CasinoGuide UK wants the best for its players, which is why we have compiled a checklist on how to spot a rogue online casino. Follow these guidelines and stay alert of of scams, malpractices and fraudulent activities dirty casinos might use to lure innocent players in. Play at safe and fair online casinos that actually pay out your winnings.
How to spot a Blacklisted Casino
With so many online casinos dominating the internet, it can be hard to filter out the rotten apples. There are more reputable casinos out there that abide by the regulations than fraudulent websites. Yet, it may happen that you stumble across an online casino that looks too good to be true and get you in hot water. To avoid things getting dicey, CasinoGuide assists its visitors is picking the safest online casino.
If you’re new to the online gambling world, you might not know what to look out for at first. With our numerous years of experience in the industry, we have compiled a list of red flags all blacklisted casinos have in common. Should you spot one or more of the reasons below, it is best to steer clear from the casino you’re considering signing up at.
Lack of licensing
When it comes down to picking a reliable UK online casino, there is only one regulatory body that can issue a valid license: The UK Gambling Commission. The UKGC is one of the most stringent licensing authorities within the gaming industry and is known for tightening the rules continuously in order to protect consumers.
While a license by the Malta Gaming Authority allows players from a wide variety of jurisdictions to join a casino, players based in the United Kingdom can only do so if the casino is in possession of a UKGC license. Should an online casino accept UK players without a license by the UKGC, it’s best to steer clear of this website.
Pirated and Rigged Casino Software
Pirated or unlicensed casino games pose a real danger for unknowing punters. Safe casino games are produced by licensed software providers, such as NetEnt, Microgaming, Yggdrasil and many more. These are thoroughly vetted and tested by third party software auditing firms such as eCogra in order to establish a correct RTP (Return to Player Percentage). On top of that, the auditing firm will also ensure that all outcomes of wagers are completely random.
If the software does not offer the player with completely random outcomes, then the game can be called “rigged”. Rigged games are manipulated by the casino itself to the disadvantage of the player, making them impossible to win. If a player is not aware of a rigged game, they might find themselves throwing money at the game, hoping for a win that will never happen.
Late or non-payments
It’s every casino player’s worst nightmare: not receiving your hard-earned funds. After all, once you win, no matter how large the amount, you are entitled to your money regardless. Some delays may occur occasionally from the casino’s side, for example, due to a high amount of withdrawal requests at that time. When this happens, the issue is normally resolved within just a couple of days and they player will receive their funds in good order.
But there are online casinos out there that are notoriously late with their payments without any excuses. Such practices not only cause the player needless stress and anxiety, but they’ll be unlikely to want to continue playing at the casino in the future.
Lastly, there are the most dangerous type of rogue casinos: the ones that don’t pay out at all.
List of online casinos that do not pay their customers:
- Manhattan Slots
- Osiris Casino
- Royal Savoy Casino
- Vernons Csaino
Unresponsive or fake “customer service”
Having a “Live Chat” button or an email form on the website does not necessarily mean there is a customer care representative on the other side to assist you. Neither does it mean the online casino hires qualified agents to help patrons solve any issues they might have. Many dodgy online casinos will outsource their customer service team to large call centres where the agents receive minimal training on the product and turn-over rates are high. This means that players will not receive the quality level of service they are entitled to.
All reputable online casinos such as Rizk, ComeOn, Mr Green and LeoVegas have their own in-house customer service team which they put through a solid month of training, so the agents know the ins and outs of the product they’re working with. Maintaining a top-notch customer service team does come with a high budget, so it’s if an online casino has its own in-house team of service superstars, then you know you’re playing at a safe online casino.
If you’re unsure whether an online casino has its own in-house customer service team, simply take a look at their company website and look for vacancies for CS roles.
Unproven or tampered RNG
In order for an online casino to offers its services, it needs to prove that all their game run on a stringent Random Number Generator. An RNG makes sure that every outcome of a wager, whether that be on a slot machine, table game or scratch card, is entirely random. While the myth holds some truth that the house always wins, due to the house always having a larger advantage, tampering with the RNG is a crime. The players, as slight of a disadvantage as they may have, should always have a chance of beating the house fair and square as far as RNG is involved.
If the RNG has been tampered with, as in it is not completely random, then the game is “rigged”.
Unfair Terms and Conditions
Nobody likes reading lengthy terms and conditions, but they’re there for a reason. Players should always be aware of the terms regarding a bonus before opting in. However, even though terms and conditions are tedious, there is a difference between fairs terms and predatory terms. Online casino put up the terms and conditions for a reason; to avoid bonus abusers. But they need to strike a balance between doable and simply impossible. Fair terms and conditions include: easy to complete wagering requirement, giving the player a large timeframe during which they can complete the terms and conditions, and making sure the maximum win limit is in line with the amount deposited.
