Remember when Bart Simpson opened up his own casino in his treehouse because he was thrown out of Mr Burns’ casino for being underage? Well, this is a prime example of a dodgy casino, and unless you have money to burn than you need to ensure you are playing at a reputable, trustworthy Internet gaming establishment.
It’s easy for online operators to create an online casino which seems legitimate. The sad truth is there are a lot of sites out there amounting to scams to steal your money; therefore, players need to be aware of the signs they should look out for in order to figure out if an Internet gaming establishment is dodgy.
We have compiled a comprehensive guide on how to spot a dodgy casino among the many authentic venues, and some examples of blacklisted Internet casinos to help keep you safe when playing online.
What is a rogue online casino?
A rogue online casino means an Internet gaming establishment which has a poor reputation in reviews from players around the globe due to dodgy or shady practices. These rogue sites can cost player’s security, safety, and fairness in terms of game play and payouts. There are a list of features to look out for when it comes to figuring out if a casino is dodgy.
Bad transaction history – Since transactions are person-specific it can seem quite difficult to figure out whether or not the online casino has a poor transaction history. However, the best thing to do in this situation is read and research reviews of your chosen online casino to find out what other players all around the globe, both new and experienced, have to say about how long it takes to receive winnings, whether or not they can withdraw winnings, or if their winnings have disappeared completely. Real players do play online and therefore if they have a poor experience they don’t want others to experience this too and generally share their bad experiences online. Otherwise, take a look at the payment options the site offers as services to deposit, and see if they a testing agency’s seal of approval when it comes to safe fund transfers, typically displayed and located at the bottom of the page.
Unknown software – The software the online operator uses is a good indicator of the reputation of the Internet casino. If the online operator utilises a well known software developer such as Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Play’n Go, PlayTech, Betsoft, IGT, Bally, Nextgen, Evolution Gaming, White Hat Gaming, Cryptologic, Yggdrasil Gaming and more, it may be a sign that it is trustworthy but it isn’t always a sure thing. If the software the casino utilises is not listed here, or well known in the online casino community then do your research. If it doesn’t look credible, the games could be rigged in the online operators favour due to a lack of random number generator software and testing in place, so you can easily lose money. Additionally, if you can’t find what software developer the online casino use, shoot them an email and if you don’t hear back move on and find a safer and responsive Internet casino.
Lack of customer support – Customer support is integral for an Web casino to be considered reliable as playing online can see technological glitches or disputes which need to be resolved quickly and easily despite the players being located overseas. If the site doesn’t even have an email address or method for players to contact, this should be a big red flag that it is a rogue Internet casino. If there are a few options, it is always a good idea to send them a few messages or emails, or even phone them and ask a couple of questions and see how they respond. This may be the difference between being able to solve a problem easily or having the problem escalate due to their lack of customer support.
These are only some of the characteristics which help players reveal whether or not an online casino is reliable. It is important to note that while an online casino may claim that it offers top leading software it could still be dodgy and have a poor transaction history.
The best way to figure out if it is a rogue casino is by reading reviews, and if there are no reviews at all, it might be an indication this is a temporary pop-up online casino created to take your money and disappear without a trace, so it is best to avoid and stick with the more known online casinos which have positive reviews.
Steps to avoiding rogue Internet casinos
Since your experience when playing online should be enjoyable, it’s paramount you are playing at a reputable online casino. We recommend visiting the Internet casinos we list on our site to save you the trouble of having to find a safe and secure Internet casino. However, if you are one to do your own research we have put together a step by step guide on the best way to spot and avoid a rogue online casino. Besides taking the above aspects into consideration, we recommend following these steps in the exact order so you can cross the worst off the list.
Step one: Google search – As we mentioned above, a Google search is the easiest thing you can do to find out whether or not the casino is reputable. Do not just enter the name as it may just churn out the affiliates of the online casino which don’t tell you anything and only promote the Internet casino, rather type in ‘player reviews’ or even ‘rogue’ along with the casino name to find out if it has been blacklisted. If there are no reviews, we recommend to avoid these, however if you wish to proceed, try step two.
