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Frequently Asked Questions
1. Are online gambling sites legal or illegal?
This seems like it should be a pretty straightforward answer, but in fact, the legality around gambling sites seems to be constantly changing. Online gambling is a lucrative business, making nearly $200 million a year. So, plenty of people are finding ways to gamble online.
Legal issues around gambling sites are pretty ambiguous. Online gambling consistently has its legality questioned and challenged.
Part of the confusion around the legality of these sites is that the law is different depending on the action taken. For example, there are differences when it comes to taking bets, making bets, advertising on websites, or making payments to casinos. Below, is a comprehensive breakdown of the legality of online gambling sites.
How is it legal?
There is no actual federal law that prohibits playing online. You can place wagers online and it is not illegal. With that said, you cannot place a wager on a site that is in the United States. Those sites that are located outside of the United States are totally legal.
So, you can gamble on sites that are located in the popular locations of the Caribbean, Latin American and Australia without breaking any laws. You just want to be really careful that you do not place any wagers or bets on a site that is located in the United States. While prosecution is not common, the act is illegal, and you can be cited for it.
How is it illegal?
There are also plenty of ways that gambling online is illegal, aside from placing bets on a site that is located within the United States.
For those gamblers in the United States, you must also only place poker and casino wagers. That means you cannot place any sports bets. In addition, no phone wagers can be made from anyone in the United States.
The second way gambling sites can get in trouble with the law is through advertising. Sites cannot accept online gambling advertising in any way. In general, smaller publishers have rarely been prosecuted while mid- and large- size ones have been prosecuted more frequently. For example, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google all paid fines in 2007 for accepting gambling ads.
Finally, the third action that impacts legality is the transfer of funds to online casinos. It is illegal for any American bank to process any transactions that start from or are directed to an online gambling operator.
While things are still a bit cloudy and the legality of online gambling sites is still up in the air to some degree, United States citizens who are simply placing bets online are still safe.
2. Can I gamble from my mobile phone or tablet?
Online gambling has grown exponentially in the past several years. Partner that with the explosion that is mobile phones and you have way gamblers can play their casino games from just about anywhere.
Aside from the size of the screen and the typing interface, most smartphones are just as powerful as desktop computers. Given how popular smartphones are, nearly everyone takes advantage of that power every single day.
People end up spending hours playing games on their phones. So, many of the most popular online gambling sites have started taking advantage of how popular smartphones are and have branched out to including mobile gaming.
In most cases, there are now three ways you can enjoy gambling. Play from your browser, your smartphone, or download to your desktop. In most instances when playing on your phone, you are even able to manage your player account and bank account. Basically, you have access to nearly everything you use when playing on your computer.
Not all online gambling sites are created equal, so neither are their mobile capabilities. There are a few different things to consider when choosing which site you want to use to gamble from your mobile phone or tablet.
In fact, most online gaming sites have not yet created a mobile gaming version. This can work in your favor as the player. The sites that are up and running are pretty impressive so those that have not yet created their mobile sites will have to stay on track with their competitors if they want you to play on their sites.
One of the biggest considerations with mobile apps is that you want the mobile game to load quickly. It can be incredibly frustrating to be using an app that requires more memory to run than you have available on your phone.
Finally, one consideration for gaming on a mobile phone or tablet is compatibility. The best mobile gaming sites will be compatible with the largest number of devices.
There are basically two primary ways a mobile site can interact with its players. The first way is through downloading an app. This is the mobile equivalent of download a game to your computer and playing it there. This is the best way to play on your tablet or phone.
The second way is through the browser. This isn’t a viable option for smartphones quite yet. It is easier and more efficient to just download the app and play that way.
3. How do I trust an online gambling site is safe?
In general, online gambling is perfectly safe. With that said, it can be unnerving to deposit money into an online account. It truly is your own responsibility to ensure you stay safe while using gambling sites. So, there are a few precautions you can take if you are feeling uneasy about gambling online.
It is true that people have gotten scammed in the past when gambling online. With that said, those instances are not a reflection on the industry as whole. The fact that some people have been ripped off in the past in no way demonstrates that online betting as a whole is unsafe. In fact, those sites that are unsafe or operate unethically are far and few between and are definitely the anomaly.
