Grey Zone Casinos
“The Grey Zone” explained
There are many grey areas in the online casino industry – a casino may not be able to meet the standards of an Accredited Casino, but they aren’t in anyway a Rogue Casino either. Some casinos are no longer Accredited – but in no case rogue; and there are casinos that were once rogue but are rogue-no-more. And then there are casinos who are just getting their act together – they aren’t ready for the Baptism by Fire at Casinomeister, but perhaps they soon will be.
The casinos listed here are casinos I have reservations about; some players may find them fine ‘n dandy, others may have bad experiences. This section allows me to state what my reservations are.
Differences Between Accredited Casinos and Grey Zone Casinos
An accredited casino is a site that has undergone a stringent and thorough review process here at Casinomeister and has proven to us that they genuinely care about their players. Any casino that appears in our accredited list of sites is regularly reviewed and vetted. We won’t hesitate to remove the site if we feel they no longer adhere to our high standards for accredited casinos.
Grey zone casinos are those which have not undergone the vetting process to become accredited. However, this does not necessarily make them rogue or bad to play out; it just means they have not yet become accredited.
Accredited Casino Requirements
In order to become an accredited casino here at Casinomeister, a site is required to meet our very high standards, which can be quite a challenge for many operators, especially as becoming an accredited casino is not as simple as it may look.
To become an accredited casino, the casino needs to undergo what is known as its Baptism by Fire, a lengthy testing and review period where the team here at Casinomeister makes sure that a casino is ready to join the accredited list.
So, why do we place so much emphasis on accredited casinos, and why do we do all of this? Well, there are many reasons, but ultimately it is to protect players from dodgy online gambling operations. You see, our philosophy here at Casinomeister is that players should be considered in every aspect of online gaming, as, after all, without them, there would be no industry.
Another reason why we put so much time and effort into curating our accredited casinos list is to give credence to online gambling operations that go above and beyond their competitors. Today, a small handful of online casinos are run by incredible people who have the same philosophy towards players that we do here at Casinomeister.
And, naturally, our accredited casinos list helps separate the good, reputable sites from the dodgy, crappy ones. Unfortunately, the vast majority of players don’t have the time or the knowledge to weed out the good from the bad, and that is precisely what we try to do here at Casinomeister. Below, we’re going to look at some of the requirements and standards for accredited casinos.
Player & Responsible Gambling Focused
As you will know if you read the section above, the primary objective of maintaining an accredited casinos section here at Casinomeister is to make sure that online gambling companies are player-focused and do not take advantage of problem gamblers. Because of this, player and responsible gaming standards are the first things we look at when considering a new casino to become accredited. Naturally, all casinos must forbid underage play.
They must have a clean history of fairness towards their customers, and they must prove that they can take care of player complaints and issues quickly and professionally.
Any casino that wants to be accredited here at Casinomeister must clearly display information about responsible gambling. Players must have the ability to set deposit limits, take a time out and enter into a permanent self-exclusion. Casinos must also process KYC documents without putting personal information and data at risk.
Today it’s unfortunate that many online casinos rely on predatory and sometimes illegal marketing techniques, and any accredited casino at Casinomeister must adhere to high marketing standards. For example, they must not use misleading or deceptive advertising, and they must not spam. Where appropriate, they must also take robust and swift action against affiliates or third parties who are pushing out spam on behalf of their brand.
Accredited casinos are also required not to text or call players on their mobile or landline numbers without explicit permission. We also require online casinos to respect when a player requests a withdrawal; accredited casinos cannot aggressively entice players to reverse cash withdrawals by offering bonuses or other incentives. This is something that was commonplace in the online gambling industry ten years ago.
Operational standards cover quite a large array of different topics. The first thing that accredited casinos must do is provide Casinomeister with ownership information; this includes individuals unless the company is publicly traded. We need to know that we are not dealing with anyone dodgy, and we thoroughly vet the individuals behind online casinos that want to join the accredited casinos list.
