GoodLuckMate is reader supported. Learn more about how we make money
The Risks of Unlicensed Online Gambling Listed and Analyzed!

In online gambling, it’s important to understand the risks associated with unlicensed platforms. It’s easy to get lost in the excitement of placing your bets and landing that potential big win on the horizon. Plus, with online gambling sites highlighting their best promotions, it’s far too tempting to get carried away. It is just as important that you recognize the online casino license the operator holds, as well as what that means in keeping your money and data safe. We aim to let you know what can happen if you bet at gambling sites without a license. We’ll also cover the potential risks and outcomes in the hope that you can then enjoy a safer and more successful online gambling journey in the future. So, let’s dive into the risks of unlicensed online gambling.

Deposits Go Missing & Withdrawals Remain Unapproved

If an online gambling site isn’t licensed, then they are free to do whatever they please. In a legal sense, they are not governed by the rules which are in place if you do hold a valid license. Those rules are very much intended to protect the customer. At the point where you place a deposit at an unlicensed online gambling website, you will have done so at your own risk. If the site then chooses to keep your money, they would be free to do so. Unfortunately, you are left with no options to reclaim your money as you have willingly handed it over to an unlicensed site. The only instance in which you may be able to get a hold of your lost money would be through a possible card chargeback.

If you notice a site where it is offering a highly competitive offer that sounds too good to be true, then it often is. Unlicensed gambling sites will advertise outrageous bonuses and deals as they have no intention of ever paying any money back to you. They will take your deposits but make it extremely hard or impossible to withdraw anything. It sounds harsh, but this is the reality of unlicensed sites.

The Risks of Gambling on Unlicensed Platforms

Stolen Identity Issues & Data Protection

If you play at an unlicensed website, it’s not just your money that is at risk. When you sign up with an online provider, you’ll be entering your personal data in order to create the account. At this point, if the site is unlicensed, you will have handed over your information to a provider who isn’t regulated. There is no way to stop them from sharing your information with others. Hence, identity fraud is the biggest riskof gambling at an unlicensed website. So, it’s clear who would win in the battle of licensed online gambling sites vs unlicensed ones. Legitimate gambling sites have protection measures in place to stop your information from being shared. This, in turn, alleviates the risk of identity theft or fraud.

Online gambling websites that hold official licenses have to uphold high levels of security. This means protecting the customer’s personal information when they create the account. Deposits and withdrawals must also be sent in an encrypted format, as this provides further protection to the payment process. Opting for an unlicensed site means these measures may not be in place, and therefore the risk to you and your money is substantial.

It’s important that you don’t underestimate the risks of gambling sites without a license. It’s not as simple as you losing a €5 deposit. That might be annoying, but not life-changing. However, your personal information may also be open to abuse, and this can easily fall into the wrong hands.

Gambling help

Feeling like you need some help?

Find out more

Gambling limits

Have you heard about gambling limits?

Find out more

How to Recognize Unlicensed Casino Sites

We can’t expect you to avoid the risks of unlicensed online gambling if you don’t know how to identify such a site first. So, we listed a few red flags you should keep an eye out for.

  • License logo – first, you want to check the online casino’s website for any information regarding its legislation. Legitimately licensed casinos will proudly display their license on their page. Usually, you’ll find a logo of the license at the bottom of the homepage. Alternatively, you can visit the gaming authority’s website to check if they’re properly registered.
  • Reputation – another thing you should do is research the casino in question. A quick google search will lead you to reviews or testimonials from other players. If you find lots of unsatisfied comments, it’s best to steer clear of the site. We also recommend checking out our in-depth casino reviews to learn more about the casino you’re interested in.
  • Games – lastly, you should pay attention to the software the casino boasts. Licensed casino sites will offer quality games from reputable providers. Meaning the games should run smoothly and come with top-class audiovisuals. If the games look poorly made and you experience glitches, it could be a sign you’re playing at an unlicensed gambling site.

A Duty to Promote Responsible Gambling

The rules of licensed online casino sites are governed by ensuring those sites promote responsible gambling. This is in place to help protect you from coming to harm, particularly in the form of gambling addiction. In the United Kingdom, for example, this means providing information and links to resources such as GambleAware. Licensed online casinos will help to educate you on safe gambling as well as help you if you feel things have gotten out of control.

A legally licensed online gambling site will also monitor the age of the gambler as well as the source of funds and customer behavior. Once more, if you choose to gamble on an unlicensed site, it will have none of this in place to protect you. Simply put, the company is not legally obliged to do so. Its main interest is purely around bringing in as much money as possible, so keeping an eye out for your well-being will truly be at the bottom of its list.

Final Thoughts

As you can see, the risks of unlicensed online gambling are significant. Not only is there a chance you will lose your money, but there are also risks to your personal information, which in turn could result in fraud. Therefore, we would always urge you to do your checks before you open an account. Ensure that the provider is legally licensed, so you have peace of mind you are correctly protected under the latest laws.

Share on
Steven Ford
Steven Ford
Last Update: 13 Mar 2023
Steven is GoodLuckMate’s casino veteran, having started in the industry in 2007! Although he knows everything about online gambling, it’s sports betting that is his true passion. Additionally, he’s not only our go-to writer for casino reviews, but he’s also the one keeping the closest eye on iGaming companies, so he always knows what they are going to do next.