Spotting Rogue Casinos
There is a lot of fun to be had at online casinos, and a great deal of money changes hands at those facilities annually. It is a huge and growing Internet industry. The down side is that, because of the huge amount of money moving through those sites, it is an industry that is very tempting to the criminal element. The worst of the criminal activity that takes place is that completely false fronts will be established to get financial information from potential players. Second to that, there are casinos that have some degree of legitimacy, but that misuse client information once it is secured - this latter group is what is referred to as "rogue" casinos.
Defining a Rogue
Rogue casinos generally have one or more of the following four characteristics:
- Bad payment history
- Suspect software
- Bonus abuse
- Poor customer service - outright lying
Bad Payment History
Some casinos simply do not pay their losses. Since the bulk of players are from distant countries, it is difficult to pursue casinos for non-payment, so they can generally get away with it. Keep in mind that all online casinos have a fairly slow payment process that they are required to go through to adhere to the tax reporting laws of the various countries that they do business with. In this case, being slow is a very different thing from a bad payment history. If you have funds dedicated to online casino play, consider using an online ewallet of some sort, allowing quicker payment of winnings and transfer of funds to other casinos.
Sadly, new is not always better. There are a number of top-rated software providers that make the backbones of the bulk of online casinos. There are a few very reputable casinos that use proprietary software as well, but these are exceedingly unusual. If you have never heard of the software behind an online casino, it is a red-flag, and you should definitely examine the property very carefully before moving forward. Reputable Casino Software:
Bonus abuse comes in many forms, but in every form it involves not honoring the bonus agreements that the casino forges with players. This may be as simple as not coming through with promised bonuses, or it may involve making good on bets made with the bonuses paid. In situations like this the bonuses are used as the bait to get players into the casino, but there is nothing there to back the bait up.
Poor Customer Service
All top casinos focus on excellent customer service. At the best ones, customer service professionals who know the casino well offer support on all aspects of the games, casino operations and banking. At the worst, the customer service staff appears to be completely unaware of how the casino or games operate.
Avoiding the Rogue Casinos
There are many places that casinos' reputations may be researched. Check at one or more of the online casino review sites for a start. Additionally, the best casinos will post their certifications on-lie - if they do so, take the time to check out the certification at the source and see how the casino has rated. An unscrupulous operation may claim to have their random number generators tested by a neutral third party, but they may not actually do so, so go to the testing company's site to back-check the claims that they make.
One final note, it is fun to play at new casinos with unusual games, so do your homework and take the time to check them out. If you want to play without doing the amount of research necessary, stick to one of the highly rated top casinos with well-known and solid reputations.