How to Spot a Rogue Casino

They are waiting for you! Rogue casinos are an unfortunate reality in our industry. Learn how to protect yourself from these unscrupulous operators.

September 17, 2015 -- Updated 0940 GMT

South African rogue casinos

As a South African online gambling fan, how do you know that the casino you like is actually a good casino, and the right one for you? Appearances can be deceptive, as they say; there are good casinos as well as rogue casinos. The rogue casinos are the ones to stay away from, as they use unfair means and malicious practices to increase profits. It is vital that you know about these casinos: which are they, the issues you may face if you play there, and other related information.

That is why we list, along with the good casinos, the rogue casinos that you should stay away from as well.




Here we will discuss:
  • What a rogue casino is
  • How to identify a rogue casino
  • Tips on how to spot a rogue casino
  • How to avoid playing at a rogue casino

What is a Rogue Casino?

A rogue casino is one that adopts unfair practices in their dealings with their players. They do not subscribe to the basic ethics of online gambling, like honesty, transparency, and fair play. They are dangerous because when you play at them you are basically handing over your money to them without the guarantee of being treated fairly and given your due returns.

You do not have to dig too deep to find out why a casino would adopt rogue practices. The simple reason is greed: make as much money off the players as you can in as short a time as possible. The Internet gives a degree of anonymity to anyone doing business through it; it is not easy to catch someone easily if they defraud you online. Greed is the driving factor behind such operations; credibility and good name come a distant second, or are nowhere in the picture.

How to Spot a Rogue Casino?

There are several indicators that help determine whether a casino is a rogue casino. There is no minimum number of indicators needed for a casino to be deemed rogue; any casino that shows even one of these indicators can be labeled rogue. The following are the most commonly seen indicators that you will see in rogue casinos:

  • Low security measures, which means no protection for customer data
  • Non-payment of your winnings
  • Inordinate delays in delivering your winnings to you
  • Zero encryption for financial transactions, which means your transactions are completely unsafe
  • Fake claims in advertising
  • Unfair gaming practices, which means the dice are always loaded against you
  • Nullifying your winnings without adequate or proper reason
  • Stealing your deposit amount

Spotting a Rogue Casino: Things to Check For

There are a few things you can check for when you first come to an online casino. You can comfortably play at that casino if it scores positively on all of these things that you have to check for. The things to check for include:

  • The name and address of the owner: A credible casino will list the name and address of the parent company. If the casino does not display this information you would do well to stay away from it.
  • Listing on a stock exchange: A casino whose parent company is listed on a stock exchange is a safe bet.
  • Sister concerns of the casino: A casino that has a credible owner and also sister concerns is a safe casino most of the time.
  • The licensing authority: A safe online casino will most likely display the authority that has granted it the license.
  • Software provider: Knowing the software developer's identity is important because it helps you know whether you are looking at a credible casino or not. The credibility of the software developer goes a long way in making you feel comfortable. For instance, a casino that is powered by Microgaming is one where you can safely play.
  • Name of independent auditor: You are safe if the casino you are at is audited by independent auditors. All credible casinos have their software, random number generator, and also payouts audited by independent agencies.

Spotting a Rogue Casino: Some More Tips

Sometimes a casino may showcase all this information and still be rogue. That is because the service providers themselves come with a bad reputation. So you also need to know about the different licensing authorities, software providers, and auditors that come with a good reputation.

The reputed licensing jurisdictions in the online gambling industry today include:

  • Curacao
  • Malta
  • Gibraltar
  • Kahnawake
  • Antigua

The reputed software operators include, among others:

  • Microgaming
  • Playtech
  • NetEntertainment
  • Real Time Gaming

There are two auditors that are among the most sought after because of their reputation:

  • eCOGRA
  • Technical Systems Testing (TST)

More Ways of Identifying a Rogue Casino

Here are a few other things that can help raise the flag about the status of an online casino – whether it is clean or rogue:

  • Customer support
  • Player bonuses

How Rogue Casinos Manipulate Player Bonuses

One of the first things that a casino can hit you with is the bonus it offers. Most of the conflicts between player and casino usually arise from the bonus on offer. Too many times you will see at online forums players complaining about how a casino cheated them out of their bonus.

Every casino offers bonuses to its players as incentive to play. So what if you see a casino that offers really sky-high bonuses? It could be one of two things:

  • The casino is really doing well and can afford to offer bonuses of that kind.
  • It offers high bonuses but has too much in the fine print that actually ensures you do not get to see much of that bonus at all.

Even if a casino offers high bonuses simply because it is doing well, it could very well be that the casino has high house edges in place, which means players always lose much more than they win. These are things that a smart rogue casino would use.

Identifying a Rogue Casino: Customer Support is a Vital Key

Another major area that you should definitely take a look at is customer support. Imagine signing up with an online casino seeing all the wonderful things it offers, only to find that it really does not care much about you once you sign up and deposit funds into your account. One way this manifests is through the response time that its customer support team takes. It is really not worth it if a casino takes a day, if not more, to get back with a response to your query.

And in the age of instant customer support through live chat, do not make the mistake of signing up at a casino that does not offer support through live chat to its players. These casinos may not make it to the rogue list (though most of the times they do), but it is just not worth playing at them.

How to Avoid Playing at a Rogue Casino

Today, it is easy to avoid playing at a rogue casino because of the existence of online watchdogs who specifically track and list rogue casinos. If you are a South African player, all you need to do is check out our website. There are generally a number of watchdog sites around for players from other parts of the world, including Casino Meister, Wizard of Odds, and Casino Advisor.

Sometimes a casino may not have made it to the blacklist of a watchdog simply because it has not met the parameters set out by the watchdog sites. In that case you would still be at risk playing at the casino. That is why it makes sense to also share information with other players. Check out the different forums run and visited by online casino players and you will know immediately the casinos with problems.

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