If you want to ensure you stay safe while gambling online, there are some standard precautions you can take.
You want to make sure you do your due diligence and research the sites you plan on using. This seems fundamental but you might be surprised about what you can learn about a site by doing some quick searches online. When you do your research, you want the site you select to meet the criteria below.
- Been in operation for several years
- Does not have many, if any, negative complaints or reports
- Has plenty of positive reviews online
- Licensed and regulated
If you come across any site that is not licensed, this is a major red flag. Stay away from any site for which you can confirm regulation and licensure. In addition, just because a site is licensed doesn’t mean you should automatically trust it. You should still ensure they fit all other criteria. Some licenses are quite easy to get.
For length of time, it is recommended to game on sites that have been in operation for a long period of time, preferably several years. With time in operation comes a level of legitimacy. Those sites that are operating unethically tend to not last very long. Those that are doing things legitimately often last.
Finally, online reviews are often some of the most trustworthy accounts you can find. If you see the same complaint over and over again, it starts to gain legitimacy. If reviewers are always writing positive remarks, you can feel a bit better about trusting the site.
Overall, online gaming is quite safe. With that said, taking the above precautions can help ensure your safety while gaming.
4. What should I consider when choosing a gambling site?
If you are new to online gambling, you might find it overwhelming to decide which gambling site to choose. There are so many options from which you can choose. The sheer number of options makes it challenging to find the best choice.
Even experienced gamers often find it challenging to decide which site to use for their online gaming and betting. You do not want to just make a random choice. This isn’t the soundest of approaches and all sites do not offer the same things to gamers. These sites are not all created equal.
You want a site that is trustworthy, reputable and reliable. You also want one that will give you what you want and be the right fit. In order to have the right experience, you want to pick a site that meets your requirements and satisfies your personal preferences. There are a few key considerations to keep in mind when making your choice.
There are not a lot of sites that you should absolutely avoid. However, you do want to stick with those that are well-established. You want to pick a site that offers good customer service, treats their customers appropriately, and has a good track record. You can research these aspects of the site by checking for any negative reviews.
Kinds of Gambling Available
This is a huge aspect to keep in mind when choosing your site. For example, maybe you are a poker player and that is what you want to play. Perhaps you would rather play casino games. Regardless of your choice, you want to pick a site that offers the games you want to play.
If you aren’t set on one particular type of gaming, you can always choose a site that offers a variety of games. However, if you do want to stick with one type of gaming, you want to narrow down your options to the best sites for that particular gaming type.
It is usually pretty easy to see what the options are for depositing and withdrawing funds from any given site. This is something you want to consider, especially if you have a strong preference on the way in which you want to use your money to fund your online gaming account.
It isn’t just the methods available for depositing and withdrawing funds to keep in mind, either. You also want to make sure you are aware of any fees that you could incur with depositing or withdrawing.
5. How do I make deposits and withdrawals on online gambling sites?
Many gamblers are making the shift from in-person casinos to online gambling. This makes sense given the added flexibility an online gambling site provides.
If you are someone considering online gambling, it is likely that your most pressing question relates back to how you will withdrawal money once you’ve won it. The thing that makes most players weary of online gambling is the financial transactions that take place. When you are in a brick and mortar casino, you simply turn your chips in for cash. However, with online sites, withdrawing your winnings can be a much lengthier process.
You have to initiate the withdrawal on the site and then way for the request to be verified. Then, the funds need to be approved before they can be transferred to your preferred method of payment. The delay ensures a level of security but the increased time it takes to get paid can be annoying for some gamers.
Deposit and Withdrawing
Those gamers who are most familiar with in-person casinos are often very surprised at how easy it is to deposit and withdraw funds on an online gambling site. The only real consideration you have is which payment method you want to use. Most of the most reputable gaming sites will give you a vast number of options when it comes to how you want to get paid and how you want to deposit your funds.
To deposit funds into your account, simply log in, go to the virtual cashier and click on the deposit button. There you will see all of the deposit options available to you. Select one and follow the prompts. In general, you should expect to input the amount you want to deposit and then fill in your banking information.
