There are literally hundreds of online casinos in operation across the internet, many of which are highly professional, safe places to play and enjoy your favourite casino games like themed slots and more. There are however, always exceptions to the rule and a couple of casinos that operate with a less than desirable code of ethics or those that are generally quite good but have one or two characteristics that may not leave you feeling 100% happy.
For these reasons, we have compiled a list of things to look out for before signing up at an online casino. This list is not intended to blacklist or rogue casinos mentioned herein (although some should be avoided and we say so) but rather to caution you to any negative aspects of a casino so that you are fully informed and protected every time you play.
So, here are the things to look out for when playing online:
- Slow Paying casinos - These casinos take a long time to payout any winnings owed to you and some payout in instalments! Imagine getting paid out a $5 million jackpot in monthly instalments to us that is just not acceptable. With this in mind, slow paying casinos are: African Palace and Bethedealer.
- Non-paying, Withholding winnings, missing withdrawals – When it comes to unscrupulous casinos not paying out winnings owed and withholding winnings for one or another bizarre reason seem to be favourite practices. Casinos with a consistent track record of these practices are: Cool Cat Casino (avoid their free chip deposit bonus, it is a lure and your winnings while using it won't be paid out to you); Lucky Ace Casino and Poker (they continually site "bonus abuse" as reasons not to payout to legitimate winners); The Virtual Casino Group (including Bet Royal, Cool Cat, Club Player, Cirrus, Palace of Chance, Dreams Casino, Lady Lucks Casino, Party City Casino, The Virtual Casino, Prism Casino, VIP lounge Casino and Wild Vegas Casino) this group consistently locks accounts, is known to have withheld thousands of dollars in winnings citing "multiple accounts held" when they knowingly cross market casinos in their portfolio to players via clone casinos, stay away here! Another casino where players experience non-payment or "missing withdrawals" is Cleopatra's Casino, also be careful when considering playing at Mightly Slots Casino who also regularly don't payout or confiscate winnings.
- Offering Bonuses and denying withdrawals - Casinos in the Grand Privé Group often practice this technique citing "bonus abuse", these include Bella Vegas, Casino Grand Bay, Jupiter Club, Fortune Junction, Roadhouse Reels, Lake Palace, Jackpot Wheel. Microgaming has dropped them from their fold and they now run BetonSoft software which is WAY cheaper and it shows financial problems are rumored to be the reason for their bad practices, so beware.
- Questionable Terms and Conditions - there are many casinos out there that hide things in their terms and conditions that you would never find, one such example is Eldorado Casino who won't payout if you request a withdrawal on a portion of your funds and keep playing with what remains.
- Cashout Caps/Limits - Many casinos like those in the Casino Rewards Group (Golden Tiger, Classic Casino) and Club World Casinos (Manhattan Slots, Lucky Red) impose weekly cashout caps or limits of $4000 and $3000 respectively which means that should you win one of their jackpots, it could take years to get all your money out (that's if you can fight the temptation to put it back in and play it).
- 48 hour or more pending withdrawal periods - many casinos in the industry have this feature built into their "business models", it doesn't make them bad casinos by any means but it rather annoying that they won't flush your funds even upon special request so you just have to wait 2 days or more (especially at casinos that don't process on week-ends) for your wins or withdrawals to be processed. Casinos with this policy include the Casino Rewards Group, Roxy Palace, 32 Red Casino, Casino Splendido, Zodiac Casino, Vegas Magic Online casino, Piggs Peak Casino and many more. Like we said, this doesn't make them bad casinos at all, many of those mentioned above are BRILLIANT in many ways, but you should make sure that you investigate this feature before playing if it annoys you to wait a few days for your money.
- Low Payout Percentages / Low Return to Player (RTP) – While many honest casinos have lower payout percentages you should be aware of these and check them. Slots should range around 95% and above online. One example of a great, honest casino with lower payout percentages on Slots is Intercasino, their other games seem to be on par with other online casinos. Intertops on the other hand is one of the less trustworthy casinos with low RTP's on their slots. So slots players should be aware of this.
- Unresponsive or No Customer Support - Casinos with bad practices also usually feature unresponsive customer support which makes one question if it even exists at all. Examples of these are Bethedealer Casino, Cleopatra's Casino, Eldorado Casino.
- Not respecting Player wishes/requests to lock accounts - Intertops is a casino guilty of this practice. Even if you request that your account be closed or limited, they will continue to send you promotional offers and bonuses and under no circumstances will they close your account. Not a good place to play for problem gamblers.
For additional information on how to keep yourself safe and enure that you have an enjoyable experience every time you play online, visit our Player Security Guide now.