We often receive comments on our site about an inherent problem with online casinos, namely the payouts of winnings and whether online casinos are scams. The issues often addressed are the following:

  • Is the online casino a scam?
  • Can an online casino tamper with the games?
  • What are the current strategies of online casinos to refuse to pay winners?
  • What should I do if an online casino refuses to pay me?
  • Is there any legal recourse if I don’t pay?
  • How can I make sure I get paid before I start playing?
  • How do I choose an online casino that pays players?

We will try to answer all these questions through this file by sharing our team’s experience with you. You will thus be able to put all the chances on your side to make sure you get paid.

Is the online casino a scam?

Strictly speaking, no, an online casino is not a scam. An online casino offers so-called “digital” gambling. In the early 2000’s an online casino offered software to install on a computer and you could play all the existing casino games, and for several years now, almost all online casinos offer direct online gambling (without installing software).

This activity is regulated and a casinotist, like any land-based casino, must have a casino license. However we are talking here about an online casino, and who says online, says that these companies can exploit the different countries of the world to find flexible gambling licenses.

If for a long time the principle of scam has been associated with online casinos, it is because the first online casinos exploited this loophole consisting in exploiting “exotic” countries to offer online games, not paying the players and having no possible legal repercussions in case of complaint (international short circuit).

Online Casino Scams Over time, things have improved greatly. Scams gradually decreased and nowadays it is even very rare to find an online casino that systematically does not pay its players. It is indeed becoming too complex to create a company, a company bank account, and be able to take on many complaints from players while maintaining its activity. The banks are the first to flee from these schemes and they also require very strict proof of an activity set up in compliance with the law and the criteria of a casino license.

Most importantly, at the time there was little casino software available. Some online casinos had managed to find unscrupulous software to be able to modify the random draw of players in real time, and thus be able to cheat in complete transparency.

To conclude this first chapter, at the moment, no, the online casino is not/no longer a scam. Casino software is all subject to audits. They have become completely independent companies offering their games to companies that want to open online casinos. Gaming licenses have become much stricter and we have seen for several years now that many countries prefer to create a national gaming regulator to offer gaming licenses to local operators. If you read our news frequently, you can see that countries like Switzerland, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, etc. have all set up (or are in the process of setting up) an online casino licensing system for local operators. In France, the current competent authority is the ARJEL, but does not (yet) allow the distribution of online casino licenses.

All the operators in the world who use a national license of this type are highly supervised companies, with complex systems to prevent money laundering and audits on all the games provided. It then becomes almost impossible for online casinos to set up a scam system for the end user.

However, for countries that do not have a national licensing system, residents have no choice but to turn to online casinos that operate a gaming license in a country that distributes an international license. Currently the most widely used license in this case is that of Curaçao. It is slightly less strict than a national license but still requires audits of operators. There is no scam with the licenses of this country either and remain perfectly valid.

Please note that if you want to play at an online casino that doesn’t clearly show its gaming license, then run away! It might be possible to stumble upon a setup to create a scam.


Can an online casino tamper with the games?

As we have just said, an online casino creates a partnership with several casino software. These are completely independent entities. A casino software has a vested interest in providing an audited solution that no one can modify. Only the creator of a casino game can have access to the source code of the game and thus be able to modify the draws. But he would have absolutely nothing to gain in his position and must also meet criteria for his own gaming license.

We play a bit of devil’s advocate for some of the players reading this, but our team in Malta has been fortunate enough to be able to directly interview and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of the best known casino software on the market.

It is therefore necessary to make the nuance between beliefs, although based on the facts of the online casino of the 2000s, and game theories.

Many gamblers are unfamiliar with the laws of chance, particularly the law of difference and the law of large numbers.

When they are facing a roulette wheel and they see for example 13 times the red that comes out, these players are the first to shout scam and to publish many comments all over the internet. However, this roulette “face” has to happen. Rarely and with a definite frequency, but it must happen. And besides, it must be mandatory for a player to have periods of bad luck, but we will talk here about periods of misfortune. That is to say that no matter what games are chosen and what actions are taken, players must have periods of greater than average losses.

