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  1. Systems and strategies. Some gamblers use these two words interchangeably, making punters feel that there is a way to beat the house. In reality, gambling remains a risk, and the house edge is not a myth. Some strategies have advantages and may put gamblers in a better position for a win or minimise losses at best. Casino games have rules, betting structures, and that dreaded house edge. Successful punters know these by heart. We unveil gambling strategies that claim to work and delve into game-specific approaches. It's a Gamble: Wing It or Strategise? Whether you enjoy an occasional flutter or gamble on a more regular basis, the goal should remain the same - having fun! The chances are that you, like most gamblers, want to win some money while having fun. The first step would be to choose your game. Some strategies are better suited to specific casino games, while others could work across the board. The second step for successful gambling is having a budget and sticking to it. Don't stake what you can't lose, and don't fall into the trap of trying to make up for losses. With your game of choice ready and a level-headed bankroll budget, the following strategies add to your gameplay, and some claim to work. Take note: The following strategies and systems may CLAIM to work, but winning is always up to the luck of the draw. Use the following strategies at your own risk. General Gambling Systems ✓ Bankroll Strength Apart from setting a session, daily, and monthly budget, your aim must be to strengthen your bankroll, even if it is at a steady and slow pace. A part of achieving this goal is to set a loss limit for yourself and decide what percentage of your winnings to wager before walking away. Wise bankroll management allows for stress-free gambling and keeps you focused even when you are down during a session. Walk away while you are winning. While this may sound counter-intuitive, the chances of losing all your gains in the long run are big, so walking away as a winner is the best call. ✓ Fixed Wagers vs Fractional Wagers The most straightforward strategy is to pick a fixed stake amount and stick to it. This strategy is a safe choice with certain games, but it could hold you back with games like blackjack and poker. With slot games and any non-advantage gamble, it is a wise strategy to follow and makes it easy to keep track of your spending. Fractional wagers are the best way to minimise your risks. The system suggests stakes of no less than 1% and no more than 3% of your current bankroll. Naturally, the lower you choose to go, the better. This way, punters bet less while losing and increase stakes as they win. ✓ Positive and Negative Progression Strategies Most mathematical betting systems relate to either a positive bet progression or a negative progression. Simply put, this means players either increase their bets after losing or increase their bets after winning. An example of a negative progression system is the original Martingale system. This system is an excellent way to break the bank, and we advise against this type of gambling. If managed according to your budget and only if you have a big bankroll, positive progression systems work well for balanced odds. When only playing a few hands and staking on red/black at the roulette table (or the banker in Baccarat), this strategy claims to help players win. ✓ Take Note of House Edge The danger of using a strategy is falling into the trap of thinking you can beat the house. As mentioned, the house always wins. Putting yourself ahead by understanding the game rules has its advantages. You lose less if you choose games and bets with a lower house edge. With online casino games, this relates directly to RTP. The higher the Return to Player percentage, the lower the house edge. Games with the lowest house edge are traditionally table games, with blackjack at the top of the list and baccarat in second place. It's a good idea to always stake your money on the bets with the lowest house edge. Game-Specific Strategies These are brief versions of strategies suited to specific games. Take a look at our guides section for more in-depth tips to improve your gameplay. ✓ Top Slot Strategies Playing slots is a lot of fun, and it is by far the most popular casino game. Oddly enough, it is the game with the highest house edge, but punters enjoy the instant wins, simple rules, and entertaining themes of the spinning reels. So how do you win in slots? Is there a winning strategy? The short answer here is no. However, there are ways to make your slot experience more fun and increase the chances of better prizes. With slots, punters should consider more than just the RTP. Bonus features, volatility, and betting limits come into the equation when finding the best slot to play. The best slot offers a combination of these along with an acceptable RTP. Wise players match the volatility with their budget. Slots remain a game of luck, and punters can maximise their gameplay with solid bankroll management. Lower your bets when you are not winning and set limits to track your session spend because slots are games of chance; one of the smartest moves