Fake slots is a real problem – we’ll let you know how to avoid falling into the trap
The problem with cloned slots has been around almost as long as iGaming itself. Although unlikely, it’s possible that some counterfeit games may have gone undetected, but as it turns out, it’s quite easy to spot them if you know what to look for. A highly experienced player will most likely be able to tell straight away, noticing differences in both graphics and sound, but less experienced players will probably have no clue. Those at the highest risk of being scammed are players that don’t pick their online casinos with care. Licensed and well-established casinos are more likely to play by the rules as they have more to lose and are being monitored by regulators.
So who would try to exploit unsuspecting players like this? Obviously not respectable or credible business people, but rather people lurking in the shadows, running their casino operations mainly from Curacao and trying to make a comfortable living scamming people using fake software bought on the Darknet, or even developed themselves. Using pirated software gives the scam casinos several advantages:
- The players can’t win. With pirated software, the RTP can be set to 10% or whatever the operator (casino) feels like.
- The scammers don’t have to pay royalty or licensing costs to the game developer.
- There are no geo-restrictions. Anyone can play the games.
Big game developing studios like NetEnt and Novomatic are usually the ones targeted by software pirates, which is not too surprising as they are behind some of the most popular slot games out there. The problem with fake slots culminated in 2016 when several online casino sites got called out on using pirated software – the (Israeli run) Affpower brands being some of them.
It’s hard to tell exactly how widespread the problem is today, but a guess is that it has become harder to cheat as games have shifted from Flash to html5, while people within the casino community have also become more aware and better at spotting pirated versions and calling them out.
So how to tell if a game is fake? For those who know their games, there will likely be enough tell-tale signs just by looking at the slot. If lacking experience or just unsure, the best way to tell is to check the URL of the game. When the issue of piracy was brought up in 2016, many of the fake NetEnt slots were using a domain registered by a Bosnian individual and chosen to resemble the real deal:
- casinomodul.com (FAKE)
- casinomodule.com (REAL)
- longstreet-static.casinomodule.com (REAL)
If you’re still not sure, send an email to the game provider in question or compare the URL:s to a couple of other casinos to see if everything checks out. This, along with sticking to good casinos will more than likely keep you safe and out of harms reach. It can be hard enough to beat the odds as it is – playing pirated games makes it near impossible.