It seems like everywhere you look, there is someone
trying to sell you something that is too good to be true. In many cases,
it is a product that looks or acts nothing like it was advertised, but once you
make the purchase, you are stuck with the result. Scammers can be
found everywhere, but when it happens online, it becomes even harder to not only
determine if you are being scammed, but who is behind the activity.
The online casino world has often been accused of being
full of scammers, but that truly isn’t fair. There are thousands
of online casinos to choose from, and the majority of those are
reputable. However, the industry does not come without scandal, so we want to
help you feel more confident in the online casino choices you make so you can
avoid these rogue operators.
The Safest Sites to Play Casino Games Online
Do you want to skip past all the gory details and get to playing at some of
the safest sites online? Well then let’s get you to it! While you can feel free
to read on and find out how we come up with these recommended sites, we can get
you started with the safest sites we have come across for all online casino
This list not only covers which sites we think are the safest but goes a step
further to filter the safe sites by those that offer the best quality of
software content, the most payment options and the most attractive promotions
and bonuses. If you are curious which sites we think are the worst and least
safe, well here is our blacklisted sites page for you to review while reading
the rest of the info on this page!
What Makes a Casino
Rogue in the First Place?
Before we give you some tips on how to avoid rogue
casinos, we should define what makes a rogue casino in the first place.
There are many players who feel a casino is cheating them
because they never seem to win, but again that is more of a fallacy than fact.
Casino games are all built with a house edge of some sort – why would a casino
operator start a business if they were set to lose money all the time? When
people play casino games online, they are playing at a much faster
rate, which means that they may feel that they are losing more than normal.
Now, this doesn’t mean that some casinos aren’t scamming
players in some way, Let’s look at some of the ways a casino can be considered
Software that doesn’t play to the
False advertising in offers and
No payouts at all
Removing money from player
This is less of a concern these days, but in the early
days of the online casino industry, there was far less oversight
when it came to the games themselves. Some operators were able to “tweak” the
payout odds of games, giving them a much higher hold percentage.
You are likely going to have your antennae up when you see
an offer that seems too good to be true. These massive bonuses and promotions
usually are, especially when they come from a site you haven’t heard of before.
Rogue sites use these offers to draw you in even though there is no chance of
actually winning what is being offered.
While there is some lag time in getting your
withdrawals processed, some sites use this to hide the fact that they are slow
paying you. The site could be slow paying simply to make you reverse your
request and play some more, while others are simply not interested in paying
players in a timely manner…
…or paying players at all. This is a worst-case scenario
for players – make a deposit, play some games, then try to get your money only
to find out you can’t track down the casino at all. While this is an extreme
case, it still exists, so it is something to be wary of when
managing your casino balance.
Removal of Funds
Some sites will have in their Terms and Conditions a line
that outlines their right to remove money from a player account if they feel the
player has broken any rules. However, this is another way rogue casinos can hide
the fact that they are scamming players. We have heard many stories of players
who have logged into their accounts to find their balances gone as a result of
What Could Make
a Casino Rogue?
This is not as straightforward an answer as you may think.
Of course, a casino operator could simply be a criminal who has set up their
business to rip off players. However, these days that number is smaller than
ever as the software vendors try to do enough due diligence on a possible
customer before granting them a license of their products.
Another reason a casino could go rogue is
simply that they have mismanaged the money that has been deposited
at the site. The industry is highly competitive, and it costs a lot of many to
stay relevant. Even though it is a terrible business idea, some companies
leverage the player funds to help operate the business assuming that some of the
money will be lost by players regardless. The worst case of this leveraging
being discovered happened in 2011, when the Department of Justice in the U.S.
shut down Full Tilt Poker, only to discover the majority of the
$300 million in player funds was not there.
How to Protect Yourself
Against Rogue Casinos
Whatever the reason, rogue casinos are a fact of life, and
all we can do is put you in the best possible position to not get scammed when
you make your deposits online. We have a team dedicated to reviewing every
online casino we can find, and from these reviews, we compiled the
list you saw earlier on this page. Let’s review some of the items we look for
when trying to determine the reliability of a site, and what you can do to avoid
finding a rogue operator.
The easiest way to confirm that you are playing with a
reputable site is to see if they have a gaming license. There are many different
jurisdictions which offer online casino licenses, and each offers a varying
degree of player protection. We prefer sites that have licenses from the United Kingdom or Malta, as these two jurisdictions require that all
player funds be stored in a segregated bank account which is audited on a
regular basis. There are other jurisdictions like Curacao and
Kahnawake, which aren’t as strict as the European regulators, but,
at the very least, a casino featuring one of these licenses has had to endure
some form of due diligence process.
We understand that there are some casinos that do
not have gaming licenses based on where they are trying to attract clients from.
For example, Malta and the UK will not issue a license to operators planning to
accept bets from the United States. In this case, the next thing we look for is
a software provider that has had its games audited by a third party. This is
something that vendors are proud to display, so if you are having a hard time
finding a logo from an auditing firm, this should raise a red flag.
Independent sites like ours are designed to give players
the most comprehensive, honest reviews of all the online casino
sites we find. We have a reviews section that covers hundreds of the online
casinos you will find, and this includes a blacklist of casinos we simply cannot
recommend to players.
There are many player-driven sites that give a voice to
players who feel they have been wronged by an online caisno. Now, some of these
posts on forums are players venting because they lost their money playing games,
so when you are reading a forum post about a site, you want to look for
responses from casino representatives. Forums can be a way for sites to
perform customer service in the public eye, so if you aren’t seeing a response
from the casino itself, then you should have some cause for concern.
Trust Your Friends
The odds are that you know someone who has played with an
online casino site, so it is worth asking around for recommendations. This
doesn’t necessarily mean you will find the best sites or sites that aren’t
rogue, but in combination with our reviews and the forums sites, getting a seal
of approval from someone you trust may be exactly what you need to make a final
Make Small Deposits
Even after all of this research, you are still at the
mercy of the casino after you send them your money. We always recommend that you
play within your means, but if you are even a bit concerned about the
reliability of a site, then you should test it with the absolute minimum deposit
amount. Then, you want to manage your balance well, making withdrawals whenever
possible and leaving only a minimum amount in your balance. Yes, this could cost
you a little bit more in transaction fees, but that is still better than having
your entire balance wiped out by a rogue operator.
Can There Be
an End in Sight for Rogue
As we said at the beginning of this page, as long as the
industry exists, there will be people who have bad intentions trying to take
advantage of players. With the information we have outlined on this page, you
will put yourself in the best position to make informed decisions about where to
play. However, you may still encounter issues with your casino of choice. If
that does indeed happen and you can’t get any resolution from the casino
directly, you can take your case to the forums, regulators, and
sites like ours for assistance.
The online casino industry has always done an excellent
job of self-policing, and you as a player are part of that ecosystem. Anything
you see that doesn’t seem right should be reported so we can all keep these
operators in check and continue to provide a safe, secure environment for
players to enjoy their favorite casino games.
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