Rogue online casinos, blacklist and warnings
As a general rule, we try to avoid even including casinos on this site if they are not up to scratch. However we value the disclosure of information over ignoring a problem in the hope that it will go away - so we don't just ignore the bad apples in the online gambling industry, we tell you who they are and why. That makes this page one of the most valuable on our site. It may not win you anything but it may just save you a whole lot of time, heartache and money.
Occasionally casinos have a software problem, or turn bad, or go under. Then there are the casinos that are outright scams, have cheating software, or disappear overnight. The casinos listed below should all be regarded as rogue casinos for the reasons stated. You can read further information for those we have reviewed by clicking the casino name.
If you are going to bookmark one page on this site, make it this one and please check it before you play at a casino - no matter who recommends it to you. It is far better to be safe than sorry after the event.
Rogue Casinos: the worst of the worst
Virtual Casino Group
This group of casinos has a long and consistent history of non payment of winnings, deliberately slow withdrawal processing, repeated bogus requests for proof of ID to stall on payments, and poor customer service. The owner of this group was convicted and jailed for conspiracy and mail fraud in the United States in 1997.
They are based in Costa Rica, and are completely unregulated which means that there is no player protection or recourse for you as a player if there is a problem. See reviews for further information and comments from players who have been burnt by these guys. The short of it is do not deposit your money at these casinos!
Ace Revenue Casinos
This is a group of rebranded Crystal Palace Group casinos, which are believed to have been acquired by the above-mentioned rogue Virtual Casino Group after the death of former owner Warren Cloud.
Also based in Costa Rica - so no player protection or recourse if there is a problem. See Silver Oak Casino review for further information.
Slot Madness was acquired by this group in June 2010.
Upon launching Mighty Slots in late 2008, this RTG group mercilessly reamed player inboxes with a repeated spam campaign. Where they obtained the players' email addresses we can only speculate. Their standard of business ethics continued into the operation of the casino, where they frequently ignored valid withdrawal requests, outright refusing to pay players. Want to play at a casino where you have no chance of winning, ever? Step right up into one of this group's den of thieves.
This scam group is still in operation today. Players beware!
CyberRock Entertainment N.V. Casinos
Blacklisted due to frequent player complaints regarding non payment, extremely slow payments, and some incredible answers from their support when quizzed about the delays. A close perusal of their terms and conditions should send you running for the hills. Currently if you deposit less than $250 you are limited to winning a maximum of 10x your deposit, irrespective of whether you claim a bonus or win a progressive jackpot. The withdrawals are capped at very low monthly amounts and, to cap it all off, they have a laughable "15-18 day authorisation period" for all withdrawals.
Why would anyone want to play at a casino under these rules? Nobody of course, but the crooks running these casinos rely on the patronage of naive customers that don't bother to read the pages of T&Cs that have the "money" clauses buried half way down. The icing on the cake was the threatening emails we received, sent to us by their unprofessional keyboard warrior management, demanding that we remove anything bad said about their casinos from our site. Ultimately these are casinos run by people that cannot be trusted with your money.
More blacklisted and rogue casinos
We were very surprised to receive an email from BetVictor management in June 2015 that told us that they were shutting down our affiliate account after holding one for several years in good standing that referred players to their casino. The email, which did not even have the courtesy of including the name of the sender, signed off with this incredibly childish and patronising line: Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any further questions however this decision is final and will not be reversed. To make matters worse, BetVictor chose to cite a termination clause in their contract that did not exist when we signed up on their site many years ago. And to our horror we now find that they have apparently done it time and again over a number of years to other reputable websites. The takeaway from this is that BetVictor has clearly demonstrated that it is untrustworthy, which is close to the number one sin in the online gambling business.
