For new players, one of the hardest things is identifying a safe online casino vs an online casino scam. With 100s of gambling sites online, finding a trusted site to gamble can become incredibly frustrating. There’s even a middle-ground of gambling sites and casinos that are legitimate operations, but have terms and conditions that are unfavorable for players.
Many things can land an online casino, poker room, or sportsbook on our scam list. While we list the specific reasons for each gambling site on their review page, here’s an overview of many common problems that scam gambling sites practice.
The first area that lands gambling sites on the scams page deals with customer payout requests. This usually starts with long delays when players request a withdrawal and often ends with players simply not being paid.
Almost every online gambling site requires players to send them documentation proving they’re who they claim to be. This helps prevent fraud and helps the sites meet banking regulations from different parts of the world.
Most online casinos make this process smooth and easy. But the ones that start running scams start making you send in documents over and over. They keep saying that the documents aren’t readable so they never have to process your cash out request.
Another common procedure online casinos have is mandatory wait times before they start the payment processing. These times vary from casino to casino with the lowest ones being 24 hours or so and the longest ones being a week or longer.
You might think that the best casinos have shorter wait times, and for the most part, this is true, but some excellent sites have extended wait times.
All of these wait times are designed so that you hopefully decide to start playing again instead of continuing with your cash out. If you start playing you have a good chance of losing the money you planned to withdraw.
The best sites stick with the time they claim they will and the worst ones start extending the mandatory times beyond what they state on their site.
The next thing that scam casinos start doing is extending how long it takes to get a check, bank transfer, or e-wallet payment to you. E-wallet payments can be processed almost instantly once the waiting period is over, but poor online casinos sometimes take a week or longer to get around to sending your money.
We’ve seen some online casinos take a month or longer to get a check to their winning players. We understand that a check has to be shipped, but when the best online casinos only take a week to deliver a check it’s clear to see that some sites simply keep your money as long as possible.
Direct bank wires fall into the same category. Once they’re started you usually have your money in two or three days. But scam casinos like to claim problems with the bank or the bank wire to delay sending your money.
Limiting Cash Out Amounts
Most online casinos like to list big winners and the amounts they won. This is good advertising because every gambler dreams of hitting a big win. When you see a list of other players who have won it’s easier to see yourself winning so it entices you to gamble.
The problem comes when some casinos restrict how much you can cash out every week or month after you hit a big win.
Casinos limit withdrawals to protect their cash flow, and even some of the best ones have limits listed in their terms. But the difference is the best ones don’t randomly adjust limits and work with big winners to get them their money in a timely manner.
Scam casinos change the weekly or monthly limits, delay payments, and sometimes make it impossible for players to get all of their winnings.
The worst cases involve progressive jackpot winners who end up being limited to cash out requests as low as $500 a week.
Progressive jackpots are funded by a small percentage of the money wagered on the game. This money is always collected before a player eventually wins the jackpot so there’s no reason a player shouldn’t be paid in full in a timely manner.
So when an online casino keeps the money from a big progressive and only gives a small amount each week or month to the winning player it’s clearly a case of bad customer service and quickly gets the overall rating we give reduced.
Online casinos have bonus offers plastered all over their sites and banners. They range from a few dollars or free spins to thousands of dollars.
Of course, the idea of free money to gamble with seems great to most players.
But just like most things in life, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.
You can find all kinds of bonus offers, but they all have specific terms and conditions that govern how you use them and the process you’re required to meet in order to keep any of the money.
Both good and bad casinos offer bonuses, so what’s the difference between the good ones and the ones that run scams?
The main difference is the scam casinos have unreasonable requirements or don’t follow their own terms and conditions. Mostly the problem comes from play through requirements that never seem to get met or from the casino claiming bonus abuse and voiding winnings.
An area that creates many problems with bonuses is that you can only play certain games to clear most bonuses. For example, you might be able to play any slot machines but can’t play blackjack or other table games.
While there’s nothing wrong with a restriction like this as long as the players clearly know about it, some casinos hide it in their terms so it’s hard to find. If a player loses all of their money the casino doesn’t say anything, but if a player goes on a winning streak and has played a single hand or game that they aren’t allowed to the casino voids all of their winnings.
We generally don’t have a problem with a casino that follows their own terms and conditions, but the best ones make game restrictions and play through requirements clear before you start playing.
The best policy for players is to make sure you always read all of the rules before playing so you understand how the bonus works. You still might have trouble with a bad casino even if you follow all of the rules, but your chances of a bad experience will be reduced.
What it all comes down to is if an online casino or gambling site does what it says it will, they have a good chance to receive a decent rating. But when they start changing things on the fly, start stalling payouts, and resort to lying and outright theft they find themselves on the scam list.