Rogue casinos can be difficult to spot, especially when they start as reputable online gaming sites. However, you could save yourself from feeling frustrated by knowing these 10 warning signs to help you identify and avoid a no-good online betting site.
1 | Lack of Reputable License
An online gaming license allows online casinos to legally operate in certain jurisdictions. At the same time, it reflects the casino operator’s favorable and trustworthy behavior toward a fair gaming experience. Thus, a licensed betting site is expected to give you better service than an unlicensed one. But more importantly, if something goes wrong—like when a casino refuses to process your withdrawal request—gaming license providers or regulators can help with your concerns.
To be safe, it is better to join casinos that have a license from the Malta Gaming Authority or the UK Gambling Commission. These two regulatory bodies have strict requirements for a casino that wants to apply for a license. When you see a betting site with a license from either regulatory body, then you can be sure that your funds are safe. Other reputable licenses are from Alderney Gambling Control Commission, Gambling Supervision Commission (Isle of Man), and Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association.
2 | No or Inaccurate Terms and Conditions
In the terms and conditions section, you will find important information. Some examples are a casino license, a minimum or maximum withdrawal amount, and a list of restricted countries. This is the reason why you should treat a betting site with little to no information as a warning sign.
Even if a casino has terms and conditions, be sure to scan through the lengthy text. Sometimes you will spot casinos with conditions that are too general, or have stolen content from another betting site. Say, for example, that you see an incentive hidden in the terms and conditions section. Be sure to ask live support about it, especially if the bonus is not seen anywhere in the bonus section of the casino.
3 | Unreliable Customer Service
If an online casino has live chat or email support, try asking relevant questions then check how long it will take the support to respond. Credible betting sites will do their best to answer player questions and concerns as soon as possible.
Unreliable and unprofessional support staff is not a good sign. If you sent an email and the casino has yet to reply even after one or two weeks, treat the experience as a warning. When you are looking for help, the last thing you want is frustration from the people that are supposed to be helping you.
4 | Outdated Bonuses and Promos
Have you ever spotted a betting site with promos for Valentine’s Day even in September? A legit gaming hub will have timely bonuses based on the current month, season, or holiday. There is nothing more disheartening than finding a good promo past its expiration date. An online casino is still a business, and no players would want to stay in a casino without updated incentives.
5 | Pirated Design and Content
Say you see an online casino that looks legitimate. You read the terms and conditions, and everything looks good until you spot the name of another online gaming hub. Alternatively, maybe upon closer inspection, you notice that the images seem to have come from another casino. Things get even more suspicious when you find two or three online betting sites with nearly identical content and design. In that case, be sure to check whether the gaming hubs are sister sites. Otherwise, you could be looking at a casino with pirated content and design.
If an online casino cannot come up with original content, what is stopping them from just taking your money and disappearing?
6 | Missing Blog or News Section
While not having a blog is not really a warning sign, having an up-to-date blog does tell you that the site is well maintained. Plus, an online casino that invests time and effort to engage with its members shows it is interested in more than just making money.
Rogue casinos will not extend much effort to keep you updated with news or blog posts. This may also extend to social media. An online betting site that claims to be the best, yet does not communicate with its players might only care about profits.
7 | Unusual Bonus Offers
If an online casino offers unusually high bonuses, be sure to take a second look. There are betting sites that will advertise, for example, a 400% match bonus of up to US$7,000 just to get your attention. At first glance, it looks like a great bonus deal. But consider whether the betting site is trustworthy.
Even the top betting sites would never offer an absurdly huge bonus. A rogue casino, however, would advertise a high deposit match, and then after you make a deposit, disappear with your money. A legitimate business would not offer a huge bonus for a small deposit because it would not be profitable in the end.
| Related: Top 5 Casino Features You Should Be Checking
8 | Unachievable Wagering Requirements
Casinos have wagering requirements to keep players from registering, grabbing the bonus, and then never returning. No betting site could stay open for very long if players could easily get free money.
But with rogue casinos, the wagering requirements are so high that it is impossible to achieve. For instance, having only a week to wager a bonus 80 times is almost a certainty that you will fail. An ideal casino is one that has reasonable betting requirements to give you an achievable challenge.
9 | Low Withdrawal Limits
Withdrawal limits differ from one casino to another; but generally, a high withdrawal limit is better. An online betting site with withdrawal limits of a hundred or less can give the impression that the casino cannot afford to pay its players for a large win. While this is not a surefire way to gauge the trustworthiness of a betting site, it is a good indicator of how much you should deposit into your account.
If, say, you win US$20,000 and the maximum monthly withdrawal limit is US$2,000 then you would be waiting 10 months before receiving your full winnings. A casino that goes rogue could pay consistently in the beginning but stop altogether before you get the full amount.
10 | Unencrypted Transactions
Before making a deposit, see whether the casino has a secure connection. Navigate to the URL of the website and check for a green padlock and a URL that begins with HTTPS. This is a sign that the betting site uses SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) encryption, which hides sensitive data from others. Otherwise, hackers or identity thieves can easily get your bank details and other info.
Ultimately, it pays to do a bit of research before you sign up. If there is an online casino, with one or more of the items on this list, proceed with caution. It is better to walk away from a gaming hub that you do not trust rather than to lose money to a rogue casino.