Skip to main content Skip to footer

7 Online Casino Red Flags You NEED to Know

Find out how shady casinos operate and spot them early on!

Online casinos are booming, but so are the scams. It's crazy how fraudulent activity has jumped a staggering 80%. With everyone chasing easy money at their fingertips, it's no wonder these platforms are a magnet for scammers. That's why I want to share some red flags to gamble safely.

I have listed the red flags so you can shield your money and personal info from shady online casinos. This article will show you the key signs to watch out for, so you can gamble safely and have a blast. Let's get started!

Missing or Fake Gambling Licenses

The first essential thing to do is to check if they hold a valid gambling license issued by a reputable authority. Legitimate online casinos always display their licensing information prominently on their website, usually at the bottom. This license ensures that the casino operates fairly and adheres to regulations.

Common licensing authorities include the UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority, and Curacao Gaming Control Board. If important information is missing or a quick web search raises doubts about the legitimacy of the licensing body, it is best to avoid that particular casino.

According to the UK Gambling Commission, fake online casinos mimicking legitimate brands have been an ongoing issue. These unlicensed casinos pose a threat to players, as they often steal deposits and lack proper security measures.

Unrealistic Bonuses and Promotions

While exploring online casinos, my top priority is always transparency and fairness, especially when it comes to bonuses. If they have unclear or unfair bonus terms that appear to be too good to be true, it immediately raises a red flag for me. This suggests that the casino might be involved in unethical practices.

After checking the bonuses and promotions, another thing I always look for is the wagering requirements. These are important because they determine how many times you have to bet your bonus before you can withdraw any winnings.

If you come across casinos with excessively high wagering requirements, it can be difficult to take full advantage of the bonus and cash out your winnings. That's why it's important to find casinos with reasonable and transparent wagering requirements, so you can have a fair gaming experience.

You can also read their Terms & Conditions (T&Cs) about bonuses and promotions. Legal terms and conditions should be easy to understand while bogus online casinos will trick you with vague, overly complex, or use hidden clauses terms.

Missing KYC (Know Your Customer) Policies

Legit casinos take player safety seriously. They have Know Your Customer or KYC procedures in place, like asking you to upload a valid ID for verification. The casino will typically specify which documents they accept for KYC verification. You may need to submit scanned copies or clear photos of your documents. The KYC process is usually quick and straightforward. This keeps the gaming environment safe for everyone and makes withdrawing your winnings a breeze.

But shady online casinos? They ditch those crucial KYC checks altogether. Forget proving who you are, they just want your deposit right away. This puts you at risk of fraud or even identity theft. No ID checks? That's a major red flag and a reason to run for the hills.

Regulated Gambling Tools

Reputable online casinos adhere to the tools set by gambling authorities. These regulatory bodies ensure that casinos offer features that promote responsible gambling and protect players from potential harm.

They take steps to prevent self-excluded players from receiving marketing messages or re-entering the platform. In some cases, traditional casinos even use facial recognition software to ensure responsible gambling practices.

Some online casinos go beyond by using real-time interaction or AI technology to identify players who might benefit from these tools.

Examples of Gambling Tools

Deposit Limits

One of the important tools provided by regulated online casinos is deposit limits. I highly recommend this for new players so you can set a cap on how much you can deposit within a specific timeframe.

Time Limits

Another tool that promotes responsible gambling is Time limits. It helps players manage their gambling habits by deciding how much time they spend playing. For example, if you set a time limit of 30 minutes of gambling, you are unable to access the website once the time has elapsed.

Loss Limits

Loss limits empower players to set a maximum amount they are comfortable losing. This level of control helps prevent players from getting carried away and gambling beyond their means.


This tool is for individuals who need a temporary break from gambling. If you exclude yourself, you can effectively avoid additional financial and emotional distress.

Time Outs

Time-outs allow players to temporarily suspend their accounts for a specific period, like several hours, days, months, and even years. Some online operators even provide the option of taking a time-out after experiencing a specified loss or reaching a predetermined duration for a gambling session.

On the other hand, shady online casinos often lack these responsible gambling features. In some cases, they may even discourage players from utilizing them. This clear absence of tools promoting responsible gambling is a significant red flag and indicates that the casino may not have the best interests of the players at heart.

Limited Withdrawal Options

Online casinos offer various payment methods to cater to diverse player preferences and ensure a smooth financial experience. Common payment options include credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers. A study about player preferences for online casino payments highlights the importance of providing a variety of payment options for player satisfaction and platform usability.

However, some online casinos offer a limited range of payment methods, often excluding popular and secure options. While this might not directly imply rogue operations, it can be a cause for concern. Limited payment options may suggest:

  • Inefficient Operations- A restricted selection of payment methods might indicate a lack of resources or outdated systems within the casino's operation.
  • Security Concerns- The absence of established and secure payment processors could raise red flags regarding the casino's commitment to robust financial security practices.

Motivations behind these limitations could potentially increase the risks associated with online gambling, including fraud and money laundering.


Inefficient Customer Support

Imagine your deposit money is stuck, or a bonus isn't working as advertised. A reputable casino will readily have efficient customer support to address your concerns. This might include a 24/7 live chat option, a toll-free phone number, or a prompt email response system.

In my experience, rigged casinos often have limited or unresponsive customer support options. They might bury contact details deep within their website, offer slow email responses, or lack a live chat function altogether. This lack of support is a major red flag, suggesting they might not prioritize resolving your issues fairly or promptly.

It's essential to have access to reliable customer support in case of any issues or questions that may arise while playing on the platform. A lack of efficient customer support often leads to frustration, delays in resolving problems, and ultimately, a negative gaming experience.


Negative Feedback

Lastly, nothing speaks louder than real player experiences. That's why negative reviews are a huge red flag for me, especially when they consistently mention issues with payouts, fairness, or confusing bonus terms. These are all dealbreakers, and if a bunch of players are complaining about them, it's a clear sign to steer clear.

But there's a catch, not all reviews are created equal. Stick to reputable online casino review websites known for their unbiased assessments. Look for sites that gather feedback from a large pool of players so you get a well-rounded perspective, not just a handful of disgruntled voices.

Find reviews that thoroughly analyze a casino's features, bonuses, and overall user experience. You will see that the majority of reviewers will disclose any potential conflicts of interest and clearly outline their evaluation criteria. Better read customer reviews first before you even sign up.

Protect Yourself from Bogus Casinos

The online casino industry's booming popularity means players need to be careful. Shady casinos exploit the desire for easy money with fake licenses, unrealistic bonuses, and no ID checks. But informed players can find their way around.

Pick casinos with clear licenses, fair bonuses, and easy-to-reach customer support. Look for features like deposit limits and ways to take a break called self-exclusion, which show the casino cares about responsible gambling.

I envision a future of highly competitive online casinos, where players are well-informed about warning signs and gamble responsibly, encouraging the industry to prioritize honesty and security.

Regulatory bodies will keep mandating stricter rules, making the environment safe and secure for everyone. This teamwork between informed players, responsible casinos, and watchful regulators will pave the way for a successful and trustworthy online casino industry. GameChampions supports responsible gaming and carefully selects the most legit online casinos for various player experiences.

Alex Cabal from Game Champions

About the author

Alex Cabal

I'm a gambler who loves betting on just about everything, from soccer, esports, roulette, tennis and even slap contests. If you can bet on it, you can be sure that I've taken a chance on it.

cube face cube face cube face cube face cube face cube face