is knowing when to walk away. ✓ Video Poker Strategies Playing varieties of 5-card poker online is extremely popular, and video poker is second only to slot games in the igaming industry. Most video poker players use hunches or play streaks, but some strategies claim to increase winning odds. Depending on which 5-card draw you choose, following tips from strategy charts, universal strategies, and game-specific card choices could increase your chances of winning. A fact to keep in mind is that only mathematically derived strategies bring the best returns. A top tip for winning in video poker is choosing the game with the highest return. In other words, full-pay games. You can recognise these games by a 9/6 description. If possible, place the max bet and have strategy charts within reach, as these help players decide to hold or fold. ✓ Best Blackjack Strategies Undoubtedly, the top strategy to win at blackjack is card counting. This practice dates back decades and has a stigma attached to it, but this strategy doesn't work with online blackjack, as Random Number Generators drive online games. Essentially, each hand comes from a reshuffled deck. Fear not, as the game of 21 has many other strategies, and most are not as involved as counting cards. The most basic of these is to know when to make which betting call. By making a strategic decision on when to hit, stand, split, and double down, it is possible to reduce the house edge. When the dealer has face-up cards showing 2 to 6, and you have 12 to 16, rather stand as the dealer may go bust. In the same instance, if the dealer's cards are 7 to Ace, take a hit. Experts advise splitting Aces and 8s for the best chance of winning and to double down on 11 when the dealer has 2 to 10. ✓ Roulette Strategies Although roulette outcomes are random and betting on the exact number the ball will land on is pure luck, there are mathematical strategies that offer punters better chances of winning. Between American and European roulette, the latter is the strategic choice because the house edge is much lower. Outside bets offer players a higher probability of winning. These include column bets, dozen bets, colour bets, odd or even bets, and low or high bets. Most of these options are even bets, meaning you will only double your bet if you win. However, you can enjoy prolonged play with general wagering strategies in place. ✓ Strategies for Online Craps If you are keen to shoot some dice, the exciting and much-loved game of craps is a must. In line with games like roulette, craps outcomes are luck-based, so punters must play the odds instead. With a game of craps, you must choose the bet that makes the house edge as low as possible, and sometimes, it can drop below 1. Bets to avoid while shooting dice are single-roll bets, considering the house edge with these can exceed 10%. Using pass and come bets in a craps game is the best strategy as the house edge is 1.41% when doing so. An infrequent occurrence is the opportunity to take and lay odds. Experts advise that when craps players get the chance to do this, they should. House edge drops to a negligible 0.02% if you do. With a come or pass bet in place, this bet becomes an option if the shooter rolls his come-out roll. ✓ Baccarat Systems This sophisticated game is one of the most popular casino games, and contrary to popular belief, it is one of the simplest. Although it is an option, avoid the tie bet at all costs. House edge on a tie bet is 14.36%, and it will flatten your bankroll in no time as it has the worst odds of winning. One of the most straightforward strategies to follow in a game of baccarat is to only bet on the banker. The simple reason for this is, once again, house edge. The positive progression systems may be a good call for players who want to add a system on top of the banker-bet strategy. ✓ Poker Strategies Poker is a game of skill, and during the 20th century, the card game, and specific variations of it, became extremely popular. Thanks to this, there are more than enough strategies for poker players, but they must first grasp the game's rules. A simple rule in all poker variations is to know whether or not your starting hand is good. The next obvious strategy is to fold if your cards present a low to no chance of winning. You could attempt a bluff, but consider your opponent's skill level before choosing that route. Because of the many options with poker, we are not detailing strategies for each game today. You can find brilliant poker betting systems for popular variations in our guides. Hone Your Skills Punters should hone their game skills for the best experience and chances of walking away as a winner. Play free versions and read up on the rules and odds to increase your knowledge. This is the safest bet at the end of the day.