For example, if the casino demands a 99x wagering requirement to be completed within a timeframe of 7 days, that is considered predatory unless you have a huge amount of disposable income available. For many players this is not the case, so the terms are considered unfair.
Spam and predatory advertising
Luckily, most of the spam gets filtered out by whatever email service you’re using. But fraudulent online casinos have a knack for over-selling their actual worth and rope players into dodgy bonuses. These types of emails usually end up in your spam inbox, but should they come through, make sure to read the terms and conditions thoroughly, even the fine print.
Reputable and fair online casino make sure all terms are displayed in a comprehensible manner, such as clear font, layman’s terms, and provide a short description of the most important points to the player can get a clear and speedy overview at first glance.
Trying to appeal to children and players under 18
The UK Gambling Commission has a no-tolerance policy for any form of gambling advertisement that is child-appealing. Child-appealing content can include cartoonish images in games or in the casino’s design (bright colours, fairy-tale characters, emojis, usage of children’s cartoons in casino games, etc.).
Closing Player Accounts for no reason
Rogue online casino are notorious for closing down player’s account simply for asking questions. Once a customer catches up to the casino’s malpractices, they will close the account and freeze any funds the players may have on their balance, claiming it as their own.
A rogue casino is very quick to crack down on players who pose as a “nuisance” in their eyes. No player should ever be treated like that, especially if the play has followed the policies the casino has set out. The closing of an account can be appealed, if done without valid reason, but these appeals usually fall on deaf ears when it comes down to rogue casinos. It is best to avoid them all together, no matter how attractive their bonus offers might be.
No or weak KYC check
The KYC check has been a recent development within UK online casinos in order to prevent money laundering and keep both the players and the casino safe. The KYC check comprised of the players having to upload their personal documents, such as photo ID and proof of address (a utility or phone bill, to let the casino know that the account is legit.
Before KYC checks where a thing, scammers used to create multiple accounts which never needed to be verified, deposited laundered money through untraceable banking methods and try to cash out as much as possible through the same unverified methods. This was, the money was being laundered with authorities not being able to trace where it came from. The KYC check is crucial in an online casino’s compliance policy. Should an online casino fail to enforce this KYC process, it can risk losing its licence or be projected to a hefty fine.
Not paying affiliate websites
This is one does not directly affect the customer, but if an online casino refuses to pay its business partners (affiliates), it’s also pretty likely not to pay its patrons. Casino affiliate websites, like CasinoGuide, put a lot of thought and work into promoting reputable online casino through carefully created reviews and guides, to make sure our visitors are safe and happy. Should an online casino betray the trust of its affiliate partner, the casino’s complete reputation will be affected within the gaming industry and many affiliate companies will refuse to work with them in the future.
Going against UK Gambling Commission regulations
For UK online casino, going against the regulations set out by the UK Gambling Commission is a huge no-no. The UKGC was set up by the UK government in order to protect consumers against addictive gambling behaviour and make sure online casino abide by fair rules. According statistics provided by the UKGC, 0.5% of all gamblers are classified as problem gamblers. Problem gambling used (and still is to an extend) rampant in the United Kingdom before the UKGC stepped in. With thousands of betting shops on every cornet of the street, the problem gambling phenomenon wasn’t just limited to online casino. In fact, problem gambling occurred much more frequently in players who visited land-based facilities.
Since 2018, the UKGC has set out certain safety nets for online gamblers, in order to catch early problematic behaviour and limit the financial damage in existing problem gamblers. Nowadays, every UK-licensed casino needs to provide its patrons with the necessary tools so players can protect themselves. These tool include: setting loss, bet and session limits, setting a cool-off period and even offering the option to self-exclude entirely for a minimum period of 6 months. Once self-excluded, the players will be banned from planning at any online casino that has partnered with GamStop’s self-exclusion list.
What are Rogue Casinos?
Rogue casinos are online casinos that operate under some or all the practices mentioned above. Some of them started out as reputable online casinos, but have lost their licence over the years for failing to comply with the ever-changing legal landscape. Thus, forcing them to operate under fraudulent practices instead of admitting their defeat.
Instead of shutting down operations as they ought to, they will continue to operate without a licence to still turn a profit. This desperate attempt to stay afloat as a business should be condemned and definitely avoided.
