Beware of Online Casino Scams
Online casinos seem like an easy, seamless way to earn money with little to no effort on your part, with the added bonus of being addictively fun. But can these sites be trusted? Entrusting your hard-earned cash to these online casinos can give one cause for pause and rightly so, as there are certain casinos that will steal your winnings from under your nose.
But how do they run these scams? Reported cases include unjustifiably closing accounts and taking the player’s money, non-payment of winnings, fine print that prevents the player from ultimately walking away with cash in hand, cheating software, delayed payouts, changing odds during gameplay, altering terms and conditions after play has commenced…the list goes on! But don’t let this scare you from enjoying the online gambling scene. Be wary and stick to the following tips and guidelines to navigate the world of online gambling:
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Casino Red Flags
Many shady scam casinos trying to disguise themselves as legitimate places, although there are several points that give them away, and we will go over them so you can be safe picking your optimal online casino.
We refer to the points as red flags, it is recommended to know them before signing up and depositing with any online casino, think of it as a non-scam check list:
- License: does the casino have a license and does it feature on their site as a clickable icon somewhere?
- Unfair Bonuses: they are bonuses and promotions that have a false advertising.
- Unfair Terms & conditions: the usage of the site as player and bonus conditions that gives the casino an unfair advantage.
- User Lockdowns: casino that decided to close player accounts out of the sudden to avoid payments, with no legit reason.
- Payment withdrawal: casino that refuses to pay a user, or a very long time to deliver the payment to the player, with repeated file requests.
- Dead-end customer support: when reaching a customer support of casino and being thrown around between people with no actual answer.
Avoiding Casino Red Flags
Now that you know the points to look out for when looking for online casino we can go in-depth to learn more about making the right casino choice.
When a scam casino put a new promotion bonus it tends to be huge amounts of money, so much in fact that they go double or triple the best offers in the bonus market. But the tricky part comes when you dive in the T&C of the offer which makes it impossible to get.
When reading the Terms look out for your rights as a player and what conditions must be made in order to get the money to your bank account. Check the game restrictions, withdrawal restrictions and if you have further questions it is recommended to get the customer support to explain it in detail before jumping to playing.
Find out real player comments and testimonies about the casino before depositing the money, see if there are things that pop up constantly in the complaints, usually that’s a great indicator to check the casino value, there can be over the top positive comments, keep in mind it can be a fake account who is trying to give you the false impression.
Ping the customer service to see the respond time and check to see if they are helpful, so you know they will be there when you need the actual help or assistance, if there is no respond you can think of skipping the casino.
Check the casino licensing information and make sure it’s not a scam place, you can click the license icon on their site, and it should direct you straight to the licensing group.
Real Player Comments of Online Casino Scams
When you go over a brand name on the internet in comments or forums, you will likely find that most of them are negative ones, people reply and comment when they are emotionally triggered, when a casino scam a player the feeling of unfairness and anger rise and users want to take action to warn people, get assistance or just getting it out of their chest.
As you go over the comments and testimonies you may find a pattern with them, if you read that several people complain about a specific aspect of the casino you can assume it is true.
Some comments are there to scam you into thinking the casino is wonderful, if the comments are over the top nice and good, it may be paid personal from the casino brand to make you believe the casino is perfect and there is no need to be worried when depositing and playing in it.
Use your common sense and read several user impressions on the online casino to start getting the right kind of assumption about it.
How to Avoid Online Casino Scams
There are hundreds of online casinos in NZ most of them are legit and fun to play at, but some online casinos are more on the stinky side, with bed experience and scams.
We want you to have the right experience while playing at casinos online, so we overview and keep in check that every brand we showcase on our site is legitimate and trusted for players.
To do so, quick check the casino and read our reviews to make sure you pick the right casino for you, to avoid scam casinos you will have to verify several things:
Licensing, promotion bonus rules, withdrawal processes, costumer support interactivity, user recommendations and previous experience.
Every Kind of Casino Licensing
It is legally required of every single online casino to be registered to at least one licensing authority, this is the basic checkups you will have to go through in avoiding casino scams, when there are many kinds of different licensing authorities around the world we will try to gather all of them into one place and describing a bit what they are.
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Located within the Canadian province of Quebec, Kahnawake is an Indian territory that licenses and regulates a wide range of NZ online casinos as well as online casinos based in other areas of the globe. Kahnawake licensing and regulation has come a long way over the years and is now one of the most respected of all online casino (and online poker) licensing bodies in the industry.
The LGA or Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta is one of the most common of all online casino regulatory and licensing bodies in the industry. You will see quite a few top online casinos with this particular seal of approval.
Another popular or fairly ubiquitous online casino licensing and regulatory seal of approval found on many top online casinos, including a fair number of NZ online casinos. Although there have been several complaints regarding a lack of recourse and arbitration from this body in the past, lately the GBGA or Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association has come a long way in mediating disputes between players and casinos.
The UKGC was set up in 2007 to regulate the UK gambling market but the requirements are so strict that any online casino that obtains the license has to have a variety of trustworthy and accountable systems in place. All UKGC casinos are licensed in another jurisdiction in addition to the UK licensing and thus have even more accountability. If you are trying to find a casino that is guaranteed to be legit, then you can do no better than a dual accreditation including the UKGC.