  2. The online casino industry is always trying to find new ways to stay ahead of the game. By staying one step ahead of the crowd, casino operators and innovators bloomed and cemented themselves in the online world very quickly. Recently, there have been those in the industry calling for online casinos to make a change to how they function and the question has been asked: Why aren’t online casinos more social? Social Casinos: A Stellar Rise in Popularity Free casinos (or social casinos) are very popular around the world. Every day, more people sign up to join these anonymous sites and apps where free versions of popular casino games can be enjoyed with tokens or free cash. More than just a way to play casino games without the risk of losing real money, social casinos have a unique aspect that players seem to be searching for: chatrooms. Whether in the form of chatrooms in an app or via forums, being able to connect with other players makes the experience of free casinos that much more appealing. Does it mean that these casinos are perfect or free from any issues? Definitely not, but being able to chat to friends you’ve made across the globe while playing free casino games has a certain appeal. Often done using anonymous usernames and random images as profile pictures, chatting via free play apps is a huge hit. There are moderators present to ensure that the conversations stay safe and that there is no spam. Players greet each other like old friends and often connect each day when they log in to collect daily rewards while playing their favourite games. Having experienced this myself, the conversations in these chatrooms are often not related to the games being played at all. Instead, questions about the weather, what kind of nightlife can be found in different cities and even checking in on more personal aspects of each other’s lives can be seen. Of course, there are those just popping in to ask for a quick referral code but for the most part, the social aspect of these apps can be a lot of fun. Do Online Casinos Need a Social Aspect? As more people begin to wonder why online casinos aren’t open to adding this level of social connectivity, the question of whether it’s needed or wanted comes to mind. When we consider how popular live dealer casino games have become, and the social aspect they bring to the virtual table, it seems that real-money players are also looking for a connection. But could a chatroom at an online casino cause more harm than good? Let’s take a look at the possible arguments that could pop up. ✓ Possible Con: Would chatrooms encourage players to spend more time at online casinos? This is a real concern for regulators and those who advocate for stricter responsible gambling rules at online casinos. And for good reason, of course. The chance that chatrooms and more social features could encourage more time spent at a casino is a factor that must be considered. However, if the chatrooms functioned as they do at many free casinos, chatting only takes place outside of gameplay in a separate part of the site or app. This means that while players may spend more time at the casino, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’ll be spending more money. ✓ Possible Pro: Could a social connection reduce problem gambling? In 2019, GambleAware and the Gambling Commission published a report that revealed the connection between problem gambling, loneliness, and suicidal thoughts. The report showed that “problem gamblers were more likely to feel lonely and isolated from other people.” Another study done via a survey of US residents revealed that those who play games online can forge deep relationships as they do so. While this study focused on regular video games, the fact remains that humans are sociable by nature and connecting when playing is totally normal. It stands to reason then that having a social chat function in an online casino could in fact reduce problem gambling as players use their time to chat, rather than to gamble. If someone who struggles with impulse control had a space to chat safely with online friends instead of making another deposit, would that not be better than having them log off only to visit a different online casino and keep playing? Moderators in chatrooms could also use the space as a way to remind players to take a break, reiterate using responsible gambling tools, and even offer assistance to those who may need a link or phone number for an organisation that can help. Many online gamblers do so from the comfort of their homes while alone. Chatrooms could be a social outlet that can provide companionship and a needed distraction. And it would be an interesting addition to the online gambling experience. Looking to the Future The online casino industry is always looking to the future. Whether it’s considering the possibilities of AI or VR or finding new ways to make online casino games more immersive, there’s always something new on the horizon. While online chatrooms and forums are not a new idea, adding them to online casinos could make a huge impact. Whether or not operators will agree and begin to implement more social ways to play remains to be seen. Hopefully, the popularity of live dealer casino games and the social outlets they provide will prompt operators to attempt something new in the industry and allow players to be more than just numbers and letters but provide a virtual voice to the casino conversation waiting to be had.
