The Covid-19 pandemic has forced residents of West Island inside their homes during extended lockdowns and social distancing mandates. Around Canada and the world, people are looking for online entertainment to take their minds off of the isolation this ongoing crisis has caused.
The inability to travel and even being prohibited from returning home without a negative test has really put a strain on families around Canada. More and more, people are looking to online casino gaming for fun, excitement, and a bit of a return to normality while they get to enjoy their favourite games.
Too good to be true?
Canadians have long enjoyed a fabulous selection of online casinos with great bonuses and welcome offers. As a rule, however, it’s a good idea to be sceptical of any internet offers you find and make sure to do your research before signing up for anything.
As soon as you visit the homepage of a new online casino website, you’re likely to see a pop-up advertisement, letting you know about what kind of offers you are able to get. These bonuses range from no deposit offers, free spins, and matching wagering bonuses to free money to get started, welcome bonuses, and bonuses based on your payment method.
If offered from a reputable, licensed, and regulated casino, these rewards can be extremely valuable. If, however, you happened to have stumbled onto a blacklisted or unlicensed casino, these can be serious scams that could cost you a lot of money.
Common online casino scams
It’s sad to say, but even in Canada, players need to be wary of getting scammed by online operators. The grey-area legality of online gambling in Canada has left a few loopholes for unsavoury Canadians are lucky that the more reputable online casinos have not been banned in the country.
Some of the most common ways that players get scammed have to do with simply fraudulent behaviour on behalf of the casino operator. Looking for any of the following scammy practices is a good way to know what kind of operator you are dealing with.
These are some of the most common online casino scams to be on the lookout for:
- Offering unregulated software to its members
- Poor, unresponsive, or negative customer service
- Refusing to pay out winnings
- Rigging online casino games
- Payments or financial transaction fraud
- Operating in markets where casino gaming is banned
- Not holding a valid gaming license
The other unsavoury scams you might run into when dealing with unlicensed operators include things like providing pirated casino games, misleading advertising, fake (or unobtainable) bonus schemes, a lack of a responsible gaming policy, predatory terms, and offering unfair terms and conditions.
How to protect yourself
If this all sounds a bit scary, have no fear. There are simple, common-sense ways to protect yourself from getting taken for a ride by less-than-reputable online casino operators.
If a casino bonus looks like it’s too good to be true, it probably is. Reputable online casinos offer great bonuses but they’ll definitely look a lot less exciting than some offered by a scammy operator. That’s because the disreputable operator has no intention of following through with the terms of the bonuses.
The first thing you should do before acting on a bonus is to check for the operator’s gaming authority license. Finding a proper gaming license administered and certified by respected regulators like the Malta Gaming Authority and the UK Gambling Commission should give you good peace of mind about the operator you’re dealing with.
What to look for in online casino offers
If you’re browsing the offerings of online casinos and find an incredible bonus pop up, think before you click. While you might see a 500%+ matching deposit bonus, there may be some hidden terms that you’re not aware of. Make sure to read the terms and conditions to find out if that deal is truly as good as it sounds.
Sometimes you’ll find that a great matching bonus will actually come with a high-wagering requirement (200x or more), making your chances of ever withdrawing any winnings practically non-existent. In this case, a 100% match deposit bonus with more reasonable wagering requirements would actually be more lucrative for you to take advantage of.
When following internet offers, it’s a good idea to take too-good-to-be-true offers with a grain of salt, know who you are playing with when it comes to operators, and make sure you read the terms and conditions before wagering any of your hard-earned money.
There are plenty of safe and trustworthy sites out there for Canadians to enjoy. Make sure to find the right ones and avoid following offers that can’t live up to their hype. Protecting yourself by following some simple tips and playing with a reputable online casino are the best ways to have a great time while enjoying your favourite casino games online.