Three shady online casinos may have been discovered with their hands in the cookie jar, complete with pirated games and at least one fraudulent license. According to a large number of players who have played at two relatively new online casinos, something does not appear to be quite right at those sites. The good people at LCB decided to take a closer look, and what they discovered is not surprising given the long history of shady gaming businesses on the internet.
Our three primary suspects in a conspiracy involving phony games and dubious licenses are Casino60.com, Casino29.com, and CasinoMGA.com. Players should be aware that both of these sites give off an extremely shady impression and should be avoided because there are so many other verified options available.
Even if you have never gambled real money at any of these casinos and have no plans to do so shortly, this article is worth reading. And if you keep reading, you’ll discover how you, too, can identify pirated games, even if they appear to have a high level of design.
Unauthorized Licenses and Illegally Obtained Games
LCB concentrated their efforts on Casino60.com in particular, and as a result, discovered two major red flags in a post published yesterday describing their findings. LBC also mentioned Casino29.com, and after doing some research on that website, I came to the same conclusion as LBC: neither of these online casinos appeared to be reputable businesses.
There is no doubt that Casino29.com is related to Casino60.com; they are most likely operated by the same group. Both casinos’ websites have an “About Us” page, which contains nearly identical information. According to both of these pages, each casino is run by “SME S.R.L., which holds a gaming license from Costa Rica.”
Both casinos make the dubious claim that they have a valid gambling license issued by Costa Rica. This is a clear red flag. This presents a bit of a challenge because Costa Rica is not exactly known as a reputable licensing jurisdiction for online gambling. This is primarily because the country lacks any sort of regulatory organization to even oversee gaming sites.
To obtain a license in Costa Rica, all that is required is that someone pays a fee for what is known as a “data processing license” at some point. This allows the company to operate from Costa Rica. It is not true that all websites operating out of Costa Rica are fraudulent in and of themselves (some Costa Rican websites have a track record of success), but when a website boasts about having this license, extra caution is required due to the lack of regulatory oversight in Costa Rica.
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Illegally Obtained Video Games
It’s one thing to have a Costa Rican license, but that wouldn’t be enough to justify the harsh accusations leveled against you by LCB. The most damning evidence comes from the games offered by both online casinos for players to choose from.
LCB stated that it had received several complaints from players who noticed that the games offered by Casino60 were not working properly. When compared to similar games offered by other prominent casino websites, players complained that the games were “full of errors” and behaved in a “very odd” manner.
A closer look at the games available at Casino60 reveals that the vast majority of them are most likely illegal copies that have not been licensed by the legitimate gambling companies whose branding appears on the games. Before we get into the specifics of this topic, let’s take a step back and talk about how software providers like NetEnt ensure the fairness of the games they offer to the public.
Casino game developers such as NetEnt create online slot machines from the ground up and then license those games to only expressly authorized casino websites and gaming platforms. Casino software providers have an incentive (and, in most cases, a legal requirement) to ensure that their games work as intended, are truly random, and so on. The players would no longer trust them if they did not change their behavior, and they would have a significant image problem.
It is critical to ensure that games designed by reputable developers such as NetEnt cannot be altered in any way that would change the payout rates or odds of winning. This is one of the most important aspects of ensuring the integrity of the games.
Instead of simply handing over the source code to the casino, the casino software developer may host the games on its servers and then grant permission for other gambling sites to access those games. This may be a more appealing option for the casino (which could then be manipulated by the casino).
This brings us to a significant problem discovered with Casino60.com. LCB discovered that a selection of NetEnt games offered by Casino60 is self-hosted after conducting an investigation. The problem is that genuine NetEnt games are hosted on a separate server that the company does not manage.
For example, if you go to a reputable online casino like Unibet Casino, access a NetEnt game, and then use your web browser’s built-in inspector tool to find out where that game is hosted, you’ll discover that the game’s source location is casinomodule.com, which is a well-known server that NetEnt uses to deliver games to its customers’ computers. This is one method for determining where
It’s important to remember that NetEnt doesn’t allow its customers to host their games on their servers. NetEnt’s games are all hosted on the company’s own, distinct servers. Any online casino that hosts NetEnt games on its internal servers is doing so illegally and is thus offering pirated games.
The image above was taken from the Unibet Casino, and a close inspection of the source code reveals that the game is hosted on the casinomodule.com website. That indicates that everything is working properly and that this game is legitimate, as we would expect from Unibet.
