Are Online Casinos Rigged?
Online casinos and games are now fully legal in Pennsylvania. But how can you be sure the online slots and games such as roulette are reliable?
In Pennsylvania, only properly licensed casinos are allowed to operate. But there are still rigged casinos that are unfortunately available to US players who are not careful.
In 2020, it’s important to make the distinction between a reputable casino, such as the ones you’ll find reviewed and recommended at TopPACasinos.com and rigged sites with pirated games and slots. Let’s explore how disreputable operators can rig gambling games and show you how to find only the most trustworthy casinos that ensure fair play.
Is Online Gaming Rigged?
The majority of online casinos in the world are properly licensed and audited. They will be overseen by gaming boards and commissions in the countries where they operate, including eCOGRA, a leading independent and internationally approved testing agency. They will also have details on current owners and headquarters and provide ways for players to resolve disputes.
But there are still a few rigged online casinos and software developers operating outside the jurisdiction of recognized gaming control boards. These exist on servers in countries that don’t crack down on illegal gambling.
So, are online casino games rigged? Rogue casinos are under no pressure to provide a fair gaming environment. They can doctor RNGs (random number generators) and adjust RTPs (Return to Player percentages) to maximize profits.
Luckily, the majority of software providers are legit. Their games and RNGs are audited before they reach the casino. In Pennsylvania, software providers must acquire the appropriate gaming licenses and every online casino must be tethered to a land based casino or racetrack. That ensures that every online casino game they feature is legit.
Who Regulates the Online Gambling Industry?
Legalized internet casinos first appeared in PA in 2019, two years after Governor Tom Wolf signed the Expanded Gaming Act. The online gambling industry is new, and the Keystone State has also regulated online poker and sports betting.
In Pennsylvania, online gambling is regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The PGCB oversees all online casino operations in the state, including licensing, compliance and auditing. It’s also responsible for issuing permits and licenses for the state’s new wave of land-based casinos.
Pennsylvania will authorize up to 39 online gambling licenses, covering games like poker, table games and slots. Land-based operators in PA must pay a $10 million fee to apply for a valid online gaming license covering poker, casino games and online slots. Individual gaming licenses cost $4 million.
Online casinos in PA must be aligned to an existing brick-and-mortar casino or racetrack. This ensures that all internet operations have a land-based partner in Pennsylvania.
However, most land-based casinos in the state have software partners based overseas. Overseas software giants like 888 and bet365 must also acquire a PGCB license before operating in Pennsylvania. Online gaming partners must also pay a $1 million fee.
How are Online Casinos Checked to Maintain Integrity?
In Pennsylvania, online casinos are overseen by the state gambling board, the PGCB. There are several ways the board ensures operators offer fair play every time on every casino game.
Regular RTP audits: RTPs (Return to Player percentages) are the most important factors for an online casino. RTPs are the average, long-term payouts made to players for each online casino game or slot. These must be checked by testing labs to prove that the games are reliable.
Game testing: All casinos operating in Pennsylvania have their games and platforms tested by the state’s gaming board. Testing usually takes a week and will include games checks, plus geolocation, responsible gaming and payments.
Problem gambling help: In Pennsylvania, the PGCB has set up the Office for Compulsive Problem Gambling (OCPG). It is dedicated to helping gamblers and ensuring that casino providers implement problem gambling plans. As a gambler, you can also get placed on state self-exclusion lists by asking the casino, and every casino site has link and information to get help.
Geolocation: To comply with state laws, the PGCB has put GPS tracking controls in place to ensure gamblers are located in Pennsylvania when they log in and play. No one located outside PA is allowed to play.
Age and ID verification: PA online casinos perform ID checks on everyone who opens an account. Gamblers must provide a form of government-issued photo ID and a proof of home address.
How to be Sure a Gambling Site is Trustworthy & Fair
We hope we’ve answered ‘no’ to the question – are online casinos rigged? Certainly, in Pennsylvania, only licensed and regulated casinos are allowed to legally operate and those most certainly are not. Each is a reputable casino. The same cannot be said for offshore casinos, which should always be avoided.
Here’s what to look for when looking for a fair and safe PA gambling site:
- Valid Pennsylvania gaming license
- Land-based partner based in PA
- Reputable and PA-licensed software providers
- Evidence of audited RTPs and RNGs
- Approved payment methods
To successfully acquire a PA online casino license, operators must fit the criteria:
- Have an existing land-based operation in Pennsylvania
- No prior convictions for the previous 15 years.
