Menu

Responsible Gambling – Help & Advice to Gamble Responsibly

3 Forces That Will Keep You Safe from Sharks While Gambling Online

How do you keep safe while gambling online?

Do you know?

Because there’s no shortage of people who want to take advantage of you. This includes hackers, rogue casinos, review sites and forums. All of them lurking in the shadows, just waiting for you to walk by.

Many gullible, unsuspecting online gamblers fall prey to these crooks. Some lose tens or hundreds of dollars. Others, they lose everything – tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands.

You don’t want to be one of those people …do you?

Well, the good news is you don’t have to be. So long as you stay protected.

That’s not nearly as hard as you may think, considering that there are 3 forces at work – 3 forces who have the job of keeping you safe online. I want to spend the rest of my time telling you who those forces are, so you know how they work, what to look for when choosing a site, and what to expect when gambling online.

You know the first force very well.

1. It’s You

The first force that will keep you safe online is you. It’s going to be your choice of where you gamble that will set into motion all the good or bad things that will come your way.

Seriously. Join a shady casino and tell me how it’s going in a month or so. I bet you won’t be happy.

So, your first task is simple – join a legit gambling site. But how do you do that?

The easiest way is by reading gambling site reviews. But not to see what games, software or promotions the site has. What you want to look for instead are negative comments or problems other players have with them.

For example, a rogue gambling site will pull shenanigans like:

  • Slow or No Pays – Simply put, they’re not paying players. Or, they take a long time doing it, stringing you along with promises of “it’s on its way”, over and over – sometimes for months on end.
  • Changing Terms – Sometimes rogue sites will change their terms to match their position in a dispute against a player. They might change bonus terms, deposit limits or the rules for how much you can cash out per week. Basically, they’ll change anything to justify why they can’t pay you your money.
  • Finding Loopholes – These are loopholes found in the gambling sites’ T&C’s that will allow them to weasel out of paying you. These are often for dumb things, like accusing you of being a professional gambler or a member of a gambling syndicate. Subjective and silly things, really.
  • Offering Unrealistic Promotions – These are offers that are too good to be true. Like $5,000 offers, 400% match bonuses, low rollover requirements, or something else that’s not the norm at legit sites.

And others. But these are the biggies.

Your mission is to read reviews to see if the site’s you’re considering joining has, or has had problems like these. That way you can avoid them (or just be really, really cautious if you’re giving them a 2nd chance).

But don’t just limit yourself to casino reviews. One of the best things you can do is join a forum. If anything is going wrong with a company – like a legit complaint – you’ll know it fast …and often way before anyone else in the gambling community.That said, you should take each review with a grain of salt.

To sort of flip what I just said on its head, you do want to focus on user (other player) reviews, more so than a review from a gambling review site or forum.

The reason being is that most of these sites and forums are businesses. They post reviews for money. They’re all biased – some more than others.

I wouldn’t put my trust into a site or forum unless I knew they were honest, on the up-and-up, and wouldn’t sell their readers out for a few bucks. And that trust takes time to build.

So, definitely read site reviews, but try to find user reviews, if possible. They’re usually far more honest, and far less biased than reviews written by companies.

Do this right and you’ll be one step closer to keeping yourself safe while gambling online.

2. US States

If you gamble online in the United States – in a state where it’s legal – you are protected by the 2nd force – the individual state.You could also say you’re protected on a federal level. Arguably, laws like the UIGEA are established in-part to protect customers from theft, money laundering, terrorism, etc.

That’s because, if you want to be a gambling operator in America, you have to jump through hoops and abide by the laws the state sets.

For example, here are some rules or tasks an operator will have to complete – all in place to keep you safe:

  • Operators will need to have geo-targeting technology so that only people within the state can play at their site.
  • They need to offer self-exclusion options so players can take a cooling off period – or stop playing altogether if they have a gambling problem.
  • They need to offer controls so players can place limits on themselves, so to prevent themselves from spending too much during a session or in a day.
  • Operators have to apply for a license (and pay the fees). This weeds out the type of riffraff you often see operate offshore casinos.
  • Gambling sites need to verify that players are old enough to gamble (18 or 21 years old).
  • They need to have their software tested.
  • Operators need to work with approved 3rd parties (software, payment processing, merchants, etc.), and they (the 3rd parties) may have to operate within state lines.
  • Operators are overseen and regularly checked on by a gaming authority to ensure the casino is complying with the rules.

And so on.

These are rules designed to keep you safe from rogue operators. If you plan to play in the US (and, arguably, you should if safety is your main concern), then you’ll be doing yourself a favor by joining a US-approved gambling site.

Otherwise, you’ll have no choice but to rely on the 3rd force.

Relevant news