Step two: explore the online casino – The easiest thing at this stage is figuring out whether or not the online casino has been licensed under a gaming jurisdiction. This can be done by scrolling to the bottom of the homepage where logos should be situated. Additionally, fine print should be located underneath the logos which detail the license, if it has been licensed. Jurisdictions which are advanced and grant their license to trustworthy casinos include Malta, Isle of Man, the UK, and more.
Do your research on the jurisdiction and the gaming license as this will indicate what testing, if any, the Internet casino has gone through in order to get the license. For example, Internet casinos which claim they have a license in Costa Rica aren’t actually licensed under a gaming license, rather they are just licensed under a business license. This doesn’t mean they aren’t reputable but it is a good idea to do the extra research if this is the case. If there is no license, it is best to avoid this Internet casino.
Other helpful features to look for on the website of the online casino is whether or not it is independently tested by an auditing agency, which we will discuss below; the payment methods; and whether awards they have received are hyperlinked (if not they could be signs of fraud).
Step three: copy and paste content – This is an interesting trick which we recommend doing if players can’t find any player reviews, but are happy with the gaming license. It involves going to the online casino, clicking the ‘about us’ page, if they have one, and copying and pasting a long sentence into Google. If the content returns more than one online casino, look up the reviews on these other Internet gaming establishments and compare the reviews. Temporary online casinos which exist to steal your money actually share templates of the same content, and therefore are a good indicator of whether they are dodgy.
Rogue online casinos
To save you the trouble, we have found some rogue online casinos which may appear when Googling to play real money casino games online. These have been blacklisted due to failing to meet the above standards.
Balzac online casino – This site features both an instant play and downloadable software option, an array of games, a good amount of payment methods, and more, which you would expect from a reputable online casino. However, there is no gaming license it operates under and a multitude of reviews by real human players have reported that Balzac does not pay winnings. So while you may be able to deposit easily, and play games, you will not be able to withdraw anything, even if it is the money you deposited rather than winnings. There are many warnings across message boards for players to avoid this online casino and we recommend you do so too.
Betport Internet casino – Similar to Balzec, the Internet casino appears legitimate as it uses a string of top leading software developers including Microgaming and Betsoft. However, players have reported that when the players do win, their accounts are locked. What’s worse is when the players with the locked accounts contact the customer service regarding the issue they do receive a response, but only to say it is ‘under investigation’ which continuously remains the response. We investigated for ourselves and found that the certificate which has been granted to Betport has been given by Thwate, which is a free unlimited licensing agency which does not put the Internet gaming establishment under any intense testing. This means that there is no independent body that will help players gain their money back with this type of incident like players can when eCOGRA is involved (we explain more below). We recommend steering clear of this online casino.
Casinostates online casino – Unfortunately some online casinos will claim they are licensed under a reputable gaming license, which in fact is not true. This Internet casino is one of these establishments which falsely advertises that they are licensed and regulated by a reputable international body. Casinostates is the perfect example of internet gaming establishments which exist but do not have enough player reviews online for players to be sure it is rogue. We have figured out this is not legitimate simply by scrolling to the bottom of its homepage and clicking on the links of the logo. For the ‘approve scanning vendor’ logo we are taken to an external window featuring a ‘message’ from their ‘software provider’ which is called TopGame, a dodgy online casino provider which has received poor feedback. This is a dead giveaway that it is a blacklisted online casino. A click on their other logos sees falsified documents which can seem legit, but a simple Google search debunks the claims.
Precaution and research is key
As you can see it only takes a few minutes to put in some extra effort to ensure the online casino you are playing at is safe and secure which can go a long way when you are playing with real money.
We recommend checking out our favourite online casinos listed above as they all have gaming licenses from advanced gaming jurisdictions, they all have a trustworthy and reputable nature, and they are all regularly monitored by independent auditing agencies such as eCOGRA, which is an independent testing agency responsible for regularly reviewing the Internet casino for fairness and security, all the while offering support for players if a dispute arises.
Additionally, they all implement the latest data encryption technology to ensure all transactions are safe and secure.