Formerly known as "Winward Hall Ltd" or "Winward Group", this group of casinos has one of the most insane set of terms and conditions that players must agree to that we have ever seen. Some gems include requiring all deposits to be subject to bonus wagering requirements even if a bonus was not claimed, disallowing withdrawals to customers who have not made at least three deposits first, and limiting withdrawals to $500 per month for the first 6 months after a player signs up. These rules are no doubt designed to make it as difficult and painful as possible for winners to make a withdrawal. In addition these are all crappy TopGame casinos, meaning that there is absolutely no protection for players who run afoul of the byzantine terms and conditions.
Went rogue when electing to institute their Bewinners affiliate program, retroactively cutting the commissions that they were contractually obligated to pay to their affiliate marketers. This move was estimated to have saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars in ongoing commissions, at the cost of any and all trust that the company possessed from the player and affiliate community.
- VIP Golden Club
Incredibly cheap PHP based casino software that allows the operator to cheat by setting a deterministic chance of winning for players with separate settings for real and fun play mode. Also allows the operator to "bank" a certain percentage of every bet so that it cannot be won back by players. The blackjack game at VIP Golden Club has exhibited extreme bugginess resulting in an impossibility of winning.
See related forum thread: Cheating casino software: Casino Web Scripts
This was once a large group of RTG casinos owned by crooked South African operator Warren Cloud, aka Oliver Curran. These casinos were notorious for scamming players and refusing to pay winners. After Cloud's untimely death of a heart attack in 2008, most of the casinos in the group were either closed or sold and rebranded as part of the Ace Revenue group. However a couple remain in operation today and we advise you to steer well clear of them.
Domain Holdings (formerly Jazette Enterprises) runs a huge number of offshore sports betting sites mainly targeted at U.S. customers. Most of these sportsbooks also have a casino tacked on. There are numerous complaints from players regarding slow payment, non payment, and unresponsiveness of the customer support at these sportsbooks. We recommend players steer clear.
Some bright spark decided to write a term into the T&Cs at this casino that allows them to confiscate the winnings from any player that submits a withdrawal for a partial part of their balance and then continues to play with the remaining balance. And then in a moment of what we can only describe as customer-hostile lunacy, they actually decided to enforce the said term. Unbelievable. Throw in several complaints of confiscation of winnings, slow payments, and attempts to spam our forum here and it all adds up to one thing: blacklist.
Playtech-powered African Palace Casino proudly publicised a South African winner of a huge Beach Life slots jackpot, but in reality they simply stopped paying the agreed instalments to the winner. When the player chased them up she was ignored and eventually rudely told she would not be getting another cent. The player took the case to the authorities and the media and current affairs television program Carte Blanche has taken up the story, without success. African Palace and Indio Casinos were supposedly sold by owners First Grand Gaming to the owners of Grand Reef Casino, Rand Logic Gaming, in 2011. However our investigations lead us to believe that both companies are controlled by the same person.
Software installed malware onto users' PCs and modified hosts file to block other casino domains. Many of these casinos are thankfully gone these days, but a few are still in operation.
Automatically gives players a $300 line of credit then deliberately obfuscates this by including it as part of the player's bankroll, making it possible to go into debt while playing there! From their terms:
"If your Balance is more than $300 you are playing with cash or bonus money. If your Balance is less than $300 you are using your credit line.
This group of formerly decent casinos encountered financial difficulties and reneged on payments to affiliates and marketing contractors.
They also "traded down" software providers from premier (and most expensive) supplier Microgaming to unheard of at the time (and far cheaper) BetOnSoft. Cost cutting and failure to pay the bills is not something that you want to see in a business that is asking you to trust them with your money.
- Big Daddys Casino
- Doms Casino
- Empire Casino
- RioParty Casino
- US Star Casino
- + a whole host more (see right)
Software supplier FutureBet ran a scam where its licensees, players, and affiliates were never paid a cent. Avoid any casino or poker room hosting software from FutureBet or iGaming Networks.
A formerly good group of RTG casinos that have gradually been run into the ground. Payments started being delayed leaving players waiting months to receive their withdrawals in tiny instalments. As of November 2012 the casinos appear to have been either shut down without warning or rendered inoperable. Even if they do reopen we advise players against depositing at these casinos as recent history has demonstrated that the operators are neither professional nor trustworthy.
