Believe it or not, online casino fraud is not very prevalent in this day and age. It certainly used to be more common, but these days there are a host of tight restrictions at play that ensure the scammers don’t have it as easy as they once did.
Scam sites do exist, but spotting them and staying away from them has never been easier, particularly here in Australia, where we have such a wide choice of big, well-known and legitimate casinos to choose from and don’t have to scrape the bottom of the barrel.
Understanding the Scammers
The gambling industry is hugely profitable, and as the house always wins in the long term, they don’t need to scam you, to rig their games or to blatantly steal your money in order to generate a profit. In fact, with so many third-party auditors, regulators and ombudsmen around these days, it just takes one small discrepancy for their business to suffer, so this is a risk that no self-respecting gambling site would take.
Scammers are a different breed though. They have no intention of operating a long-running casino and only want to create a fly-by-night scheme. They want to be here today and gone tomorrow, preferably with your money. Their goal is to create a casino that looks legitimate and seems to offer everything that real casinos do, but one that costs nothing to put together, one that is not as secure or as in-depth as it looks. Over the course of a few days they will then try to take as much money as they can before disappearing with it all.
These sites exist in all industries, not just the gambling one, but they are usually very easy to spot.
Spotting the Scammers
- Use of English: Scam casinos will often use templates, layouts, graphics and even logos that look genuine. In most cases, they have stolen these from somewhere, maybe making a few alterations here and there. Sometimes they have simply created them from standard templates. However, the one thing they can not replicate or steal effectively, is the written content, and as many of these scammers are based overseas and are not qualified copywriters, this content will be poorly written and often barely legible.
- Lack of Certification: Online casinos need to jump through a lot of legal loop holes. They need to be regulated and audited, they need to be verified to use certain payment methods and they need to operate a secure server. These things will all be displayed as certificates on the site, and you will be able to click-through and verify them. On scam sites you may also see them, but you won’t be able to click-through and verify any of them.
- Google: Does the casino exist in the Google search engine on the organic search results? Even brand new sites will have pages of results, as they often spend a small fortune on advertising before launching. So, if there are no results, or if those results are all from members who have been scammed, then stay away. Don’t pay attention to paid results either, as this is often how scammers drive people to their page.
- Don’t be Tempted: Scam sites play on desperation and greed. They are popular in countries where online gambling is illegal, like the US, because they know that those players will be prepared to take more risks, on account of there being so few casinos they can signup for. In an effort to attract players from countries where it is legal and widely available, they will offer ridiculously high bonuses. So, if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
You have probably heard of BetWay. They are everywhere these days and are one of the biggest gambling brands in the world. They sponsor sports teams around the world, they take bets on everything and anything, and it was on BetWay where a player from the UK scooped around $18 million, holding the current record for the biggest online slot jackpot. You have probably heard of Spin Palace as well, as they have been around for even longer than BetWay have and they have made just as big of an impact on the online casino industry as BetWay have made on the online sports betting industry.
However, what you might not know is that these are two and the same, and that BetWay own the Spin Palace name. This means that you will be hard-pressed to find a more reliable casino, and a casino with more experience behind it.
Spin Palace uses Microgaming, it offers some of the biggest bonuses around and is one of the few online casinos where you can still find a loyalty scheme. It is also one of the most tightly regulated and audited online casinos you will find.