Staying safe when gambling online is of the utmost importance. All of which begins by choosing a quality casino in the first place. The problem being that in many cases, players don’t realise they’ve joined a crappy casino until they’re already knee-deep in problems.
What’s the worst that could happen with a substandard service provider? You could end up out of pocket, watch your private data fall into the wrong hands and suffer the consequences accordingly. Hence, the importance of detecting the warning signs as early as possible.
So with this in mind, what follows is a brief overview of seven key warning signs you’ve joined a crappy casino:
No Licensing or Regulation
First up, to do business with a casino that doesn’t hold an official license is never, ever a good idea. Licensing goes a long way to confirm the general quality and responsibility of the service provider in question. It doesn’t necessarily confirm the quality of the casino, but nonetheless indicates a certain level of safety. Examples of recognised licensing authorities including the following:
- MGA (Malta Gaming Authority)
- UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission)
- Costa Rica
Debate continues to rage as to which is the ‘best’ of the bunch, though licensing from any of the above is better than no licensing at all. If there’s no clear indication of licensing, you could be taking a risk by even signing up in the first place.
Complex or Unclear Terms
While it’s necessary for a casino to publish comprehensive terms and conditions, overcomplicating things isn’t. All terms and conditions should be clear, concise and easy to understand, with minimal jargon and the exclusion of anything vague. Far too many casinos use overly complex or vague terms and conditions to avoid paying out, ultimately leaving their customers out of pocket.
Reading the terms and conditions in full before getting started is of the utmost importance. If you’re not 100% satisfied with the information provided, don’t proceed any further. Head elsewhere and do business with a more trustworthy brand.
Poor Customer Support
Customer support can be substandard in two ways. The provision of low-quality support, or the absence of any real support whatsoever. If there’s no way of getting in touch with the support team in real-time, you could be looking at a casino to avoid.
These days, the absence of contact telephone numbers isn’t the end of the world. The reason being that most casino customers favour live-chat facilities over phone calls. So just as long as live chat is offered, this is usually sufficient. In all instances however, it’s worth putting the customer service team to the test, rather than making assumptions. Ask questions, gauge their responses and establish if this is a team you can trust.
Issues with payments and withdrawals are the single most common cause of complaints and disputes. More often then not, problems stem from players not being able to access or withdraw their winnings for no good reason.
It’s tricky to assess a casino’s payment policies in full, before actually trying it out for yourself. The reason being that while they may claim to offer fast withdrawals and so on, this might not be the case when put into practice. As such, it’s important to see what past and present players have to say, by checking out reviews and ratings accordingly.
In addition, assess what kinds of limitations there are on deposits and withdrawals. Some casinos will let you withdraw as little as £10, while others won’t hand over anything less than £100. Likewise, some offer unlimited monthly withdrawals for free, while others only allow one monthly withdrawal with all manner of charges and commissions attached.
Bonus offers are very popular and have the potential to be extremely valuable. But at the same time, far too many casinos tout unrealistic bonuses for no reason other than to blindside new customers. As a rule of thumb, the more generous the bonus appears to be, the higher the likelihood it is completely unrealistic.
In a working example, most new customers would choose a welcome bonus of £1,000 over an alternative offer of just £10. However, if the £1,000 bonus attaches wagering requirements of 50X, that’s £50,000 that needs to be wagered before gaining access to any winnings. If the £10 bonus attaches 10X wagering requirements, only £100 needs to be wagered.
Larger bonuses almost always attach huge wagering requirements, along with other terms, conditions and restrictions. Completely OTT bonuses being a sure-fire sign of a casino that’s out to deceive.
Poor Quality Content
These days, it isn’t too much to expect online casinos to provide high-quality content that inspires confidence. Solid resources, quality imagery and general attention to detail. Unfortunately, substandard service providers have a habit of throwing sites together as quickly and cheaply as possible. First impressions often telling you all you need to know about the casino in question.
If you aren’t 100% convinced from the moment you arrive, you could be better taking your business elsewhere. With such a huge range of online casinos to choose from, there’s nothing to gain by settling for second best. Listen to your instincts, go with your gut and let those all-important first impressions guide you.
Last but not least, a quick web search should help you find out all you need to know about the casino’s reputation. Make no mistake about it – not a single casino in the world is able to please all of the people, all of the time. Nevertheless, by taking into account the consensus of the masses, you should be able to figure out whether or not any given brand is above board.
Consider independent reviews and recommendations, rather than those provided by affiliates and general promotional services. If general opinion is anything other than primarily positive, consider the alternative options available.