  3. Responsible Gambling is not a new concept in the world of wagering. Sadly, there is still some stigma attached to gambling disorders and for this reason, many problem gamblers don’t ask for help. When referring to safer gambling in the industry, we often talk about the practices put in place by gaming providers to prevent gambling harm and addiction. Just as the gambling industry evolves, so player protection protocols must adapt and flow into more effective outcomes. Thankfully, technological advances and scientific studies make this possible. Technology helps gambling companies to keep their finger on the pulse of the high-speed market and studies show them how to apply the technologies to best prevent harmful behaviour. The massive growth curve in online gambling throughout the past two years means that platform providers have their hands full. Long-term social effects of the pandemic may expose vulnerable players to greater risk and lead to new occurrences of problem gambling and addiction. Industry leaders create platforms to share best practices and global regulators constantly take steps toward more aware and effective player protection. These tendencies make it clear that there is a sincere hunger for improvement in this regard. So how has responsible gaming changed and what more can be done as stakeholders align practises with the new normal? The Evolution of Responsible Gambling The saying goes: We don’t know what we don’t know. Moving into a conscious state has various levels. The first is unconscious incompetence. Although gambling and the concept of player protection are not a new thing, online gambling and efficacious protection protocols have evolved over their brief existence. Industry leaders learn as more evidence becomes available, which shapes and improves the topic. The first type of protection method came as prohibition, but lawmakers soon discovered that this didn’t keep citizens from gambling illegally. Black market gambling is one of the biggest problems for gambling harm, therefore governments sought safer approaches and started regulating games. The gambling industry boomed, and casinos were thriving, while encouraging players to gamble more, place bigger bets, and stay longer. It became apparent that these bottom-line drivers were enabling gambling-related harm, and the government stepped in with responsible gambling policies. The establishing of national gambling addiction organisations where at-risk players can register themselves was one of the steps taken. This process used to be a manual one where people had to visit the organisation to register. Registered gamblers would opt for self-exclusion and counselling offered by the government. With the tremendous accessibility of online gambling and technology that allows for mobile gaming, the risks and exposure are much higher. Lawmakers recognised this, as did many of the biggest casino operators, and this brought forth greater social responsibility practices. Today, features empower players to take control of their deposits and the time they spend playing. Operators use AI to encourage better gambling choices and to keep track of player patterns. Although gambling harm instances have decreased, industry leaders seek to eradicate it and we must learn from history to prevent recurring cycles of harm. Prevention is Better than Cure Having the right information allows for informed choices, and this is one of the major driving forces behind current safer gambling practices. A fundamental truth is that the ultimate decision to gamble lies with the player, and this is where the industry aims to change behaviour. Awareness campaigns throughout the world attempt to educate the public on gambling harm. Some are more effective than others. Recent studies in Australia revealed positive messages relate to greater behavioural changes and encourage gamblers to make use of the tools at their disposal. The study also exposed that these types of messages opened the stage for healthy discussions on gambling addiction instead of fuelling the stigma attached to it. Other regions approach their duty of care from the premise of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ or by making certain decisions for the players. Examples of these would be advertisement bans and deposit caps. The fine line between protecting players and pushing them toward unregulated sites is where regulators and providers need to be mindful. Different Regional Requirements An ongoing challenge faced by regulated operators is the varying requirements of the global igaming market. Different regulators have different requirements, with some countries having different rules for each of their regions. GamblersPick has a great tool for players to familiarise themselves with the relevant laws in their area and if gambling is legal. Playing with a regulated provider is the first step to responsible gambling. Africa - Most of Africa is still a grey market. However, punters in South Africa can enjoy legal and safe online gambling at certain sites. Their Gambling Act of 1996 has guidelines for operators and by choosing a licensed platform, players can wager with peace of mind. Asia - Although the largest percentage of the world’s population lives on this massive continent, most Asian countries either prohibit online gambling or restrict it in