Beware of Online Casino Scams

Online casinos seem like an easy, seamless way to earn money with little to no effort on your part, with the added bonus of being addictively fun. But can these sites be trusted? Entrusting your hard-earned cash to these online casinos can give one cause for pause and rightly so, as there are certain casinos that will steal your winnings from under your nose.

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But how do they run these scams? Reported cases include unjustifiably closing accounts and taking the player’s money, non-payment of winnings, fine print that prevents the player from ultimately walking away with cash in hand, cheating software, delayed payouts, changing odds during gameplay, altering terms and conditions after play has commenced…the list goes on! But don’t let this scare you from enjoying the online gambling scene. Be wary and stick to the following tips and guidelines to navigate the world of online gambling:

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Withdrawal times and fees

So you’ve managed to hit the jackpot! Time to pack it up and go. You click the withdrawal button, expecting your funds to immediately appear in your bank account. Sorry to say, but you probably have a 24-48 hour wait ahead of you. If you’re lucky. Some sites can take as long as 5 days to release your money. It has been reported that some casinos purposely delay the withdrawal time, frustrating the player into cancelling the withdrawal and rolling it back into their casino account to continue gambling.

Others will offer you tempting promotions as soon as you query the withdrawal time-making it seem that your withdrawal will be much bigger at a later stage. Save yourself the headache by checking out the casino’s withdrawal times before you sign up. Also be aware that, legally speaking, your account must be verified. Some players wait until they’re ready to withdraw to do this, thereby delaying the withdrawal process even further. Complete your verification as soon as you sign up so you can start spending that jackpot as soon as possible!

When you’re checking the withdrawal times, take a look at the fees you’ll be charged for withdrawing your money. Some casinos charge as high as a ridiculous 25% fee for withdrawal! The best method to use is probably via an e-wallet. Your payments are immediate and are normally free. For this reason we have decided to list the fastest paying casinos.

Licensing and Regulatory Authority

It is a legal requirement that online casinos be licensed and regulated in the area in which their servers operate. You will find that most major countries either have extremely rigid or non-existent online gaming laws, causing online casinos to turn to the smaller islands like Malta, Curacao, Costa Rica etc. to obtain their licenses. Recently, the UK has legalised online gambling, enabling online casinos to hold a UK license. This is probably the most trustworthy license as the UK has high standards when it comes to issuing licenses. If the casino does not state where it’s been licensed or who its regulatory authority is, click that ‘X’ and get out of there…highly suspicious!

Check the software

Online casinos are powered by software developers. These platforms offer a host of games, many of which you can find in land-based casinos. The reputable ones feature names such as Microgaming, Playtech, PlaynGo, to name just a few. Try and look for casinos that use these big names in the software industry to ensure your gameplay is of the highest quality with a less likely chance of a scam being run. Factors to consider include stability, software effects, graphics, file size, security and speed. Check out the game’s rate of return (normally in the form of a percentage) to see how successful previous players have been.

Terms and Conditions

Take note of the terms and conditions with regards to age requirements, bonus wagering requirements, withdrawal and deposit procedures, jurisdiction and basic game restrictions. You can save yourself a lot of hassle by giving these a quick read before you commence play. If you are unable to access the terms and conditions, this should be a big red flag – leave the site immediately! It’s also worth noting that some casinos will change the terms and conditions while you are playing, denying the player their winnings – so regularly check that these have stayed the same.

Check watchdog sites

Watchdog sites supervise the operation of online casinos and provide reviews from players as well as licensing information and other important details to assist the player in choosing the gaming den of their choice. Here at NZ Online Casinos we monitor online casinos.

Check for the names of reliable casinos on these sites to ensure you deposit your funds in a trustworthy gaming institution. eCogra (eCommerce Online Gaming regulation and Assurance) is an independent and internationally approved testing agency that focuses on online gaming software and systems. The organization endeavours to ensure that players are protected, gaming is fair and that the operators conduct themselves responsibly. Any site that has been approved by eCogra will proudly display its logo to show that they have been certified as legitimate and fair, so keep an eye out for it.

Deposit methods

While most online casinos feature a number of acceptable deposit methods, such as credit and debit cards, web wallet transfers, money orders, bank deposits and wire transfers, there are those which will only accept cash deposits. Alarm bells should go off when you see this – reputable casinos will offer a variety of ways to deposit your money that can be tracked.

Provably Fair

Some online casinos offer a provability option for the player. This entails using an algorithm to analyse and verify the fairness of the game that has just been played. Not all casinos have this option but it does give the player some peace of mind that he or she hasn’t been cheated out of their money.

Don’t let the sights and sounds fool you

Flashy sites with excellent graphics and a HUGE variety of games can draw in the naïve player purely on a superficial level. Beware: this does not mean it’s a legitimate site. Do your homework and try and see past the advertising to what the casino really offers.

Check reviews

There are sites that have tested online casinos and provide reliable third party casino reviews on the security and fairness of these casinos. They normally have a complaint and compliment section where actual players can insert their comments. However, don’t be entirely dependent on one specific review site – some have been known to be property of the casino it’s reviewing, rendering their reviews as highly biased.

The number of online casinos out there is growing on a daily basis. Such an array of choices can leave the beginner player feeling intimidated and overwhelmed, also making such players an easy target for online con artists. Look for sites that are featured in top 10 reviews with reliable customer reviews and stick to the given guidelines. Read that fine print and keep up to date with the t’s and c’s. Remember, if it sounds too good to be true, it generally is!

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