10 Strategies to avoid online casino scams
Online gambling has witnessed significant growth in the last few years, and by 2024, it is projected to be worth $73.45 billion. However, despite its continuous patronage, quite a lot of people still remain sceptical about it due to the fear of being scammed.
While there are a handful of fraudulent online gambling platforms, there are still quite a number of gambling sites that you can play at without fear of getting ripped off.
Before choosing to sign up at any online gambling platform, it is important to educate yourself about certain things in the casino industry to avoid falling prey to scammers.
Here are some tips to keep in mind to avoid being scammed by an online gambling site:
- Never be in a haste to signup at the first online gambling platform you find
Let's say you're new to online gambling and decided to use a search engine to find an online casino using keywords such as "online gambling site" or "online casino". While you would see lots of results, do not be in a hurry to sign up at the very first one you find—as it is very easy to get carried away by the casino joy.
Search engines use specific algorithms to rank websites and this doesn't guarantee the credibility of the platforms that show up.
To avoid getting scammed, the first step is to do some research online before signing up and depositing money. There are lots of websites that offer reviews of different online casinos that would guide you during your decision making.
2. Watch out for casino watchdog sites and player forums
While researching, you're bound to find multiple reviews of different online gambling sites. However, keep it at the back of your mind that not all reviews are legitimate.
The online gambling industry is riddled with platforms that offer webmasters referral fees and commissions to refer depositing players to their sites. Therefore, a lot of webmasters would post rave reviews of these sites, hoping to capture the interest of newbies to gamble there—in turn claiming their commission.
The same applies to those running casino watchdog sites and player forums.
However, this doesn’t imply that everyone who runs an information site about online gambling is a fraud publishing fake reviews as an endorsement for a casino they’re promoting.
It is important to understand how the online casino industry works else it'll be a lot harder to make an informed decision before signing up at a casino.
While some sites are apparently better than others, you’ll still need to use some level of discernment and critical judgment when deciding which one is best for you.
3. Be on the lookout for a fair account of your expectations
Online reviews can be tricky, especially since it can be difficult to tell which one is actually genuine and which was paid for. Therefore, while reading a casino review or a player's experience at a certain casino, always watch out for traces of even-handedness in their write-ups.
A legit casino review will incorporate both the pros and cons of the casino. However, if all the review has to say is nothing but positive, then that should give you a heads up on its illegitimacy. Also, if all the reviews on the site are equally positive, then that is another big red flag.
However, there are equally instances where some players would lay very livid complaints about their playing experience in a bid to tarnish the image of the online gambling platform. Therefore, keep it in mind that not all positive and negative reviews are true, some are just lies.
4. Try contacting the customer service department to ask a couple of question
Just like every other business, online gambling is service-oriented.Therefore, if they're unable to provide excellent customer service, it is best not to deal with them.
"I once asked a casino’s customer service department about how many games they had in certain categories. They weren’t willing or able to get me that information. I was disappointed, and I didn’t sign up at the site. I sure didn’t deposit any money there," said Timothy Dawson a casino player and contributor at an online casino blog.
Luckily, players don’t have to deposit any money before trying out the customer service. You can search for an email or phone number and ask certain questions about their games, promotional offers, years in business, ownership, payout methods and many more
Poor customer service is typically an indicator of poor service.
5. Surf around the site itself before signing up
Before signing up at any online casino, take some time to surf around. Legitimate online gambling sites will always have some vivid information for visitors to see and click on.
This information would include an age requirement for customers, links to where they’re licensed and regulated and their terms and conditions.
Additionally, contact information should be easy to find, but if anything on the website makes you feel uncomfortable, it is best to think twice before signing up.
6. Search for complaints about slow pays and no pays
One of the most common problems people encounter with online gambling sites is slow or no pays.
Therefore, while doing your research, watch out for review or complaints about the payout speed. While some gambling sites would intentionally leave a withdrawal as pending for a long time in a bid to get players to gamble their winnings, others could just be attributed to the tricky bank withdrawal situation for online casinos.
7. Be sure they use reputable software for their games
There are only a handful of software packages that most online casinos use to provide their games. While this software is usually leased, the better it is, the more expensive it costs.
However, not all the software packages that provide casino game software are legitimate. So, you can do a research on reputable and rogue casino software to be certain the site you're hoping to sign up on uses the right ones.
8. Look for complaints about fraudulent closing of players accounts
Another common issue with online gambling sites is the closing of an account for no legitimate reason.
Fraudulent sites typically close a players account without any genuine reason to avoid paying out winnings.
9. Look carefully at the wagering requirements attached to the signup bonus
Today, almost every modern casino offers a signup bonus to their new players. Sign up bonuses are additional money offered to new players to add to their account when they make their first deposit.
While these bonuses can be quite mouth-watering and nearly unbelievable, however, they all come with restrictions carefully outlined on each casino's website.
One might think it would be impossible for a casino to stay in business with such offers, but they all come with a catch or 2. These restrictions are outlined on the casino’s website.
Since casino games are as random as luck, having a lower wagering requirement gives a better chance at winning than a higher one.
10. Find online recommendations you can trust
There are lots of casino and gambling information sites online, but some are better run than others and visiting these pages gives you a cue of which one is best.
While some sites are just fixated on making money by running multiple pages of ads, others are well structured and provide detailed and educative information.
Once you've discovered two or more sites that seem to provide legitimate and trustworthy information to its visitors, it is best to take a look at their recommendations for best online casinos to play at.