How to Spot a Rogue Online Casino
It is a given rule of thumb: in a basket of good and healthy eggs, there will be at least one bad one. This rule applies to all aspects of life, including the online casino industry. The boom that the industry is experiencing has led to the emergence of a whole lot of fantastic online casinos and a few rogue ones.
Despite the and regulation by regulatory bodies and licensing authorities and the rigorous scrutiny by industry watchdogs, you will find quite a few online casinos that fall in this category. And the damage they do is enormous: imagine spending time and your hard-earned money at an online casino, being thrilled at winning some, and then tearing your hair when you realize that the winnings aren't going to reach you!
In such a situation, it becomes important to know how to spot a rogue online casino. Before we get to that, we will take a look at what makes a rogue casino.
What is a Rogue Casino?
As the name suggests, a rogue casino is one that uses unethical practices for personal gain. These are casinos that take your money, get you to play real money games, and then cause problems when it comes to payments. Or they may just be outfits out to make a quick buck by copying games developed by known software vendors and passing them off as their own or, even worse, offering duplicate games as the original ones.
It is important to do your research thoroughly before signing up with an online casino, to ensure you don't end up at one of these.
Factors that Can Cause a Casino to be Labeled Rogue
There are numerous factors that can lead to a casino being labeled a rogue casino. We look at the top reasons in this section.
Delay or Refusal to Pay Out Winnings
One of the biggest and brightest red flags to help identify a rogue casino is the delay in payments or, in some cases, refusal to pay. There are different ways a casino can go about doing this. The most common way is prolonging the payout time till a player gets frustrated and either moves on or, if he is spunky enough, approaches an industry watchdog like Casinomeister or a regulatory body for their intervention.
Some casinos lay down long withdrawal timeframes, up to 30 days in some cases. While the timeframe may be annoyingly long, it is still okay because the player knows that at the end of that period the money will be in his account. Things go deep south when the time period elapses and there is no sign of the money.
Rigging of Games
All the top casinos offer games that are fair. They display information highlighting the fair play aspect, either through logos of independent testing agencies that audited and certified their random number generator (RNG) or by indicating that their game payouts are tested and audited regularly by independent auditors. Some casinos go a step further by listing out the RTPs of individual games on their website. And there are sites that showcase the eCOGRA logo as proof of fair gaming.
A rogue casino won't do any of the above. You will not find any indication that their game payouts have been audited or that they use a certified RNG. In fact, they can go the other extreme and offer rigged games. Games with lowered RTPs are one way of achieving this. This kind of cheating is hard to prove if you are an individual player. For instance, just because you hit a couple of lengthy losing streaks you cannot scream ‘cheating' from the rooftops.
You can detect something like this only by getting an independent agency to test the games offered.
Providing False Bonus Information
Another way a casino can get itself declared rogue is by providing incomplete, vague, or even false information about a particular bonus or bonuses. The terms and conditions may be smudged or made vague to leave players with a false sense of comfort.
Providing False Content
There are some casinos that are the real deal when it comes to being called rogue. These are casinos that will copy graphics, names, and even games from reputed providers and try to pass it off as their own. You can check for this by typing sections of content into the search box in Google and looking them up. If you find the same content at another site, someone is being naughty!
Casinos may at times copy smaller details, like a specific game graphic or even the logo or mascot of a game. Content theft in itself may not tie in directly to a casino that is trying to rip you off. However, it does give you an idea of how the operator works. And staying away from such unhealthy places is the best option.
There are other factors that can get a casino blacklisted as being a rogue casino. Some of these are:
- Negating a win by declaring the whole thing a software error. There is not really much you can do about it, and you may even believe it. However, when this becomes a pattern you know something is not right.
- Providing terms and conditions that are vague. It could get worse, when a casino doesn't even offering anything much for players to go through.
- Spamming players with promotional and marketing collateral relentlessly is another way a casino can get itself declared a rogue casino. No one likes being harassed, and this is what it amounts to, deliberate harassment with the intent to get them somehow to sign up and play with them.
