Online scam casinos are the inevitable result of an online casino industry whereby money changes hands remotely. The sites I have on fastpayingcasinos.com are all checked by myself, with UKGC licenses and are 100% safe as well. But how do you know if a site is a scam, fake or criminal in intent?
You can always type the casino into Google with the word ‘issues’ or ‘scam’ after it and see what you uncover. This only has limited success, as firstly the casino may be OK but being slandered by a disgruntled player or player who has broken their terms and secondly, the online scam casinos may be new and have little history to be picked up.
What sort of scams are there?
There are a few consistent ones. Fake or pirated software/games. The scammers will purchase an off-the-shelf online scam casinos html template, often designed in the far East as you can tell by the bad English and multiple grammatical or spelling errors. This may even be stolen html plagiarised from a legitimate site and adapted slightly.
Unfortunately Novomatic and Netent have been victims of software theft where criminals have reverse engineered their games or hacked the software and simply stuck their own cheap graphics on it. As it’s hacked you have no guarantee the TRTP hasn’t been manipulated to ensure you lose, plus it runs badly. This is what the scam casinos offer usually.
These scam casinos haven’t had to bother with renting the legitimate software or paying to design a site. For a few hundred bucks they can set all this up to take YOUR cash. They often hack into unrelated business sites in order to sneak links into them, thus cheating their way up the Google SEO rankings. There are no depths they won’t sink to.
How can I tell if a casino is safe?
It’s quite easy if you’re not too eager to get playing and exercise due diligence. Firstly, licensing – the scam casinos will post fake licensing seals and/or numbers at the bottom. The legitimate licensing bodies like UK, Gibraltar, Malta, IoM, Alderney, Kahnawake, New Jersey or Curacao (weak) will have online search facilities to check if the casino is licensed with them. If it isn’t, leave. If the casino claims to have a ‘Costa Rica gaming license’ it’s bullshit. CR do not issue gambling licenses, merely business ones.
You can check the business number especially if in the UK. The casino should display its company number or number of the company holding its license.
So shonky software, fake seals, license numbers and fake business numbers along with bad spelling and grammar should be enough to tell you something is amiss.
What do I do if I deposited there and can’t get my winnings, or lose after depositing?
Very little other than complain and report the matter on a big forum like Casinomeister. They can investigate. You can also report them to the payment processor they use. You can charge back deposits under your consumer rights if paying by debit or credit card. Usually this is never recommended as casinos share data on charge-back fraud and it would affect your future casino play. Scam casinos though, once you’ve established it as such, would be very unlikely to be able to add you to any blacklist used by proper sites. They rely on most depositors losing, and if they win on not paying them. They have no overheads so are prepared for the minority of players who can be bothered to go through the process.
One thing you should do is be extremely careful if the site you are visiting has a Curacao License. This is the most flaccid and useless so-called licensing authority there is and one particular license of the four available exclusively used for fraudulent casinos – 1668/JAZ. Wherever you are in the world do not ever deposit money at any site claiming this license at the bottom!! Scam groups such as GameTech, Alpha Interactive and Gammix use this worthless license and will target problem gamblers through rogue affiliate sites, offer pirated slots and games, take deposits from jurisdictions where they are prohibited, offer rogue terms and arbitrary account closures when you win plus won’t ever pay big winners. Avoid 1668/JAZ casinos at all costs!
The other three Curacao licenses do have casinos which may be OK such as 5536, 8048 and 356/JAZ but bear in mind you’ve no regulatory or legal comeback if things go wrong at them regardless.
Information and knowledge is king and aside from forums like Casinomeister mentioned above, you can see honest reviews at trusted player advocate sites such as thePOGG who put integrity above income and who won’t recommend bad casinos. They will show you those online casinos that aren’t recommended, plus take up complaints on your behalf for free.