Contrary to popular belief, online casino scams are actually quite rare. For the most part, this is due to the fact that getting away with dodgy dealings of any kind in the online casino space is practically impossible.
Even with just a handful of disgruntled customers to your name, you’ll be run out of business through negative PR in no time.
Staying safe when gambling online is as easy as checking independent casino reviews, ratings and recommendations. If the general consensus points to something positive, you’re looking at a safe bet. If there’s a disproportionate number of negative reviews from real-life customers, take your business elsewhere.
The Prevalence of Online Casino Bonus Scams
Hardcore scams designed to drain you of your cash through deceptive or illegal activities are thin on the ground. By contrast, online casino bonus scams are surprisingly prolific.
In this instance, the word ‘scam’ may be a little excessive. We’re not talking about anything fraudulent or illegal – more the kinds of misleading marketing materials that lead many players astray.
Without exception, all decent online casinos in business right now offer bonuses and promotions of some kind. Some of which appear exponentially more generous than others on the surface, and can therefore be downright irresistible.
But what’s important to remember is that with all types of casino gaming, there’s no such thing as a free lunch. The more OOT the incentive appears to be, the less likely it is to be legit.
Think about it – what’s the likelihood of an online casino handing out huge wads of cash, simply for signing up? Welcome bonuses of $100, $500 or even $1,000- all regularly touted, but not nearly as appealing as they appear.
As a general rule of thumb, any online casino bonus that looks too good to be true almost definitely is.
Terms, Conditions and Wagering Requirements
Casino bonuses can be great, but you need to be realistic with regard to why they exist in the first place. They’re not there for the benefit of the player – they’re there to help the casino attract more customers and make more money.
Without exception, all casino bonuses are governed by a (usually long) list of terms and conditions. Primarily, wagering requirements determine whether it will be easy, difficult or impossible to get your hands on this money.
In a typical example, let’s say a casino is offered a modest $50 bonus for new customers who pay $50 into their accounts. The bonus is subject to 50X wagering requirements applicable to the bonus and the deposit – a relatively standard requirement for an online casino.
This would mean that the wagering requirement is 50 X $100, or $5,000. In order to withdraw or any of this $50 bonus or anything you win while playing with it, you’ll first need to wager $5,000 of your own money.
For the overwhelming majority of casual gamers, this isn’t going to happen.
While this doesn’t necessarily amount to a ‘scam’ in the traditional sense, it’s still a pretty misleading marketing stunt for the casino’s own benefit. Nevertheless, it’s also the single most common tactic used by almost all online casinos to pull in the punters.
How to Stay Safe When Shopping for Casino Bonuses
Independent online listings (like ours) make it quick and easy to find the best bonus offers available on the web. Other than this, staying safe when shopping for casino bonuses online is as easy as following these simple steps:
- Let your instincts and your common sense be your guide. If it looks too good to be true, it almost definitely is.
- Never fall into the trap of thinking that bonus funds are the same as ‘free’ money. They’re not – it’s almost always just bonus money to play with, not to withdraw.
- Take the time to read the terms and conditions in full, ensuring you understand them and are happy with them before going ahead.
- If in doubt, submit your questions and concerns to the casino’s customer support team for clarification. If they’re worth doing business with, they’ll be more than happy to provide you with a prompt response.
- Stick with the most reputable and responsible online casino brands, rather than random newcomers you’ve never heard of.
- Don’t forget that under no circumstances are you are obliged to take part in any bonus or promotional scheme – you can always opt out if you’d prefer to do so.
Keep your expectations realistic when shopping around for online casino bonuses and you’ll usually come out with something pretty decent for your efforts.
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