Perform a quick Google search and you’ll find pages and pages of online casinos featuring slots, table games, and various exciting features. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of these casinos have actually gone through the proper channels to become licensed and create a safe and secure website that customers can trust. For every authentic online casino, there are multiple unethical ones that engage in false advertising, withhold player winnings, and mislead customers by posting vague terms and conditions. These types of online casinos should always be avoided in favor of more reliable options.
Why Online Casinos Become Blacklisted
Online casinos can develop a bad reputation or become blacklisted for a wide range of reasons. Some entrepreneurs start up online casinos hastily as a way to make a quick buck. When this happens, quality website design, software performance, player safety, and customer service often fall by the wayside. When internet gambling sites fail to meet consumer expectations, they may be avoided or blacklisted.
A blacklisted casino is any gambling site that has exhibited a history of poor or unethical behavior or spammy actions. Some of the most common reasons online casinos are blacklisted include:
1. Extended or Absent Payments
You sign up for an online casino, deposit money, and win a decent chunk of change. You press the withdraw button and wait. When you play at legitimate online casinos, you would receive your payment instantaneously or within a few business days, depending on the withdrawal method you choose.
When you play with a less reputable company, you risk an extended payment or perhaps even no payment at all. Some casinos make players wait 30 days or more before sending a payment. In the world of online casinos, this is unacceptable. A few bad apples will take your deposit and never send you your winnings. These types of casinos do not usually last long before getting shut down.
2. False Advertising
False advertising is highly frowned upon in the online gambling world. This occurs when a casino advertises free money, complimentary spins, or other attractive perks, but then makes players jump through a series of hopes to claim these rewards without making it known in their terms and conditions.
The terms and conditions of every bonus or promotion that an online casino offers should be presented in layman’s terms as to not misguide players. These terms and conditions should clearly state what the bonus or promotion consists of, the wagering requirements, the expiration date, the maximum bet, and what countries it’s limited to.
3. Lack of Randomness
Genuine online casinos provide customers with fair play. To achieve this, they use a variety of tools, such as random number generators (RNGs), to make the result of a game completely random. These tools are regulated by third parties to ensure their accuracy. However, not all online casinos play fair. Some casinos alter their games in a way that gives them an advantage, on top of the house advantage that they already have.
An online casino’s lack of randomness may not be obvious at first. Most gamblers experience a losing streak from time to time. However, when wins are far less frequent than normal, it may be a sign that the casino is using a fixed RNG. If this information is found out, the online casino may be blacklisted.
4. Outrageous Terms
There are plenty of online casinos out there that do pay, but have terms and conditions that make it nearly impossible to acquire winnings. These include gambling sites that set super high wagering requirements, such as 50X or 100X bonus requirements. These casinos may also place strict caps on how much a player can win using their bonus money, or limit how much a player can bet per round.
Also be cautious of casinos that stall your withdrawal for whatever reason, but continue to offer you bonuses or promotions. These casinos are usually trying to get you to claim a bonus so that you have to continue playing to meet the new wagering requirement instead of cash out.
5. Lying About Licenses
Acquiring a license for an online casino is no easy feat. There are a number of rules and regulations that a business must follow to earn a license. These typically include meeting certain standards of honesty, integrity, and good character. Licensed online casinos must also disclose certain financial and organizational details about their gambling website and its owners to the proper licensing authorities, including the employment and criminal information of individuals involved in the business.
Some dishonest online casinos who do not want to put the time or effort into meeting these rules and regulations will simply lie about having the proper licenses. This often occurs in regions where licensing laws are laxer. Lying about having a casino license will certainly put a gambling website on the blacklist.
6. Stealing Website Content
Reputable online casinos spend a lot of money to create amazing websites with clean designs, simple navigation, crisp graphics, and original content. They make creating a user-friendly website with helpful information a priority to ensure that their business grows in the right direction.
Blacklisted casinos, on the other hand, will often steal content from well-respected sites. This may include website themes, layouts, content, or perhaps even the name of the site. While stealing website content does not necessarily mean the site will not payout, it does mean that their ethics are greatly flawed and that you should steer clear.
7. Poor Customer Service
A casino’s customer service team are the people that represent them. They reflect on the brand, meaning if the customer service is poor, the brand looks bad. Online casinos that have become blacklisted often have unfriendly or unhelpful customer service representatives. These reps may be rude or ignore the customers that they are supposed to be helping.
In addition, it’s best to avoid online casinos that do not have any type of customer support. At the very least, a casino should offer email support. Ideally, you want a gambling site that provides live chat and phone support too.
8. Pirated Casino Games
There are many amazing software providers in the industry that have made a name for themselves in the online gambling community. NetEnt, Dragonfish, Evolution Gaming, Playtech, and Novomatic are just a few of the world’s leading casino software providers.
Some online casinos take advantage of these providers’ hard work by using pirated versions of popular casino games. The casino will often make small changes in the games’ algorithms to give them better odds. This usually means lowering the winning percentages. Not only are players more likely to lose money on these pirated games, but the games are also risky and more susceptible to hacks.
How Online Casinos Get on the Blacklist
You may be wondering how exactly an online casino makes it onto a blacklist. It’s true that every business, legit or not, will receive some bad reviews and criticisms from customers. This does not necessarily mean that the company is dishonest or not to be trusted. While no online casino is perfect, there are activities that could cause a gambling website to end up with their name on a blacklist.
If you are trying to decide whether or not an online casino is genuine, look to online casino reviews. These reviews are where you can find out more about the casino, its pros and cons, and what types of problems customers usually run into. Don’t be dissuaded by the occasional bad review. However, if you notice a pattern of player complaints, be wary. This is especially true if the comments pertain to security issues or withdrawal related problems.
What to Look for in an Online Casino
Now that we’ve shared what to avoid when looking for an online casino, here are a few things you should seek out:
- A valid casino license from an authentic gaming association.
- Certifications from third party testing agencies, such as eCORGA.
- Large selection of casino games with your preferred stakes.
- Attractive bonuses and promotions.
- State-of-the-art security technology.
- Friendly customer service team that is available 24/7.
- Access to mobile apps or instant play gaming features.
Online casinos come and go, but the best ones tend to stick around. If you are not sure which online casinos to avoid, it’s better to play at established casinos that are well-known in the gambling industry and have proven themselves through a track record of transparency, fair gaming, and fast payouts.