This post isn’t going to be your usual fluff piece. I give you guys the straight truth, so read on to see a real opinion on the trustworthiness of online casinos.
Having been burned a couple times myself, I can understand the skepticism that many of you have. When it comes to real money gambling online, trust is the key to making everything work. Without trust, you have nothing.
Here’s the simplest way to put it:
You can trust some gambling sites some of the time, but you can’t trust all gambling sites all of the time.
It’s not all that difficult to set up a real money gambling site. If you have the cash, the know-how and happen to live in the right country, it’s not too difficult to start an online casino. This is a good thing because it creates competition, but it’s also a bad thing because some of the people who start casinos are just outright crooks.
If you search online discussion forums, you’ll see plenty of posts written by people who have had all kinds of trouble cashing out their winnings or getting bonuses. In many cases, these people have no recourse. They can’t easily take legal action because this is a global industry that doesn’t always operate out in the open.
The other thing you’ll notice is that the majority of these complaints involve casinos that you rarely hear about. I rarely hear about big-name casinos scamming their own players. If you look at any casino blacklist, you’ll see lots of sites with ridiculous names like Crazy Bill’s Crazy Panda Casino (I just made that up).
The key to finding safe casinos is to do your research. Stick with casinos that get mentioned all the time on discussion forums and at casino review websites. Casino review websites aren’t always trustworthy, but there is strength in numbers. If you see a casino mentioned all over the place, it’s probably more trustworthy than some random casino that you have never heard of before.
Another thing you can do is run a Google discussions search to see what other people are saying. Let’s say you have a casino in mind and want to know what other people have to say. Instead of running a regular search, run a discussions search. See this blog post for more info.
So the first step is to stick with big-name casinos. See my list of gambling sites for a list of casinos that I trust. You can run a Google search on any of those casinos and you’ll get mostly favorable results. Those casinos are known and respected.
But here’s the real kicker. In the past, I have seen good casinos go bad. For example, Cherry Red Casino (not to be confused with Lucky Red Casino) was once a respectable real money gambling site. That casino operated in good faith for years.
Then a few years ago, complaints started popping up on forums. Word got out that management had changed at the casino. The operators were making bad decisions that led to players being denied big withdrawals. I really dislike that gambling group now because they did a lot to undermine players’ faith in online gambling.
So even though I don’t expect any of my favorite casinos to go rouge any time soon, I keep that story in the back of my mind. That is one reason why I don’t recommend keeping your entire bankroll online at one casino. All it takes is one bad manager or one over-zealous prosecutor to suddenly freeze a casino’s assets.
Even if you always stick with safe online casinos, it is just plain smart to keep your money spread across various accounts. This is similar to investing in high-value stocks. No honest financial advisor would ever tell you to keep 100% of your money in any one stock. Anyone remember Lehman Brothers?
It doesn’t matter how rock-solid any one casino or stock is right now. You never keep all of your eggs in one basket. Diversify, diversify, diversify.