6 Online Casino Scams Gamblers Need to Watch Out For

  • Last updated
  • 2023/12/10
Online Casino Scams

Just like many things on the internet, the rumors of online casino scams are often exaggerated. However, is there any truth to them?

Indeed, there are various scams, scandals, and deceitful tactics that we have discovered, which should make us more vigilant. We have also revealed methods to safeguard ourselves, explaining their workings and how to ensure our protection, potentially saving us both time and money.

Be aware that not all of these scams are confined to the internet.

Online Casino Scams

Some individuals began their careers in the physical world, and the risk of fraudulent activities in Las Vegas casinos is that the culprits have had a trial run with more security measures in place. 

For scammers, succeeding in Vegas means they can succeed anywhere. This blog discusses these real-world scams and those that have emerged in the digital age. 

Additionally, it offers practical steps and precautions to safeguard yourself, your computer, and your finances. 

Being aware is being prepared. If you have doubts about a specific online casino, consult our list of blacklisted casinos to ensure it hasn't already been flagged as a dubious operation.

Online Casino Deposit Theft

Whenever money is involved, there is always the potential for deceit and theft, especially in the context of deposits made in online casinos, particularly the initial ones. 

The online casinos perpetrating these fraudulent activities are not interested in establishing a lasting relationship with their customers; rather, they are akin to a robbery, and once they have obtained the money, they are likely to disappear. 

In the early days of online gambling, specifically the 1990s and early 2000s, this type of theft was a significant issue and it is a scam that does not require a substantial investment of time or money from the scammers.

The site needs to look like a pro-level operation. A skilled web designer can build a front end that looks like a casino but has nothing behind it in a matter of hours. The only part of the site that needs to work, as far as the site owners are concerned, is their payment processing page.

Extended versions of the deposit theft scheme involve a functioning casino where customers are lured into making small deposits. As they continue to play and lose money, they are eventually tempted with exorbitant "reload" bonuses in exchange for making a substantial deposit. The outcome remains unchanged, but in this case, the online casinos delay the withdrawal of winnings or seize them under false pretenses instead of simply vanishing.

Non-Payment of Legitimate Winnings

Not all online casinos can be included in the list of the quickest to pay out winnings. In fact, some may even attempt to avoid paying you altogether.

Frequently carried out alongside deposit theft, this is a scam that occurs over a longer period of time and is more sporadic. Preventing a player from accessing their rightful winnings by providing weak excuses is reprehensible, but with patience, it can be developed into a long-term scheme.

Here's how it works: You deposit money, play for a bit, and then, thanks to a series of small yet thrilling wins or a major jackpot, you find yourself with more than sufficient funds in your account for gaming. At that point, you decide to withdraw some of your winnings.

The withdrawal process is stopped early because the casino claims it is unable to proceed with your withdrawal. They may provide a reason, which could be weak or false, such as accusing you of deceit, but regardless of the excuse, you are unable to access your winnings while the online casino can.

There are valid explanations for an internet casino to delay payment on a genuine victory. For example, your winnings might be connected to bonus funds from signing up or reloading, and you may not have met the necessary playthrough conditions yet.

Online Casino Bonus Scams

Bonus Scams

Online casinos may not have the allure of live performances by Lady Gaga or the appeal of 99-cent shrimp cocktails, but they do offer deposit bonuses.

 All online casinos, whether reputable or not, provide sign-up bonuses and many also offer redeposit bonuses. 

These bonuses are earned by gambling a specific amount. The key difference between a legitimate deposit bonus and a potential scam is the seemingly unrealistic nature of the reward. 

A legitimate online casino might propose to match your initial deposit with a 100% bonus, but then require you to gamble the equivalent of 30 times your initial deposit (known as "rollover") to access that bonus, which is a standard practice.

On the other hand, the scammers offer unbelievably grandiose bonuses—and then require you to gamble even larger sums of your own money to gain access to that bonus.

Certain fraudulent online casinos may entice you with a huge reload bonus after you have lost a significant portion of your initial deposit. For example, they might offer a 400% bonus, which may seem very appealing. However, it's important to consider the 80x rollover requirement and the minimum deposit of $500.

 Additionally, in order to earn the $2000 bonus, you would need to complete a playthrough of $40,000.

Theft of Personal or Banking Information

It’s a sad fact that while your momma may love you, the rest of the world knows you only through your social information: your name, your personal statistics (age, hair color, etc.), and the history of your social activities, particularly those involving finances.

A scammer armed with just your name, your social security number, and some info from one of your credit cards can effectively destroy your life, clearing out bank accounts, running up lines of credit, wreaking havoc on that credit rating you spent years building.

Want to buy a house? You can forget that. You can forget ever getting another credit card. That’s identity theft.

Stealing your deposit or even refusing to pay you your winnings seems almost mild compared to the havoc identity theft can wreak.

And shifty online casinos are perfectly poised to take advantage of this explosion of ID theft. They are, after all, already criminals. Why not broaden their suite of “services” to include identity theft?

Once it has your personal information (you do remember providing it when you signed up, right?)The online casino can either use the data it harvested, or it can sell it to a third party—giving up some of that sweet stolen money but eliminating—or at least masking—evidence of its thievery.

