The popularity of online casinos has soared in the last decade, but the industry is still largely unregulated.
Even though strict licensing jurisdictions, sound business practises, and independent auditors can make an online casino just as reliable as a land-based one, the lack of government regulation leaves the industry exposed to predators.
As such, there are plenty of rogue casinos who have cropped up with the objective of taking advantage of players who don’t know any better.
So how do you spot a rogue casino?
Visit Reputable Casino Review Sites
There are plenty of reputable online casino review sites which rate online casinos on a wide variety factors and also welcome feedback from real players. One of the biggest factors examined when reviewing an online casino is how the site treats its players and if the site stands by the claimed waiting periods for pay outs.
If you’ve won big at an online casino and have been waiting for ages to receive a pay out and the online casino in question is constantly giving excuses as to why payment has not been processed, you’re likely dealing with a rogue casino.
Investigate the License Claim
Rogue casinos will either make us of a licensing jurisdiction that isn’t particularly concerned with its players or will have a false license claim.
The strictest online casinos licensing jurisdictions are Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney, and the Isle of Man, so most sites that have a license from any of these jurisdictions are already well-established and well-known to the public.
However, if you’ve come across a new site which claims to have a license from one of these jurisdictions, you must investigate this claim and not just accept it at face value. Just as your favourite online sportsbooks for FIFA World Cup betting is licensed, so should your favourite online casino be.
The badge at the bottom of site which states the licensing jurisdiction should link directly to a certification page which contains the casino’s name. If it doesn’t, rather high-tail it out of there.
Get In Touch with Support
Testing the support staff is always encouraged before creating an account with any online casino – even if you don’t suspect any foul play. It’s definitely preferable to know right away if the support staff are helpful and effective, rather than finding out they aren’t when it comes time to withdraw your winnings!
Get in contact with support and ask them a few basic questions regarding promotions, creating a new account, the banking options, or whatever else might be applicable.
Consider how long it takes someone to get back to you, and look out for automated, irrelevant responses. If the support staff don’t give you individualised information, it’s a red flag that customer satisfaction isn’t a major priority to them.
Study the Terms and Conditions
It’s absolutely imperative that you read the terms and conditions in full, from top to bottom, before creating an account with any online casino.
After reading a few sites, it will quickly become apparent which information can be skimmed over and which information should be read carefully. Reliable online casinos will always be very specific in their terms and conditions, and not use blanket terms.
Be sure that there are no obscure wagering rules, particularly with regards to bonus play. Also be sure that the withdrawal timeframes are reasonable and so that you won’t find yourself out of pocket should you win big.