While online gambling definitely has its fair share of benefits and advantages over its land-based counterparts, you should also be aware of the pitfalls that are inherent to this kind of gambling platform.
Since the very first online casino launched in 1996, something akin to a modern-age virtual gold rush began. However, famous bricks-and-mortar casino operators opted to keep away, and the market was soon flush with new firms that were looking to jump on the gravy train.
And given the quick evolution and rapidly developing online casino scene, regulation was by far, no mean feat, and punters were extremely cautious of playing real money in online casinos. But a lot has changed in the last two decades; the online casino industry has transitioned into a whole different ballgame altogether. Established regulatory bodies now have the ability to verify operators in a quick and efficient manner, and casino scam sites are now fairly easy to identify, whether you are a newbie to all this or a grizzled veteran.
To help you out, here are four pillars that will keep you safe when playing online. Read on to acquire vital knowledge on the kinds of scams that are prevalent in the space today, the warning signs that you should definitely be on the lookout for, and eventually, how to select the safest casino online.
1) Legal Casinos
Make sure that the online casino site of your choice complies with proper licensing laws and regulations.
2) Check the Site’s Safety Measures
Encryption that is modern and up-to-date is crucial to keeping your personal and banking data safe and protected.
3) Random Number Generators (RNG)
Assessing if the proper audits of RNGs have been conducted is the best way to see if a casino is playing fair and not actually duping you.
Always deposit funds and withdraw winnings using only dependable and respected payment methods.
Should You Trust Online Casinos?
There are hundreds of casino sites to choose from and the marketplace is practically bursting at the seams at the number of options that are available to punters these days. The landscape has, without a doubt, substantially moved on from the deep, dark and dicey caverns of calamity, to entrenched and established casino connoisseurs that have earned trust and respect.
Some of the most recognized names in the industry are now household names, with millions of daily active players. It’s easy to confide in some of these giants because there is so much data out there and they’ve now been in the game for quite some time.
However, there are also a lot of smaller casinos trying to get themselves a piece of the pie, and the genuinely meritorious and innovative ones need to be filtered from those that are developed by bedroom-hackers and e-felons. So, what are the main warning signs?
Signs That an Online Casino Might Be Shady
- You can’t locate where the company is based.
- You can’t find the license number in the footer of the website.
- You’ve seen complaints of issues involving withdrawals.
- The software isn’t provided by any of the major players in the industry.
If you’ve already inspected a casino and you see one of these signs of crookedness, it would be in your best interest to just keep you and your money away. Once you become adept at seeking out clear signs of both legitimacy and underhandedness, the process can actually become a whole lot easier and faster as well.
While there are a lot of players that pick just one website and get comfortable there, there are others that tend to shop around for the best deals and hedge their wagers on different websites. It’s one of the potential advantages of playing online, but it does leave you more vulnerable to becoming a victim of an online casino scam, so always bear the warning signs in mind.
Is the Online Casino You Are Playing in Trustworthy?
So, maybe you have already located an online casino that you really like the appearance of. Maybe the extensive selection of games appeals to you, or perhaps it’s the vibrant hues seen on the site that are tickling your senses.
However, it’s especially crucial not to get all too distracted by such aesthetic lures if you want to be sure of an online casino’s safety and legitimacy. Take your time to familiarize yourself with the regulatory organizations that issue the mandatory licenses that can be perused on its website.
To help you run your own validation test, here are the steps you should take:
1. Assess the Homepage
Head to the homepage of the casino you wish to check for legitimacy.
2. Go to the Very Bottom
All of the licensing information can be down there.
3. Evaluate for Official Badges
These are added to signify that the standards agencies have assessed the operator and have given their approval.
4. The License Number
You can find the actual license number in the small text, usually in brackets.
If you can’t find this data, if the operator does not have a valid license, skip that site right away.
There are plenty of other bona fide alternatives out there. In addition, you should also make sure that you’ve read different online casino reviews to get another perspective in case you’ve missed out on something important.
There are different types of certificates to look out for. There is the highly respected Malta Gaming Authority and Curacao eGaming, like the UK Gambling Commission, are jurisdictional licenses. But there are also security companies that assess for criminal activities, and independent software testing companies that consistently audit casino software. These companies, like that of the eCOGRA and iTech Labs, virtually guarantee that the random number generators are as a matter of fact, random. If glitches do exist, it provides the casino with a genuine chance to make the proper corrections.
