Like any industry that has had a controversial past - there are myths abound - especially in this one, the online gaming industry.
At Casinomeister, we cut through the bullshit, and this is one of the reasons why I am presenting to you the Ten Myths of Online Gambling.
So here we go.
Myth #1: Online gambling is illegal.
In most cases, online casinos are regulated by responsible and responsive jurisdictions. If you happen to live in Europe, the United Kingdom and Malta are the major jurisdictions that govern online gambling. It is legal for players to play in most countries, the onus is on the casino company to ensure that they are taking legal bets. Some jurisdictions like the US, France, Italy, Denmark, and Germany have limitations - but for the player it is really no problem in most cases.
What about in the good ol' USA? Is it legal? Yes, it is legal, and don't let any moron tell you otherwise. Atlantic City is taking online legal bets right now as I speak.
If you live in New Jersey, you can play at a number of New Jersey online casinos "legally" enjoying Netent, WMS, IGT, and NextGen games. These are licensed in New Jersey for New Jersey residents or visitors.
World Series of Poker is available for Nevada residents and New Jersey. Delaware has one or two casino with some shitty software, but it's all legal. And when I mean legal, I mean licensed by the state, and you provide them with your SSN so that they can report your winnings to the IRS.
You wanted regulated casinos in the States? Well you got it.
But if you are not in one of those three states (NV, NJ, DE), have no fear - there are 30 states that allow you to bet on the horses and dogs. It may not be as thrilling as Raping Rhino, but it's betting - legally. Casinomeister.us covers all of this.
And of course, when in doubt - always check your local laws, but make sure you talk to someone who knows what they are talking about.
Most online casinos have very rigid rules concerning Know Your Customer and require ID docs to prove who you are. Underage gamblers are not an issue online, and I should know, I have been running Casinomeister for nearly 18 years - we have processed thousands of complaints, and I can't think of one that dealt with an underage gambler except for one. An 19 year old who claimed she was of age with a casino that considered 21 was the age of majority. The age of majority is 18-19 in most cases, unless you are in the states and liquor is served at a gambling establishment - then it's 21. But if you are at home, no one is serving you liquor, right?
The bottom line is that it's way easy for someone who "looks" of age, plop down in front of a slot machine in Vegas and lose hundreds of dollars before being carded - if at all. You don't find this going on in the online world.
Here is the Webcast that explains it all!
Myth #3: Click your mouse, lose your house.
This was the catch phrase used by a number of opponents of online gaming who were, and still are, ignorant of the facts.
Online casinos can limit your game play. You as a gambler, in a properly regulated jurisdiction, have control on how much you can deposit, and how much you can bet. Kahnawake, in Canada, are one of the leaders in player protection - protecting the player from him or herself. They have strict self-exclusion policies that ensure that once a player quits, he is no longer able to open an account at any of their licensed casinos.
Many casinos allow you to limit your deposits. Some like Betsson, have pop up windows that remind you how long you've been playing, and how much you have lost so far.
Videoslots, the winner of the Best Casino 2015 at Casinomeister, has a function installed in your player account which enable you to limit not only your deposits, but your bet sizes as well.
I'd like to see that happen in a brick and mortar casino. It won't. Land based casinos cannot effectively control their players - simple as that. In fact, they will encourage players to stay, hang around a while "Here's a couple of tickets to a show - and we'll comp your room." That would cost a casino maybe a couple of dollars, but the player feels refreshed and a sense of obligation to continue gambling.
Myth #4: Online casinos don't pay.
Well, that depends. If fail to do your due diligence and don't care where you play - then you may run into trouble. But 98% of your casinos DO pay.
Even though the online casino industry is going on 20 years, there are still rogue casinos out there. I mean REAL rogues, those set up by crooks using stolen software and such. The bottom line is - it is you who needs to do a simple search: how to spot a rogue casino. It's easy peasy.
