How to Avoid Being Scammed By Casinos
The most annoying thing about the digital age? Scams. They’re everywhere. You always have to be on the lookout, whether you’re opening emails, checking Facebook, or taking a call.
And yes, even when you want to get away from it all and play some blackjack or your favorite slot, it’s still possible you’ll get scammed. Luckily, it’s relatively easy to steer clear of scammers. You just need to know what to look for.
Before you sign up for any casino, read third-party reviews. Don’t trust what casinos say about themselves; that’s like trusting every word that comes out of a car salesman’s mouth (tip: don’t do this).
Of course, you have to be selective about which reviews you read. It’s best to find reputable third-party sites and go from there, rather than looking up reviews on Google. Go for a spread of information, including Reddit, which often has decent information on casinos.
How Long Has the Casino Been Around?
You don’t want to deal with ‘pop-up’ casinos. In other words, establishments that are looking to profit from the recent wave of demand, but otherwise have no track record to speak of. A pretty, well-presented website, some enticing bonuses, that’s pretty much all they have.
If you want to keep your money safe, consider going for a casino with a little bit of history. They won’t scam you, as they have a reputation and license to uphold. William Hill, for instance, has been around since 1934, having been founded in London. They even have a detailed Wikipedia entry, which gives the company a wee bit more legitimacy than a random site you find on Google.
It also helps if the casino in question has a land-based equivalent. That’s not to say that online-only establishments are scams, but it does translate to an added layer of security. SkyCity Casino, for example, has several ‘real’ casinos in both New Zealand and Australia. If you have more questions you can read their FAQ here, which has more information on the company and its terms and conditions.
Check Terms and Conditions
Yes, it’s best to check the terms and conditions before depositing. It’s boring, takes time, and the language used can be mind-numbing. But it may save you from doing business with a casino you’d rather avoid.
You want to look for terms about withdrawals, ID checks, and bonuses. Withdrawals can be particularly tricky, with scam companies often being more than happy to take your money, but they’ll make you jump through several (incredibly irritating!) steps to get your winnings into your bank account. It may not be illegal, but it’s still a scam in our books.
Is the Casino Licensed?
Reputable casinos are licensed by an authorized government body. Check the footer of the casino you’re looking to join and see whether they’ve ticked all of the right regulatory boxes.
Tip: don’t just trust a footer or logo. Check the third-party websites. For example, casinos in the UK are usually licensed by the government’s Gambling Commission. You can run a check through their website to see if they’re listed. If they’re not, or if the website URL is slightly different, avoid them at all costs.
Do you know those fake banking websites that just want to get your login details? Or that dodgy email from PayPal, asking you to check in because there’s been some irregular activity on your account? These are all obviously nefarious attempts to get your details.
This also happens when it comes to casinos. Fake websites are often taken down very quickly by hosting providers, but not always. Always ensure you’ve landed at an establishment that is the real deal. Double-check by doing a quick Google search, or check the government license website and follow the official link from there.
Don’t Download Without Double Checking
Most decent casinos will never ask you to download software in order to play their games. Yes, their official apps can be downloaded on tablets and smartphones, but that’s different.
We’re talking software on your desktop or laptop, which is often just a cover for ransomware and viruses. The game may even seem real, but it’s fake. Ransomware is particularly nasty, as your computer will be completely unusable until you pay the sum they ask for. It’s not a pleasant experience.
Check Deposit Options
Our final tip can often give the game away. Legit businesses will take the most common deposit options, including basic credit and debit cards. You may also see the name of providers such as Skrill, PayPal, and Neteller. You can check more deposit options are all above board and known to the general public.
Scam casinos, on the other hand, will often not be able to set up accounts with these trusted providers. Some will only accept payment through cryptocurrencies or even personal accounts; naturally, avoid these casinos at all costs.