Casino Scams

Six Online Casino Scams and How to Avoid Them

  • Online gambling is on the rise, with more people choosing to play online casino games from the comfort of their home. In fact, a report from the UK Gambling Commission showed that 37% of those questioned had gambled online during the past four weeks. Unfortunately, although most gambling websites are reputable, there are a few that run online casino scams. So, protect yourself when you bet online by learning about these six common scams to avoid, from rigging the odds to displaying fake licences and withholding winnings.

    Six online scams to look out for

    1. Payment scams

    Suspect companies often employ tactics to avoid paying out winnings, either because they can’t afford to do so or are a bogus company. Typically, they’ll delay payments, keep asking you for additional identity documents, or state that certain payment methods aren’t available in the hopes that you’ll get frustrated and give up on claiming your winnings. To avoid these scams, check online reviews of the company, read their terms and conditions regarding payment, and make sure they’re properly licensed.

    2. Cheating the odds

    All casinos have a house edge (the average profit made from a player’s bet), which is worth considering when choosing which casino games to play. It’s also important to look at the Return to Player (RTP) rate, which shows your odds of winning a prize. Some online casinos are able to rig the house edge and RTP rate, and even fix them so that it’s impossible to win. The best way to make sure this doesn’t happen is to choose a casino that is regulated and audited by an independent gaming body, who will also check that the website’s Random Number Generator (RNG) isn’t rigged.

    3. Faking their licences

    These days, anyone can build a chic website that looks legitimate. Dodgy casino websites often display fake licences, as well as logos and seals of compliance for regulatory bodies they don’t really belong to. One way to check if these accreditations are real is to see if the link to the association is clickable. if it’s not, check with the relevant licensing body to see if the company really is registered with them.

    4. Identity theft

    If you notice money has been disappearing from your bank account, it could be down to that unscrupulous online casino site you’ve been visiting. It’s easy for these companies to collect your bank details to sell to third parties or siphon money from your account. You can avoid this by checking reviews and licences for online casino sites, as well as using alternative payment options that don’t require you to reveal your bank details, like Neteller.

    5. Fake casino software

    Many casino sites have been blacklisted for using fake software created to look just like the real thing. Respected software developers like NetEnt have their games regularly audited by independent testing bodies to make sure their RNGs are fair. However, rogue casinos may use unlicensed copies with unfair algorithms and RTP rates. These can be incredibly difficult to spot, so check the usual reviews and licences for anything suspicious.

    6. Bonus fraud and false advertising

    Many online casinos entice players with sign-up bonuses, but unethical companies may change their policies once you’ve signed up or make it difficult for you to claim. Be wary of exceptionally large sign-up bonuses and take a careful look through the terms and conditions to see how you can claim. Look up reviews to see whether any other players have had trouble claiming bonuses.

    If you do suspect bad practice or fall victim to online casino fraud, it’s important to report online scams to the relevant licensing body or the police.

    Tips for avoiding online casino scams

    Use trusted casinos – to avoid scams online, make sure that your casino is licensed by a government or gambling agency such as:

    • The UK Gambling Commission – this operates under the Gambling Act of 2005 and requires companies to have a paid remote casino licence. Before a licence is granted, the commission checks that the casino meets regulations including age restrictions and fair play. They’re also required to have a player protection fund so that winnings are covered in case of bankruptcy.
    • The Malta Gaming Authority – has a similarly strict set of rules for online and land-based casinos.
    • Curacao eGaming – is one of the oldest gaming licence providers, established in 1996. The company provides strict regulations for online casinos, as well as lotteries, sports betting, and games of skill.

    In addition, genuine casinos may have local accreditations. For example, Health Games has a range of casino and slot games and is regulated by both the UK Gambling Commission and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. It’s also a charitable organisation that donates to health-related causes across the country and has strict customer privacy protection.

    Check that the casino is audited – choose an online casino that is regularly tested for fairness by a third-party organisation such as eCOGRA, TST Global, and Gaming Associates Europe Ltd. These organisations will check online casinos have legitimate RNG’s and fair RTP rates.

    Look for contact details – respectable casino sites will offer members assistance by email, phone, or live chat and display this contact information clearly on their website. Contact customer service before you sign up with some initial questions to see how helpful they are and be wary of support staff who give vague or inconsistent answers.

    Beware of Bitcoin casino scams - Bitcoin faucet games and faucet bitcoin casinos have risen in popularity due to the safe and anonymous nature of the payment method, but they’re not immune to problems. Bitcoin scams come in the same guises mentioned above. To avoid them, see how long the company has been established and check its reviews and licences, and make sure to avoid any online casinos offering suspicious bonuses like free bitcoin.

    Search for reviews – seek out online reviews about prospective casinos to see if there are any negative comments, especially regarding payment problems, bonus fraud, and unfair play. Do a Google search for the company name followed by the word ‘scam’ or check Facebook reviews and sites such as Trustpilot.

    Check the payment options - look for casinos that pay via various methods including Mastercard, Visa, Paypal, and Moneybookers. You can help prevent identity theft by using secure sites such as Neteller or eChecks to pay for your online casino gaming.

    Check their software – check that your online casino site uses reputable software that’s fair, safe and secure, from companies such as NetEnt, BetSoft, IGT, Playtech, SG Interactive, and Microgaming.

    Read the terms and conditions – before you sign up to any casino site, go through the terms and conditions thoroughly and make sure you understand them all. Look out for tricky clauses about withdrawal limits and bonus wagering requirements, as well as rules about where you must be based to play. Don’t forget to check the casino’s privacy policy too to see how they protect your information, ideally with proper encryption technology.

    Follow these top tips to avoid getting caught by online casino scams, and remember, if a casino website looks too good to be true, it probably is.