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How to Play Safely at Online Casinos?

Published on October 3, 2020, 12:50 pm

by Jeff Grant Twitter account Jeff Grant LinkedIn account

4 rules to avoid being scammed by an online casino

The online gambling industry hasn’t always had the best reputation.

A few decades ago, when online casinos were in their infancy, punters were tasked with downloading questionable and virus-riddled programs and marketing amounted to little more than affiliate spam.

It was the Wild West, the days when the internet was still a little wet behind the ears and everything was experimental. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case, but some sites seemingly haven’t gotten the memo.

In this guide, we’ll look at the rules for determining whether a casino is legitimate or not. If you want the fairest and safest gambling experience, follow these basic but essential steps:

  1. Look for Regulation, Mediation, and a Complaints Procedure

What does a regulator mean to you?

For many players, it’s a sign that a casino is legitimate. It has passed some basic rules and has been given an official stamp of approval. But while regulation is essential, it’s not the only thing that matters and it doesn’t always mean what you think it does.

Regulators should act as mediators, as well as legislators. If something goes wrong, you need somewhere to turn.

In the first instance, you should message the casino. All sites have some kind of contact address, so this shouldn’t be an issue.

If that fails, you’ll need a complaints procedure, but don’t take their word for it. Look at casino review sites, check the complaints and bad reviews, and make sure that the casino has actually responded to them.

Some sites advertise a complaints procedure, only to ignore all customers that actually use it.

In the unlikely event that a complaint fails and a bad review doesn’t get the response you need, the regulator will listen. That’s what they are there for. It may take them a few weeks to respond and you won’t always get the response that you want, but it’s good to have that option.

  1. Ask Google

A simple Google search can tell you a lot about an online casino, but only if you know where to look.

If a site is an outright scam, it won’t last for more than a few weeks. The first person that gets scammed will report their experience on a forum or review site. That experience will be picked up by reviewers and bloggers. News will spread, and before you know it, the site will be blacklisted everywhere.

If you see blacklist warnings, you should probably stay clear.

Reviews can help as well, but be careful how you judge these; rely on genuine reviews only.

Some of the best online casinos have the worst reviews. In this industry, the bigger you get, the more likely you are to be on the receiving end of some horrible, outrageous, and even false reviews.

If the casino is not making an active effort to get good reviews, it won’t, and in the online gambling industry, that’s often the case.

Trustpilot is a great example of how skewed this system is. E-commerce sites can “claim” their Trustpilot profile, which allows them to send review invites to everyone who purchases. As 99.9% of customers will have a good experience, most of those reviews are positive.

Without these invites, those reviews won’t come. It means that a reviewer needs to actively search for a review site, find the company, sign up, and then leave their comments.

Use Google to research the authenticity and reputation of an online casino
Use Google to research the authenticity and reputation of an online casino before signing up

The majority of consumers only do this when they have something negative to say and want to vent their anger and get revenge on the company.

It’s why an unclaimed company like Apple has a terrible score, despite having some of the best customer support in the world, and yet smaller companies with multiple complaints have near-perfect scores.

  1. Approved Payment Providers

In 2020 in the UK, it became illegal for online betting sites to accept credit card payments. It was associated with problem gambling and seemed like a no-brainer move from the authorities.

Many punters agreed with the move, citing the potential issues with credit cards, including the extortionate cash fees they charge for every online gambling transaction.

But a small subset of players argued that credit cards were the safest way to gamble, and in a way, they are right, but not quite.

When you use your credit card to complete a purchase, you’re entitled to something known as a chargeback. If the retailer doesn’t complete their end of the bargain, the consumer can initiate a chargeback and get their money back.

They are essentially reporting a fraudulent transaction, and having this ability gives them some peace of mind when gambling at new online casinos.

But credit cards aren’t the only casino payment method offering this service. PayPal and even debit cards can qualify for chargebacks.

Anytime you are a legitimate victim of fraud, you can contact the payment service and reverse the payment.

It’s important, therefore, to use an online casino that accepts secure payment methods, including Mastercard, Visa, and PayPal.

Any time it insists on bank transfers or Western Union, you can pretty much expect to be scammed, as there is no reason for a legitimate casino to insist on these methods.

  1. Approved Developers

Legitimate online casinos don’t create their own games. Some of the better ones have exclusive games created for them, but these number in the few, not the hundreds. Most of the games you’ll see are provided by third-party creators that license that software to casinos.

The casino pays a licensing fee, hands over some of the revenue, and takes their pick of games.

These developers audit all of their games for fairness and this ensures that every spin is fair and every stated RTP is legitimate.

If the casino doesn’t work with any third-party developers and only offers a handful of proprietary games, caution is advised. These games may not have undergone the same rigorous testing. More importantly, you have to question why a casino would choose to do this when the alternative is much easier and results in a larger selection of games.

These examples are related to online environment only, but also real casinos are affected by security issues: see these recent casino scams occurred in some land based casinos.


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