How to Avoid Casino Scams while Playing Online

Knowing is half the battle

Gambling guide - friendsThe key to finding online casinos scams is not to look for a huge blacklist. It is to find which casinos can be trusted. Like all things on the internet, if you go looking for bad reviews about something, you will find them. Let’s get into what you need to know to stay safe while gambling online.

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The online casino industry has recently experienced a boom period, with growth putting it within the top three online markets in the world. There are hundreds and hundreds of online casinos operating on the web today, far more than there were just five years ago. This incredible growth is somewhat of a double edged sword, one edge represents much more variety and choice for you, the player. However, the other edge means that there are plenty of unscrupulous and shady, fly-by-night operations waiting for your unsuspecting dollars.

You could actually think of these online casinos as the wolves among the sheep, complete with authentic looking sheep’s clothing! This idea is a lot closer to reality than the analogy might suggest, as scam online casinos look almost exactly like the legitimate ones do. The idea is to fool you into thinking that all is above board and that you are getting a great deal when in fact, the complete opposite is unfortunately true. However, there is really no need to despair and head off for the hills. Our expert team can guide you to identifying fraudulent casino operations and help you avoid losing your hard-earned money or, even worse your identity online.

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Red Flags

While scam online casinos appear to be legitimate on the surface, there are in fact a number of ways in which they give themselves away. We call these factors Red Flags and they are essentially points that you can look for when assessing a new online casino that you are thinking of signing up with. We recommend that you actually make reference to the following red flag points with each and every online casino that you check out.

Interpreting Red Flags

Now that you have a better idea of what constitutes a red flag with an online casino, let’s take a more detailed look at these red flags. This will also help you to further identify any variations from one scam online casino to another.

Real Player Testimonies of Online Casino Scams

One thing is certain, any time you search for something on the internet you are likely to get negative reviews. It is human nature to only take the time to post a complaint more often than taking the time to post something when one is satisfied.  So it is due diligence to search for casino feedback but you really need to get into the details and frequency of the complaints to understand if there is really a problem.  In reality, it can take a lot of time to get the true information about any given casino, so we do the work for you.  We are constantly getting feedback from players that use our website and we scan the internet continually for complaints.  We use our expertise and connections to the casino industry to verify if the complaints are legitimate and update our casino lists appropriately.  Here are some examples of complaints you are likely to see:

Waiting for payment for over two months – I made a withdrawal request for winnings of CA$2,500 near the end of January 2017 and am still waiting. Apparently the approval period has expired and I would like to know when this will be approved and when I can get paid?? Slots of Vegas

Dodgy T’s& C’s – “So basically, this casino offers some nice welcome bonuses. I picked 300% up to 150€ and made a deposit of 50€. This gave me a balance of 200€. Before depositing, I read the T&C carefully. The T&C led me to believe, that the bonus is forfeitable. For some bizarre reason live chat was mysteriously unavailable prior to deposit though, so I couldn't confirm…“  GoWild Casino

Unfair business practices“Hello I believe that i have been duped by this casino. I initially opened an account with the above casino on the 31/01/17 and deposited 100 euros taking advantage of their 200% bonus. I played on several video slot games over the next two days. Eventually after playing through my bonus i withdrew a sum of 3950euros.” OceanBets Casino

How to Avoid Online Casino Scams

The fact that there are hundreds of online casinos on the internet ready to scam you one way or another, may seem rather daunting. However, never let that put you off playing great online casino games at top online casinos. As long as you consider red flags and what to look for and do your homework, you should be fine.

Aside from our recommended red flag assessments, you can also look for recognized seals of approval from regulatory bodies as well as independent, industry-recognized testing organisations. The following is an example of what to look for in this regard and all top online casinos should have at least one recognized licensing online casino licensing authority and one reputable independent testing/auditing firm such as TST or an industry watchdog such as eCOGRA. Verifying these emblems and seals of approval on an online casino that you are interested in will mean that you should receive fair and ethical treatment as a customer with that brand.

Licensing and Regulatory Bodies

kahnawake trustKahnawake Gaming Commission

Located within the Canadian province of Quebec, Kahnawake is an Indian territory that licenses and regulates a wide range of Canadian online casinos as well as online casinos based in other areas of the globe. Kahnawake licensing and regulation has come a long way over the years and is now one of the most respected of all online casino (and online poker) licensing bodies in the industry.


malta trustMalta Gaming Authority

The LGA or Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta is one of the most common of all online casino regulatory and licensing bodies in the industry. You will see quite a few top online casinos with this particular seal of approval.



Gibraltargibraltar trust

Another popular or fairly ubiquitous online casino licensing and regulatory seal of approval found on many top online casinos, including a fair number of Canadian online casinos. Although there have been several complaints regarding a lack of recourse and arbitration from this body in the past, lately the GBGA or Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association has come a long way in mediating disputes between players and casinos.


Independent Testing Firms/Authorities


tst trustOne of the most well-established independent games testing labs in the world. TST or Technical Systems Testing is trusted by millions of players as well as hundreds of online casinos around the world. TST also has offices within Canada in Vancouver and uses their own proprietary testing techniques to test a wide variety of casino games including multiplayer online games and even land-based casino games. In 2010, TST became part of the GLI Group although they still operate under their original brand name.


gaming labs trustGaming Laboratories International or GLI, has been operating within the gambling industry for a quarter of a century and offer a full range of services testing a wide range of gambling systems. GLI use a team of highly qualified and experienced mathematicians, engineers and technicians to test every aspect of online gambling games. The brand is trusted in over 500 jurisdictions and works in online, resort and tribal spheres.


gaming associates trustThe Gaming Associates logo is one of the most common in the industry and can be found on hundreds of online casino websites including Canadian casino sites. The GA brand has been active within the casino industry since 1990 and is considered to be one of the pioneers behind independent testing and auditing of online casino and online poker sites. Gaming Associates provides a range of services including testing online gaming machines (RNG), auditing payout percentages, checking compliance with regulations, auditing player logs and much more.


ecogra trustThe eCOGRA logo is a very common site on Microgaming-powered Canadian online casinos and the full name of this independent watchdog is eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance which is quite a mouthful. Most online casinos and forums will simply refer to this highly respected body as eCOGRA and is one of the top seals of approval that you could see on an online casino’s website. eCOGRA essentially acts as an online casino regulator and also publishes a list of approved online casinos (casinos that get their seal of approval). While eCOGRA is based in the UK, they regulate online casinos in Canada as well as other parts of the world.

Reduce Your Chances of Getting Scammed

Armed with all this invaluable information including how to spot red flags and interpret them, looking for seals of approval and what they mean, should help you avoid getting scammed at online casinos. In closing, we would like to also remind you to make it a habit to always talk to the online casino that you are playing at or planning on playing at. This is the fastest and easiest way to get to the bottom of anything that you want to know or that may bugging you.

Most top online casinos offer a 24-hour live chat facility, open a chat window and get talking. This is also one of the fastest ways to get an impression of the online casino. If their support staff are friendly and very forthcoming with pertinent information, this is a good sign, if not – well then you know to move on quickly!

We also understand that all of this investigating and fine-tooth combing can be a lot of work and many of you simply don’t have the time to do all that you need to in order to be safe online. This is why we’ve already done all of the heavy lifting for you and, if you are pressed for time, simply visit any one of our pre-approved Canadian online casinos. All of these casinos have been put through their paces by our experts and you can be sure of their fair T’s & C’s, bonus offers and wagering requirements, safe banking and easy payouts, industry-approved accreditation, top gaming and much more.

Last Updated: December 10, 2018