Be Aware of Malware

Giving is not always better than receiving, especially when you fall victim to an online casino that infects your system with malware. 

The threat of malware, ranging from viruses and trojans to backdoors and spyware, is a genuine concern that extends beyond online casinos. 

Malware can be delivered through various means, such as embedded in downloaded apps or email attachments. While there are numerous types of malware, they generally fall into a few main categories.

Online Casino Bonus Scams

Phishing Scams

These emails notify you about fake issues with your bank or credit card account. 

They often incorporate logos and language from real bank communications to make you believe they are authentic. 

They usually include a link for you to click on to "fix your problem." As the saying goes: "Don't click on it."


Ransomware is the most deserving of our fear and disgust. A harmful software is sent to your computer and, at a specific time, it becomes active, usually freezing all other activities on the computer. 

It seizes your files and applications, while displaying messages that threaten to delete or damage all data on the device (or even on your entire network) unless the ransom demands are fulfilled.


Backdoors are the most common form of this kind of malicious software. They are essentially secret or concealed entry points for external individuals to access the private areas of your computer or mobile device. 

This can lead to the extraction of sensitive personal data, and the installation of keyloggers, which are programs that record every keystroke, including passwords.

That information can either be used by the thief or, worse, sold to a third party, muddying the waters and making it impossible to track down the culprits.

Malware is a widespread issue across the internet, not limited to the online casino sector. However, I mention it here as a potential threat from scammers in the internet casino industry because there is a higher chance of encountering spyware from a site that already has software on your computer, compared to a site with which you have had no interaction.

Bogus Casino Apps

Legitimate online gambling sites offer a proprietary app to play their games or use their sports and racebooks. These can be trusted.

But there are plenty of maligned casino apps –usually trying very hard to look like the legitimate ones—available from the app stores run by Apple and Google.

These apps are generally pretty easy to spot since the reviews are full of one or two-word reviews like “SCAM!” and “Don’t download!”

Rigged Casino Games

These casino scams aren’t hidden. The online casino might have their appallingly unfair payout schedule buried somewhere in their site map, and you might even find it provided you are diligent and persistent.

And that’s part of the problem. One of the toughest things about identifying rigged games at online casinos is the sheer difficulty of first determining the rigged game and, second, proving it.

We all know the house has the advantage (and if you’re not already aware of this, perhaps gambling is not for you). We accept that because we think we can win anyway. Hey, we’re human beings.

And variance—that event horizon between house advantage and lucky streak—says we’ve got a shot, which is all we want.

There are as many ways to rig a game online as there are games themselves. Here are a few of the most prevalent.


The rigging can be pretty subtle. The near-miss is a way to encourage players to continue playing, despite losing consistently. The winning combination on a slot machine—flaming sevens—comes up with the first two flaming sevens in the winning position (centerline) and the third slightly above or below the centerline.

So close, you say with a shake of your head and hit the spin button again. The Nevada Gaming Commission has admitted that while these near-miss situations on slot machines can seem deceptive, they are too prevalent to be outlawed.

However, they outlaw “secondary decision” spins that deceptively suggested a win was just a nudge away.

Insider Collusion

If you were around the online gambling world in the early 2000s, you have heard of the insider collusion that scandalized the world of online poker playing.

You can easily find information about the eventual insolvency of Absolute Poker. Still, the short story is this: In 2007, the online poker room employees colluded to cheat players during a tournament, with one employee playing and the other feeding him information about his competitors’ cards.

RNG Manipulation

One way shady online casinos skim money from their patrons is by manipulating the random-number generators responsible for the results of every card dealt, every wheel spun, and every keno number hit.

Online casinos use random number generators—or, to be more specific, they use pseudo-random number generators—to produce the results for every game.

If you want to know the difference between pseudorandom and actual random number generation, here’s a fascinating article about just that. The short story is that PRNGs are pretty efficient and dependable for online and real-world gambling devices.

But RNG can be faked—and quite quickly when everything takes place behind the anonymizing curtain of the Internet.

Incidentally, we’ve already looked and learned how to identify them.

What Is the Worst Online Casino Scam?

I know what you’re thinking: OMG! What could be worse than all the horror stories you’ve already told me? The quick answer is that the worst online casino scam is the one you got taken in by.

And I agree. You have my sympathy.

So, to avoid becoming just another virtual chalk outline in the internet’s ongoing war with online casinos scams, remember this: Despite the apparent ease with which you can be parted with your money, your winnings, and your very identity, these online casino scammers are very easy to thwart.

So, my final answer to your question is straightforward.


Deal with legitimate online casinos. Full stop.

This is the way to combat concerted attempts to steal money and information. It has the benefit of ensuring you’re not dealing with online casinos that lose track of your money through sloth or even mismanagement.

Legitimate online casinos have vast amounts of money invested in simply getting certified and licensed to operate in your state, province, and country.

And why is that important? Because certification and licensure mean that the online casino must operate according to very specific gaming regulations of your state, province, or country.

We here at GamblingSites.com have several sources you can use to start vetting your prospective online casinos. Of course, I already mentioned our blacklist, but to save you the long scroll upward, there it is again.

And now, here’s our curated list of safe online casinos.