Update: in early 2015 this group opened a new site - Liberty Bell Casino. They have tried to hide the fact they are associated with this bunch of rogues but we have personally verified that Skrill transactions with this casino bear the name Isagro Holdings.
Hurt by a payment processor seizure of funds in mid 2010 that left it unable to pay players in a timely manner. These days withdrawals are slow and infrequent and poker players are now trying to trade their balances on the site for as little as 33 cents on the dollar. Meanwhile the CEO sponsors expensive trips to Portuguese castles for poker pros sponsored by the site. This site looks more and more like a ponzi scheme that will come crashing down sooner or later. Avoid.
A badly run RTG casino with a reputation for refusing to pay players. The owners of Lucky 18 were arrested in Israel in 2009 and charged with offering an illegal gambling site to Israeli residents; the charges were later dropped. The site was closed in early 2011 but now appears to be operating again using the horrible Topgame software. Avoid.
Upon opening, it launching an aggressive marketing campaign along with a couple of enticing bonuses, then promptly denied payment of thousands in winnings to its first legitimate customers citing "bonus abuse". Lucky Ace was also caught displaying a fake eCOGRA accreditation on its website.
These RTG powered casinos have a reputation for non payment of winnings, emailing players bonus offers which they then refuse to honour, and a bunch of ridiculous terms and conditions designed to limit their exposure to large wins (see reviews for further details). For example:
6. ... Any player who utilizes a deposit Bonus with a deposit will be subject to a maximum withdrawal amount of no more than $5,000.
14. Any winnings generated on other non-tournament games that were directly funded from a tournament win will be restricted to a maximum of $1,000 cash out.
20. All blackjack games have maximum single cash out value of $2,500.
Limits, seizure clauses, penalties etc. That sort of thing screams that they do not have much money to back up the casino. Stay away!
Players frequently complain about either not being paid at all, or suffering lengthy withdrawal delays from all the properties owned by this Norwegian group.
Apart from enforcing a hopeless $10,000 per month payment limit that also applies to progressive jackpot wins, this operator has been complicit in a hacking and spamming campaign aimed at filling search engine results with junk pages containing links to several casinos that are hosted on innocent third party Wordpress blogs, unbeknownst to their owners. When this issue was raised with the casino's affiliate program, the casino's representative made it abundantly clear that he did not care whether illegal and unethical methods were used to promote his casinos so long as they made lots of money. Hacking third party websites is not only unethical and illegal in most jurisdictions, but it can cause those very sites to be banned from Google search results. This can obviously cause economic and reputational damage to the innocent website owners that are targeted. If this operator is happy to break the law and damage innocent third party businesses just to make more money, how can you trust that they will pay you should you have a big win?
- Casino Fortune
- Goldgate Casino
- Mapau Casino
- Mapau Bingo
- Miami Beach Casino
- Poker Show
Blacklisted due to frequent player complaints regarding extremely slow payment and even non-payment of legitimate winnings.
Regularly refuses payments to players without explanation. Affiliate program Red Hot Revenue stopped paying commissions to marketing agents and affiliates without explanation. Likely to be in financial trouble.
First up there was Rome Casino and the case of the disappearing wild symbols. We gave the benefit of the doubt as TopGame stepped up and made restitution to affected players.
But then we had a player approach us after being stalled on payment of around $2500 in winnings for several weeks by Rich Casino (see forum thread: Rich Casino - anyone paid?). Our initial attempts to contact the casino, its customer support and its management on behalf of the player were ignored, until we were able to track down an email address of an actual employee there via industry contacts. The casino did thankfully pay the player in the end, but not without a lot of hassle and a grudging admittance that there were "more valuable players in the withdrawal queue". The complaints keep coming in from other players.
