Some people are sceptical when it comes to any dealings done online, and rightly so, a constant barrage of spam mail, phishing scams and the like is a commonplace thing in the modern life. However, there is another version of online scams that are less covert and are perpetrated by intrepid crooks that more often than not get away with their dubious crimes. To help you choose, here’s one rule for Canadian players.
Don’t Choose a Rogue Casino
A handful of illicit and sometimes even legitimate online casinos often wander into the murky parameters that govern online casinos and these rogue casinos then proceed to take their players for the proverbial ride. The fact that the online gambling industry is mostly self-regulated allows certain unethical actions to be perpetrated. Also, one must note that the self-regulation allows the majority of casinos committed to fair practices to flourish and the rogue casinos to be blacklisted and publicly shamed.
Rogue casinos are guilty of casino misconduct, customer negligence and quite often stalling player payouts or not paying out at all. A favoured tactic by rogue casinos is to claim foul play on the part of the player through some trumped up allegation usually involving “Bonus abuse” and confiscating the winnings.
On rare occasions these crooked casinos are fly-by-nights but on most occasions they continue doing business undeterred or simply change their names so as to continue with their sinister dealings. Players no longer have to take a gamble when choosing an online casino to play with; by following a few easy steps they can make an informed decision and steer clear of potentially rogue casinos. To avoid this, follow our tips below on how to choose an online casino and read casino reviews.
Basics on how to choose an online casino
There are many rogue casinos that vie for players’ business by either luring them in with too good to be true Bonuses or an inflated offer, but by players taking the initiative to examine and verify what exactly the casino offers and what legitimacy they have, could save them many the headache and keep their winnings intact.
Step 1: Check Method of Deposit and Withdrawals
Most top online casinos use a variety of third party services that restrict the financial information the casino can gather on their players. Google the services on the casino’s site to verify they use legitimate financial services.
Step 2: Check the Encryption Software
Software Encryption protects the transactions and player details from prying eyes and is mostly facilitated by the online gaming software provider; look out for 128-bit encryption and reputable names such as Cryptologic, Microgaming and Playtech.
Step 3: Research for Scams
A simple Google search with keywords such as rogue, scams or slow payouts can enlighten you about a particular casino.
Step 4: Inspect Customer Support
Online casinos that hold their players in high regard will invariably offer a high quality customer support system.Choose an online casino that includes a 24 hour toll free telephone line and instant chat in its services.
Step 5: Scan for Accreditation, Licencing and Jurisdiction Stamps
Look out for a seal of approval by an independent third party that monitors all casino payouts and makes sure that casinos publish fair, accurate and timely percentages. They also ensure that casinos are credible and can be trusted. Look for eCogra, PWC, Technical Systems Testing/TST seals of approval.
Online Casino Case Study – How to Choose
In our case study we’ll look at a certain casino that is still active today despite a decade of rogue activity.
Afrika Palace* Casino
Players raised the red flag about this particular casino as early as 2004 about lagging payouts, however the true nature of the casino became apparent after a forum member informed Casinomeister that there were severe irregularities with payouts.
The issue arose after a player accepted a Bonus offer and successfully met the wagering requirement and apparently won $1,600. Shortly thereafter the player received an email from Afrika Palace Casino stating that they would void the bonus, confiscate the winnings and refund the player’s initial deposit. Their rationale behind the email was that the player had, “not taken part in promotions offered by Afrika Palace Casino and its affiliate casinos in the true spirit as intended…” The player responded that he had never played with any of their affiliate casinos.
The casino even went as far as to say that “unfortunately, your pattern of play across our affiliated casinos has not shown this intention of becoming a loyal and regular depositing player.” By 2006 Afrika Palace Casino had been marked as a rogue casino but little did players know that these incidents of unprofessional conduct were soon to be overshadowed by a shocking and widely publicised event.
The issue took place in 2010 and was brought to the attention of multiple sites, gambling forums, affiliates and CasinoListings. Marie Van Wyk, a South African resident, won a $1,054 million Jackpot with the Beach Life Progressive Slot, however she agreed to six monthly instalments of the Jackpot instead of a once off payment. Apparently she wasn’t concerned about this arrangement as she had previously received large payouts from the casino and trusted the casino.
She ended up only receiving two instalments worth a quarter of her Jackpot and when she complained about the issue, she was told by a casino executive: “Listen, I don’t like your attitude. You’re not going to get a cent of your money anymore. And you can go the papers, and you can go to your lawyers because we’re an overseas company and they can’t do anything to us.”
The player never received the full amount and the casino effectively got away with the theft. As a result of the negative publicity they received after this outright theft, the casino reportedly changed hands and was relaunched in 2011, but employees alleged that it was still owned by the previous owners.
*Name has been changed to Afrika Palace