As everywhere, there are also some bad sheep at casino providers. A list of dubious online casinos can be found here in this post. The mass of online casinos that the Internet now offers naturally also includes many dubious online casinos which are especially dangerous for inexperienced players and newcomers to the field.
Money is deposited quickly and is lost almost as quickly. It is in the nature of things that gambling of any kind presents both opportunities and risks. Where there is a lot to be gained, a lot can also be lost or, better said, gambled away. Apart from the quasi-natural factors, there are also worse things that can be inflicted on the players: fraud. Often the player is not even aware that he has been dragged over the virtual table by the operator.
The good news, however, is: In fact, the black sheep in the industry are easy to spot and can be avoided from the outset.
What exactly are dubious online casinos?
The concept of seriousness is initially not very meaningful or only gives a general positive signal. What exactly defines dubious online casinos can accordingly also be interpreted differently. First of all, of course, the financial aspect is considered. As mentioned, risk is part of any gamble and losses are part of the process. Many dubious online casinos use this fact and manipulate the chances of playing, i.e. the random distribution of the results, so that all the more money remains from the operator. The player, however, may only suspect a streak of bad luck. In this respect, this is still a rather hidden fraud. On the other hand, the lack of seriousness becomes very clear when requested payouts do not reach the player's account.
Aside from the increased financial risk, dubious online casinos are often about the player's data. Excessive pop-up advertising windows could be annoying or, even worse, the personal data entered during registration could continue to be used in various ways. This can involve passing it on to third parties or the email address is confronted with a flood of spam and advertising as a result. This can even lead to the use of telephone numbers or real addresses.
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Protection by a list for dubious online casinos
A very simple and accessible option that players can use is blacklists. This often reveals a long list of many different online casinos, websites or operators and companies that have come on the list for various reasons. The main reasons can be the financial and data protection aspects listed above. In addition to the suspicions or exact reasons, the licenses and software used are usually listed – if known at all. In the end, there is a recommendation ranging from “caution” to “never use”.
Of course, such blacklists can never be 100% complete and dubious online casinos that have just started, for example, still have to be discovered. It is therefore important to get away from the list and look at the exact clues.
A black list of dubious and dubious online casinos
Absolutely important: the license
Basically, every online casino must have an official state license. Without this, no operation at all can take place. However, this in no way excludes that fraudulent companies start their website and operate dubious online casinos until the unlawful operation is blocked by the competent authorities. However, if there is a valid license, this means that the online casino is subject to government control, which includes important factors such as data protection, chances of winning and payment methods. The extent to which this takes place depends, of course, on the respective state or the respective license.
For example, online casinos with a German license are absolutely reputable, while otherwise the MGA Malta, Curacao eGaming or the Gambling Authority in Gibraltar are considered reliable . A reputable online casino should ideally display the information about the respective licensing in a striking way so that players can recognize it quickly and without many clicks or scrolling.
Check the actual validity of the license
The mere indication of a license, for example by putting a logo on the start page, should of course not give rise to blind trust. Rather, it makes sense to verify this information yourself. To do this, it is usually sufficient to do a research on the Internet and a look at the respective website of the authority and a list of the licensed companies. For this, it is important to note who the actual owner of the license is, i.e. to differentiate between company name and brand name. In case of doubt, the name that matters can be found in the imprint.
Dubious online casinos make it unnecessarily difficult to find this information or hide the company name completely, so that a look at the legal notice online is recommended. In addition, you should pay attention to the validity of the license and check whether it actually exists. Because under certain circumstances there may have been state control for years, but this does not happen when the license expires or is even withdrawn.
Customer reviews can be insightful – but they can also be misleading
In the area of online casinos it is like in all commercial and service areas: the market ultimately provides the best control. With the internet in particular, this control is more extensive and varied than ever. While a state or official examination can be a long time coming, the evaluation by users on the Internet is written quickly. Dubious online casinos can thus be pilloried in real time. However, this also harbors a lot of reason for caution.
After all, players' anger can easily stem from a streak of bad luck or a big loss. Although everything went absolutely serious, this does not prevent a player from venting his frustration directly in social networks. The blame is quickly put on the online casino and the suspicion of dubious operation is raised. It is only when such evaluations occur more frequently that there is really cause for skepticism. It is best if an average rating and the total number of ratings are recognizable.
However, caution is of course also in the case of reviews that are too good. Dubious online casinos in particular use fake reviews to pretend seriousness. This is often a large number of positive reviews within a short period of time. A look at the wording and names of the authors of those reviews usually provides an indication of this. These usually appear very generic and correspond to a more or less conspicuous pattern. On the other hand, it is a good sign when an online casino operator responds to bad and good reviews and answers or thanks the author. Dubious online casinos, on the other hand, usually leave even the most detailed reviews uncommented.
The website and the service
Most of the operators of dubious online casinos have one thing in common: they want to win many customers and thus their money with as little effort as possible. In many cases, this intention is evident when looking at the respective website or, at the latest, with a few clicks into the depths behind the colorful facade. So if there is only a small selection of games, for example, is it all too easy to create a user account, or if some pages are even faulty, these are clear signals. The lack of seriousness is even more obvious when the imprint or terms and conditions are not visible at all or appear very standardized.
In addition, reputable providers should always be able to reach customer service by email, telephone and live chat. Ideally, there are some other communication options and links to social media channels.
Check the payment providers and software
A final indicator, which can usually be researched quickly and easily on the website, are the respective partners with regard to payment transactions and game software. Dubious online casinos are rarely in contact with trustworthy partners. Of course, inexperienced users can hardly know which companies and service providers are reputable partners and which are not. Well-known and renowned game developers are Merkur, Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech. These companies themselves are also very careful to maintain a good reputation, so that dubious online casinos will hardly use their logo without actual permission in order not to fear any legal consequences.
As for the money transfer, the reliable names come first Trustly and still Skrill as Neteller . Well-known service providers such as PayPal and VISA are seldom seen in the gaming industry. However, this has primarily to do with the own business principles of those payment institutions.
Final overview – clear indications for dubious online casinos:
- Missing imprint or terms and conditions
- No valid license or bogus license
- Lots of bad customer ratings on the internet
- Bad website design and possibly even faulty pages
- Very little range of games
- Missing or poorly contactable customer service
- None of the known payment methods
- No cooperation with well-known game developers
- Winnings are not paid out or only paid out with a very delay
- Manipulated games with only low payouts / winnings
- Bonus offer conditions are absolutely not achievable
Questions & Answers about dubious online casinos
How do you recognize a dubious online casino?
What if I played in a dubious casino?
The biggest problem here is that you don't get your money or winnings paid out. If it is only about a few euros, this is painful, but the money is a mess. When it comes to larger amounts, no lawyers or lawsuits will help. Because the providers quickly disappeared from the scene and the legal costs would be immeasurable.
Who will help if you have been betrayed?
There are lawyers who specialize in gambling law, but these have their price. So if it's only about low four-digit amounts, the costs are too high and the chances of success too low. The best thing to do is to write off the money you have lost or what you have been cheated out of and assign it to the apprenticeship category. For the future you should inform yourself better beforehand and trust some real tests and reviews, because dubious online casinos will always appear.