Signs of an untrustworthy casino

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When it comes to online gambling, or spending money anywhere on the Internet for that matter, there’s no such thing as being too careful. Paying attention to certain details within a virtual casino will give you information needed to ensure the site is safe to play at and hand over your personal and financial details. Rogue casinos have been known to use cheating software, sell players personal info to third parties, refuse to pay winnings, claim fake licensing and even threaten players.

All the sites at undergo our rigorous safety checks before we recommend them to our readers, so you can rest assured that playing at any of these online casinos is completely safe and secure. However, if you choose to gamble elsewhere online there are signs that will help you tell if a casino is untrustworthy.

Don’t gamble with unfamiliar gaming software

The most reputable online casinos offer games from the industry’s leading gaming software providers like NetEntertainment, Microgaming, NYX Gaming, BetSoft, NextGen Gaming, Play’n Go and Ezugi. These highly dependable companies use the most innovative and secure gaming technology and have won multiple awards for their casino games. For games of luck like the slots, roulette, baccarat and scratchies these games are all powered by random number generators (RNGs) to ensure fair and unbiased outcomes.

Some cowboy casino operators have been known to patent unreliable gaming software that has rigged outcomes to cheat players out of their money. If the casino uses software from a company you have never heard of, chances are it’s not legit. If you’re unsure, a quick Google search on the software company should sort it out. Reputable software creators will have detailed websites with information about their company, their games, any awards, media releases, etc.

Check for legitimate licensing

Online punters should never play at a casino that isn’t fully licensed and regulated. The online casino industry adheres to some pretty strict codes of practice and playing at reputable sites will ensure you’re playing legally while being protected by the relevant industry bodies.

Untrustworthy casinos may claim to be licensed, but the proof is in the licensing location. Countries with legitimate licensing for online casinos include the Isle of Man, the UK, Curacao, Antigua, Gibraltar, Malta, Alderney, Kahnawake or Netherland Antilles. If a casino claims to be licensed by Russia or another Eastern European country, run for the hills.

All of the most reputable casinos on the Internet are regulated by eCOGRA and will come with the eCOGRA seal of approval. This virtual gambling body protects the rights and security of online players and ensures responsible gambling practices. If a casino isn’t approved by eCOGRA, it’s a sure sign that you don’t want to waste your time or money there.

Some untrustworthy casinos have been known to create fake licenses and certificates from non-existent entities, so if you see a seal of approval from a company you’ve never heard of, once again Google is your friend. Searching for info about an off sounding entity will usually give you the answer you need to determine whether it’s illegitimate or not.

Check the graphics for proper links

Some bad seeds are aware that players are on the lookout for legitimate licensing and have taken to simply pasting seals of approval to their sites to appear to be genuine. If a casino seems dodgy but has certification from eCOGRA or the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), hover over the graphic and see if it is actually linked back to either of these sites. If you have doubts, you can head to the eCOGRA or LGA websites to check if the particular casino is listed.

The same goes for graphics displaying awards. Any cowboy with Photoshop and basic computer knowledge can throw together a banner stating Casino of the Year. If it doesn’t actually link back to a legitimate award program or sponsor chances are it’s doctored.

Examine the casino site

Legitimate and trustworthy casinos have certain attributes on their website that can help a player identify its reliability, while suspect casinos will lack these same points. It’s always advisable that a punter takes some time to scrutinise the casino website before determining its legitimacy.

Proper online casinos will be well designed, offer a good variety of game types and titles, have a detailed ‘about us’ section, offer customer support and have a range of secure deposit options available. The ‘about us’ section is an important point, as reputable sites will list their credentials, their place of operation, information about the staff, complete licensing details and information about any affiliates and sponsors.

Examine the casino site to ensure if uses proper security certification. All of our recommended casinos use a minimum of 128 Bit SSL security, which is what you want to look for when making payment on any website. You can tell if a site is SSL certified as the secure page will have an additional ‘s’ in the URL (eg: and a padlock icon will appear in the URL toolbar. Some sites even take extra certification so that the entire URL bar will light up in green as a visual indicator that the casino is SSL protected.

The golden online casino rule

Take heed of this golden nugget of advice: if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Some dodgy casino operators have been known to offer players a seemingly endless amount of free spins and ridiculously high bonuses in order to get them to deposit real money to their casino account, with absolutely no way of ever withdrawing the winnings made from these free incentives.

Always check the terms and conditions of a bonus before relying on this as your meal ticket. Knowing exactly what you’re signing up for when taking advantage of a promotion can save a lot of disappointment in the long run.

The bonuses and welcome offers at our recommended casinos can sound pretty lucrative, but they too come with stipulations regarding minimum deposits before accessing winnings. These T&Cs need to exist to protect the venue from bankruptcy.

The difference with a reputable casino is that it will clearly state all of these conditions so players know exactly what they’re signing up for rather than finding out later on once they’ve already handed over their hard earned cash.

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