Assessing Casinos for safety
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When you find a new casino the first thing you should ask yourself is “is this a scam”, because there are a lot of them out there which are just that. This post tells you how to sift out the safer ones and avoid being ripped off by the rogues.
This article was written in 2010 and illustrates beautifully why I do not wish to advise on casinos. My choice of a nice, safe example was Purple Lounge, which has since gone out of business. I have left the example as it was when the article was written, as the basic method is sound.
If the casino is attached to a bookmaker you can check their ratings on SBR and Bookmakers Review. If your money is safe in the sportsbook it is likely to be equally safe in the casino, unless you break the t&cs. ALWAYS read the t&cs thoroughly before depositing in a casino – many have very specific requirements particularly if bonuses are involved, and there are different types of bonuses – see this post.
Many casinos are not attached to bookmakers, and finding out about them is not quite so simple. There are 2 sites that provide a fantastic amount of information about casinos, and these are www.casinomeister.com and www.beatingbonuses.com. I would never consider a casino if I couldn’t find information about it from one of these sites.
Casinomeister has lists of accredited and rogue casinos. Unfortunately they list the accredited ones under the software provider, and have no search facility, which makes finding the information rather tricky. There is loads of brilliant advice about choosing casinos on this site, the most important of which I will summarize below.
Beatingbonuses has a list of “all” casino bonuses here http://www.beatingbonuses.com/all.htm listing the casinos in alphabetical order. The list tells you which software they use, which games are allowed and whether there are any warnings about the casino. Be aware that such lists can be out of date, and casinos may change their t&cs, so always check on the casino site before depositing. Beatingbonuses also has some excellent advice about games, bonus types and strategies.
How to check your casino
I’m going to use a real example, Purple Lounge Casino. According to the beatingbonuses list, this has a £75 cashable bonus with a 50xB WR on slots (or 250xB on craps). The casino uses microgaming software (like Ladbrokes) and is not part of a group. There are no warnings on the beatingbonuse site and looking under microgaming we find Purple Lounge is on the Casinomeister accredited list. Lets suppose that we want to investigate this bonus further.
Step 1 – Google “Purple Lounge Casino rogue”.
Add the word rogue, otherwise all you will get is a load of adverts saying how good it is. The google search brings up a review at Casino Choice (which says that they have not reviewed it) and only one reference with the word “rogue” associated:
Purple Lounge Casino is an online casino powered by Microgaming software. … ROGUE!! WATCH OUT!! . some block of text or image or whatever. …
www.askgamblers.com/r-m-975/purple–lounge–casino – Cached
However when you click on the link you find that Purple Lounge gets a good review and that the rogue reference is to some other casino. So all is good here.
Step 2 – Look at the Website http://www.purple-lounge.com/
First impressions – this looks professional and is in English, with live chat facility and a clear layout. There is a reassuring seal from ecogra at the bottom right.
The name of the casino is reassuring, much more so than say “Easywin Casino” which would ring alarm bells.
The software provider is microgaming, one of the top brands and known to be fair. Be very wary indeed of casinos which do not say who provides their software.
They are licenced in Malta. There are various licencing authorities which vary as to how strictly they regulate – Gibraltar, Alderney, UK, Isle of Man, Malta and Australia are the strictest. Vanuatu is fairly strict, Antigua & Barbuda , Costa Rica, Curacao N.V , First Cagayan Philippines and Kahnawake are not very strict. there are others which are probably best avoided, as are casinos who do not tell you where they are licenced at all. You can usually find this information on the “about us” page.
Step 3 – Read the T&Cs THOROUGHLY
If you can’t understand them or if they are written in broken English, avoid the casino.
Purple Lounge has clear and well presented T&Cs here:
In particular you should look for the type of bonus and WR, any limits on amounts of winnings or amounts of withdrawal, any time limits for completion of the WR and any time restrictions on cashout (some casinos may require you to wait for your money, or may pay out in installments). Make sure you understand if any games or strategies are restricted for bonus play. Most casino disputes result from misunderstandings or different interpretations of t&cs relating to bonuses.
Step 4 – Test the CS.
Think up a couple of questions eg who provides their software or where are they licenced. Use the live chat if available or send an email. If the response to simple questions is incomprehensible you are going to have serious trouble in the event of a dispute.
My verdict on Purple Lounge is that it looks to be an excellent, safe casino. What a pity the bonus is on slots with a large WR!
Example of a Rogue Casino
Now lets look at another casino – games4money, who have monthly deposit bonuses of $5, $10 or $20 depending on your deposit. The first warning signals appear when I can’t find this in the beatingbonuses list. Never mind, I’ll google it anyway…
Rogue Advisory. Casino Alert! Play at your own risk. We believe Games 4 Money is not reputable. Play at your own risk!
Games4money, unknown, Costa Rica, non-payment/threaten player …
Games4money non-payment/threaten player …
A list of rogue online casinos. Please, avoid all these blacklisted … Games4money – non-payment issues
Casinomeister’s list of rogue online casinos, not recommended casinos, stupid casino … Games4money, unknown, Costa Rica, non-payment/threaten player …
The website is pretty pathetic, the name doesn’t inspire confidence, there are no seals displayed, no mention of the software they use and their t&cs simply say:
Residents of the states where local laws prohibit playing skill games for money on Games4money.com over the Internet are not accepted. By creating an account, I accept Games4money.com’s terms, conditions and rules as published on this site. I understand that Games4money is a foreign company and, as such, does not report the account activities, winnings or losses of its members to any government agencies. I hereby certify that I am at least 18 years of age and that I comply with the applicable laws in my jurisdiction with regard to placing a wager(s). I understand that all betting transactions take place on Games4money.com servers located in the country of Costa Rica.
And that’s it. All of this says to me ***AVOID*** and to be honest I’d have no sympathy with anyone who went ahead and played at this casino.
For more information on what to look for, visit http://www.casinomeister.com/casino-research/
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