The process for withdrawing funds is just as straightforward as depositing. However, the processing time is longer. You sign in, go to the cashier part of the casino and click the withdraw button. Usually your withdrawal will be returned to whatever method you used when making your deposit(s).
Despite how easy and convenient it is to deposit and withdraw funds on online gambling sites, the rules vary greatly between sites. Every single site has its own rules that govern how payments are made. Each operator also has its own set of rules around which currencies are accepted, the fees for withdrawals and deposits, processing times, and verification procedures.
6. How do I register with online gambling sites?
If you are never signed up to play on an online gambling site before, you might be confused about what you need to do to start playing.
As a whole, online gambling has become incredibly popular and it makes sense that you would want to get in on some of the action.
On most sites, you don’t need to provide any actual documentation. You usually just need to provide some identifying information. You’ll likely be asked to give your name and country. If you plan on engaging in any games that have a certain level of violence in them, you may be asked to document your age, to prove that you are over 18 years old.
Then, you’ll need to give your physical address and the way your preferred method of payment. You will need to supply how you want payments made given that most games do involve some kind of financial transaction.
If your preferred method of payment is your bank account and that bank account is already registered with your physical address, you likely are all done supplying information to the site. The website will simply verify the information and you’ll be able to start playing.
If the physical address you list and the registered address for your bank account are not the same, you should expect to provide further documentation. Likewise, you may be asked to supply more information if you hit the threshold for withdrawals or payments.
Once you’ve supplied all of the information necessary, which really shouldn’t take you much time at all, you’ll likely need to confirm that you have read and understand the terms and conditions of the site.
This is usually a simple check box. It is advised that you actually read the terms and conditions before you check the box. This just serves as a protection for yourself.
When you check that box, you are also indicating that you are over the age of 18 and are not using any laundered or fraudulent funds.
The documents you can be asked to supply when registering are the following:
- Proof of physical address. This could be a bill that has your name and current address on it. The bill should be no more than 3 months old.
- A photo ID.
- Payment identification. This could just be your most recent bank statement.
Not every site works precisely the same way, but these documents are the most commonly requested.
7. How fair is online gambling?
One of your biggest concerns as an online gamer likely relates to the fairest of the casino. You want to know if the games are rigged and if you are really just being ripped off.
After all, we all kind of know that over time, the house usually gets ahead somehow. In fact, the longer you play in a casino, whether online or in-person, the likelier it is that the casino will make money off of you.
Is online gambling rigged?
Online gaming sites are in the business to make money, just as you are trying to win money playing on the site. There are regulations in place, however, that ensure online gambling sites operate fairly and legally.
There are plenty of complaints around online gambling sites. Many players think that the casino games themselves are rigged. Other players have theories around how they can strike it rich or lucky, such as by playing for longer periods of time.
Regardless of the theories, the biggest complaint and most common one voices is that players are never able to win. The house does absolutely have a slight advantage. However, if no one ever won, there would be no online gambling because no one would play.
One thing to always keep in mind is that online gambling sites use random number generators. This means that every single bet and spin is random. So, you have the exact same odds of winning with each bet or spin as you did with the previous and as you will with the future. Truly, much of the potential for winning just comes down to luck.
How fair are online casinos?
You definitely want to make sure that the online casinos you choose to use are safe and trustworthy. Not all online casinos are created equally. You absolutely want to use one that is licensed and regulated.
When an online casino tries to secure a gambling license, it is put through a number of tests. In addition, the gambling site is always under monitoring and can be audited to ensure players are treated fairly. There are a number of rules in place that ensure and govern fairness, as put in place by the government and gambling authorities.
Other ways to ensure the casino you choose is safe is to read reviews from other players. This will also give you an idea of any issues with fairness. If other players have been concerned with a casino’s fairness, you will likely find it in online reviews.
8. Can I play with a real-life dealer?
More gamblers are gravitating toward online gameplay. This is due, in large part, to the flexibility around gambling from home instead of having to travel to a brick and mortar location. With that said, online casinos have started to introduce a new trend in online gaming.
It is now possible to see real-life dealers while playing your casino games. Live dealers are often available as ball spinners and human card dealers. You watch through real-time video streams as you play.