some manner. Asian punters choose offshore sites, exposing them to unscrupulous providers. Macau, the gambling capital of the world, is the exception and Hong Kong is less strict than the rest of China. Europe - Europe and the UK are the forerunners with regulated online gambling and many countries on the continent offer safe gambling for their citizens. The UK government launched a gambling act reform in 2020 to update their policies, paying specific attention to player protection policies. Many of the European Member States have their own regulatory bodies like The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and others. Middle East - The dominant religion in the area is Islam, which forbids gambling and, therefore, regulated casinos are not available here. Israel is working on legislation and should they be successful, it may be possible for Israeli punters to enjoy a safe flutter. North America - Throughout the past two years, a few US states opened regulated gambling markets, with sports betting being the focus. Gradually more are coming on board and adding casino licences. Canada also does regional licensing, so some areas have regulated options and others allow their players to use offshore providers. South America - Online gambling is available in most parts of South America, but only Peru and Argentina offer locally licensed platforms. Venezuela and Brazil have anti-gambling laws, but the rest of the continent’s players can make use of offshore licensed casinos. Oceania - Gambling is an extremely popular pastime in Australia and New Zealand. It is prohibited to offer online gambling to Aussies and Kiwis, but countless providers from offshore regions offer services here. Players must take care to choose regulated sites for their own safety. Scandinavia - Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark offer online gambling regulations and punters can enjoy safe wagering through their respective authorities. Svenska Spel, the Swedish state-owned company, recently implemented blanket deposit limits to curb gambling harm. Safer Gambling Tools Responsible gambling tools are requirements by legislators and if platform providers don’t comply, they may lose their licence to offer gambling services in the region. These operational protocols should aim at Prevention and Intervention, Education, Treatment and Support. The latter mostly falls on the government’s side of the fence and platforms focus on the first two. Independent organisations such as GamCare and BeGambleAware provide guidance and support for players and providers. Prevention becomes tangible practice through regulations like limiting exposure through gambling advertisements and marketing material. This is important not only for at-risk gamblers but also for children. Marketing material may not display claims to encourage problem gambling, like paying debt with gambling, nor should it make promises of gains. Sign-up processes must be ironclad in preventing underage gambling. Therefore, the platforms need to identify their players adequately. Platforms offer players the chance to set limits on their profiles. These help punters to stay in touch with how much time and money they spend while gambling. Most regulators ban credit gambling or betting with borrowed money. Providers utilise data programming and AI technology to recognise problematic patterns, and this is where the next step becomes imperative. Intervention is necessary when individuals show signs of at-risk gambling and providers have dedicated and trained teams to deal with these situations. Here, players will have the option to take the help before the problem gets out of hand and make use of other tools at their disposal, like taking a break for a while. The gambling community works together to educate punters on signs of gambling addiction. This comes as banners on sites, messages while playing, campaigns that include widely published marketing material, and research to improve it all. Transparency is key to successful player protection. Therefore, operators need to make their terms crystal clear and offer them in the region’s dominant languages. If gambling harm already exists, government bodies, regulators and NGOs provide players and affected parties with various channels for treatment and support to overcome gambling addiction. Be the Master of Your Gambling Universe At the end of the day, the initiatives and best intentions of providers and governments are wasted if players don’t make the right choice. Gambling addiction is not a myth, nor are the risks of problem gambling. So, what can you do to protect yourself and those around you from gambling harm? ✓ 1. Plan and Stick to a Budget Knowing what your financial abilities are is key to managing your wagers well. Only bet what you can lose and don’t neglect the budget you set for yourself, regardless of how much you win. Walking away as a winner means withdrawing your prize and utilising it elsewhere. ✓ 2. Use Limit Tools from Providers Once you know what your budget is, set your limits accordingly. The devils in the detail, so specify daily, weekly, and monthly limits. Time limits are important as well. Enjoying a flutter here and there