10 Signs You've Reached a Fake Casino Site in 2024

Online casinos are a great way for you to sit back and play all of your favourite games without leaving the house. You can load up everything from slots to blackjack and even baccarat in a matter of seconds, but with that being said, there are a few things that you need to be mindful of. Some casino sites aren't as reputable as they look and our top 10 tips for spotting these scam sites should help in 2024.

Written by Amanda Evans 9 minute read
10 signs for a fake casino site

The Top 10 Signs to Identify Fake Casinos Online

When you sign up with a casino, you may find that you are presented with a range of games and the option to pay some money into your account. Some sites will then lock your account down and take your money, but others will take it one step further. They will allow you to build some winnings, but when the time comes for you to withdraw, your money vanishes, and you are left with nothing.

Scams like this, unfortunately, are quite rife and even though they are not legal, it can be difficult to act against them. For this reason, when you are gambling online, you need to be vigilant, and you also need to make sure that you are gambling with a safe and reputable provider. If you want to stay safe when gambling online, below you'll find our Top 10 Casino signs that you have reached a fake casino site, so you can take steps to protect yourself today.

1. You Can't See an Operating Licence

When you gamble at an online casino, you must look for an operating licence. As a player, this is the first thing you should look out for. If a gambling site has a licence, and is from a reputable agency, then you should be able to trust it. The licence information is usually found in the footer of the website.

Verify the website too by checking for a permit. Once you see the licence, and it looks legitimate, you can then take the licence number and run it through an online checker. Only risk your money with a casino you are confident in, and that operates with the licensing appropriate for the country of registration.

Certification is a critical factor when trying to identify a casino online, especially when playing with real money. A lot of organisations will issue certifications to games to make sure that they are both fair and unbiased. Some of the top certifying bodies can be found below:

2. The Website Isn't Secure

The general security of the website is another concern. Trusted gambling sites use high-level SSL encryption technology to ensure that your financial data and personal data are safeguarded as much as possible. Casino sites often use software from renowned software providers, to make sure that they are providing their users with a safe and reliable experience.

Microgaming, Playtech and NetEnt are some of the leading software providers in the sector when it comes to online gaming. A lot of sites choose to use these providers for content as they are reputable, and they are known for creating trusted games for platforms. If you have to look hard to find out who has made the game on the site, or if the site seems to be hiding information about the games that they are listing, then this is a huge red flag.

Remember, even if the site seems to be legit, and even though they may give you the option to withdraw your winnings, that doesn't mean that the games are going to be fair, or have a high payout rate. Checking to see what software providers have made the games on the site is the best way for you to protect yourself against this, along with checking the site's accreditation.

3. No Available Payment Methods

Another huge red flag would be if a site is not listing the available payment methods. The payment methods listed should be trustworthy and well-known. As a general rule, a casino should accept an assortment of safe and reputable banking methods for instant deposits and fast withdrawals. This can include:

  • Interac
  • Mastercard
  • Visa
  • Bank Wire

Any online casino that only accepts cryptocurrency payments, or that lists anonymous payment methods should be avoided. If you notice that the site has listed payment methods that are illegal for use within the registered country then stay clear. At the end of the day, having a variety of payment methods is a major trust signal when it comes to online gambling, so make sure that you are not overlooking this small detail as it could save you from gambling at a fake site.

4. Fake Reviews

Always check with reputable review sites, such as Top10Casinos, where you are guaranteed honest and unbiased reviews. Be sure to check blacklists as well. These will help steer you in the right direction, especially if you are planning to play for real money.

Reading customer reviews that have been listed online is another option. If you don't see any customer reviews, it's a major sign that the casino is fake. Internet reviews can be published under fake names and sometimes, companies pay people to leave reviews on sites. If you want to avoid this then look out for reviews that tend to use the same word over and over again. Fake reviews tend to talk about the same thing, even though they have been posted by different people, as the company has told them what to say.

Another thing to look out for would be lots of reviews posted on the same day, then nothing for weeks on end. Although flags such as this are more indicative of a fake site, rather than a surefire way of knowing, they can help you to make the right decision when the time comes for you to sign up. If you notice that the site does have a lot of reviews, but most of them are negative, or that there are very few of them, this is a red flag, and it's best to avoid the site if you can.

5. Zero Sign of Customer Service

Another sign that you have hit a fake casino site would be if there is no sign of any customer service. If you have ever gambled at a legitimate online casino before, then you will notice that they have a reliable customer service team who are on hand to answer any questions that you might have. Some players tend to overlook this, but if you can take note of the customer service options then this could help you to identify fake casino sites.