With this advanced technology, the dealer can put down real playing cards for the player using computer recognitions software. This means that you are better able to interact with the dealer and the game. You make your bets with the dealer and you can even talk with your dealer through live chats in many online casinos. Some casinos even allow you to communicate through live chat with other players.
How does playing with a real-life dealer work?
Obviously with a real-life dealer you can see the dealer setting down your cards. However, many sites take the idea of a live dealer to the next level. With some sites, there is a software used that is now compatible with your phone or tablet. You can basically play with a real-life dealer from just about anywhere.
The real-life dealers used for these games tend to work out of special studios. However, this service varies depending on the online casino you choose. In general, the setup means that there needs to be a central room available that houses all of the live dealers, game tables, and cameras. In some instances, there will be just one table in each room. This allows the players to enjoy their video stream without having to listen to the action on another table.
Nothing is perfect and that trend extends to using a real-life dealer when gambling online. The practice is pretty new and not all casinos offer it. For those that do, the overhead costs are quite substantial when compared to the more traditional methods of online gambling. Those overhead costs often translate to lower payouts for players and a higher minimum bet. Those are things to keep in mind when deciding if you want to play with a live-dealer. You may be paying for the experience in ways you are not even aware, such as through lack of winnings.
9. Is there a limit to how much I can bet?
So, you might be wondering what the maximum bet allowed is when you are gambling online. It is a good question. However, there isn’t really a straightforward answer. Truthfully, the limit on how much you can bet varies greatly depending on which online casino you are using and what game you are playing.
Why is there a limit?
There are limits imposed on how much you can bet when gambling online. Those limits vary depending on the site you are using but there are a few reasons why online casinos have a maximum threshold.
To start, the most basic reason for imposing a limit is because the casino needs to be able to make the payout if you win. So, if you place a bet and the casino can’t afford the bet, the casino’s reputation would be impacted. IN fact, there would likely be a lot less trust in the online gambling world altogether.
In addition, if there were not limits imposed, high rollers could potentially break casinos by continuously doubling their bets.
Some casinos do give higher limits to their VIP players but this usually only happens through speaking with the casino’s customer support.
Can accounts be closed?
Some gamblers have seen their accounts closed following too many wins. This isn’t usually a concern for the casual gambler and is far more worrisome for professional gamblers who live off of the winnings. Remember that the house always has an advantage so really the gamblers most impacted by an account closure are those that do sports betting.
Most casinos don’t publicize their account closures. However, casinos do have the right to close an account or restrict the amount certain players can bet on games. With that said, it really is only an issue for those players who make consistent, high profits. If you plan on only playing casino games, this really isn’t going to apply to you. The house will always have an advantage. That isn’t to say you can’t win but you aren’t likely to win enough, and consistently enough, to have your account closed on you.
Online casinos rarely ban players, but that is also a possibility. It really only ever happens when a player has taken advantage of a promotion or bonus. Sometimes you can exploit the promotion to get an advantage over the house. If you are caught doing it, you run the risk of being banned.
10. What are the advantages of downloading a mobile gambling app?
Many gambling sites have now started to develop their games for mobile players. Just a few years ago, this was nonexistent, with casino and poker games being reserved for play on laptops and desktops.
There are some really great advantages to being able to play your casino games on a mobile gambling app.
Clearly one the biggest advantages of downloading a mobile gaming app is that you can play from virtually anywhere. If you are stuck waiting for your flight at the airport, just grab your phone and play. You might be stuck on your commute ride home from work. You can play on the train or bus. You can basically play your casino games virtually anywhere. We all know that our phones are never far. If you have your phone, you can play.
Most mobile gambling apps provide a smooth gameplay. In fact, they are often smoother than when playing on your computer.
This is primarily because most of the sites that have created mobile apps are top-notch. They have invested resources to ensure that their games will run well for their players. The technology used means faster gameplay and more security.
Many online casinos and poker rooms are now rewarding players who use their mobile apps. They want the traffic on their mobile apps because it means you’ll play more. If you can access your casino games from your phone, you can play anywhere. That means more traffic for the site. So, they will reward you for using their mobile app and those rewards usually come via exclusive bonuses.
