Online casinos give you the ability to wager hundreds of games at the comfort of your personal devices—sometimes without having to pay a dime. For convenience, some casinos also accept bitcoin payments and allow betting with limited KYC procedures.
However, not all casinos are created equal. Underneath the umpteenth of online casinos on the Internet is a crop of companies designed to steal from unsuspecting gamblers. The wagering websites look intuitive. They have lots of games and bonuses to choose from. But once you make a deposit, the money never appears in your account.
Here are eight ways to differentiate a safe online casino from the replicas or straight-up scam websites you’ll find online.
1) Confirm the Domain Name
Many fake websites use a domain name that is almost similar to that of a legitimate, safe casino. For example, a scam casino may call itself www.titanscasino.org to disguise itself from an already legitimate casino called www.titancasino.com. By changing a letter or a word to make two domain names sound and appear the same, scam casinos are able to lure thousands of unsuspecting people to their platforms.
Always double-check the domain name before you deposit on any casino website. Fake websites can create impressive user interfaces and you may not know you are on the wrong website until you check the domain name.
2) Browse the Platform
Although some scam casinos invest heavily to disguise their websites with breath-taking graphics, most of them don’t. The average scam artist publishes their website hastily. Fundamental pages like the Contact page are usually missing. The Terms and Conditions may be present but contains little helpful information about the website.
If you visit a casino that lacks contact information, is riddled with poor grammar and low-quality images, you should be concerned. The best casinos are designed to impress. A legitimate casino will display every detail you may want to know professionally.
3) Check the Company’s Age
Most scam casinos don’t last long on the Internet. The average scam website lasts one year. In the first six months, the casinos embark on aggressive marketing tactics to attract players. From free spins to lots of bonuses, the scams spend all their efforts attracting members to their platforms.
During the first few weeks, the websites function like any legitimate company. They process withdrawals and communicate with their customers. This helps them gain some “legitimacy” online right before they stop processing withdrawals and stealing from every member on the platform. Eventually, the websites exit the Internet having stolen more money than they paid their members.
4) Check Reviews Online
A casino with overwhelmingly negative reviews online is probably not safe. People hardly lie about their experiences using online casinos. If 9 out of 10 reviews about a casino say the casino does not process withdrawals, listen to the reviews and don’t join the platform.
There are several websites you can trust to read honest reviews about safe online casinos Google tends to publish the most popular review websites on the first page. Always read more than one review to understand what different people say about the website.
5) Licensing and Legal Information
A casino’s license should be the first thing you check when evaluating its legitimacy. But since the certification details are not displayed in bold characters and eye-catching graphics, it’s easy to overlook this feature.
Fake casinos are mostly unlicensed and unregulated. They are opened to last a few months after all. And of more importance, why would they get licensed and risk lawsuits afterward?
Comparatively, legitimate casino websites display their license numbers and regulators openly. The best platforms get licensed in countries like the UK, where you can be certain the company was properly vetted.
6) Evaluate for Transparency
Established gambling websites use provably fair games. You can verify the chances of winning each game using a specified algorithm. With fraudulent companies, there is no such thing as a fair game. Games are designed so that you always lose. Everyone who participates in the games loses while the casino keeps all the proceeds.
If you find yourself on a casino whose games are not provably fair, don’t waste your money there. Instead, choose legitimate websites where every game is fair.
7) Review Available Payment Methods
Payment methods alone can’t help you spot a fake casino website. However, if a website looks sketchy, has no contact details and only accepts one payment method, it probably belongs to a scam casino. Genuine casinos accept a variety of payment methods, including credit cards and electronic payment methods.
Fake casinos, on the other hand, prefer to use cryptocurrencies or bank payments since the two methods are difficult to reverse. Bitcoin payments, for example, can’t be reversed. If you send bitcoins to an address belonging to a scam casino, there is no way of getting your funds back.
8) Be Keen on the Minor Details
Some fake online casinos are able to steal from users for years by making every detail about themselves look legitimate. Knowing that licensing is important, the casinos will procure licensing in off-shore countries.
They will design impressive websites and hire customer service teams. Their URL domain names will be SSL secured and you could withdraw at any time. However, some details about the websites will be odd. For example, games on the casinos will freeze as you play and casino won’t refund. The games may not be provably fair or the casino does not pay all members.
To truly differentiate a safe casino from a fake or rogue casino, you must check all parameters that qualify a good casino. You can’t depend on one indicator to decide a casino website is safe or unsafe. A genuine casino may have poor reviews online while a scam platform may rake dozens of positive, often bought reviews.
In conclusion, rogue casinos don’t always look like scams. If you want to stay away from fake casinos, always do due diligence before making a deposit in a casino. Start by analyzing the website’s information and pages. Read trusted reviews and experiment with small deposits before you become a high-roller gambler on any platform.