Not Recommended Casinos – 2023 Updated
Here at Casinomeister, we care about you, the player. You will NEVER find us recommending casinos that don’t make the cut – even when said casino offers us money or other financial incentives.
While most online casinos today operate pretty, there are still far too many trying to take advantage of players. If we discover that a casino is operating unethically, or if we find a casino that continues to generate complaints – they may be placed on our not recommended list of casinos.
This list varies from the ‘rogue pit’ slightly. Casinos on the ‘not recommended’ list aren’t quite as predatory as rogue casinos – but they’re not too far away. We strongly recommend against playing at casinos on this list as a general rule of thumb. They’ve been placed here for a reason
Why Should You Avoid These Casinos?
Several factors could have contributed to an online casino being added to our “Not Recommended” list. Generally speaking, if we find that a casino isn’t treating players fairly, consistently generates complaints, or tries to stall withdrawals – it’s a bad sign.
Below, we will look at some factors that can lead to an online casino being added to our “Not Recommended” list.
While not a deciding factor, weak licensing can affect our stance on an online casino. While they’re not perfect, major online gambling regulators like the UK’s Gambling Commission and the Maltese Gaming Authority are pretty strict with their licensees.
Curacao, on the other hand – a jurisdiction where 99% of the rogue/not recommended casinos are licensed – doesn’t care. They are happy for their licensees to run pirated games, illegally accept players from the UK, and operate unethically.
The one caveat to this is if a casino operates without a valid online gambling license. In this scenario, the casino will always be added to our “rogue” or “not recommended” list. There are no excuses, and online casinos without a proper online gambling license are operating illegally. There are no ifs nor buts.
Poor Reputation and Track Record
Again, while it’s not usually enough of a factor to warrant an online casino being added to this list, if we notice that a site has a consistently poor reputation, the site may well make its way onto this list.
Here at Casinomeister, we don’t just look at a new online casino and rate it based on our experiences. Instead, we look at who owns and operates the online casino. We look at whether they manage any other online gambling properties. We look at how the owners have treated players in the past.
If we see a new online casino trying to hide or distance itself from shady behavior in the past, it’s a bad omen. It may signify that there are going to be problems moving forward.
It’s a different story when a brand new online casino is launched with brand new operators. We monitor the online casino with greater levels of scrutiny and analyze precisely how they’re treating players. We have no problems adding online casinos to our “Not Recommended” list. We cannot be swayed by money or other forms of compensation.
That’s how you know, at Casinomeister, all of our reviews are honest; online gambling operators cannot influence us.
Slow payouts are something no player wants. One of the most important factors we consider when reviewing an online casino is how withdrawals are processed.
If we come across a casino that constantly delays withdrawals, finds excuses to stall them, or simply refuses to pay players out in a timely fashion – the site may well find its way onto our “Not Recommended” list.
After all, online casinos are all too happy to take your money when you make a deposit. We feel that it’s essential they are equally as keen to pay you out your winnings. In all of our online casino reviews, you will notice that we have a dedicated section that looks at their payout speed. We also include data from our team of Meister Minions – allowing us to get honest, on-the-ground feedback about an online casino.
Illegal or Unethical Activity
Any online casino we find operating in an illegal or unethical manner will be added to our “Not Recommended” list. We will likely add this site to our “Rogue” list.
Here at Casinomeister, we have a zero-tolerance approach toward online gambling operators who act illegally.
Predatory Bonus Terms
Today, online casinos are more upfront with their terms and conditions than they used to be. However, some online casinos still write predatory terms into their bonus’ terms and conditions.
If we find that a casino is doing this, they will, more than likely, be added to our “Not Recommended” list. Predatory bonus terms and conditions aren’t always enough to get an online casino added to our rogue list, but they will always be added to our “Not Recommended” list, at best.
Accredited Casino Requirements
To become an Accredited Casino here at Casinomeister, online casinos must meet a number of criteria. We have incredibly high standards, and this means not all online gambling operators and casinos have the capabilities to become Accredited.
To become Accredited, all online casinos need to complete what we call their Baptism by Fire. This is a lengthy testing and review phase where our online gambling experts analyze all aspects of the casino. Only when our ENTIRE team is satisfied that the casino is safe will they be eligible to become Accredited.
You may have noticed that we place a lot of emphasis on Accredited Casinos. The primary goal behind this is to make sure that players can access safe, fair, and legal online gambling websites.
It’s no easy feat to become Accredited here – and if you’re looking for a solid online casino to join, you can’t go wrong with any of the Accredited sites. Below, we are going to show you some of the criteria. Accredited casinos must meet.
Player & Responsible Gambling Focused
One of the key motivations behind our Accredited Casinos list is to make sure that all of our members can play at player-focused online casinos. We do NOT like to see online casinos taking advantage of problem gamblers. As a result of this, responsible gambling standards are one of the first things we look at when we’re considering a new online casino for accreditation.
All Accredited casinos must take robust steps to ensure no underage players are able to join the casino. The casino must have a demonstrable history of fairness towards its players. They must also prove to us that they deal with complaints in a timely manner.