To start, there is almost always a welcome bonus provided. You make your first deposit after you’ve signed up for the mobile app, and you’ll be rewarded with some money to spend playing poker. Other sites will give you free spins on some casino games. Some will give you cash for downloading the app.
What you should keep in mind with bonuses is that they are not always advertised on the website. Instead, you only see the exclusive bonuses on the mobile app. So, you want to make sure you check the mobile app on your phone before you sign up so that you can take advantage of any applicable bonuses. The added promotions can really make a difference and you should grab them if they’re free.
11. What is bad about gambling?
Gambling can certainly provide some instant gratification and it is that feeling that often hooks people and makes them want to gamble more. You win a little bit of money and start to feel invisible and like you can’t lose.
However, there are reasons gambling is often portrayed as a bad habit. That winning streak often ends for most people and as they try to chase money they’ve lost, they end up losing more. There are plenty of reasons gambling is bad.
The first bad thing about gambling is the overwhelmingly poor odds of winning. The chances are incredibly bad that you will win anything big. Gambling requires an obscene amount of luck. Even if you are lucky once or twice, you aren’t likely to stay lucky. Unfortunately, that is how gambling hooks players. You are lucky once or twice and think it will continue to happen. Unfortunately, that just isn’t how luck works for most people.
Gamblers tend to get greedy. It is, again, what hooks them to their games of choice. A gambler wins and thinks they can win again. In essence, the more you bet, the more you can win and the more you bet, also the more you can lose. Gamblers get sucked in to the cycle.
Most true gamblers don’t stop playing when they’ve won some money. They think they can win more. They get greedy and bet more assuming they can keep winning. Even if a gambler leaves a casino with a profit, it is often not the highest profit they had that day. It is more often than not that a gambler will win and then ultimately spend at least some of their winnings chasing more money.
Better Uses for Money
When you gamble, you are basically putting your money up for grabs. You may win or you may lose. If you lose, you have nothing to show for that money. It is simply gone.
At least when you purchase something, you have something to show for your money. You don’t have to just buy goods with your money. You can invest it, pay off debt, buy something for your kids or pay for one of their activities. It doesn’t matter what you do with the money. The point is that you have something to show for it, which isn’t the case if you lose your money gambling.
If you think you have a gambling problem here is help for you: https://www.begambleaware.org/
12. Why do people gamble?
For the most part, you are either a gambler or you aren’t. There isn’t much of a gray area when it comes to gambling. With that said, those who are not gamblers often struggle with understanding why others want to gamble.
This question is hard to answer, even for people who do gamble. Some gamblers have experienced issues in their personal lives and still choose to gamble, with no ability to explain why. There are some pretty concrete theories as to why most gamblers gamble.
Many individuals gamble for the thrill of taking a risk. It is part of human nature to feel exciting when taking a risk. In addition, there is a real positive feeling that comes from gambling and winning. This ties in to the feeling of taking a risk as well. There is an anticipation involved when gamblers are waiting to find out if they’ve won. That anticipation breeds excitement and fun for those who are true gamblers.
A chance to escape
Gambling often represents a chance to escape. Those who enjoy gambling can take a step back from everyday life, whether they are playing in a brick and mortar casino or online, and forget about everything in their life for a few moments. For those who gamble in brick and mortar casinos, there may even more escapism involved, as they are able to leave their home and get away for a period of time.
The social aspect
Many individuals gamble as part of our culture as a society. Many gamblers were introduced to games when they were young. Those games tended to involve family members and friends. Maybe it was friendly wagers on card games or bingo. That habit grew into something more and still brings back the social aspect of playing games.
Clearly one of the primary reasons to gamble is to win. Even gamblers will admit they know the odds of winning big are extremely small. Many gamblers will look at a jackpot and think that someone has to win it so it might as well be them. It is that mentality that keeps the gambler coming back. There is something elusive and exciting about chasing after the winning pot of money, even if you know your odds of winning it are slim. Greed can also factor in to that opportunity. Many gamblers have won at some point in their lives but instead of quitting while they were on top, they come back for more searching for the off chance they can win again.