Most online casinos do not commit fraud, are safe and provide fair gaming entertainment. However, there are also black sheep who are not concerned with running a casino but simply with fraud and scams. The good news is that there are a few relatively simple methods to identify these providers. We explain how online casino consumers recognize fraud and scams and how to target a reputable provider.
Frauds and scams in the online casino: these scams exist
Criminals only want one thing: their victims’ money. There are several methods that are used to steal money from honest consumers. Fake casinos are as much a part of it as fake games. Both variants are among the particularly serious (and clearly criminal) cases of fraud and scams in online casinos. Additionally, there are some gray area practices.
Fake casino: nothing comes after the deposit
A fake casino is probably the most brazen scam with which consumers of online casinos are asked to pay for money through frauds and scams. And here’s how it works: Alleged casino operators create a website that looks like an online casino website. Bonuses, many games, etc.
If a player can be convinced by the fake casino to make a deposit, the money is lost. After the deposit comes simply: Nothing. It is not possible to log in to a game account or play games – because there is no game account or games. The money is usually irrevocably lost. Nevertheless, in such a case, players should report them immediately.
Rigged games: Here, every bet is lost
Anyone who suspects fraud and scams in an online casino is often afraid of manipulated games. This fear applies to fraudulent suppliers. They try a little more than their “colleagues” with fake casinos. In supposed casinos with rigged games, there are actually slot machines, tables, etc. – usually all software-based with no live dealer component. However, the games are not designed fairly. Players bet after bet and always lose. The reason for this is the algorithms that do not allow for profit.
At most, after a long series of losses, a small profit is sometimes granted to satisfy the customer. There is nothing to win in these so-called casinos. Players can expect to lose their entire bet.
Half legal scam with high fees
Fraud and scams in online casinos are not always limited to manipulated games and fake casinos. Sometimes scams also move into a semi-legal gray area.
Extremely high fees for deposits, account management or other “services” are possible. Then, for example, a minimum fee of 50 EUR is required for opening an account and deducted from the first deposit. Often, references to these fees can even be found officially in the general terms and conditions. Scams expect the majority of customers not to read them and then refer to the contract.
From a legal point of view, very high fees for services that must actually be included by the casino are probably not tenable. But being right does not mean being right! In practice, it is very difficult for players to take action against such scams and recover lost money.
Red Flags for Fraud and Scam in Online Casino
How to distinguish a fraudulent project from a real online casino? What red flags should players watch out for? The good news: there are clear criteria that can be used to distinguish serious suppliers from black sheep.
Every online casino needs a license. No player should make a deposit at an unlicensed casino. This is a crucial point: where there is no approval, no supervisory authority controls.
If an online casino wishes to receive a license, it must go through a complex approval process. The license is issued after the approval process. However, it is not a carte blanche either. Regulatory authorities constantly monitor licensed online casinos.
The authorities control various important aspects of the players. On the one hand, this includes the integrity of the games. Here, the authorities cooperate with certified test institutes. These monitor the random number generators and thus check whether the specified odds actually exist. The authorities also monitor the financial soundness of service providers. These must be able to pay out even large winnings at all times.
The supervisory authority that issued a license plays a secondary role. German authorities and authorities in other countries prevent fraud and scams in online casinos with near certainty probability.
In addition to German licenses, there are also numerous approvals from other EU member states such as Malta. Countries with close ties to the EU such as Great Britain, Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles), or Gibraltar (British Overseas Territory) issue reputable licenses and reliably verify online casinos.
Important: check the license
License information is usually found quite far down the homepage, sometimes also at the beginning of the General Terms and Conditions (GTC). However, players should not rely on information from any website. There’s a surefire way to do this: take a look at regulator databases.
For example, a register of all licensed casinos can be viewed on the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) website. Players can search by company name or license number here. This helps verify whether the license listed on a website actually exists. Even more: the authorities provide information about the URLs (website addresses) that are assigned to a license. This way, players can be sure that a license actually exists and that payment is made to the vendor belonging to the license.
Few means of payment
Another red flag for fraud and scams in online casinos are the noticeably few payment methods. In the worst case, players can only deposit via wire transfer. If the account is still in the name of a private person or an unknown company abroad, extreme caution is necessary. The same applies if only a PayPal or Skrill address is given to which players are supposed to send money and which does not correspond to the casino.
Reputable online casinos cooperate with many payment service providers. These include, for example, payment initiation services such as Sofort or Trustly, electronic wallets such as Skrill and Neteller, credit card companies such as Visa and MasterCard, and other services.
Payment service providers are themselves subject to strict regulation – and quickly face claims for damages when they cooperate with illegal partners. Therefore, it is usually not possible to pay from questionable suppliers with credit cards, payment initiation services, etc.
Important: As for the license, it is important to check the available payment methods. Those who are not afraid of fraud and scams in online casinos are also not afraid of the illegal use of logos. This is why dodgy providers often have the logos of card companies, e-wallet operators, etc.
It is suggested to inexperienced players that these payment options actually exist. However, if you then try to make a deposit, you will receive an error message and be redirected to a bank transfer deposit.
No customer service
Fraud and scams in online casinos can be traced to actors who generally do not want to come into direct contact with their victims. This is why there is usually no customer service (actually available) with dubious suppliers. Anyone who wants to consult an online casino can therefore contact them by e-mail, live chat, or telephone.
Of course, a closer look is also needed here. A criminal operator may provide a phone number, but it belongs to a completely different company. Whoever enters the phone number into a search engine or dials it is usually smarter.
Surprisingly unknown games
Sufficient criminal energy makes people inventive. Sometimes frauds and scams take place in online casinos in a non-punishable way. This is the case, for example, when scammers set up a business on a remote island. In the respective state, a license may not even be required to operate a casino on the global internet. So there is no criminal liability here.
However, no serious game provider will make its titles available to a casino built in this way. And even if: Such operators are not interested in serious games. That is why the offer of such supposed casinos sometimes includes a number of unknown games without information about the manufacturer.
These were rushed by someone and developed in low quality and are only used to withdraw bets. Since these are completely uncontrolled games, there is no realistic chance of winning. Players should therefore be very skeptical of casinos with obviously unknown games.
Abnormally high bonus
Of course, every player is happy with the highest possible new customer bonus. It can be 200% on the first deposit – not just for bargain hunters. But too high a bonus should make you skeptical. After all, the casino needs to recoup investments in new customers through regular gross gaming revenue.
Anyone who offers a 3000% bonus without notable conditions can only roll it over in two ways. First: there is no casino at all and the deposit goes directly to the dark channels. Second: there is a casino, but no chance of winning – every bonus, regardless of amount, goes to the dodgy operator.
The result is the same in both variants: the entire deposit is lost with no chance of winning. A noticeably high bonus is therefore another red flag when it comes to fraud and scams in online casinos.
Reputable casinos have sophisticated technology in the front and behind the user interface. A noticeable number of technical faults are a red flags. Has the advertised app already been removed from the App Store or Google Play? The page does not load or is very slow? Are there any noticeable aborts and programming errors, such as a malfunctioning search function? All this indicates that behind the supposed online casino there is no serious operator but only a scam.
Conclusion: This is how players avoid fraud and scams in online casinos
In a nutshell: while most online casinos operate fairly and seriously by working for regulatory authorities and testing institutes, there are individual black sheep. However, these are quite easy to spot.
If you want to avoid fraud and scams in online casinos, you should pay attention to a valid and verifiable license as well as as many payment methods as possible, real customer service, and a good range of games with many well-known manufacturers. If these requirements are not met, this is as much a red flag as a new customer bonus and noticeably high technical faults.
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