How to Spot No Deposit Casino Bonus Scams
The online gambling industry like any successful and constantly growing industry has its fair share of good and bad operators, casinos and bonuses. Luckily, thanks to blogs and rapid word of mouth on the internet, the bad don’t last very long. Plus, websites like No Deposit Kings only promote good – scratch that – the very best online and mobile casino sites with the safest, fairest and most lucrative bonuses and promotions.
That said, as quick, easy and convenient as it is to visit our site to be presented with the latest and best casinos and bonus offers, it’s important to learn how to differentiate the good from the bad i.e. fly-by-night, unscrupulous or shady casinos and their bad offers. In other words, to know how to spot online casino and bonus scams. Or, to even put it another way, how to tell the ‘wolves in sheep’s clothing’ from the real thing.
That’s where we come in. Here on No Deposit Kings we specialise in seeking out, vetting and featuring only the most worthwhile online no deposit casino sites with quality no deposit cash or free spins bonuses. Once you know what to look out for, you’ll never have to worry again about whether the online casinos you come across are on the level or not. You’ll be able to identify unsafe sites, fraudsters or money scammers a mile away.
As a player there are two things you can do to ensure you only ever play at the safest and best online casinos with the most worthwhile and entertaining bonuses – look for ‘red flags’ and read player testimonials about casinos you’re interested in.
Look out for Red Flags
The most effective way to spot scam bonuses is to look out for red flags i.e. indicators of danger. Off the bat you should know that a casino’s appearance should never be a red flag. This is because a casino’s design (look and feel) can be nothing more than ‘window dressing.’ For instance, many top online casinos look average, while some of the most unscrupulous look like they belong on the cover of top design magazines.
The point is never judge an online casino by its cover. Rather judge it by who owns it, whether it’s licensed (and thus regulated), how it’s run, what bonus offers it advertises or promises and importantly whether it’s true to its word or exaggerates / omits key information just to get you to sign up, claim bonuses and ultimately deposit.
Here are some of the most obvious red flags to keep an eye out for:
If ever you come across online casinos where you can’t find any licensing information on their homepages or anywhere else on site, avoid them like the plague. Reputable virtual gambling sites are all verifiably licensed which indicates that they’re reputable and are managed honestly and fairly.
In other words, reputable sites list their licensing information or credentials on their homepage with links you can follow to their respective licensing authority(s) and/or online gambling jurisdictions. These may include but are not limited to the UK, Malta and Gibraltar. These jurisdictions oversee casinos licensed with them, ensuring that they’re operated honestly, fairly and with integrity.
If an online casino is unlicensed, don’t trust anything about it from its no deposit bonuses to its games, banking methods, payouts, customer service facilities, VIP program and the list goes on. Unlicensed casinos are far more likely to engage in unethical, unfair and illegal business practices than licensed virtual casinos.
If you encounter an online casino advertising a no deposit bonus or any other bonus that doesn’t correspond with the bonus T&Cs, steer well clear. Look for consistency between how a casino describes its bonuses or promotions on site and how they’re described in the accompanying T&Cs. If anything doesn’t match it’s most likely down to false advertising.
Non-transparent / unfair T&Cs
Even though most online casino bonuses have their own terms and conditions, some come with a long list of T&Cs that seem to be purposefully opaque or non-transparent. This is a ploy used by unscrupulous casinos to ‘muddy the waters’ about what is permissible bonus play.
For example, if you follow a casino’s bonus terms and conditions to the full and yet when you try to cash out your winnings you’re denied by the casino which cites the reason as ‘you didn’t adhere fully to the T&Cs.’ In other words their ‘interpretation’ of the bonus T&Cs is completely different to yours.
But this isn’t your fault it’s the casino’s.
This is why you must only ever claim no deposit bonuses with clear and concise T&Cs. If there’s anything you don’t understand, using live chat or via email ask a casino customer service agent to clarify it in full before you claim said bonus. If you feel that a bonus T&Cs are still too unclear, unfair or vague, walk away.
Unrealistic wagering requirements
Every bonus has wagering requirements you must meet before a casino lets you withdrawal your winnings. However, a red flag is raised when those requirements are unrealistic i.e. virtually impossible to fulfil so that you would in effect be wasting your time trying to fulfil them.
For instance, in the case of a $20 no deposit bonus with a 50x requirement, you’d have to make $1,000 in play through (bets) before cashing out. Considering your starting funds are a $20, turning that into $1,000 – though not impossible – is very unlikely and thus an unrealistic wagering requirement and a definite red flag.
Unexplained account closures
If ever you encounter an online casino that inexplicably closes player accounts without prior warning or explanation, stay clear. It’s no secret that the most highly regarded online casinos communicate well and often with their players to keep them in the picture and satisfied.
