Combating fraudulent online gaming businesses

Like many other profitable markets, online casinos and poker sites have attracted sophisticated fraudsters from around the globe. Photo: Getty Images

WASHINGTON, June 25, 2013 — Let’s face it. Casinos (and those who run them) are not exactly renowned for their honesty. At the same time, there are many legitimate casino and gambling establishments that offer great value and tons of good, clean fun to their patrons. The challenge, however, is getting to the point where you can tell the difference between the good and the bad.

To a large degree, the online casino genre is a victim of both opportunity and greed. Since their inception, internet poker and gambling sites have been met with massive amounts of activity, engagement and most importantly, revenue.

The excitement and fun of gambling coupled with the ability to engage in the activity from the comfort of one’s own home creates a perfect storm for a large scale, profitable market that is guaranteed to spend by the mere nature of the activity in which it is engaged.

Like many other profitable markets, online casinos and poker sites have attracted sophisticated fraudsters from around the globe. And much like the diet industry, many of those fraudsters have not been so much 3rd parties as they have been company owners and managers themselves. 

Cheating customers out of rewards and “fixing” the odds of winning against customers are some of the more common complaints that these gaming sites get. The challenge, however, is that there is usually no one to confront in person when it comes to online casinos. You are dealing with a faceless website and most often an automated response system where your issues receive little follow up for concern.

In addition to the fraud that originates from third parties and companies is the fraud that is often created by greedy customers. False claims and game-setting programming scripts are two of the most common types of fraud that actual gamers engage in.

On the surface, most of these sites seem so similar in appearance and function that it can be difficult for an untrained eye to tell the difference between the “good” ones and the “bad” ones—those more likely to have fraudulent activity. This activity can come from unscrupulous owners who betray the trust of their patrons, customers who violate their terms of use agreement and third parties who capitalize on software or system vulnerabilities to attack or alter the outcome on the sites.

There is, however, some recourse for the concerned consumer. There are a number of guides that do an excellent job of identifying which sites should be trusted vs. those that should not. Before you spend a dime of your hard earned money on an online casino or poker site, make sure to check out one of these guides first.

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