You can also use our free tool Casinomeister's Second Opinion (or C2O) which will let you know what the Casinomeister status is of any casino anywhere: rogue, accredited, or in no man's land. Hell, you can even contact me personally, and I'll give you a quick unbiased rundown on a casino. Casinos do pay - and most casinos are happy to do so.
Myth #5: All casino games are rigged.
The chances of games being rigged are the same as in Vegas - of course, if you are playing at the right casinos.
Ensure that the casinos that you are playing at are compliant with their regulators.
Ensure that the casinos list their gaming providers - you can usually find this either on their about us page, player security, or at the bottom of their main index page where you can find licensing information.
Again - you must learn to sort the chaff from the grain - Casinomeister can assist there as well.
Myth #6: You need a bonus to win.
Most bonuses are set up to favor the house edge. Labeled as free money - it is not.
It used to be back in 1998 when some casinos would give you $30 to try them out. Bonuses now are full of terms and conditions and wagering requirements that personally - I can't be bothered with.
If you want to win, deposit your own money - no bonus, set up a bank roll with a decent wagering limit, and if and when you have a big hit, cash out. You've won without a bonus, and without some unattainable wagering requirement.
Well, I can attest that most operators are not crooks. In every industry where money is involved - which covers most, you are going to have bad apples. But believe it or not, the major licensing jurisdictions conduct background checks on the operators. Kahnawake, UKGC, New Jersey, Gibraltar, Malta, etc. Even me - I have a vendors license from the state of New Jersey which authorizes me to advertise casinos based in New Jersey.
They did a background check on me. So there.
So yes, it's important to know where the casino you are playing at is licensed. If it claims to be licensed in Costa Rica, well they may have a license - but it's not a gaming license, it's a license to have an online business - the same one you would need if you are selling shoes online. So right there that is a red flag.
Seriously, there is more player fraud going on than operator fraud. So the crooks are mostly coming from the player communities - not the operators.
Myth #8: Online casinos are licensed by offshore tax havens.
Offshore is a matter of perspective. Many online casinos are licensed in Malta - which is in the EU, and in the past was labeled as a tax haven. But tax haven? This is not true. Malta does not permit secret bank accounts, and cooperates fully in exchanging information if and when it is requested by the authorities of other countries.
The United Kingdom is neither a tax haven nor offshore especially if you reside there. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is in the middle of Quebec - so they are land locked, you could drive there from Omaha if you wanted. And it is not a tax haven. The state of New Jersey is also land locked, and not a tax haven.
So to conclude, the majority of online casinos are not licensed by off shore tax havens.
Myth #9: Online gambling is run by terrorist organizations who launder money.
There is no evidence of this whatsoever. Most gaming companies are well established transparent corporations. Many of these are publicly traded and there is no evidence of money laundering.
And take Playtech for instance, they are huuuge - are not only publicly traded, but have their roots in Israel. When is the last time you heard about Israel funding terrorism? So that is just a load of horse-hockey.
People who connect terrorism and casino money laundering are just plain idiots. There is no evidence of this at all.
Myth #10: The house always wins.
Bullshit - right?
Gotcha - this is not a myth. The casinos know that the longer you play, the more you are going to lose. Yes, the house always wins unless you know when to walk away.
Players want to play, but they want to win. This is why it is extremely important for you as a player to know your limits, to understand why you like to play certain games.
Self analysis is in order.
Most gamblers play to get themselves into the "zone", the zone is when they can relax and lose themselves in a long session of Video Poker, Black Jack, or slots. The world goes away and it's you and the game.
If this applies to you, then look for games that are not so volatile - like Jacks or better, or most of your low wagering progressive games. Understand that when you make a big hit, the casino is expecting you to play it back so that they can maintain the theoretical RTP, it's your choice as a player to cash out or not.
But it's gambling - you win some, you lose some. As long as you keep a level head, know that you are paying for entertainment, have limits set for yourself, and that knowledge is power, you should have a pretty good time.
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