mohamed_hassan (CC0), Pixabay

With so many online casinos available on the market, it can sometimes be difficult to detect which casinos are legitimate and which ones are scams.

It’s extremely important to only play at legitimate casinos. Scam sites can not only steal the money that you deposit into your account, but they can also put all of your other sensitive information and data at risk, too. There have been horror stories of people who have fallen victim to online casino scams and had much of their life upended as a result.

To help people stay safe while gambling online, we have been reviewing online casinos for Canadians for years now. Here are some of the top ways you can detect online casino scams.

No License Information Listed

All legitimate online casinos will hold a license from, and be regulated by, a respectable gambling agency. This could be a provincial government in Canada, or it could be a foreign entity such as the Malta Gaming Authority of the UK Gambling Commission.

Online casinos that hold these licenses are proud of them, as they lend legitimacy to their site. Because of this, online casinos that are legitimately licensed will proudly display this information somewhere on their site. In most cases, it will be in the footer of the site, near the bottom — at the very least.

One of the biggest signs that an online casino is a scam is if the licenses they hold aren’t displayed anywhere on the site. If you can’t easily find this information within the first 5-10 minutes of being on an online casino site, then it’s likely a scam. In fact, they probably don’t hold any licenses at all.

They Force You to Download Software

There are plenty of legitimate online casinos that offer players the option to download separate online casino players to their desktop computers, laptops, or mobile devices. This is a great way for players to cut down the time it takes to navigate to the operator’s website and start playing games.

However, these should all be options — not the only way you are able to play. A big sign that an online casino is a scam is if they force you to download software in order to play. It’s an even bigger warning sign if they direct you to another site to download their software.

This could all be a sign that they are trying to install spyware or ransomware on your computer or mobile device. Once that software is installed, they’ll be able to steal your information and potentially hold you hostage for money.

If you want to download an online casino player or app, make sure you do it from a legitimate site. And make sure you only download it directly from the operator’s website or from a reputable mobile app site such as the Apple App Store or Google Play Store.

They Aren’t Independently Verified

In addition to holding gambling licenses from respectable gambling authorities, online casinos should be independently verified by companies such as eCOGRA. These companies ensure that the games the online casino operator offers are indeed fair to the player.

They ensure that the online casino is using a trusted and fair Random Number Generator that fuels the backbone of their online slot games as well as all of their online casino table games. Without this in place, it’s very easy for the online casino to rig games so that the players can’t win.

Again, you can check for this in the footer of the operator’s website or in their Terms & Conditions. They should list a legitimate company that independently audits them on a regular basis to ensure fair play for the player.

They Offer Ridiculous Bonus Offers

Bonuses and promotions are a staple of online casinos. They are a tool that the operators use to attract new players to their casino. And it’s a huge benefit to players, too, as they can get free spins at online slot games or even free money to play wherever they want.

Casinos are always looking to improve their bonuses and promotions to compete in the highly competitive market. But, if you see an online casino that’s offering what looks to be a bonus that’s too good to be true, it probably is.

Online casino scam sites will likely offer welcome bonuses that match your deposit of 1000%, for instance. This would mean if you made a deposit of $100, they’d give you another $1,000 for free.

This might sound great, but it’s likely a big sign that it’s a scam. Most legitimate online casinos will offer welcome bonuses that match your deposit 100%. While some may offer bonuses of more than that, anything significantly greater than that should raise red flags in your mind.