is great, but it should not take away from other quality time that enriches your life. Set a time limit for each session and stick to it. ✓ 3. Ask for Help All regulated regions have hotlines that their citizens can call to find help. If you worry that your gambling is on a slippery slope or know of someone who needs help, reach out to organisations such as GamStop. Here, you will find people geared to listen and help with experience in the field. Improve Together As industry leaders work to improve player protection protocols and find innovative ways to educate players on their choices, the online gambling world becomes more fun. The more aware we become of where legislation and behaviours can improve, the faster we can break down myths and stigmas that surround gambling addiction.
  4. Reflection is key to gratitude, and hindsight sometimes generates powerful realisations and inspires innovative change. Let’s take stock of what technology and the brilliant developers in the igaming industry have given us since remote gambling first became available. Modern punters probably take most of these innovations for granted, but the truth is the past two decades have brought about massive changes for online gambling. Gambling anywhere you find yourself is a very recent development and the level of entertainment available has improved unthinkably since the 90s. Basic features like 3D graphics, animated characters, streaming, and many others are the norm in 2022, so let’s look at 8 advancements developers brought to the table since the inception of online gambling. ✓ 1. Innovations for Slot Mechanics video slots are by far the most popular choice for online gamblers and, thanks to the popularity of these games, software providers invest intensely in their innovations. The first feature is so common today that it is virtually unthinkable that it wasn’t always there. Free Spins, and other bonus features for that matter, were not always part of Online Slots. Original video slots were like one-arm-bandits where punters simply clicked spin and hoped for a line win. This feature shows how far technology has brought us. From slots that have 1 line for a winning combination to Megaways that offer over 117,000 ways to win. This slot mechanic broke the mould and Big Time Gaming’s innovation ensured that the industry will never be the same again. Countless brands have since signed agreements with BTG to incorporate this popular concept into their video slots. The Megaways structure opened developers’ minds to what might be possible and this gave rise to plenty more payline innovations. Thinking outside the paylines, developers soon introduced a Cluster Pay system, where lines no longer mattered. As long as matching symbols land next to each other in cluster formations, it awards a win. This feature led to other interesting developments, like uniquely shaped slot grids. Mega Clusters are the amped-up version of cluster pays presented by BTG and combine cluster pays with split symbols. InfiniReels mechanics only recently arrived on the scene when NetEnt did what most only dreamed of. The brilliant design team developed a mechanic with infinite payways and the rules are rather straightforward. Every win generates a new reel to the right of the grid and this continues for an unlimited win sequence. ReelPlay has the same mechanic, called Infinity Reels. Yggdrasil is another team of genius developers and they brought us massive icons to spice up the reels. Gigablox can drop in sizes of 2x2, 3x3, 4x4, and humongous 6x6, taking up most of the slot grid. These symbols make winning combinations more lucrative, and other developers have since unveiled their own versions. Yggdrasil also presented Splitz where one symbol splits in two for more winning potential. With providers feeding off each other’s innovative ideas, we can go on with this list for a while, but it’s clear that slots are better than ever and players can spin their hearts out. ✓ 2. progressive jackpots Something the internet does for us which we may take for granted is that it brings a level of connectedness that never existed. Linking the great big world like never before brought on the wonderful thing that gamblers love, called Progressive Jackpots. These eye-watering, life-changing prizes comprise the tally of wagers in a selected game throughout the provider’s network. The progressive nature of these pots means that the prize increases with each bet placed on that game. These are not just limited to online slots and some exciting card and table games incorporate it too. The favourites include Mega Moolah, the Microgaming hit slot, Roulette Royale, and Caribbean Stud Poker. ✓ 3. live dealer games Another hint that we are indeed living in the golden age of online gambling is the fact that we no longer need to visit a land-based casino to experience the thrill of human interaction. Thanks to incredible internet speed and innovative providers, we can enjoy live dealer games streamed from casino studios. Evolution Gaming is a forerunner in the Live Dealer sphere of online gambling and their games are tremendously popular. Interact with the croupier as they spin the roulette wheel, deal your hopeful 