Other relevant forum threads: Royal Kings Casino - Top Game - wont pay withdrawal
Most of these casinos are run out of Costa Rica, which provides you as a player with absolutely no protection should anything go wrong. They all have very small weekly withdrawal limits too. In addition, we seem to always end up speaking to the same one or two people when contacting various different TopGame casinos. Our suspicion is that a large number of these casinos are run by the same people.
There is one exception to this blank blacklisting, and that is the group of casinos run by the Deckmedia group (Box24 Casino, Black Diamond Casino, and Spartan Slots). This group has demonstrated the ability to operate a casino responsibly for a number of years. We recommend players do not play at any other TopGame casino, as we have little confidence in the professionalism, ethics, payment processing, or financial stability of the casino owners.
Games are deliberately set to be looser while in "free play" mode in order to trick potential customers into depositing after winning. Their T&Cs admit this:
Do the Free games payout the same as real games?
Our Free Games are programmed for FUN and give higher payouts.
In addition to numerous player complaints about slow or denied payments, Joyland Casino stole almost $2 million from a progressive jackpot winner, and after acquiring the rogue operation the subsequent owner William Hill still refuses to pay.
Marketing arm Affiliates United (formerly cPays) has been caught sponsoring spamming campaigns, and stealing affiliate commissions.
In all truth your chances of being ripped off at William Hill Casino are quite low, however the same staff that ran the other dodgy casinos in this group for years were still employed after the William Hill takeover. We recommend players steer clear of this group entirely.
Spam, spam, spam, and more wonderful spam is all we have seen from the owners of this Playtech casino. Employing a bunch of persistent spammers to bombard various internet forums including ours with poorly written promotional messages is not a smart way to run a casino business. Their trust level is somewhere near zero. Avoid.
The terrible $9000 a month payment limit that includes potentially multi-million dollar wins from progressive jackpots, the continued insistence on players providing notarised copies of identification in order to discourage withdrawals, and payments that take the best part of a week to come through are bad, but not in and of themselves enough to get a casino blacklisted. However when you know that Winner is also actively engaged in the payment of criminal hackers that promote their casino on thousands of illegally hacked Wordpress blogs, then it is a simple task to put 2 and 2 together and realise that these guys are simply not trustworthy and are best avoided.
Gone but not forgotten
The following are rogue casinos that have disappeared or just ceased operations. We keep them here in the gone but not forgotten section just in case they are ever resurrected, or their dodgy owners reappear on the scene to try to pull the wool over people's eyes with a new set of casinos.
Failed to pay players when it ran out of money, yet still remained open to unsuspecting new players. Unsurprising when you consider it was "licensed" in Belize, meaning no player protection or accountability.
Claimed to be approved by the "Internet Gaming Commission" - a fake organisation set up to confuse people who may have heard of the Interactive Gaming Council. Regularly finds excuses to avoid paying players, citing terms and conditions that do not exist.
We have also added World Wide Vegas Casino to this entry after the customer support inadvertently referred to themselves "Casino Vega" in a chat session with us, suggesting the two are related.
There are persistent complaints from members of the casino's affiliate program about unpaid commissions. In addition the owners of this casino are also responsible for a Playtech operation named Grand Duke Casino that is found elsewhere on this page, and is now (thankfully) out of business. There is a strong chance that this casino is in financial distress so we recommend that players avoid the risk to their money that entails.
Aside from the launch of this casino being heralded with a barrage of spam, several players have complained about not being paid winnings made at Grand Duke Casino. The usual excuse used by the casino is unspecified "bonus abuse". However their terms and conditions are so ridiculous and contradictory that they have earned themselves a blacklisting for what we think is a deliberate attempt to trap players:
Further examples of irregular playing patterns also include, but are not limited to: ...
(iii) Wagering based on one specific slot machine, in order to significantly increase a bankroll, in relevance to the initial betting amount, and then switching to another game or request a withdrawal.
In order to be eligible for withdrawal, you must have winnings from multiple games, in which winnings from any single game cannot exceed 50% of the total amount of the withdrawal request.
So you're not allowed to switch games after a big win, but you can't win more than 50% of your withdrawal on a single game! What kind of drugs do you need to be on to even think this sort of thing up?
