There are many reputable online gaming and poker sites that we have no qualms about recommending to our readers. However, there are a few that aren't quite on the up-and-up. We've compiled the list of rogue operators below as a service to our visitors so that they don't inadvertently sign up with a disputable organization thereby putting their funds at risk.
Russian literary giant Leo Tolstoy noted in his masterpiece “Anna Karenina”: “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” Well, in our opinion, the same is true regarding honest online poker rooms, casino sites, and sportsbooks as contrasted to their underhanded brethren.
We all know what makes for a satisfying real money gaming experience – fair random number generation, the speedy payout of winnings, competent customer support, and generous rewards programs. When things go awry, however, they can do so in any of a number of ways. The practices engaged in by the companies on our blacklist include the following:
All of the internet gambling destinations that we've singled out for inclusion in our blacklist are guilty of one or more of these infractions. It's not enough to just have committed the odd misstep or two – these sites have demonstrated a long-term pattern of unsavory behavior.
We strongly urge you to avoid the sites presented below. Play there at your own peril.
When it first opened in 2014, Betcoin seemed like a godsend to crypto enthusiasts looking for a new place to play poker with Bitcoin. However, these hopes were shortly dashed when the incompetence and shadiness of Betcoin's management became known. Allegations of collusion at the tables and house bots have been repeated regularly over the course of Betcoin's life, and the site seemingly doesn't care about them. Add to this mix rude and unhelpful customer support, broken promises over the years, disputes involving slot machine jackpots in the attached casino, and many other controversies, and it becomes clear that avoiding Betcoin is a smart move. Betcoin actually closed its poker room near the end of 2017, but, as is typical, it soon changed its mind and reopened for business.
This is a gaming operator that used to be trustworthy, but it has since made a slow, prolonged descent into crookedness. The problems at Merge – which consists of Carbon Poker, Sportsbook.com, PlayerOnly.ag, and several other associates – began when it was taken over by Jazette Enterprises around 2012. Pretty soon, the new owners reduced player rewards, broke their longstanding agreements with affiliates, and began banning winning individuals from playing poker on their platform. There have been periods in the past where payouts have taken more than six months to process. Carbon Poker is but a shadow of its former self, and there are much better places to play.
Burnbet Casino is one of a number of internet casino sites that host pirated software. You cannot be confident that these games deliver true results because the payout algorithms may have been altered from their original programming. Burnbet has gone well beyond the standard for sup-par online gambling entities by actually threatening the author of a negative review with death. Needless to say, it doesn't treat its customers much better than it does independent review sites, so we counsel you to keep away.
2WinPower is a software house that's a kind of capo di tutti capi among rogue online casinos. That is, it supplies the ersatz gaming titles that many of these devious operators use. This dishonest vendor of gaming services and software isn't content to sit in the shadows, brokering its products in the dark. Rather, it actually employs shills to promote it on popular online forums, like Quora. If you encounter any internet casino site that features games by 2WinPower, the best thing you could do is run away as fast as you can.
Don't be deceived: CasinoMGA has nothing whatever to do with the respected Malta Gaming Authority. It's attempting to capitalize on this unconscious association in the minds of potential victims in order to boost its own fortunes. Needless to say, the deception doesn't end there. CasinoMGA proffers illicit copies of real slot games, presenting them as the legitimate versions, which they assuredly are not. Anyone who deposits at this unprincipled casino is taking big risks with his or her cash.
Sun Club Casino is another bogus online casino that purveys video slots that are counterfeit. Not only are these titles phony, but they seem to have been altered to introduce player-unfriendly elements, like disappearing free spins. The software provider for SunClub (Superomatic) actually boasts that its clients can adjust the return-to-player percentages of its games to increase the house hold! There's no reason for anyone to play at Sun Club when there are hundreds of sound places to enjoy casino games.
OddsMaker is a sports betting site that appears to be nothing more than a cash grab with little interest in actually running a clean sportsbook. It entices customers with misleading bonus offers, replete with high rollover requirements, overly restrictive rules on which bets are allowed, high minimum cashout values, and other strict fine print. And then even when a few users manage to complete the bonus stipulations, the company very often confiscates their balances! Beating the vig is hard enough even without the possibility of losing your balance on top of that, so find yourself a better bookie, and eschew OddsMaker with great prejudice.
A dinosaur in the online betting business, Topbet dates back to the early 2000s. Unfortunately, this history isn't an enviable one with the firm stealing, by some estimates, more than $1 million from its customers. Slowpay and nopay are regular occurrences at this illegitimate bookie. This sportsbook actually rebranded in 2012 and promised to mend its errant ways, but this new commitment to transacting in an above-board manner didn't last. It soon relapsed into its former shameful ways. If you don't want to lose your money, take a pass on the unscrupulous Topbet.
Some corrupt gambling enterprises eventually collapse under the weight of their own nefarious deeds. This is a good thing because it means that nobody else can lose their cash at these sites in the future, but it's also bad because those who had deposited in the past are generally completely out of luck in terms of trying to retrieve their account balances.
The following companies are now long-closed, but they serve as a cautionary warning as to what can happen if you're not careful in selecting your internet gaming locations.
Lock Poker debuted to great fanfare on the Cake Network although it had to migrate to the Merge Network (back when Merge was an upright poker operation) due to disagreements with its business partners. This was a foretaste of things to come as Lock eventually fell out with Merge too due to breaking network rules around under-the-table rakeback and promotions. Returning back to Cake, it assumed a larger role as the network's flagship site, even rebranding it as the Revolution Gaming Network. However, Lock soon proved itself to be a ponzi scheme, using newer deposits to pay out past obligations to players. As withdrawal timeframes got longer and longer, eventually surpassing the one-year mark, it became clear that Lock was nothing but a scam. It eventually closed in 2015 owing customers an estimated $15 million.
This innovative service allowed users to transfer their funds across multiple poker networks using a single integrated wallet. An apparent solution for individuals tired of managing balances at multiple rooms, Muchos soon turned out to be a way to consolidate one's various balances into not one wallet but zero wallets. The networks that it worked with soon kicked it off one by one, and Muchos ultimately failed entirely.
A relatively short-lived phenomenon, Jao Poker marketed itself heavily through Facebook and other social media channels from the time of its inception in early 2017. Its bizarre business model involved making affiliates pay to promote the site, and these affiliates then had to recruit others in order to recoup their investments. This reminded us of a multi-level marketing scam, and we predicted that Jao would come to no good end. Our beliefs were borne out by the facts as Jao shut down unexpectedly in February 2018. Depositing players saw their funds vanish into thin air.
Don't let our catalog of miscreants scare you into thinking that online gaming scams are unavoidable. By opting to trust only honorable sites with your money, you can spare yourself a lot of hassles and headaches.
We've partnered with some of the leading dependable internet gaming providers so that you don't have to worry about the safety of your funds or the integrity of the gameplay. Check out our picks for the best: