Cagey Consumer

Online Casinos Accused of Cheating Players, Promoters

Although the public perception of the web is that it's a risky place to do business, plenty of people seem to be willing to become involved in an activity that's almost certain to provide a poor return on investment: gambling.

In the non-cyberspace world, casinos almost always operate in a heavily regulated environment. Typically, the rules of casino games and the house edge are subject to government regulatory approval. At the very least, the casinos have a substantial investment to protect which gives them good reason to at least play and pay according to the rules of the game.

But in cyberspace, casino operation is extremely murky. Issues of jurisdiction are unclear, the casino's capital investment is minimal, and the player has virtually no assurance as to whether the house is following the rules. Casinos are frequently located in countries other than where the player is, making the likelihood of enforcement actions minimal.

It appears that such casinos not only have the opportunity to cheat players, but to cheat the operators of web sites that promote the casinos through placement of banner ads. For instance, CyberThrills offers to pay 20¢ for every "click-through" to their site, but later denies payment, claiming that their rules have been violated. Even when there is no issue about violating the rules, they allegedly just claim to be "processing" a payment that never arrives.

Check out the following links for details:

Webmasters Slam Net Casino (CNET, 7/6/1998)
Cyberthrill Casino Scam Gripe Board
Cyberscam Ripoff
Possible Scam Alert
Cyberthrill is a cyberSCAM
Website Sponsor Scams
Cyberthrill Won't Pay Me
CyberThrill Scam Links
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Updated March 6, 1999