Zimbabwe has a young population of about 16 million where a good number of them enjoy gambling. Land-based casinos are legal, and anyone who meets the age requirement can gamble. Almost 50 percent of the country’s population can access the internet through their mobile phones. This has increased the demand for online gambling and, consequently, unregulated marketing by gambling operators.
In Zimbabwe, there is no legalization in place when it comes to online gambling. This state of neither legal nor illegal has left room for many Zimbabweans to gamble online freely on any accessible site from their mobile devices. Due to the high unemployment rate, many citizens turn to gambling as a means of survival. Most of the people who make up this group are the youths.
Why Online Casinos are Targeting Zimbabweans
Online gaming operators are now turning their attention to Zimbabwe as there is no regulatory board that governs online gambling. This has created an opportunity for scammers posing as online casinos to take advantage of unsuspecting Zimbabweans.
A reputable gaming regulator licenses legitimate online casinos. Such regulators include the UK Gaming Commission (UKGC) or the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). Certified online casinos offer a secure and fair environment for their gamers and systematically gain credibility by being in the market for an extended period.
As for unlicensed online gaming operators, they start by convincing their target audience with attractive incentives and giveaways. Their goal is usually a short-term scam operation within unregulated markets. The aim is to make money quickly using unethical means such as holding their customer’s deposits and restricting withdrawals after wins. Sadly, many Zimbabweans are falling prey to such unscrupulous methods.
Online Casino Scam
Any illegal online casino always has an ulterior agenda. They start to lure Zimbabweans by roping them in using attractive welcome bonuses and promising faster pay-outs. They lie that the gambling environment is safe and secure. Some go a step further to provide fake gambling regulation licenses.
To avoid being a victim of online scamming, find reputable online brands that have been in operation within Zimbabwe for an extended period.
Some commonly used strategies by the illegal online operators include tempting unsuspecting players with unrealistic odds, convincing them to place free cash deposits, and participating in fixed games. Since the players are unaware, while others are desperate for quick money, the potential for running an online scam is boundless.
Others draft up terms and conditions with hidden clauses that intentionally make it difficult for their customers to access or withdraw their winnings. Unfortunately, by the time the players learn about such situations, it is too late for them to take any action. Most online gamers never go through the terms and conditions. Hence this is a loophole exploited by fraudulent sites.
The most common form of scamming is when online casinos delay pay-outs or do not have any fixed games but are only interested in your financial and personal information. They gather information about your debit and credit cards then sell them to cybercriminals. The criminals, in turn, use your information to commit card theft.
Ways of Avoiding Online Casino Scams
Zimbabweans can avoid falling prey to online gaming scams by following the simple steps described below.
1. Read Reviews
When searching for a reputable online operator, it is wise to go through online casino reviews, especially those posted by a professional review expert. This will help you find a secure, stress-free gambling site. Legal sites will also offer you a guide on how to play games.
2. Check Casino Licenses
By ensuring you wager in a licensed casino, you can be sure that it has an authoritative regulation body and is accountable for any misconduct. Such authorities confirm that the gambling site complies with customer protection policies. A certified casino will display its license details on its homepage, mostly at the bottom.
3. Gamble using a Secured Site
Before you start gambling, ensure the site or the app you are using is secured with encryption protocols. Legal online casinos must have SSL encryption that will protect the data you provide as it travels from your end to the casino’s site. Your personal information will be fully encrypted and safe.
4. Safe Payment Methods
Before registering with a gambling site, find out their options for depositing and withdrawing money. Many online casinos offer options like PayPal, MasterCard, Bitcoins, or Visa. You can compare the payment methods, transaction processing speed, and fees before settling for any plans.
5. Read the Terms and Conditions
Some online casinos have hidden clauses in their terms and conditions to cover themselves from legal action. Always ensure you go through the terms and read the casino reviews of the site before registering.
Before settling for any online casino, Zimbabweans need to do their due diligence to avoid scammers and secure their money. This will be easy to do with a smartphone and internet connection.