you’re dealing with a fake casino, then chances are that something bad will come up. Do take time to dig deeper into the search results, and don’t just stay on Page 1. We have often seen complaints and scam reports appearing in following ones.
2. Check the casino’s license
As stated above, this is one of the most common signs of a scam and the first thing you should check to ensure that a casino is indeed legit. Check the license on the footer of the casino’s home page, click on it and check if it redirects you to a page with all the respective details. If a casino claims to be licensed in Costa Rica, Panama or any Central American and Caribbean country, then it might not be licensed at all.
3. Read the casino’s Terms & Conditions
Obviously. You simply cannot complain if a casino had somehow already ‘warned’ they might cheat you with their unreasonable terms. Stuff like irrationally high wagering requirements, withdrawals depending on lifetime deposits, or too low maximum withdrawal limits, should be ringing bells that you are dealing with a rogue online casino.
4. Speak to Customer Support on live chat
The concept here is that you want to actually make sure that there is indeed a person at the other end of the chat room. Try sending a message at different times within the day to ensure that they indeed hold to the working hours they advertise on their website. If they claim to be offering multilingual support, you can even text them in different languages to check that up. How do they reply? Do they seem professional, are they polite enough? Do they know their stuff? It’s common among rogue casinos to have agents that are rude to players or are completely ignorant of core casino policies they should normally be aware of. Last, pay attention to how long it takes them to respond. Extremely late replies are a potential sign of a fake casino.
5. Read our Best50Casino’s reviews
We are not here to just guide you towards the best bonuses, promotions and games, but also to inform you about rogue casino reviews of venues that are not worth your time and money. You can rest assured that our online casino reviews are the result of a meticulous and all-around research of a casino’s background, legislative compliance as well as financial standing.
6. Check if the site is on our casino blacklist
Best50Casino’s blacklist is always a work in progress. The more blacklisted casinos we dig out the more you’ll see that list expand. Our goal is to guide you towards no less than the very best casino gaming experience on the Internet.
7. Visit the casino’s mobile version
We have repeatedly noticed that bogus casinos’ mobile versions don’t play out as they should. If you notice flaws such as weird graphics or lines and text not properly aligned with the rest of the page, drift away. The concept here is to ensure that everything looks alright on mobile too. Anything that’s off-putting or looks less professional, should serve as a red flag.
8. Examine if the site is HTTPS
Legitimate, credible casinos do not risk having a non-secure website. As of July 2018, Google has announced that all sites should convert to an HTTPS version to ensure data safety. This is imperative in the case of online casinos as they handle large transactions, thus the need for extra safety. Therefore, think twice before playing at a casino which does not meet that specific requirement.
9. Keep an eye out for unusual Domain names (.io, .biz, .lv, tk)
Well-known and respected online casinos tend to invest in .com Top-Level Domains (TLDs). If you come across an operator that uses weird URL endings such as .io or .biz, then you should definitely research that casino a bit further before signing up. Of course, that’s not to say that every operator who doesn’t operate a .com domain is not trustworthy.
How to report a scam online casino
It often happens that despite taking all necessary precautions, you find yourself caught up in a dispute with an operator where you feel that you’ve been misled. There are some things you can do to report such a case:
1. File a complaint to the licensing authority
We have noticed that many complaints concerning rogue casinos come from players that tried their luck with offshore sites or brands that are licensed in Curacao. That’s not of course to say that all casinos with such a license are shady. If your negotiations over resolving your case fail through the casino’s customer support (either they are unwilling or incapable to resolve it), the next thing you can do is contact the corresponding authority and report it.
United Kingdom Gambling Commission licensed casinos
British casinos are licensed by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC). To get in touch with them and file your complaint, simply access its official website. Alternatively, you can also contact IBAS, an independent Dispute Resolution service approved by the UKGC that handles disputes between licensed gambling operators and players.
Malta Gaming Authority licensed casinos
If the operator you chose is licensed under the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), then you should explain your situation by accessing its official website and filling the form on its ‘Online Gaming Support’ dedicated page.
Curacao eGaming licensed casinos
Casinos in Latin America are usually regulated by the Curacao eGaming board. The authority has a detailed logo licensing system to indicate an operator’s status; namely ‘Valid’, ‘Invalid’, or ‘Unknown’. To file a complaint with the Curacao eGaming board simply enter its official webpage.
Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association licensed casinos
In the case of operators that are licensed under the GBGA, you can submit your complaint in the relevant section that you are going to find on their website.
2. File a complaint on Best50Casino
We know that there’s nothing worse than feeling deceived by a casino. That’s why we have created our own dedicated section where you can submit your complaint. Upon submission, we will contact the operator and try to shed some extra light to the case. Our year-long collaborations with all well-known online casinos enable us to know how to tackle cases where players feel they have been mistreated by a casino. To file your complaint on Best50Casino click on our ‘Contact Us’ page.
3. Leave a comment on player forums
Even if your case is at this point lost, you could still offer a service to the online gambling community by sharing what’s going on with that particular casino. Leave a comment on players’ forums explaining your unpleasant experience with a roguecasino in detail, so that it ends up blacklisted as soon as possible.