Curacao, a tiny island located off the coast of Venezula, is home to one of the more common licensing for online casinos. They are not as respected as the others on this list but they have come a long ways in recent years having strict rules and hefty fines to those casinos not following by the rules.
Independent Testing Firms/Authorities
One of the most well-established independent games testing labs in the world. TST or Technical Systems Testing is trusted by millions of players as well as hundreds of online casinos around the world. TST also has offices within Canada in Vancouver and uses their own proprietary testing techniques to test a wide variety of casino games including multiplayer online games and even land-based casino games. In 2010, TST became part of the GLI Group although they still operate under their original brand name.
Gaming Laboratories International or GLI, has been operating within the gambling industry for a quarter of a century and offer a full range of services testing a wide range of gambling systems. GLI use a team of highly qualified and experienced mathematicians, engineers and technicians to test every aspect of online gambling games. The brand is trusted in over 500 jurisdictions and works in online, resort and tribal spheres.
The Gaming Associates logo is one of the most common in the industry and can be found on hundreds of online casino websites including New Zealand casino sites. The GA brand has been active within the casino industry since 1990 and is considered to be one of the pioneers behind independent testing and auditing of online casino and online poker sites. Gaming Associates provides a range of services including testing online gaming machines (RNG), auditing payout percentages, checking compliance with regulations, auditing player logs and much more.
The eCOGRA logo is a very common site on Microgaming-powered casinos and the full name of this independent watchdog is eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance which is quite a mouthful. Most online casinos and forums will simply refer to this highly respected body as eCOGRA and is one of the top seals of approval that you could see on an online casino’s website. eCOGRA essentially acts as an online casino regulator and also publishes a list of approved online casinos (casinos that get their seal of approval). While eCOGRA is based in the UK, they regulate online casinos in NZ as well as other parts of the world.
Reduce Your Chances of Getting Scammed
Now you have the right tools to detect and locate a scam online casino, we know it may take some time and effort to verify all the points before playing, and you as probably want to jump in and start playing for money, we recommend you to first read a specific casino review from start to finish and then deciding which casinos are good candidates for you, if you have a hunch the casino is shady you can put it on hold and search for a new one.
Common Gambling Scams and Cheats
Many people believe they can hack and scam online casinos to get more chances to win money, doing such acts are illegal and can result in punishment, furthermore online casinos are equipped with the latest and newest security systems. Below are some of the most common methods people have tried to hack and cheat casinos:
Online Casino Hack
Some hackers have tried before to reach the casino systems random number generators to change and control the pokie reels of specific games to collect winnings, nowadays online casinos are equipped with the latest software protection systems to prevent it.
Casino Slot Cheats
Some players try to gain and use the free spins features to get an advantage and win, the system is basically opening several accounts with a casino and playing the free spins in hope to win big and cash out the money, however the online casinos have ways to prevent such usages by verifying the user information before playing.
Roulette and Blackjack Cheats
When playing roulette and blackjack at online casinos its not always easy to cheat as you think, nowadays there are several cheating apps that can give players an edge while playing the games, with statistics and card counts.
Check the software
Online casinos are powered by casino software developers. These platforms offer a host of games, many of which you can find in land-based casinos. The reputable ones feature names such as Microgaming, Playtech, PlaynGo, to name just a few. Try and look for casinos that use these big names in the software industry to ensure your gameplay is of the highest quality with a less likely chance of a scam being run. Factors to consider include stability, software effects, graphics, file size, security and speed. Check out the game’s rate of return (normally in the form of a percentage) to see how successful previous players have been.
Terms and Conditions
Take note of the terms and conditions with regards to age requirements, bonus wagering requirements, limits on free spins casino winnings, withdrawal and deposit procedures, jurisdiction and basic game restrictions. You can save yourself a lot of hassle by giving these a quick read before you commence play. If you are unable to access the terms and conditions, this should be a big red flag – leave the site immediately! It’s also worth noting that some casinos will change the terms and conditions while you are playing, denying the player their winnings – so regularly check that these have stayed the same.
Check watchdog sites
Watchdog sites supervise the operation of online casinos and provide reviews from players as well as licensing information and other important details to assist the player in choosing the gaming den of their choice. Here at NZ Online Casinos we monitor online casinos.
Check for the names of reliable casinos on these sites to ensure you deposit your funds in a trustworthy gaming institution. eCOGRA (eCommerce Online Gaming regulation and Assurance) is an independent and internationally approved testing agency that focuses on online gaming software and systems. The organization endeavours to ensure that players are protected, gaming is fair and that the operators conduct themselves responsibly. Any site that has been approved by eCOGRA will proudly display its logo to show that they have been certified as legitimate and fair, so keep an eye out for it.
Some online casinos offer a provability option for the player. This entails using an algorithm to analyze and verify the fairness of the game that has just been played. Not all casinos have this option but it does give the player some peace of mind that he or she hasn’t been cheated out of their money.
There are other sites that cover casino reviews to give users a reliable opinion about new casino brands, but some are not as reliable as they should be, giving away positive reviews for cash, be aware of any website with a comments section that tries to mimic fake user comments to shift your opinion on the review.
New online casinos pop on a daily basis. With so many new options to choose from new casino players are easy targets for con artists showing off the top casino choices on featured pages regardless of their ranking, reliability and security for the users.
Remember to check the casino terms & conditions briefly to make sure it is not a scam in the making.