Why Reputation Matters
It can take quite some time for a firm to earn a fair reputation. In cyberspace, there is little to no personal interaction, which then keeps players shrouded in darkness and obscurity. Having to deal
Forged in the furnaces of cyberspace, without face-to-face contact there is a coldness; a distance, that keeps players shrouded in darkness. Dealing with brokers and customer service associates that are based in other countries often don’t help alleviate the doubt that is planted in many players’ minds. A casino’s reputation should be absolutely paramount especially to players that are new to this kind of platform.
You can get a good vibe about a particular casino by visiting forums and chat rooms. Opinions of veteran players should be sought after. And you can be sure as heck that if someone got bamboozled, they’ll want the entire world to know about the incident!
Aside from the many casino operators on the scene, there is a great deal of recognized and reputable software providers to keep an eye out for. Getting to know these different firms makes it easier to work out if a game is rigged, or flawed. If you know are well aware of the developers and the sorts of games they produce, you are on the right path. It is quite common that bogus sites use fake software, so getting to know the licensed games is a great jump-off point for you.
Common Online Casino Scams to Be Wary Of
The most common issue that online players face is games that are rigged in favor of the house. Having a fair grasp of the return-to-player (RTP) rate of the games you want to play is important in dealing with this issue. As a result of this, trustworthy casinos will often publish the RTP on their sites, usually with a link to the independent auditor that verified it.
In addition, knowing the normal rates will also help you cover your behind. Online slots usually have an RTP of 95-98%, for example. For anything radically lower than this, and without certified proof on the site, don’t even bother looking at such slot.
Some online gamblers have had trouble getting their winnings paid out. You should usually expect your money within 48 hours, and a week at the absolute most. Unfortunately, it hasn’t always been the case. Customer care goes callous, and you get no answers to queries, and a sick feeling that you’ll never get your money begins to take over.
There are many different reasons a casino might not pay up, but you can safeguard yourself by doing your due diligence on the operator. Use the steps mentioned above to check for a casino’s legitimacy, but also take a look at how lately the site was updated and how often promotions are operated. It could be that an operator left its casino online despite no longer sustaining it.
Another scam that unfortunate punters have come to deal with is stolen bank details or personal data. This is an issue not restricted to online casinos, but the whole of the world wide web. However, online casinos have been involved in such activities before, either knowingly or unknowingly. An operator might be unaware that its data encryption just doesn’t pass the acid test, while hackers find a way to siphon off money or information.
Be on the lookout for a Transport Layer Security (TLS), or Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) certificate. If the web address begins with ‘https’, it means the site has such a certificate, and it ensures a secure connection from the webserver to your browser.
Look at the Banking Options
Online casinos with a lot of banking options are often more likely to be dependable and trustworthy. Expect to see options that include the mainstream credit and debit cards like that of VISA and MasterCard, and e-wallets such as PayPal, Neteller, and Skrill.
Additionally, prepaid cards are also usually accepted, as is bank transfer. If you’ve never heard of the payment method; if it’s called something obscure or new like “Super Awesome Payment Method” or such ilk, it’s worth spending a few minutes checking its authenticity before doing any sort of transaction.
Be wary of cash-only operators. Huge banking firms don’t deal with low-level scammers. Stick to payment methods that have been in the e-commerce sector for quite some time, and never forward your bank details until you have done an exhaustive investigation.
A Lack of Customer Support Should Raise Red Flags
Don’t even bother with any supposed online casino that doesn’t have a variety of contact options. Well-known and upright operators know that customer support is a very important tool in keeping punters confident and maintaining a positive image among its community. You’ll read plenty of feedback regarding customer support services in different forums and chat rooms, and it’s often a dependable means of gauging the validity and the trustworthiness of the casino that you are interested in.
As a standard, you should expect to see an email address and a phone number. To be doubly sure, look for operators with live chat services, which are getting more and more common these days.
Predatory Wagering Requirements
Welcome bonuses are one of the main ways online operators entice new players, and plenty of people go from one casino to the next, taking advantage of the free spins and other niceties. However, this led to the implementation of increased restrictions and requirements, and less achievable wagering requirements. Some welcome bonuses include virtually impossible conditions that would need stakes so high you’d need to mortgage your own soul.
As ever, it’s crucial to read up on the terms and conditions before making any commitments. There is a tendency among operators to make the bonus so complex and intricate that most players don’t really grasp the full requirements they need to comply with to get their bonus money.
You are usually expected to wager the amount you deposited, plus the bonus money a specific number of times before you can cash out. Additionally, you might need to bet that amount in a particular time-frame. So, if you see wagering requirements of 50x or even 100x, and you have a week to wager it, you won’t see that bonus unless you did in fact mortgage your own family.