The best international casinos online will offer support to customers through several channels, such as live chat, social media, phone and email. They will also go out of their way to try and provide you with useful details, such as information on withdrawal caps, deposits and more. They will also tell you how to gamble responsibly. If you can't see any information like this, or if you are unable to see anything other than a phone number or email for the site then this is a huge indicator that you have arrived at a fake site.

One thing that a lot of players do when they sign up with a site, is they talk with customer service to ask about the deposit options or even how long withdrawals take. Although you may be able to find out information such as this on the site, or in the FAQ section, it does help you to see how helpful and professional the customer service team is, as well as giving you a chance to find out whether or not there is someone at the other end of the line.

6. Overly Generous Bonuses

Most online casinos will offer generous promotions and bonuses for new players. With that in mind, you have to stay vigilant because fraudulent websites often try to take advantage of this. Try and stay away from bonuses that appear too good to be true. If you think that the reward is just too unrealistic, or if you feel as though you are being promised something that goes far beyond the offerings of other casinos then this is a major sign that you are being scammed.

Fake gambling sites often use high bonus offerings as a way to lure unsuspecting gamblers to their site so that they can steal their money. One way for you to safeguard yourself would be to read the terms and conditions. Evaluate factors like the wagering requirements, expiry date, game contribution percentages, bet limitations, and maximum withdrawal limits once the bonus is wagered in full. This will give you a clear understanding on whether the operator is trying to steal your money.

7. A History of Scandals

If you notice that the website itself seems legitimate but they have been riddled with scandals over the years then you may want to avoid it. Some websites start legitimate but then they get bought out or change hands. For this reason, you may see reports of failure to pay winnings or even fake advertisements for a once-trustworthy casino.

A good way for you to find out would be for you to again, search for reviews and check up to date blacklists. You can also go onto forums, to find out about the casino site, and to see if other people have had a similar experience.

Scandals can also include changing bonus terms on very short notice or taking a very long time to pay, even if they do pay in the end. Although this can indicate the site is legitimate, as you will get your money in the end, it is a risky game to play and a sign that you'll probably want to avoid the site entirely.

8. Short Period of Operation

A new casino will sometimes offer big bonuses to their users as a way to bring new players into the fold. There is usually nothing wrong with this as they will advertise it as such. You may notice that they give a bonus to the first 1000 people who sign up with the site, for example. Although our list of the best new online casinos do this legitimately, you should still be wary of casinos that are just starting up.

There may not be any reviews on the casino itself yet and they may also just be gaining a solid footing within the market. This can lead to a lack of general information or online presence. In situations such as this, you can make your call as to whether or not to sign up with them, but bear in mind that a short time in operation can be a red flag and we do recommend checking to see if they have any sister sites before parting with your money.

9. No Ownership Information

If you want to verify a new online casino, checking for ownership is usually a good way for you to do that. Fake casinos tend to hide behind web forms and they also refrain from providing full contact details. It may be that they have a number but no name, or a fake number. Several email addresses may be provided, but they may end with @gmail.com or something similar. Even though web forms can be a good indicator that you can reach the owners of the site, forms alone can be a red flag, if no other contact information is provided.

10. Exclusive Offerings

Have you noticed that the site provides unique games that you just can't see anywhere else? Maybe they are pushing new releases that are yet to hit the market but for some reason, you can't seem to load them up without putting down a deposit. A red flag would be if you click the game to play, but then it takes you to a payment screen without showing you whether or not the game is even on the site.

Cover images are often used with fake links to entice people into putting down a deposit, but when the deposit is made, the game is nowhere to be found. A good way for you to work around this would be for you to only play at casinos that have offerings that match other casinos. If a game is unique to one casino site only, or if it's yet to be released, this is a major sign that something isn't quite right.

Sign Up with Legit Real Money Casinos in 2024

So as you can see, there are many signs you've reached a fake casino site. By spotting them and being proactive in your approach to online safety, you should be able to protect yourself going forward and enjoy online casinos and all the fun and entertainment they have to offer in a safe and secure environment. If you discover a gambling site you really like, we highly recommend that you read our casino reviews before registering a new real money account. This will help you to figure out whether it's worth your time and money in 2024.

 Amanda Evans
Written by
Amanda Evans - Chief Editor

Amanda has been involved with all aspects of the content creation at Top10Casinos.com including research, planning, writing and editing. The dynamic environment has kept her engaged and continually learning which along with +15 years iGaming experience helped propel her into the Chief Editor role.

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