There is no valid excuse to close a player account and/or ban a player without issuing an explanation or fair warning first. If a virtual casino finds you to be in violation of any of its T&Cs it has the right to terminate your account and retain any and all winnings you may have obtained in an unsanctioned manner.
However, no reputable casino will ever close your account for no reason. Those that do should be red-flagged. Chances are that they are scammers or rogue casinos trying to get out of paying you out under false pretences. This is why you must only every register with reputable and tried and trusted casinos.
Poor customer service
Online casino customer service facilities are supposed to be friendly, efficient and most importantly, effective. If you end up on a casino dealing with support agents that are difficult to get hold of, evasive, inconsistent or rude in their information /answers or give you the ‘run around,’ run.
Withdrawal request issues
If you find an online casino that doesn’t process withdrawal requests on time or indeed at all, head for the hills. This is probably one of the most unforgivable offenses an online casino can commit and one that sends up the biggest of red flags because it involves keeping your cash.
The reason is if you can’t cash out your winnings there’s no point in gambling online for real money. Unscrupulous casinos will often refuse to pay you out on the pretence they require ID documents and other paperwork (that you’ve sent through to them before) to justify their overly long pay out periods.
Remember that reputable online casinos pay out on time and within the time frames set out on their banking pages and/or their general terms and conditions. They know if they don’t that they’ll do their reputations and their new signups serious damage. Avoid casinos that refuse to pay out player winnings.
Read Player Testimonials about Bad Online Casinos and Bonuses
These days thanks to the internet it’s not hard to find ‘reviews’ or opinions on just about everything from hotels, airlines and restaurants to doctors, vets and yes, even online casinos in the form of independent online gambling guides like No Deposit Kings and player testimonials about bad online casinos and bonuses.
Player testimonials can be an extremely effective tool when it comes to choosing online casinos to play on because they entail the opinions and experiences of actual players on a particular site. If you come across a multitude of negative player testimonials – recent or old – about a particular casino, each with similar complaints or issues, you would be well-advised to give that casino a wide berth.
On this site we take player testimonials a step further. Whether we get feedback from players about a potentially bad site and its offerings or pick up ‘buzz’ on the internet about a questionable site, we do our research. We use our team of experienced online casino researchers and reviewers and our many long-standing connections in the online gambling industry to verify if the claims and/or complaints are true or false.
If we discover they are true, we update our casino list accordingly and immediately i.e. we remove any rogue, dishonest or scam casinos. Here are a few examples of player testimonials we received about online casinos you should avoid at all costs:
Osiris Casino – Non Payment
“In June 2017 I tried to cash out $450 and expected the money to appear in my account in a matter of days. Then a week went by and when I contacted casino support I was told that my withdrawal request would be approved ‘within the next 3 days.’ That was a month ago and I’m still waiting…”
Green Dog Casino – Opaque T&Cs
“When I first signed up with this casino in February 2018 I was impressed with its easy registration and big choice of games. However, the wheels fell as soon as I claimed the bonus. I followed the bonus terms and conditions exactly but when trying to cash out I was informed by the casino that I was ‘in violation of the bonus T’s&C’s’ and that my winnings were being withheld.’ I still haven’t been told what exactly I did to violation the bonus terms and it’s been months now.”
Royal Blood Club Casino – Unfair T&Cs
“I was excited to sign up at this casino but was disappointed by the welcome bonus when I discovered how unfair its T&Cs were. By this I mean its maximum cashout was below average and its wagering requirement much higher than average. Plus, the casino then justified not paying me out by claiming that I played a game not covered in its list of eligible games even though it was. I even sent a copy of its own T&Cs to the casino proving I was right, but I never heard back.”
The Best Way to Avoid Scam Online Casinos
The best and most effective way to avoid scam or unscrupulous online casinos is to do your homework i.e. research before you sign up and claim bonuses by looking for red flags and comparing player testimonials. Or better still, let us do all the homework and research for you and present you with nothing but tried and trusted sites.
In this way you can enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that all the casino sites and bonus offers you see listed here have been thoroughly vetted and found to be 100% licensed, safe, reputable and lucrative, as are their respective no deposit and all other bonuses. The point is here you can click to play on solely safe casinos.
You’ll notice that most of the no deposit casinos promoted here on No Deposit Kings have been endorsed or certified by one or more independent online gambling industry testing firms and/or watchdog organisations such as Gaming Laboratories International (GLI), Gaming Associates (GA), Technical Systems Testing (TST) and eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA).
This is no coincidence as these firms only endorse gambling sites that pass muster. In other words, they only endorse virtual casinos that are reputable, honest, fair and 100% player-focused, and those are the only kind of casinos we’re interested in reviewing and showcasing so you can click, claim bonuses and play with confidence.