An unlicensed casino operates gambling facilities or websites without registering with the appropriate gaming license authorities. It usually works outside the legal jurisdiction of the countries where the players live, and it’s not audited by any third party to certify that the games are fair and honest for players.
If you choose to play on unlicensed gaming platforms, there are several serious risks you assume for which you most likely have no remedy. This article will examine some of those risks and why you should avoid unlicensed gambling sites.
You Can’t Recover Stolen Money
Since unlicensed gambling sites operate outside of UK law, they can conduct their business any way they choose. One frightening danger is that money you deposit into your account could become missing. Unfortunately, you have no way of recovering your money, especially if the site operates offshore.
Your only hope of recovery is if you made your deposit utilizing a credit card and you file a claim with your bank. However, some banks may deny your claim because you were engaged in illegal activity, and under those circumstances, banks are under no obligation to take a loss on your behalf.
You Risk Identity Theft
When you register with an online gambling site, you’re required to reveal a lot of sensitive financial information about yourself to the site. Unlicensed gambling sites have been known to collect registration information and then sell it on the black market for hefty sums.
It can be months before you realize your information has been stolen. By then, you may find bank accounts opened in your name, loans taken out, and purchases made that you’ve never heard about. It can take many months or years to unravel the mess, and your credit rating is severely damaged during the process.
Games May Be Unfair
Regulated gambling sites like these are required to submit to random third-party audits of their software to verify that the games are fair to all players. These audits guarantee that the site you’re using cannot stack the deck, making it almost impossible for you to win.
Conversely, unlicensed casinos are not subjected to auditing of any kind. Therefore, the operators can manipulate the games to behave any way they choose, much to the detriment of players and most advantageously to themselves.
There’s simply no way for you to know if your account is slowly but surely dwindling due to bad luck or because you never stood a chance of ever winning in the first place.
You Lose Responsible Gambling Protections
Legal online casinos are required to monitor players’ behavior and identify irresponsible activities so they can offer them self-help tools to reign in uncontrollable gambling behaviors.
Unlicensed casinos have no such requirement and may even encourage you to gamble away your life savings without batting an eyelash. Since they operate illegally, they’re either outside the jurisdiction of your country, or they’re a fly-by-night organization that disappears when the heat is on. Once your money is gone, all you can do is cry into your ale at the local pub if you can still afford the drink.
How to Check If a Site is Unlicensed
Licensed casino operators usually display their gambling license in the website’s footer for you to see, as seen with all the sites at Casinopick. You can copy and paste the license number into the search box on the Gambling Commission’s website and confirm that the license number is valid and in good order.
If licensing information can’t be found anywhere on the website, then beware! That’s a major red flag. You’re likely dealing with a shady operator, and you’d be wise to stay away.
Whenever you sign up with an online gambling site, always confirm that it has a legitimate license and it’s in good standing before sending them money. It’s also a good idea to check the site’s reputation by finding them on two or more rating portals and reading any available feedback in the comments section.
Suppose the operator has scammed other players. In that case, you’ll find plenty of complaints and be forewarned to spend your money elsewhere with a licensed, regulated, and audited online gaming operation.