Online Gambling and Online Casinos: Legit or No?

While the odds of winning money in Las Vegas are not stacked in your favor, the odds of winning money from online gambling and casino scams are non-existent.

If you were to enter a real casino and start to gamble, the odds of winning are, of course, not in your favor. In fact, they’re less than 50-50. If they weren’t, then the casino would quickly go bankrupt. A casino, after all, is a profit-making business. The owners wouldn’t make any money if the slot machines or games of chance available to its guests were to hand out more money than they take in.

Even though the odds of winning aren’t great, you know a real casino isn’t a scam. That’s because it is licensed, regulated and supervised. A government gaming commission ensures that everything is above board. 

Do The Math

Moreover, a traditional casino isn’t a scam because you already know the math. It’s the same as if you were gambling at home with your friends. There is a finite number of cards in every deck and a finite number of combinations. So you know what your chances are when you walk through the front door.

Likewise, a slot machine has a finite number of pictures of fruit and a finite number of combinations. According to dummies.com, your odds on winning every hand of blackjack are 44 to 48 percent. While playing poker, if you have a flush draw and face an all-in bet on the flop, you have roughly a 40 percent chance of making your flush and winning. If you’re playing a roulette wheel with 38 numbers, the odds of hitting a specific number on a straight-up bet are 37 to 1. (Nonetheless, the house will pay 35 to 1.)

But today you don’t have to go to a casino to gamble. You can do it online. Even over your smartphone or any other hand-held device. One estimate is that 79% of all online gambling transactions were processed over mobile phones and tablets in 2019, an increase of 13% over 2018. But since it’s all legal you know from the start that there is no online casino chargeback. If you lose money gabling through a legitimate online casino, you can’t get it back.

The proliferation of legal online casinos, however, has made online gambling scams much more attractive to their operators and much more dangerous to gamblers. The COVID-19 pandemic, for example, has been exploited by online gambling scams. Recognizing that gamblers are less likely to travel abroad to real casinos, scammers have advertised their sites as harmless “corona-free gambling” alternatives. In Singapore, for example, the number of fake gambling scams reported by victims was 18 times higher in 2020 than it was in 2019.

The phenomenon became so widespread that the Dutch Gaming Authority decided to raise its fines for such advertisements in the Netherlands, where gambling is illegal.

Regrettably, online gambling has also provided a convenient cover for rogue sites that are fronts for phishing scams, hacking scams and purveyors of spyware and ransomware. One report from Australia indicates that scammers impersonating online gaming sites have attempted to target gambling addicts in that country through email and SMS messages in order to obtain their personal information.

Online Casino Licensing

Despite their rapid growth. only a handful of jurisdictions around the world issue licenses to online casinos. The United Kingdom issues most of them. Other jurisdictions issuing licenses are two self-governing dependencies of the British crown. One is the Isle of Man. The other is Alderney (one of the Channel Islands belonging to the Bailiwick of Guernsey). Gibraltar, a British overseas territory, also issues them. Other trusted licensing jurisdictions are Belgium, Curaçao (a “constituent country” within the Kingdom of the Netherlands), Denmark, Italy, and Malta. In addition, the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, a First Nations reserve in the Canadian province of Quebec, has legal authority to issue online casino and poker licenses.

Another country now attempting to become a licensing hub is Estonia. Its current standards, however, may not yet match those of veteran licensing countries. A complicating factor is that it currently issues two different types of licenses for online gaming sites.

Real vs. Fake Licenses

The first thing to do if you are considering gambling on an online casino, therefore, is to make sure it has a license. The license number should also appear prominently on the site. If no license number appears you should assume the site is a scam until and unless you can prove otherwise. The same goes if the site claims it has a license but doesn’t specify which licensing agency issued it. Or if it claims to have a license from a jurisdiction that is not mentioned above. If the site claims it has an Estonian license, make sure that it holds both types.

Note as well that there are scam gambling sites that say they hold licenses issued by Costa Rica. If so, they are intentionally misleading you. Costa Rica does not issue online gaming licenses. It issues data processing licenses, among many others. A data processing license is not relevant and is no substitute for a legitimate gaming license.

There’s Only One Reason Why They Withhold Information

If an online casino site is unlicensed, or is lying about being licensed, there’s only one reason why – it’s a scam. While the odds of winning money in Las Vegas are not stacked in your favor, the odds of winning money from online gambling and casino scams are non-existent. Don’t gamble on that!

If you think you’ve been the victim of an online gambling or casino scam, consult with our fund recovery experts at MyChargeBack.