Those who have a long experience in land-based casinos know this very well, but beginner players in online casinos are the first to cry wolf.

And then comes a fairly well-known loop… they cannot question the laws of chance, and contact the casino support, indicating for example that slot machines give away almost no winnings even with many deposits. Often they start insulting the support, and they start a real conflict. If the casino has an international license and knows that the player is not then operating under a national license, they may make the decision to close an account, according to their terms and conditions, and the player unfortunately will have a real feeling of having been scammed and cheated. He will thus pollute the internet with his experience, thinking he is doing the right thing, but only having lived a completely logical and random experience.

To close this chapter and answer you, at the moment, no, a modern online casino (which has the games that come from software such as Yggdrasil Gaming, NetEnt, Quickspin, Betsoft, etc.) cannot change the draws of the games, and even if it wanted to, it couldn’t.

The only exception we found is the history of cloned games that were several years ago. An unscrupulous company had created games that closely resembled the real games in the NetEnt software, and therefore had the ability at that time to change the games’ draw. But the online casino that did this didn’t survive long because very quickly the players noticed the subterfuge.

So we are quite clear: 99.99% of today’s online casinos are technically unable to tamper with the games they offer. In the next chapters we will give you other tricks that current online casinos use to “cheat” and thus not pay out players’ winnings without having to change the draws.


What are the current strategies of online casinos to refuse to pay winners?

Casino bonusesCurrent online casinos can’t cheat on draws, have to meet very strict criteria with their banks and gaming licenses… but still have a playing card, so to speak, to vitiate players.

And the means they use is actually very simple, they rely on the laziness of a part of the players. A still significant number of players do not read the conditions of the bonuses and that is where the problem lies.

There are some particularly vicious conditions that legally allow online casinos not to pay players if they do not comply with them. Here are a few examples where a casino reserves the right to confiscate winnings when you have requested a withdrawal and used a bonus:

Use of a higher bet than allowed. For example, a casino may require a player to wager no more than €5 or €10 when playing with bonus money. If you have exceeded this wager even once, the casino may deny your withdrawal request.

Use of a martingale or a method similar to a betting strategy. Some casinos will deny a withdrawal if the player has used a martingale (such as in roulette), i.e. the player would have exploited a bet progression (or decrease) based on the number of wins or losses.

Use of the bonus on unscheduled games, i.e. the bonus money may only be played on slot machines and not on table games.

Or simply the non-respect of imposed wagering, i.e. you haven’t yet played enough bets to request a withdrawal (wagering above 30 or 35 can really become hard to absorb… run away from casinos that have wagering around 60).

These are the most well-known cases but there are still a multitude of particularly wacky conditions and this is the legal way for a casino to refuse to pay your winnings.

Therefore, you should always read the conditions of the bonuses, which are given to players by default. It is still possible to contact the casinos to refuse the bonuses.

We still believe that bonuses are a real advantage, but that you should go to serious brands that do not have too restrictive conditions. Usually the bonuses will be smaller (usually €200 max. on a welcome bonus rather than €2,000) but in normal play, they can be exploited to good effect without suffering confiscation of winnings.

Do not trust the support team blindly if you question them via chat, as the conditions can be numerous. Take the time once and for all to read all the conditions, you won’t regret it!

And also keep the reflex to run away from a casino that imposes too long a list of these conditions. There are brands that only have 5 or 6 conditions to respect (and which are reasonable…) while others impose about 30! The choice must be made quickly.


What should I do if an online casino refuses to pay me?

If for some (as yet) unknown reason you do not receive payment for your winnings, there is a certain list of do’s and don’ts:

Whatever happens, always be courteous! It is reasonable for any company to encounter technical problems. An online casino is not in total control of everything because it has to manage many independent companies. The payment methods and their integration require updates, as do the casino software and so on. It can happen that the online casino has nothing to do with it. And even if it has something to do with it, don’t forget that courteous communication will always be favorable to you. The reason is simple, if you start desecrating threats (especially to an international casino), the casino will simply close your account and all communication with them. And even more easily if it is forbidden in your country of residence to play at an online casino, then it will not hesitate for a second to lose a player who has made up his mind and decided to have a particularly negative and threatening speech. And even though losing money is always unpalatable to anyone, one can also reasonably put oneself in the casino’s shoes. If the gambler in question is based on mistaken beliefs and facts, what is the point for a company to continue to nurture a conflict for a client who has made up his mind about the course of gambling and is convinced that he has experienced abuse or cheating. In conclusion, no matter who is right or wrong, courteous communication is always required to manage and resolve a problem.