Legal casino games
Now, let’s take a look at the identical game that can be found at Casino60.com. The original host address of the game is shown in the table below. The following game is hosted on the Casino60 website rather than at casinomodule.com, as it should be. I came to the same conclusion after conducting the same analysis at Casino29.com: self-hosted games. The following game is thought to have been stolen from Casino60:
Casino Game Piracy
To summarize, individual online casinos should not host casino games on their servers if they are provided by reputable software providers. The games must be hosted on the provider’s servers for the software provider to maintain control over them. In that case, shady gambling websites could potentially alter the game rules.
LCB provided players with information about another dishonest casino that they should avoid in a different post that was released the day before. CasinoMGA.com is available to players at this location. This casino has had issues since its inception, beginning with its name, and they have only gotten worse over time.
The use of the letters “MGA” almost gives the impression that this casino is attempting to mislead customers into believing they are dealing with a facility licensed by the well-known Malta Gaming Authority regulatory jurisdiction. This is a minor issue in comparison to what else CasinoMGA.com has been up to, whether or not that was their intention.
CasinoMGA and the False License It Possess
CasinoMGA.com was caught red-handed by LCB while attempting to pass itself off as licensed by Curacao eGaming. Until recently, the Curacao eGaming authority’s logo was featured on Casino MGA’s website. LCB discovered that Casino MGA was not only not licensed by Curacao, but that the license it did have posted on its website was for a completely different online casino than the one that Casino MGA claimed to be licensed under.
Casino MGA removed the Curacao eGaming emblem from its website sometime between yesterday’s LCB investigation and today’s publication of this report. CasinoMGA.com appears to be aware that they have been discovered and is attempting to cover their tracks at this time.
Unfortunately for CasinoMGA, LCB took screenshots of the homepage to show how they attempted to deceive customers. The internet keeps data for a very long time…
Additional Games That Have Been Stolen
We will not repeat the entire process, but LCB performed the same checks for pirated games at CasinoMGA.com and discovered solid evidence that CasinoMGA is also running pirated games from several mainstream software developers. We will not go through the entire process again.
These games have a nearly identical appearance and operation to the real thing. Players with keen eyesight were able to detect a few inconsistencies in the stolen games, but the average player playing for fun would have a difficult time detecting anything amiss with these games.
The CasinoMGA games appear and feel extremely realistic, but they are hosted on the company’s servers. That means the casino management can change the game in any way they want without first obtaining permission from NetEnt. And here’s something else you should be aware of: CasinoMGA does not bother pirating games to increase your chances of winning.
Another significant discovery made by LCB is that some of the phony versions of NetEnt games available at CasinoMGA.com are hosted on servers with fictitious names to appear genuine. LBC, for example, discovered a hacked version of the video slot machine Starburst on the website casinomodules.com. The issue is that the URL for the official NetEnt games server should not have an extra letter “s” at the end – the correct URL is casinomodule.com.
What are the ramifications of this?
It is in your best interest to complete all of the tasks assigned to you. We always advise players to stick with our tried-and-true casino recommendations; however, we are also aware that there are times when you just want something different or need a new bonus, which means that there are times when you need to branch out to newer, less well-known casino sites.
Under any circumstances, preliminary research is almost always a good idea. If you searched for any of the casinos we’ve discussed today on websites known for providing casino information, you’d get very few results. That should raise a red flag and prompt you to conduct additional research
Furthermore, keep in mind that you can always check for yourself if you suspect a casino is using illegal copies of its games. You can use the built-in web developer tools that come with both Firefox and Chrome to determine where the games are hosted. Simply right-click anywhere on the page to access the game, and then select “inspect element” from the context menu that appears.
When you do this, a window will appear in which you can view various types of code. However, all you need to find to play the game is a source for it, just as we did in the screenshots above. After determining the location of the game, you can conduct an internet search to determine whether or not the server in question is the official one for that game.
A word of caution: if all you see is a portion of a URL, the game is likely self-hosted, which is bad news. If you return to the previous page and look at the Casino60 snapshot, you will notice that the element inspector window only displays a portion of the full URL. As a result, whenever an internal link is used, the beginning of the URL is omitted from the output of web developer tools. In contrast, the screenshot from Unibet shows the URL leading to an external address beginning with “HTTPS.”
Finally, if you are unable to determine whether a casino is trustworthy and are unable to find information on it online, it is best to err on the side of caution and move on to the next casino website. There are hundreds of thousands of other online casinos that would be thrilled to have your patronage.
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