Zimbabwe does not have any legalization in place to govern and monitor online gambling sites. This is quite understandable in many ways as Zimbabwe has been besieged with multiple challenges ranging from political to financial that has caused chaos throughout the country. Certainly the Covid-19 crisis has not helped an already unstable country either.
The Zimbabwean government has a number of pressing issues on its agenda that need to be addressed urgently to give Zimbabweans a more safe, secure and stable life. Online gambling legislation is not a pressing concern and is not expected to be in the coming years.
This is because the country is reported to have only 50 percent of internet access. The good news is that internet access is growing with every passing year and the increase in smartphone usage is making a difference in the lives of Zimbabweans and also opening up the online gambling market.
Online Casinos Preying On Zimbabweans
iGaming operators are starting to pay more attention to Zimbabwe as the lack of regulations has given them a free hand to enter and run their online casinos. The lack of regulation is a cause for concern as a number of shady iGaming operators have entered the Zimbabwean market and are preying on unsuspecting Zimbabweans who are not aware of what is going on.
A legitimate online casino is a casino that is licensed by a reputed gaming regulator like Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) or the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and has a good market reputation. These online casinos are in it for the long term and offer players probably tested games in a fair and secure gaming environment.
Regulated casinos are subject to comply with their licensed gaming regulations and are usually audited by an independent third party agency to ensure that everything is above board. They also have strong responsible gambling, money laundering and privacy policies.
Unlicensed gambling operators portray themselves as genuine and pretend to run trusted and genuine online casinos. However, they are not in it for the long term and are looking to make money quickly and through unethical practices which Zimbabwean players are unaware of.
Different Online Casino Scam
These unscrupulous casinos targeting Zimbabweans have a hidden agenda. They look to prey on Zimbabweans by offering them very attractive welcome bonus options, promising fast payouts and a safe and secure gambling experience. A number of these bad operators can often pretend to be licensed by a gambling regulator by providing false information.
Best way to avoid being manipulated is to stick with reputable brands that have been operating in Zimbabwe for a long time. Unscrupulous operators use different strategies to profit unethically. Some of these most common strategies include luring unsuspecting players, getting them to deposit and play on games that are fixed. The players are not aware of this and the casino ends up pocketing their money this way.
Some casinos do not fix their games but load their terms and conditions with a number of hidden clauses that makes it very difficult for the player to withdraw their winnings. A player only discovers this when they try to withdraw their winnings and by that time it is too late for them to do anything about it. More often than not, they will have to forfeit their winnings as the online casino will make them run around by giving them multiple reasons.
Some of these casinos will collect a large sum of player deposits and winnings and suddenly go offline. Players only then realize they have been scammed and have no recourse because they were playing at an unlicensed casino.
While all these online casino scams are alarming, one of the most dangerous scams is when an online casino is not interested in fixing games or delaying a payout but is interested in gathering personal and financial information of unsuspecting players. These online casinos collect financial information regarding credit and debit cards, bank accounts and e-wallet information.
This information is often sold to cyber criminals or depending on the sophistication of the scam, might be used by the people behind the online casino to commit identity theft or card theft.
There are a few smaller scams but the ones that we have listed above are the main ones that Zimbabweans need to be aware of.
How To Prevent Online Casino Scams
The two ways to protect yourself from being scammed by an online casino is to educate yourself on how to find a reliable online casino and how to spot a shady online casino. The tips and information we shared above should help you to uncover unscrupulous online casinos.
Zimbabweans who are looking for reliable and reputed online casinos should first look for a licensed casino. Licensing casino details are usually found at the bottom of the homepage of the licensed casino. If this information is missing or not clear, consider it a red flag as all licensed casinos like to display the licensing info upfront.
You should also look for online casinos that have good reviews online. This will give you an indication as to how long the casino has been in operation and what other players think. If you cannot find this info, it is an indication that the casino is new and you need to be extra careful.
Finally, look for online casinos that have tied up with top casino game developers like Microgaming and NetEnt as these providers only work with reputed gaming operators.