First, this mismanaged casino employed someone to register here and spam our forums by pretending to be a player praising the greatness of this previously unknown casino. A quick search revealed that this person had posted the exact same message on countless other websites.
Then it became apparent that the game symbols for one of the games at this casino - "Rich Horrific" - were ripped off from the Rival game Scary Rich.
So we have an incredibly stupid casino name - check. Spammers - check. Content thieves - check. Who would want to trust this casino with their money?
Luck3 Poker was ejected from the Cake poker network in June 2010 after player balances vanished and staff complained of not being paid for several months. At the same time, the Luck3 Casino continued to operate - if you have money in the casino we advise you to withdraw it while you still can.
Netad Management is an Israeli operator that runs a variety of casinos on different software platforms including RTG, Rival, and TopGame, aimed predominantly at American players. They have always been known as ones to pay players slowly in small increments as low as $500 a fortnight, and as such we have rated them poorly in our reviews. However our recent experience in mediating a dispute between a player who won over $6000 at Grand Macao Casino has left us with even more severe concerns about this group. Stalling a player for an incredible 90 business days to do "security verification" is bad enough, but even worse is the casino manager supposedly "looking after" the player by offering to pay only $500 and adding a bonus to their remaining balance in the casino.
Their latest tactics are quite unbelievable, even for those of us who thought we had seen it all. If you withdraw and wait out the "random 90 day security theatre" you will be told that your cashout is denied because you have not recently played at the casino! This is rogue, and effectively criminal, behaviour no matter how you look at it. As such we recommend players give this entire group a wide berth as we have little confidence that you will be paid should you have a sizeable win.
Update July 2015: the owners of these casinos have been arrested and charged with numerous crimes including fraud and hacking. Their casinos are all offline and hopefully gone for good.
Pretty much the same story as Netad Management casinos, just above. This RTG group has operated for several years, specialising in accepting American players, and then taking too long to pay their winnings. In more recent times though, they have implemented ridiculous security procedures that can leave players unable to withdraw from their accounts for months, and in some cases they have stopped paying them altogether. It should therefore come as no surprise that we believe that both groups ultimately share the same ownership. Avoid these casinos.
Update July 2015: Confirming our information that these guys are owned by the same people as the Affactive group above, all Revenue Jet casinos went offline at the same time as the Affactive casinos, after the arrest of the owners of the casinos.
In April 2012, Purple Lounge's parent company Media Corporation abruptly closed the casino, citing financial distress. Players with funds in the casino at the time were never paid, nor did the Malta regulatory authorities pursue the owners of the casino who failed in their duty to separate player deposits from the operational funds of the casino. Former Media Corp executives involved in the fiasco are still involved in the online gambling industry: namely Jason Drummond, CEO of Nenx and Philip Jackson, CEO of Boxhill Technology.
- Gold VIP Club Casino
- Golden Gate Casino
Formerly run under an operator named "Erpefa Management Ltd". Found to be recruiting "black-hat" webmasters to advertise their casino soon after launching in 2008. Subsequently players' inboxes were flooded with spam, malware, and more spam, most likely after these crooks purchased stolen databases of personal information from another casino.
There have been many complaints of players not being paid, having credit cards billed twice, and disgusting threats made against players who complain. There have also been accusations that the owners of this group are also associated with the Affactive and Revenue Jet groups which, given their awful modus operandi, would not be a surprise at all. Spammers, scammers, thieves, criminals .. call them what you like - just don't ever play there.
Related forum threads:
The operators of this now defunct group of TopGame casinos, the fast car loving Cartu family from Israel, have never been far from controversy. You might recall that Rome Casino was caught cheating players by not including a wild symbol necessary to win a jackpot on some of their games. In addition the group was accused of launching DDOS attacks against its competition and is currently involved in a legal dispute with TopGame over the alleged theft of millions of dollars, a dispute that resulted in TopGame seizing these casinos and rebranding them under slightly different names.