In addition to this, all Accredited casinos must have a dedicated, responsible gambling page. Players need to be able to take advantage of responsible gambling tools like deposit limits. Should players feel the need to take a break from online gambling altogether, Accredited casinos should also offer time-out and self-exclusion facilities.
While the industry has made improvements, there are still plenty of online casinos that utilize predatory and illegal marketing tactics to attract new players. Some of these rogue online casinos even target problem gamblers directly.
All accredited casinos must adhere to very high marketing standards. As a basic rule, accredited sites must not spam players under any circumstances. If affiliates are found to be engaging in SPAM marketing campaigns, online casinos are expected to take swift, harsh action.
Accredited casinos are not allowed to text or call players unless explicit permission has been granted. This is something that is non-negotiable for us.
In addition, online casinos are also not allowed to encourage or try to convince players to reverse their withdrawal. Ideally, all Accredited online casinos will offer players the ability to ‘lock’ their withdrawal. This is not necessary where the casino offers players no opportunity to reverse their withdrawal.
Operational standards are, perhaps, the biggest part of an online casino’s journey to becoming accredited. There are a number of steps here, and, firstly, online casinos must be able to prove to us that their company is legit. They need to provide us with company information that CLEARLY shows who the owner of the website is. The sole exception to this is if an online gambling company is publicly traded.
Before adding an online casino to our Accredited list, we need to be 100% sure the site is not operated by anyone dodgy.
When it comes to bonuses and promotions, all accredited casinos are required to CLEARLY display the terms and conditions to players. Players must be able to click on these terms and conditions from any screen where the bonus is advertised. Within the terms, there must be a date and a timestamp. We are fairly strict on the terms and conditions accredited casinos are allowed to use with their bonuses and promotions. We require that all players are prevented from being placed in a situation where they may end up breaching the terms and conditions.
Progressive jackpots are another important operational standard for accredited casinos. Accredited casinos MUST payout progressive jackpot wins in full. Failing this, they must pay out in ‘reasonable’ chunks. Casinomeister has discretion here. Accredited casinos also need to be willing to remove unused bonus funds from a player’s account if the player requests this, provided the bonus funds haven’t been touched.
When it comes to customer support, accredited casinos have a couple of duties. First of all, they are not allowed to outsource their customer support. It must be operated in-house. We also require accredited casinos to offer a live chat system. However, this does not need to be manned 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Lastly, accredited casinos must be willing to disclose information about all sister or partner casinos, where applicable. If a player is bound by terms and conditions on more than one casino, this must be made clear to the player.
Affiliate Marketing Standards
In addition to looking out for players, Casinomeister also looks out for others who work in the online gambling world. Accredited casinos are required to adhere to standards when it comes to affiliate marketers. For example, online casinos in our Accredited list may not cross-promote other online gambling brands without giving proper credit to affiliates and their advertisers.
It’s important that ALL accredited casinos pay their affiliates in a timely manner. We require online casinos to adhere to strict affiliate terms and conditions.
Industry and Player Assurances
In addition to all of the above, accredited casinos are required to follow a number of industry and player assurances. When it comes to software and games, online casinos MUST only host games that use an independently-verified random number generator. Where applicable, casino games must be audited by an approved third party.
All accredited casinos are required to maintain a presence here on the forums. While we don’t expect the online casino to be logged in at all times, we expect to see a rep logging in every day or so to address any complaints. This representative must also make themselves accessible to players. They need to be able to answer questions and provide support where necessary.
It should go without saying that any accredited casino needs to hold a valid online gambling license. This license needs to be issued by an online gambling regulator that operates legally. The regulator must be responsive to player complaints. They must also be willing to take action against rogue operators. This means no Russian or Costa Rican-licensed casinos. For now, Curacao-licensed casinos are OK, provided we have a good relationship with the operators.
Finally, all Accredited online casinos need to have a robust player complaints system in place. They must agree to resolve complaints as quickly as possible. Where a resolution cannot be found between the player and the online gambling operator, Casinomeister or other approved third-party bodies need to be able to intervene.
Above, we have listed some of the main requirements of an Accredited casino. There are, however, a few additional requirements. For example, all online casinos that wish to become accredited must have been in business for at least two years.
All accredited sites need to be self-sustaining, independent businesses. They must not rely on third-party financing and/or support. This means that the vast majority of white-label casinos are unable to meet the accredited casino standards at Casinomeister.
Casinos that only hold an online gambling license in the Caribbean – which, at the time of writing, includes Antigua and Barbuda and Curacao – are, generally speaking, excluded. However, if we have a good reputation with the operator, we are willing to make exceptions. This is dealt with on a case-by-case basis.
Lastly, if an online casino contacts us using a Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo – or other free email account providers – their request to become accredited will be automatically rejected. We will also block the casino.
As you can see, there are a LOT of requirements to become accredited. While it may seem draconian, it’s the only way we can guarantee our readers a safe and trouble-free experience when gambling at one of the accredited sites.