Gambling safely online is important for everyone. Gamblers want to feel secure that they can play comfortably in a legitimate casino, and casinos want gamblers to feel safe so they spend more money.
Naturally, when you gamble anywhere, you’re at a disadvantage. This is not because casinos are cheating you. Probability and casino game rules give casinos a distinct advantage called the house edge. The laws of probability and the house edge mean that, over the long run, the house always wins.
Kinds of Safe Online Gambling Rule
Online gambling sometimes puts you at an even greater disadvantage. Aside from the house advantage, you can’t witness how their business is being run. Are the owners crooked? Are the games rigged? What if the casinos refuse to pay you?
If you’re in the United States, there’s a second obstacle to consider. While it is legal for you to gamble online, it’s never legal for an offshore company to let you gamble. They also are not allowed to deal with your bank or other financial institution. If you gamble with one of these organizations and they don’t operate properly, your government will not rush to your defense.
However, though these risks seem considerable, if you do your research it is possible to gamble online safely.
Safe Online Gambling Rule #1 – Read the Blacklists
There are dozens of websites run by entities that monitor online casinos, poker sites, and bookmakers. They maintain whitelists and blacklists, which tell you which places should be safe to gamble at and which are definitely not safe or are advised against. These lists aren’t always complete, but they are an important place to start. If an online provider is on a blacklist, you don’t want to give them your business.
Safe Online Gambling Rule #2 – Check the Site’s Gambling License
Before joining or depositing any money at an online gaming site, check the online casino’s gambling provider’s license. You should find it at the bottom of the home page or on the About Us page. If you can’t find it, do not sign up to gamble at that site.
Secondly, it is not enough to know if the site has a gambling license. You need to who has issued the license. Some gaming licenses come with severe restrictions, gambler protections, dispute resolution intervention, and regular government audits of the site. That’s good. You’re less likely to get cheated by a business if it has obtained one of these licenses. Other licenses, however, are just useless pieces of paper.
Safe Online Gambling Rule #3 – Investigate the Dispute Resolution Process
Once you’ve found an online casino, poker room, or bookmaker with a legitimate, serious gambling license, good – but don’t sign up just yet.
Your next task is to thoroughly familiarize yourself with the dispute resolution process of the gambling site. You don’t want to discover that you’re helpless and insignificant once you’ve run into trouble.
You may not agree with them, but you may find that most complaints have been resolved.
Safe Online Gambling Rule #4 – Read the Fine Print
The devil, they say, is in the details. For online gambling, this devil in the fine print can seriously burn you if you don’t read it.
Safe Online Gambling Rule #5 – Play with Your Own Money
Online casinos offer some very tempting bonuses to entice players to join the site. That means you’re gambling for free, right?
With bonus money, you’re playing for free. You’re not gambling. There are restrictions on bonus money and restrictive caps on any winnings. Bonuses can allow the casino to cancel any winnings, including those won from your own money, under their rules of “bonus abuse.” These rules are often blurry and arbitrary. While it sounds counterintuitive, gambling online is always safer if you refuse online casino bonuses.
Safe Online Gambling Rule #6 – Keep Your Guard Up
Just because a casino is legitimate today doesn’t mean it will stay that way. The most famous flameouts that stole millions of players’ winnings were legitimate and aboveboard until they ran into financial problems.
Always keep a look-out for warning signs that a site is starting to slide:
The most important marker is when customer service becomes unhelpful or unavailable. You shouldn’t join an online gambling site only for its customer service, but you should always leave it because of customer service.