Ask the casino for a clear reason for not paying you. You may have unknowingly violated a bonus rule, or perhaps a document sent to validate your application is not acceptable. If your withdrawal request is delayed, there may be a reason that is not indicated or updated on your account. After a week, it may be necessary to have support via chat or ideally by phone to clarify the reason once and for all, and try to resolve it in real time. Prepare beforehand all the documents that are usually requested so that you can send them immediately and ask to have a good reception in real time.

If everything is validated on the casino side and the payment does not come, contact them once a week. Always courteously, but don’t contact them too often, but don’t contact them too little either. Once a week or once every 10 days may be sufficient. It can happen that an online casino may have problems with delays. The last one was encountered on a very well known brand, they had a very strong international impact and suddenly they had a surge in traffic with a lot of new players. The problem was for them to process a very large number of files to be validated for the withdrawal of winnings. It took them about 2 months to find competent teams to ensure a fast processing again. Many players had to wait several weeks for their first withdrawal to arrive! In this particular case, if you contact the casino too often, it is obviously counterproductive, although understandably so, you be the judge!

If the casino has a national license from any authority, you may contact them. If you have complied with the above three points and an online casino is unable to provide you with a clear reason why it is not paying your winnings, then you can redirect yourself to the authority that gave it its gaming license. They will be able to apply pressure and agree with the player. But this only works if you are a resident of a country that allows you to play at the online casino and you are playing at a site that is licensed in your country of residence. If this is not the case, contacting the international gaming license will have no effect, and even less so if in your country of residence you are not allowed to play.

Take your pain in patience! Sometimes there are some very serious casinos but they can be delayed for the reasons mentioned above. If you feel like playing, just choose a second (or a third) brand to be able to alternate your gaming sessions! This way you can wait patiently without getting angry at the casino in question, and take your pain in patience by playing on another brand. The best of both worlds!

Possibly contact some casino guides. For example, you can contact us or contact other sites that offer casino reviews. Depending on their reputations and partnerships, they may be in direct contact with certain brands. They may have a different sound and additional information about your case. Some sites even offer to file a “complaint” to publicly expose the problem. If the casino brand follows this, they will have a little more pressure to look after their image and try to resolve the problem a little faster.

So you know what to do if your winnings are refused. You will have to respect these points and there is still a very good chance that you will win in the coming weeks or months, if you have respected all the bonus conditions and sent all the right documents.


Is there any legal recourse in case of non-payment?

Casino License As explained in the previous chapter, you will only have a real guarantee if you gamble with an operator who has a national license (as compared to your country of residence). Generally, if a country distributes gambling licenses, it prohibits gambling on foreign sites.

From there, if you complain to a foreign license, it will win the case for the casino, because before you imagined anything, you were not allowed to gamble, and that’s the end of it. At the time of writing, in June 2019, the most telling example is that of France. Currently it is not allowed by the ARJEL for a French player to play in an online casino. However, if a player goes to a foreign online casino that accepts him (and still has a gaming license on Curaçao), and a dispute arises, then that player will have absolutely no recourse (legal or otherwise). The player accepts and takes his/her own responsibility for depositing money at a gambling site.

However, if you have a dispute with an operator that operates a license in your country of residence, you have some protection and you can complain if you are satisfied that you have complied with the terms and conditions.

Can this go all the way to court, yes in some cases, but long before that, the competent authority has the power to decide and put pressure on the operator to act quickly.


How do I make sure I get paid before I start gambling?

If you really want to make sure you have the best chance of getting paid, there are several things you can do:

You may request that your account be settled as declining all bonuses. That way you will be free to withdraw your winnings at any time, period. The welcome bonus automatically credited to your account will then be withdrawn and you should of course make this request before you start playing. Please note that there are brands that have bonuses without wagering requirements, such as Cresus Casino, which allows you to enjoy a welcome bonus without wagering requirements (however you will not be able to withdraw the bonus offered).

