Online casinos are used by millions of people around the world every day. The amount of money that changes hands is in the billions, and is likely to rise as technological improvements are implemented and made available to more people. The differences in the legal status (and therefore regulation) of online gambling sites around the world mean that it’s extremely important to choose a site wisely. Let’s take a look at the risks and safety strategies you need to know about if you’re going to visit an online casino.
You should, of course, make yourself aware of the law in your country! It’s unlikely you’ll be allowed even to connect to a casino site if to do so would be illegal where you live, but it’s worth checking if you’re at all worried. In India, for example, only the state of Maharashtra forbids online gambling.
It’s more likely that the casinos themselves are the subject of legislation in any particular territory. A safe strategy here is to use sites based in jurisdictions you know to be liberal in terms of online gambling. The UK is home to many of the world’s leading casino sites for exactly this reason. Well-known brands offer poker, roulette, blackjack and a variety of slots with names like “beach life”, “porky payout” and “thunderstruck”.
If you’re concerned about the likelihood of an online casino operating fraudulently, it’s a wise move to go with a popular, well-known brand. There are ways to check up on a site you’re not sure about; many online forums run by players keep publicly available lists of sites that have either been shown to be cheating, or about which players have become suspicious. There is, however, no official worldwide online body devoted to doing the same thing, and it looks unlikely that there will be in the near future.
Finally, money transfer. This is naturally the point at which new players are likely to feel most nervous. It’s also the point at which legal regulation is most concentrated in territories such as the US. Potential players with USA bank cards will often find that their cards are rejected by the casinos due to US law, though some states are starting to relax their legislation. Once you’re satisfied that the casino itself is safe and reputable, always ensure that you’ll be able to withdraw funds back onto the card you use for deposits. Other options include direct bank transfers and services such as PayPal and Neteller.