- Tested software, games, and payouts
- Correct payment of fees and costs
How to Spot a Rigged Casino
There are hundreds of online casinos offering a range of games and software. But how do you know whether the online casino games are rigged? Here are some key things to look out for.
Pirated Software: Are online casino slots rigged? Well, some disreputable online casinos will use pirated software. Instead of investing in authentic slots and table games, rigged casinos adapt their own versions.
Casinos steal games from reputable developers and change the graphics or game mechanics. RTPs can be set as low as the casino wants.
You can spot pirated games as the graphics and sound will be poor quality. The games may resemble those from major reputable companies, but the mechanics and payouts will be different.
A rigged casino game like blackjack, meanwhile, may pay out a lot of winning hands, enticing players to deposit even more money. The casino will then disappear with the player’s funds. That is why we always recommend playing at the legal and licensed online casinos in Pennsylvania you find recommended here.
Unfamiliar Software Developers: You should always know which developers are supplying casino games. In a top PA casino, like the ones on this page, you will find reputable developers who are licensed in the state.
Look out for smaller, unknown developers who don’t have a presence in the United States. Their software and games may not have been independently audited. You should also check the casino homepage to see how owns and operates it. A rogue casino won’t list any details of its headquarters or company history.
Offshore Licenses: You won’t find rigged casinos licensed in Pennsylvania, or anywhere else in the US. Disreputable casinos usually have licenses from offshore jurisdictions, or no license at all. Rigged casinos will also accept players from every country in the world, even those where online gambling is illegal. Never play at online casinos that aren’t licensed on US soil.
Limited Banking Options: Rogue casinos won’t offer reputable payment methods like debit cards and bank transfers. More typically, casinos with rigged games may only accept payments by decentralized currencies like bitcoin.
Poor Reviews & Player Complaints: To find rigged and dishonest casinos, look online at player reviews. Casino players who’ve had poor experiences will always share them. Complaints could range from unusual payouts in slots to slow payments.
Blacklisted on Forums: For more serious breaches, rigged casinos will be blacklisted. Many gambling forums and player sites will carry blacklists of disreputable online casinos. There are many reasons for blacklisting a casino, including:
- Hosting rigged table games and slots
- Failing to pay out winnings
- Failing to protect player funds securely
- Not holding the required gaming license
- Not offering good customer support
Play at the Most Trustworthy Casinos in Pennsylvania
Are online casinos rigged? It’s an understandable concern for gamblers in Pennsylvania. The good news is that all online casinos in Pennsylvania are properly licensed by the state gaming board.
At a licensed casino, you can expect to find authentic games with proven RTPs that are regularly tested. The casino will also be scrutinized for its payouts and withdrawal times.
Sign up to one of our team’s top-rated PA online casinos today. You can enjoy hundreds of real money games, including online blackjack and slots, from the biggest developers in the United States. You’ll even be able to claim a welcome bonus when you set up your account.
Rigged Online Casinos FAQ
Do online casinos cheat?
Casinos that are licensed and regulated in the United States do not cheat. Only rogue casinos cheat their players and pirate software and games. But the most reputable casinos will have regular audits to ensure they are playing fair.
Are offshore casinos rigged?
Not all offshore casinos are rigged, but they don’t always have the most stringent gaming licensing. Payments may not always be secure, and customer support may be poor. You also have no recourse if there are issues. When choosing to play on a casino site, pick one that is licensed and regulated in your state.
What are RNGs?
RNGs are random number generators that govern the outcome of all slots and table games. In PA, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board has its own gaming laboratory operations that regularly test RNGs.
Are live dealer games rigged?
No. Live dealer games use professional, trained croupiers using audited tables and cards. Only play at live casinos from trusted software providers like Evolution and NetEnt, which are available at top PA casinos.
Are online casino slots rigged?
In Pennsylvania, you can only play slots provided by reputable developers. Games use audited RNGs to ensure a fair game every time.
Is online blackjack rigged?
Online blackjack games are also tested for complete fairness. Audited RNGs ensure that every shuffle and deal is random.
Is online roulette rigged?
Online roulette games in PA are not rigged. Roulette software uses random number generators that are tested over millions of roulette wheel spins.