You can ask to have your account validated as if you were going to ask for your first withdrawal, and ask for confirmation that everything is fully compliant and validated. This way you can be sure that after you make a deposit and generate winnings, your file is already validated and your winnings withdrawal will be processed more quickly and smoothly.

You must always use a payment method that belongs to you. Some players use the credit card of a friend or relative. You should avoid this practice as much as possible because even if you can prove (with a selfie holding the card) that you have been authorized to use that card, the online casino may also ask you for a letter from the bank or other justification. To keep it simple, only use your own payment methods and be aware that if your bank card is about to expire, it is best to wait for your new card. Because if it takes a long time to request your first withdrawal after you make your first deposit, it is also possible that the casino will ask you for a letter from your bank (because you may have thrown away your expired card in the meantime).

Almost useless to remind you, but if you are resident in a country that distributes casino gaming licenses, only play at a licensed casino!

Finally you only have to choose reliable online casinos and that’s the subject of our next chapter!

Remember to respect these conditions and you should be in good conditions to enjoy a responsible online game and maybe you will have the chance to win a jackpot… without knowing the frustration of having it confiscated!


How do I choose an online casino that pays players?

The fateful question to conclude this case is the choice of a reliable online casino that will save you from many complications in favor of a good gambling pleasure. Here are our tips to help you:

First thing to check, the gaming license. As we told you before, if your country of residence issues licenses, you should quickly find out if a site in question has the license logo. If not, you should always check to see if the online casino promotes the gambling license. Operators who have a license in Curaçao usually put a link on the license logo that allows you to see on the official license site whether the operator has a valid and active license.

Reputation helps to find a reliable casino. Nowadays, many people consult reviews, especially in e-commerce on sites like Amazon. Reviews, even if sometimes they can be tampered with, can give a fairly accurate indication. Using many comparison sites and casino guide sites allows you to see how often a brand comes back to the top of the ranking and how long it has been there. There are online casinos that have been on the market for many years and have a solid reputation, especially for payment management. In fact, all the casinos that have 5 stars in our online casino comparison have a solid reputation and are mainly at the top of the rankings for payment management even before they have a very competitive offer for gambling. Payments remain the real priority.

If you have any doubts (because it may be a young casino), in any case, you only need to invest a small amount, even if you don’t want to take full advantage of the welcome bonus. There will be many other opportunities and promotions available to you. But to avoid regrets, invest only small amounts at the beginning. You can very well invest 50 or 100 € and play for fun and especially to judge the overall aspect of the seriousness delivered. If you have made a gain, you will be able to judge the capacity to be paid in the treatment of the file and the delay of payment. If you were ever faced with an online casino that is still unreliable… you won’t have lost a lot in the end! This advice may seem basic, but it is nevertheless very important. And of course for a more comfortable game, you should consider the money deposited as money invested in fun and therefore “lost” money.

We could still offer you some smaller tips, but the goal is not to get lost either. If you already follow these rules you will quickly choose reliable online casinos. You can make a consensus between several casino guides and comparisons like ours to have a “top” and thus quickly find the brands that are put forward, because these are usually the most reliable regarding the payment of lines and especially the seriousness during the whole process.

Last but not least, it is important to note that any online casino has a real interest in building player loyalty. Don’t forget that just like a land-based casino, the bank always wins in the long run. Any casino will therefore do its utmost to pay you because it knows that in the very long term, if you are satisfied you will come back to play… and therefore lose your winnings again (or make new deposits)! If you respect the conditions and if you are loyal and even become a VIP player, you shouldn’t have any payment problems in the long run.

The only time a casino will use its wacky conditions to deny you a win will be in the case of a big win where it will try to find a loophole in your gambling history. In other cases, you will get paid and all you have to do is compare the different serious brands with the games that are available for you. If you are rather a player who likes unconditional bonuses, or live games, or have a multitude of different software… in any case, the whole team at Jeux-Gratuits.Casino wishes you lots of (paid) winnings !

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