How do I protect myself from falling for a rogue casino?
If you are unsure whether or not you are dealing with a rogue casino, it’s best to follow a checklist to help you on your way. By following these steps below, players can guard themselves against rogue casinos and avoid losing money.
Checklist for spotting a fraudulent online casino
- Look for a UK Gambling licence, with a clear registration number displayed in the footer.
- Look for UKGC Logo and link. If the casino is valid, the logo will link to their license page with the UKGC. This page will show the registration number of the license and which casino website are certified under that specific licence number.
- Look for Casino Games are from recognisable software providers (NetEnt, Microgaming, etc.)
- See if you can find a detailed article reviewing the online casino in question.
- Find out if other players have complained about the online casino before.
- Has the online casino responded or resolved any of its open disputes?
Which casino licenses hold the most strength?
For players based in the United Kingdom, licenses granted by the UK Gambling Commission always reigns supreme over every other licensing authority. While the MGA is held in high regard for players based in Europe, this license does not make an online casino eligible to accept British customers.
If you are a player based in the United Kingdom, always play at online casinos licensed by the UK Gambling Commission to ensure your own safety.
Which online casinos are 100% secure?
All online casinos on the list below are fairly licensed by the UK Gambling Commission and solve any disputes that may occur in a professional and timely manner. CasinoGuide UK makes it top priority to ensure all our visitors are safe and are able to play in safe and secure gambling environments. All our casinos offer safety precautions in the form of responsible gambling tool or ever offer self-exclusion periods. If you’re looking for reputable UK-licensed online casinos, please take a look at the list below.
Safe And Secure UK-Licensed Casinos
|1||Deposit £20, Play With £50|
|Sign-Up||18+ New Customers only! Deposit £20 or more online. Get 100% deposit match up to £20. Choose a £10 bonus for Classic Slot OR Live Casino. Wagering requirements 5x. T&C Apply|
|2||£30 Free Spins wager free when betting £10|
|Sign-Up||First deposit only. Min deposit & spend £10. Max 30 spins on Fishin Frenzy Megaways at 10p per spin. Spins credited upon spend of £10. Full T&Cs apply. T&C Apply|
|3||100% Up To £100 + 50 Spins|
|Sign-Up||New players only £20. Bonuses to a max of £100 50 bonus spins. Wagering bonus ( deposit) 35x. Wagering bonus spins 40x Bonus. T&C Apply|
|4||100% Up To £200 + 11 No Deposit Spins|
|Sign-Up||18+ New Players only! The Welcome Bonus is only available to newly registered players who make a minimum initial deposit of £ 10. Wagering 35x. T&C Apply|
|5||225% up to 22.500 USDT + 225 Free Spins|
|Sign-Up||Terms and Conditions Apply | 18+ | Play Responsibly|
|6||100% Up To £300 + £50 Spins|
William Hill Casino
|Sign-Up||Opt in required. New customers to Casino page only. 1x per customer. Min. Buy in £10. Bonus value 100% of Buy in. Max. Bonus £300. 40x Wagering, Max Redeemable £4,000. 50 Free Spins with x35 wagering will be awarded after the Buy in Bonus is completed, Max Redeemable £1,000. Bonus expires after 7 days. Stake contributions, player, country, currency, payment method, game restrictions and terms apply. T&Cs Apply|
|7||100% Up To £100 + 100 Spins on Book of Dead|
|Sign-Up||18+ new players only. Min deposit: £20. Max £100 bonus. Max bet with active bonus: £2. Wagering required 100% match bonus: 30x deposit + bonus. Max win from welcome bonus: £500. 100 Free Spins are given out 20 per day on Book of Dead for 5 days in a row. Max Free Spins winnings: £100. Free Spins winnings credited as bonus money with 45x wagering & 3 days expiry. Deposit bonus & Free Spins wins are forfeited 30 days after bonus is credited if the wagering is not met. Game weighting and restrictions apply. Play Responsibly www.begambleaware.org. Scroll down for bonus terms. T&C Apply|
|8||50 Free Spins on Big Bass Splash & up to £100|
|Sign-Up||Full T&Cs apply | New reg only. Opt in & deposit £10, £25 or £50 within 7 days & further 7 days to wager cash stakes 35x to unlock reward (£50 on 2 deposits). 3 day exp. Wagering/game contributions vary. 25 wager-free spins x10p to be added to Big Bass Splash with each qualifying deposit, 3 day expiry. 18+ | BeGambleAware|
|9||£10 £ Free No Deposit Bonus|
|10||100% Up To £500|