February 10, 2024

SkyCity warns against rising scam using its brand name

By Shadrack Kairu

SkyCity – a top online casino NZ– has raised an alarm over the rising number of fake online gaming sites and apps using its branding in a bid to lure unsuspecting customers. SkyCity Casino is a part of SkyCity Entertainment Group which is based in Auckland, New Zealand and operates five casino properties in NZ and Australia, as well as a variety of restaurants and bars.

This top paying online casino NZ burst onto the online gaming scene in 2019. Ever since, it has become a darling among Kiwis to play online games. With a valid MGA license, over 1,300 games from big-name suppliers, awesome bonuses, and great loyalty perks, SkyCity Casino has all the markings of an industry leader, and it’s no wonder that in recent times the brand has become a target for scammers seeking to exploit the casino’s popularity and success.

SkyCity’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Ahearne told media it had seen a noticeable increase in the amount of false advertising targeting New Zealanders with the company’s trademarks and emblems.

The majority of these fake advertisements are reportedly on Facebook. They frequently persuade users to download deceptive apps from the Google Play Store. These apps falsely represent themselves as genuine online gambling services from SkyCity when they are not.

“In the last few months, we have seen a significant increase in the number of online gambling advertisements fraudulently using SkyCity’s brand and logs to target Kiwi consumers. These advertisements have been appearing on Facebook and direct users to download an app in Google’s Play Store,” Ahearne was quoted as saying.

Kiwis urged to double-check the credentials of casino operators

SkyCity is concerned over the potential risks this impersonation may cause to locals who may believe they are using the legitimate SkyCity online casino app when that is not the case. Because these platforms imitate the company’s name, logo, and overall image, it can be hard for some users to distinguish between the legitimate SkyCity app and the phony ones.

Speaking during Cyber Smart Week, Ahearne stressed the need for alertness, urging Kiwis to verify the authenticity of NZ online casinos and exercise caution when clicking on links from social media.

“We are concerned that Kiwis are being misled into thinking they are playing on our SkyCity Online Casino when they are not. This Cyber Smart Week, we want to remind people to be careful about the URLs that they use and be vigilant when clicking links,” he said.

According to Ahearne, regulating the online gambling industry in New Zealand would be the right step towards protecting residents against some of the fraudulent practices. Some companies employ these dubious schemes in an attempt to swindle vulnerable consumers. He said local regulatory organizations deserve to be given the mandate to deal with rogue operators who are out to con New Zealand citizens.

As a precautionary measure, Kiwis are advised to double-check the web addresses they visit before engaging in real money gambling. As a rule, any website that doesn’t have an active Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption should be avoided.

An SSL is an encryption feature that protects sensitive information from being intercepted by malicious third parties during input and submission. All online casinos must have an active SSL in place because users often have to add their sensitive data to the site.

You can verify whether an online casino site has an active SSL by checking the URL. If a URL starts with HTTPS, where “S” stands for “secure”, the SSL is in place. But if it starts with HTTP instead, security is a concern.

Top online casinos in NZ will typically use the industry-standard 128-bit or 256-bit SSL encryption tech for maximum security. Always be vigilant when clicking social media links to ensure your online safety and security.

Additionally, NZ online casinos must be licensed, regulated, and certified by reputable agencies. As a player, you should look out for the licensing status of an online casino site. Operators with valid licenses from trusted regulatory bodies such as Curacao eGaming, MGA, and UKGC are considered to be safe and secure.

At the same time, certification is vital when it comes to playing online casinos for real money in New Zealand. Look out for online casinos whose games have been tested and certified for fairness.

Some of the most reputable certification bodies are eCOGRA, iTech Labs, and TST (Technical Systems Testing). Only risk your money in an online casino after verifying that it operates in a safe, secure, and fair manner.

How to ensure online gambling sites in NZ are safe

Gambling is a popular pastime in New Zealand owing to the convenience and accessibility of online casinos. However, not all NZ online casinos are created equal.

There are no laws in the country that permit online casinos to offer casino-type games like virtual poker or roulette. As a result, players resort to using overseas gambling sites. This presents a great risk.

Due to a lack of security, players are at the mercy of every rogue in the marketplace. Scammers masquerading as genuine offshore casino operators can take advantage of gullible players by conning them.

When playing at NZ online casinos, make sure that you play in a venue that guarantees a fun, safe, and fair gaming experience. Therefore, unless a casino has gone through a thorough screening process, it should be a no-go zone.

If you want to enjoy your gaming experience without worrying about getting scammed, you should consider checking reliable sources for properly screened casinos. You can discover top online casinos NZ through reviews and recommendations from affiliate sites such as Minimum Deposit Casinos.

Given the sheer number of options to choose from, and all the seductive bonus offers, it can be hard to pick the best online casino in NZ.

MDC cuts through the noise to bring you updated listings of the best online casinos in New Zealand. Before recommending any online casino, we thoroughly vet it to ensure it meets our stringent criteria for security, fairness, and overall gaming experience.

The first and most important thing we look at is whether the casino is licensed and regulated by an authorized organization. We value licenses from reputable authorities like the UKGC, MGA, Kahnawake Gaming Commission, and Curacao eGaming Licensing Authority. These organizations enforce strict regulations for online casinos to follow before obtaining a license.

Moreover, MDC assesses the fairness of the games offered by NZ online casinos. In addition to scrutinizing the gaming software, we evaluate the presence of trusted third-party auditors, like eCOGRA or iTech Labs, who regularly test and certify the casino games. We do this to ensure the integrity of the RNGs of the games, and that online casinos don’t stand a chance at manipulating the results.

We also check the banking methods supported at an online casino. How many are there? Are they efficient and reliable? Are there limits on deposits/withdrawals? Does the casino charge any fees? And most importantly, what security measures are there to guarantee secure transactions?

MDC prioritizes online casinos that allow players to choose between credit/debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, bank transfers, and cryptocurrencies. The goal is to ensure the available payment options are convenient, fast, and, most importantly, secure. Security measures we consider are SSL encryption data, multiple identity verification, firewall protection, and anti-money laundering best practices.

What’s more? We analyze reviews from other players and industry experts to determine how reputable an NZ online casino is in the eyes of the gaming community. For this, we use online forums, social media platforms, and other review sites. These reviews give us an overview of what others think vis-a-vis what we think of an online casino in NZ.

This comprehensive approach allows us to give you a well-rounded assessment, ensuring that you have the most accurate and reliable information you need to make informed selections and avoid any fraud.

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