Providing sloppy or irresponsible customer support. This is another way that a casino can end up being labeled rogue. Some rogue casinos offer customer support bordering on the outrageous:
- Response times are unusually long
- Questions are not answered
- Issues are not resolved
- The attitude of customer support is rude to the point of being intimidating
- Operating with licenses from licensing authorities that are not considered the best. This is a big issue because there are rogue operators that operate with legitimate licenses; it is another matter that the licensing authority doesn't exactly inspire confidence. Quite a few casinos in fact don't even bother to display licensing information, which is a blatant violation of the laws of certain jurisdictions. The worst is when you come across a casino that doesn't actually have a legitimate license.
Our Rogues Gallery
We believe it is our responsibility to keep our players informed not just about the good online casinos but also the bad eggs in the basket. Our rogues' gallery does exactly that: lists out for you all those casinos that you shouldn't touch even by the proverbial bargepole.
|Casino||Reason for Blacklisting|
|188Bet Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|7Regal Casino||Questionable Practices|
|Anna Casino||Questionable Practices|
|Atlantis Gold Casino||Questionable Practices. Loss of Licence|
|Bet Luck Casino||Questionable Practices. Awful Terms|
|Betbright Casino||Non-existent customer service. Avoid.|
|BetnGo||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|BetPlay Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Casino-X||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Chaplin Games||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|City Club Casino||Questionable Practices|
|City Tower Casino||Questionable Practices|
|ComeOn Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Crown Europe Casino||Questionable Practices|
|Elephant Bets Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Fabulous Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Fastlane Betting||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Golden Galaxy||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Golden Lion Casino||Questionable Practices|
|Heaven Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Iconicbet Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Jackpot.Com||Questionable Practices. Unacceptable Withdrawal Terms.|
|Leonbets Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Lucky Ace Casino||Questionable Practices. Dubious Marketing To Players.|
|Olybet||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Playbet Casino||Questionable Practices. Misrepresentation.|
|Rajahbet Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Roobet Casino||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
|Slots Jungle Casino||Questionable Practices. Ongoing Disputes|
|Vera And John||Terrible, Unresponsive Customer Support|
Spotting a Rogue Casino: Things to Do
So how do you check for and spot a rogue casino? Here are a few things you can do to ensure you don't end up at one of them.
- Check for licensing information.Look for the licensing information on the casino's website. This is usually listed at the bottom of each page and is a mandatory requirement from some of the licensing authorities. Always play at a casino that is licensed by a reputed regulatory body. And never play at a casino that has a licensing link that is dead.
Casinos that are licensed in a jurisdiction like Costa Rica, for instance, will usually have a license; only it is not a gaming license but a business license. These are casinos that are shady, to say the least. There are also casinos displaying licenses from jurisdictions like Curacao, but they may be scams because the license number they show is probably fake and contains cheating software.
- Read the terms and conditions carefully.This will go a long way in determining whether the casino you are looking at is legit or a rogue one. Check for every little detail, from the terms and conditions especially for the bonuses right down to withdrawal timeframes.
- Google the casino.Google the casino's name to get a feel of how it feels like. While searching for casino information is a good way to go, it can be tricky. You will need to know what to look for. For instance, a good way to go would be to search for reviews about the casino.
- Visit online casino forums and ask your questions there.This is a great way to check up on a casino because the participants at these forums are usually players. The one thing you are most likely to get at these forums is honest feedback.
- Check for pertinent information on the casino's website.The things to look for include, apart from licensing information:
The name of the casino operator - this is important because once you know the operator name you can put out a search on its credentials
Details about the software provider(s) - Search for the names of the software providers behind the site. Any site that uses software from reputed providers will usually list it, and that is a good enough indication of honesty and transparency.
- Check for awards and other information.A casino that has too many awards to its name and not much else to back it up, and also a huge number of player complaints, is definitely someone to stay away from. Beware of casinos that show links to awards and recognitions that don't open. There is nothing wrong with your Internet connection; it is just that the award link is possibly off and fake.
Recent Rogue Casino Updates
One of the biggest exposes in recent times about rogue casinos was in May, 2016, when Affpower, a known name when it came to the casino affiliate segment, was caught by Casinomeister, a feared and respected independent casino watchdog, and hauled up for trying to pass off NetEnt games as their own.
The use of pirated games is a strict no-no, but that didn't seem to matter too much to this outfit. Casinomeister's investigations revealed that all games that were supposedly from NetEnt were in fact hosted on unknown servers.