Casinos to avoid like the plague

When taking the right factors into consideration, online gambling can be as safe and reliable as playing in a land based casino, but just like anything else on the Internet, there are also plenty of scam artists out there waiting to take unsuspecting players for a ride. When playing at any of the virtual venues recommended here at CasinoSites.com.au, you can rest assured that you’re using a secure and legitimate casino – but believe us, there are plenty of dodgy operators out there. We’ll teach you how to tell the difference.

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What makes a rogue casino?

There are many reasons why a casino may be rogue and should be avoided. The Internet is rife with scams and the casino industry is no different. In every dark corner of the Web there’s some scoundrel looking to scheme a few dollars out of vulnerable people, with gamblers being easy targets in their quest to score easy money.

Casino scams can operate in different ways, from dodgy sites that install spyware on your computer or skim your financial details, to venues that simply refuse to make payments of any winnings.

Some venues may request personal details, like passwords or credit card numbers, or send fraudulent emails requesting additional registration details to gain personal information or request players to click links that lead to viruses. Rogue sites may use false advertising, flawed Random Number Generators (RNGS) or spam their players.

In addition to fraudulent activity, some casinos should be avoided simply for their bad customer service. Online players are paying customers and should be treated with the same level of respect and acknowledgement you’d expect if you were gambling at a real life casino or using the services of any other business.

Here’s an example of the kind of poor practices you may find from a rogue casino, like some of these bad seeds which players should avoid like the plague:

Planet Kings – having the displeasure of being named the ‘Worst Casino of 2013’ by Casinomeister, this site has appeared on many ‘worst’ lists over the past few years. After the site migrated over from the former Ray8 Casino with no explanation, many player accounts were lost, costing players their own hard earned money. The customer service that followed the debacle was atrocious and most have not been able to recover funds to this day.

Absolute Poker – although not in operation anymore (thankfully) this is one of the best (or worst?) examples of online gambling scandals. A group of frat buddies behind this multi-million dollar poker site were eventually busted by the FBI for all kinds of unlawful activities, from money laundering to bank fraud. Worst of all was the infamous cheating scandal, where an account belonging to the sites owners was able to see the cards of other players, duping punters out of millions of dollars.

21 Dukes Casino – notorious for being very slow to make payments, or withholding payments entirely. Couple that with poor customer service and slow response time from staff and you have yourself a rogue recipe for disaster.

Lucky 18 Casino – if you can think of a complaint, it’s likely that it applies towards Lucky 18, from non-payments to scam accusations. This casino is generally blacklisted due to its wide range of complaints from players of all types, with unresolved issues, unanswered queries and generally awful or non-existent customer service.

Slotobank – another site to take out an undesirable award, Slotobank earned the title of ‘Worst Casino of 2014’ after customer complaints continued to rack up, including unresolved issues, confiscating winnings, locking players out of accounts and ignoring responsible gambling practices.

How to tell if an online casino is dodgy or not

As you can see from a small handful of dishonest examples, it definitely pays to know what to look out for when choosing an online casino to gamble at. To avoid simply throwing your money down a black hole and lining the pockets of some con artist on the other side of the world, there are several key factors to look out for when detecting if an online casino is dodgy or not:

SSL Security

All reputable online casinos operate using a minimum of 128 Bit SSL security encryption. This is the highest level of security available to a website and is the same secure technology used by leading financial institutions like Commonwealth Bank, Westpac and NAB. SSL security works by scrambling all information sent between web browsers, so there’s no way for a hacker to intercept any personal details or access financial information.

You can tell if a casino (or any website for that matter) is using SSL security encryption in two ways. Take a look at the URL toolbar; if the site is secured by SSL an additional ‘s’ will appear in the sites URL, showing ‘https://’ instead of simply ‘http://’. Along with the extra ‘s’ a padlock icon will also show alongside the URL address.

Some sites go the extra mile by making it super easy for customers to identify the site as SSL protected, by highlighting the entire URL bar in green (this is just an extra indicator, secure sites not using the green feature is still adequately protected). For an example of all of these factors in play, head to Guts Casino and check the URL bar.

Watchdog recognition and proper licensing

If a casino isn’t properly licensed or supported by an industry watchdog, get the hell outta there! There is simply no point wasting your time and money at an unregulated casino because even if the operator is not intending to be dodgy, if anything does go wrong there is no one there to have your back.

Legitimate online casinos are regulated by eCOGRA and/or the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), the leading online gambling bodies which serve to protect player protection and rights and ensure winnings are paid fairly and promptly, while safeguarding responsible gambling practices. Sites protected by these watchdogs are stamped with the eCOGRA seal of approval, which you can click on to find further details regarding the casinos pay out statistics and audit history.

Most leading online casinos receive their licensing from within the same handful of license locales. Legit licenses are distributed by the Isle of Man, the UK, Curacao, Antigua, Gibraltar, Malta, Alderney, Kahnawake or Netherland Antilles. Players should be wary of any casino claiming to be licensed by a country that’s not included in this list.

If you’re unsure of any of these details, head to the casinos ‘about’ section. A reputable establishment will gladly list the location of their offices, information about the company, any licensing and affiliates and full contact details. A casino not willing to disclose this information is to be avoided at all costs.

Player reviews and recommendations

Another sure-fire way to check if a casino should be avoided or not is to run a quick Google search on it. Dedicated virtual gamblers have sowed their seeds over the Internet, spreading the word over which casinos to trust and which to avoid. There are plenty of forums and review sites that will give you an idea of what to expect from a specific casino.

The easiest way to avoid dodgy casinos is to simply play at the ones recommended on our website. These trustworthy venues tick all the right boxes and have earned solid reputations within the online gambling industry for being fair, user friendly, diverse and safe. They are backed not just by us but by the virtual gaming community and online gambling authorities.

What online casinos are verified as safe to play?

As mentioned at the start of this article, all online casinos we recommend here on CasinoSites have been thoroughly tested by our editors and writers to confirm their quality and security in fair and safe real money gambling, and all have their own recognised measures of licensing, watchdog accreditation and recognition, and plenty of player-written reviews.