Accredited casinos must clearly display the terms and conditions when it comes to bonuses and promotions. These terms must be hyperlinked from all promotion pages or pop-up banners, and they must also include a date and timestamp. Casinos in the accredited list must not disqualify any player from a payout if the terms and conditions are met. However, there are a few exceptions, including chargebacks, bogus ID documents and instances where a player has opened multiple accounts.
Casinos in the accredited list must not include unfair terms, and players shall not involuntarily be placed into a situation that sees them reaching the terms and conditions during the course of their time playing at the casino.
When it comes to regressive jackpots, accredited casinos must either pay out progressive jackpot wins in full or in reasonable chunks; this is regardless of any terms and conditions limiting payouts. Casinos must also be willing to remove any bonus funds and associated play-through requirements at a player’s request if the bonus funds have not been used.
Accredited casinos at Casinomeister must also show us that they are not using outsourced support. The customer support team must be based in-house, and a live chat system must be available for players to use. However, we should point out that the live chat portal does not have to be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Finally, accredited casinos must disclose all sister or related properties where applicable. If terms and conditions are bound upon players from one casino to another, this must be clearly stated on the casino’s website for all players to see.
Affiliate Marketing Standards
Accredited casinos cannot cross-promote to other online gambling properties without giving proper credit to affiliate marketers and/or advertisers. Casinos must also not implement retroactive terms and conditions to their affiliate programs without opening up a dialogue with the affiliate in question and discussing other options fairly.
Affiliates help drive the online gambling industry, but unfortunately, we have seen far too many online casinos try to take advantage of their affiliates. That’s why, here at Casinomeister, all accredited casinos are held to very high standards when it comes to affiliate marketing.
Industry and Player Assurances
Last but not least, all accredited online casinos must follow industry and player assurances, the first being that all software must use a random number generator and be audited by third parties where applicable. Accredited casinos are required to have an active representative listed in the Casinomeister forum, and this representative must make him or herself accessible to customers and players, answering questions and providing support where necessary.
Representatives are required to log in to their Casinomeister account at least once per week. They must be communicative about any player or affiliate issue posted in the forums or submitted to us via our arbitration service. We expect all accredited casinos to resolve complaints, problems or issues fairly and quickly. We do not hesitate to take action against casinos that fail to adhere to this standard.
Finally, all accredited casinos must hold a valid online gambling license from a jurisdiction that offers gambling licenses for online casinos. The online gambling regulator must also be responsive to player complaints. There must be adequate infrastructure in place that oversees and enforces compliance with regulations to protect players. In other words, casinos can’t simply choose a dodgy, cheap online gambling license and expect to make it onto the accredited casinos list.
If the casino meets the above requirements, they have a fairly solid basis to begin their Baptism by Fire. However, there are a few other requirements, and the first is that any casino for consideration must be in business for at least two years before attempting the Baptism by Fire. Casinos need to be self-sustaining, independent businesses that do not rely on third party’s finances and/support, and this means that many white-label casinos are unable to become accredited here at Casinomeister.
It should also be noted that most casinos licensed in the Caribbean, including Antigua, Barbuda and Curaçao, are automatically disqualified. However, we do make exceptions on a case-by-case basis, and if we have strong relationships with the owners, we may grant an exception.
Finally, any enquiries about becoming an accredited casino sent via Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo, or other free email account providers, will automatically be deleted and blocked.
Are Grey Zone Casinos Safe?
We should point out that just because a casino isn’t on our accredited list does not mean you should automatically rule out playing. As we have shown above, accredited casinos are held to incredibly high standards. It’s just not feasible for every online casino out there to make it onto the accredited casino list.
Casinos in the grey zone aren’t necessarily bad; it just means that they haven’t been able to become accredited. What’s more, gray zone casinos are not rogue casinos. We have an entirely separate section of our website dedicated to that. So while we can’t guarantee a world-class online gambling experience at grey zone casinos, for the most part, you shouldn’t have any major issues playing at these sites. Proceed with caution and always do your own due diligence.