One of the most obvious disadvantages to gambling online is the simple fact that money is not exchanged in person. As a result, a certain amount of trust is required on the part of the gambler. An online player trusts that winnings will be honored, and gamblers must be comfortable with the abstract exchange of online credits compared to a concrete exchange of cash at land-based casinos. Unfortunately (but not surprisingly), this trust is occasionally violated leaving gamblers cursing the advent of online casinos.
A “rogue” is a charlatan, scoundrel, or swindler, and this term has been applied to a small minority of online gambling websites that are unsafe and should be avoided. So called “rogue casinos” are casinos that should be completely shunned at all costs. These sites have multiple confirmed cases of fraudulent behavior on record and have generally earned their spots on casino blacklists.
The most commonly occurring form of dishonest behavior on the part of a rogue site is refusal to pay withdraws. In rare cases, a website will go off-line prior to paying out all members, the classic “fly-by-night” scenario. Similarly, some sites will refuse to pay withdraws in a timely manner with the hope that players will continue to gamble and subsequently loose their money.
Less common but equally devastating is the use of cheating software. For example, Casino Bar and Oyster Gaming are known to cheat, and non-random online poker has been reported at Playtech.
Other common reasons for inclusion on rogue casino lists include the following:
o The casino shares players’ email addresses to spammers
o Game results are not consistent with statistical norms
o The online casino does not respond to player concerns or disputes
o The casino does not deliver what is promised in the form of bonuses or prizes
There are a few things you can do to avoid rogue casinos. First, casinos that are ranked high by common search engines will generally be more reputable. A high ranking implies that a site is popular and well-liked, and it is unlikely that a rogue casino will maintain a high search engine ranking. Second, word of mouth is a good way to avoid signing up with the wrong site. Don’t be afraid to ask around the office. The chances are that a site that several people have enjoyed will be a safe starting point for new players. Third, look for sites that specifically define their security processes. Sites that take security seriously are usually more likely to be safe for gambling. Finally, keep yourself informed. Take the time to read up on technologies used by online casinos and what types of protections are available. Being an informed consumer is always a good idea!