Red Flags: Things to Look Out For
Online casino scams operate in different ways, but they always try to do it under the guise of a fair business. They’ll not just steal your money or deny your withdrawal for no reason; these casinos will actually come up with a “legitimate” reason why you can’t have your money. Because of this, there are some rather easy to spot red flags found in nearly all online casino scams.
- Unfair/unclear terms and conditions – convoluted rules, filled with technicalities, which seem very hard to understand and adhere to
- Unethical business practices – false promises, misrepresentation of things, and constant excuses without a proper explanation
- Licensing issues – no license, license issued by a questionable authority, or falsely claiming a proper license by a reputable licensing authority
- Sudden account closures – players accounts are being closed without an explanation, or simply citing breech of rules without any further discussion (usually after a big win)
- Constant withdrawal issues – withdrawal delays, postponements, money is constantly returned to players’ account and they are asked to withdraw again
- Deceptive and inconsistent customer support – failure to respond to your requests, constant changing of stories, and no real explanation for your problems, ever
- Bonuses with unfair and deceptive requirements – unrealistic wagering requirements, unusually strict and unclear betting rules, etc.
How to Interpret Red Flags
Since most of online casino scams feature at least one or two of these red flags, and often even more, we’ll try to explain each one of them in more detail. This should be very helpful to all players, but especially those new to the world of online gambling, who don’t understand how things should work and can’t tell the difference between rogue and legit online casinos.
- Terms and conditions are essential for the operator-client (player) relationship. All online casinos have T&Cs, and with most legit operators these are easy to understand and strike balance between both parties’ rights and obligations. When dealing with a casino trying to scam you, however, these will heavily favor the casino, limiting your playing options, withdrawals, and giving them right to do pretty much whatever they want.
- Unfair business practices can sometimes be hard to recognize at first. Rogue casinos will often promise huge bonuses, great incentives, and more, but will end up paying only a fraction of what was promised or start avoiding you all together when you make a deposit. When questioned about it, they’ll try to explain it by “fine print,” or quote some other bogus reasons.
- Every casino worth its salt is licensed by a reputable licensing authority. If a casino you are considering isn’t in this category (not licensed by the likes of UKGC or MGA), you’d be better off staying away. There are even those who display the license on their sites, but a careful examination will uncover this to be bogus information. You can usually check this info with the regulator.
- Sudden account closures are another trademark of rogue online casinos. If a casino you’re looking into has many player testimonials describing unexpected and impossible to explain account closures, usually happening after a big win or requesting a withdrawal, the odds are this is another online casino scam. Legit casinos hate closing their players’ accounts without a really big reason.
- If a casino constantly has withdrawal issues, this is one of the biggest red flags out there. You’ll find that rogue casinos will do everything to prevent their players from cashing out, from repeatedly asking for the same documents to be sent, to lying about the withdrawal being sent and, eventually, closing down the accounts.
- The online casino customer support is your communication channel with the casino. With reputable casinos, you’ll find the support staff is forthcoming and glad to help in any way they can. With rogue casinos, however, you’ll have exactly the opposite: failure to respond, unclear and rude responses, and the agents always pushing you to deposit more.
- Finally, online casino bonuses are one of the main reasons to join online casinos, but if they come with unusually high or very restrictive wagering requirements, you need to be very cautious. These are usually a sign of an online casino scam, where they try to get you to deposit and lock in your money indefinitely, as you’ll never meet the cashout conditions.
Player Testimonials: Real Online Casino Scam Stories
Extreme delay of payment: The matter is that I cannot already get my money for more than 35 days in the amount of $400. But there is also a problem, which is that at the moment the payment has not been approved, although I sent the documents for verification of the account 2 times. Such a great delay in the payment of money is contrary to the conditions and policies of the casino itself. (Captain Jack Casino)
Convoluted T&Cs: I tried to withdraw 2000€ this month and I received an email that the withdrawal was not approved and I should contact support. I did this and I was told that I cant withdraw because I havent deposited in 3 months... I then asked where in the terms it states that I have to deposit after 3 months time in order to make a withdrawal. I was told its in 6.1. (this isn’t exactly what the T&Cs state, but the casino seems to be trying to interpret the things the way they see fit. Casino Sieger)
Unclear and false bonus claims (the casino advertises €100 max cashout for their no deposit bonus): I opened an account there on 25.02.17 and started playing... I could manage to fulfill the wagering requirements and climbed up to more than 300,- Euro. After a few days my withdrawal was declined and the balance was deducted to 50,- Euro (!). They inform me, that i have to deposit 50,- Euro for a withdrawal. (so the total withdrawal would be €100, but only €50 of that is actually winnings – OrientExpress Casino).
Avoiding Online Casino Scams
Now that you know how most online casino scams work, are aware of what common red flags are, and have real-life examples of suspicious behavior by several casinos, you might still be unclear as to how to avoid being scammed.
Although there is no certain way to do it, especially with new operators appearing all the time, one good way to go about choosing your casino is first checking out the information that’s already out there. This includes finding players’ reviews, verifying licensing information, and checking out for seals of approval by reputable sites.
Apart from the usual licenses, legit online casinos will usually display independent seals of approval by independent auditing agencies like ECOGRA or iTech Labs. Being verified by these organizations means the casino probably provides a safe and fair gaming environment and they’ll not try to scam you out of your money.
Another good practice is to register with the casino and contact their customer support prior to depositing any money. Ask them any questions you might be unclear about and carefully examine their responses. Good casinos will make sure to tell you everything you need to know; those looking to scam you will usually just try to get you to deposit, mostly disregarding any other questions you may have.
Finally, if you don’t have time to do the research yourself, which is understandable, you can simply refer to our list of pre-approved online casinos. We’ve done the footwork for you, and the casinos that made it onto our list are safe, reliable, and fair. With these operators, you can deposit and play as much as you like, knowing full well that your money always belongs to you and that you’ll be able to withdraw any or all of it whenever you feel like it!