Online gambling scams: The ability to wager and potentially win big from the comfort of your home and with just a few clicks on your device has undoubtedly been a driving force for the growing popularity of online gambling. However, all things that have advantages also have disadvantages, and online gambling is no exception – and the disadvantage lies in the anonymity of the online world.
Just as there are several online gambling sites with a proven name and generally acceptable standards in the industry, there are also not-so-legitimate or fake sites in the same vein. While you can easily win big with real online gambling sites, you can also be a victim of dubious or scam sites. The best-case scenario is that you lose money with no genuine chance of winning. The worst case is having personal and sensitive information stolen from your device.
It’s becoming increasingly important to learn to avoid scam online casinos. The good news is that there are several tips that can help you to identify these phony sites and put you on a safer path in your gambling experience. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Check for licensing and relevant regulation
A legitimate online gambling platform must have a licence from a reputable body such as the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) or the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). In territories with regulated gambling markets, legitimacy entails being regulated by the relevant local authority, just like the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO) in Ontario.
Licensing comes with the guarantee of fair play, security and a safe gambling environment. If any gambling platform fails to have the right accreditation, it would therefore be in your best interest to think twice about using it. If a platform lacks adequate verification, it is most likely just a scam waiting to happen.
Avoid unprotected and blacklisted sites
Another sign of a potential red flag is an unsecured or a blacklisted site. Most popular and reputable online gambling platforms prioritize safety and security and employ state-of-the-art encryption systems to protect customers and their information. On the other hand, online casino scams will lack adequate industry-standard security, as the goal from the onset was to have you exposed. A helpful tip here is to check if there’s a lock sign next to the site’s URL. Clicking on the symbol will reveal information about the type of security in place. For gambling sites, SSL and TLS encryption are highly recognized.
Regulators and service providers are all too aware of the surge of online gambling scams and regularly update their list of blacklisted sites. A quick Google search should provide you with the necessary and relevant information. Sites are blacklisted if there have been several negative real player reviews, delayed or withheld payouts without proper motivation, manipulated game results or other unethical practices.
Check customer support and try game demos
A legitimate Canadian online gambling platform puts effort into customer experience and satisfaction, and there is no better way than to have dedicated customer support. The best sites will have a knowledgeable team that is always accessible to provide assistance round the clock via various contact channels such as live chat, email, telephone and social media. On the other hand, poor customer support points to the casino having no consideration for you as a valued customer. In fact, you’ll never find good customer service at a scam site.
Also, check for game demos. Comprehensive demos point to a desire to give players a real and accurate feel of the platform before playing for real money. You can also test out the games to see how they play and how often they pay. Scam sites will often manipulate their games to ensure that players lose. So, an irregular pattern or long win droughts that are abnormal should serve as red flags.
Do research and check the casino’s bonuses
Finally, in-depth and thorough research is also a great way to spot and prevent gambling scams. Checking real player reviews and ratings from sites such as Trustpilot and familiarizing yourself with applicable terms and conditions will help you make informed decisions about the site. The terms and conditions on scam sites will usually have hidden clauses designed to short-change you in the long run. So, you should go through this document before you play.
The bonuses offered are another indicator of a casino’s quality. It is easy to get sucked into unbelievable offers of crazy bonuses and mouth-watering deals. These outrageous offers are nothing more than an elaborate scheme. So, when you see a large bonus offer, understand that it might just be a scam. If it looks too good to be true, then the chances are that this is probably the case. You should focus on the bonus terms, particularly the wagering requirement. A scam casino will have a very high wagering requirement and unreasonable terms designed to make the bonus unprofitable.
Don’t trust too easily
Don’t blindly trust an online gambling operator that claims to offer great gaming experiences. Instead, you should build trust over time. An effective way to observe the trustworthiness of an online casino and protect yourself from online gambling scams is to make smaller stakes before going in with larger wagers. If the casino doesn’t pay out on small bets, you’ll know to avoid staking larger amounts. This is a great way to reduce the risk of falling victim to any online gambling scam.
Always approach new online betting platforms with due diligence and a healthy amount of skepticism. Fake platform peddlers are also known to try to mimic established online gambling sites, so it pays to always double-check.
In online gambling, the right information and an informed decision are the difference between a huge payday and a huge rip-off. A better understanding of the markers of a poor casino will allow you to better protect yourself and vital information. You can’t prevent monetary loss entirely where gambling is concerned, but at least you’ll be certain that your failures aren’t manipulated. Overall, your gaming experience will be better at a quality and safe casino, and in order to ensure that you play at legitimate sites, you should be able to identify scams.