21, or flip the cards to reveal your Hold’em fate. Presenters dressed in colourful and themed attire spin the wheel of fortune for you, and punters have online social spaces to interact with peers. Live dealer technology literally brings the casino to you and they fill casino libraries with interesting takes on traditional games as developers ensure their content is unique and exciting. ✓ 4. Tournaments and Multiplayer Games If you feel you are ready to take your igaming to the next level, tournaments and multiplayer games should be on your list. Play with and against gamblers from all over the world in the best kind of social experience you will find in remote gambling. As mentioned, with live dealer games, you have the option of interacting with other players by chatting with them, but tournaments bring a more competitive edge to the table. Casino Races is one form of a tournament where players opt-in to take part in free point-based competitions. These usually run for a set time and at the end of the race, the players with the most points win cash prizes. Games included in these tournaments are usually a collection of slots and table games. Most online casinos offer blackjack and poker tournaments to seasoned players and these winner-takes-all competitions can get really exciting. ✓ 5. Mobile Gambling and Omni-Channel Gradually mobile phones became an appendix we never knew we needed but now can’t be without. The onset of HTML5 technology combined with fast internet made it possible for developers to adapt website interfaces to work seamlessly on mobile devices. Software providers then introduced omnichannel technology that allows players to move between devices on a single user profile, which is partially the reason for the mobile gambling industry boom. Mobile gambling is now the most popular way to wager, and it is strange to think that a while ago, we needed individual profiles for each device we played on. Smartphone technology allows punters to enjoy the immersive experience of live casinos, as some devices have better processors than computers, and the development of mobile gambling has made games of chance accessible to everyone. One more advantage of mobile gambling is the security it offers with payment apps that link directly to the casino and cut out the need for you to link banking details. All around, mobile technology is a massive game-changer for gambling. ✓ 6. VR Technology One of the most exciting advances in gaming is Virtual Reality and, with the looks of it, we have seen nothing yet when it comes to virtual entertainment. VR games transport players to worlds beyond our imagination and certain games will allow you to recreate yourself as an avatar. Enjoy the company of other players who take part with their virtual version of themselves and forget all about the world around you for a while. Evolution gaming incorporated this technology into one of their live games, Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. This live game allows players to switch to VR mode, using a headset and controller, and experience the most immersive treasure hunt with the Spanish conquistador everyone loves. ✓ 7. Cryptocurrency The unprecedented growth in the online gambling sector makes it an obvious target for chancers. Electronic transactions fill the money web while players and platforms need to find the most trustworthy manner of operating the process. Although many fiat currency processes exist that are highly secure and most punters use them, the undeniable security offered by blockchain has opened the industry’s mind to cryptocurrency. Online casinos like 7bit Casino focus solely on Bitcoin and offer remote gambling in cryptocurrency, and many top platforms encourage and reward punters for using crypto as their wagering currency of choice. Advantages include guaranteed anonymity, ease of access, and super-fast processing. Cryptocurrency is not the easiest to come by and, for this reason, many avoid it. It is also a seriously volatile currency, and this is probably why many people still think it is too risky. ✓ 8. Provably Fair Blockchain Gambling Apart from the security blockchain technology provides with payments in cryptocurrency, the node-driven tech presents a list of other advantages for igaming. A concern that some punters have is that the casino may cheat them by rigging the game software. Although it is highly unlikely for random number generator games to be rigged, provably fair blockchain technology is a lot more secure. Some bitcoin casinos now offer players the opportunity to verify the fairness of each round of the game if they want to. Because of the nature of blockchain technology, it is immutable, in other words unchangeable, and this grants unmatched transparency with the game’s randomness. If a casino has games built on blockchain, players will have the peace of mind that it is designed to be provably fair and they can check the data should they wish to.
  5. With gambling success stories, many tend to believe that luck has a lot to do with the win. We all know that casino games usually stack odds against the gambler and the house mainly wins. For this reason, countless punters believe that charms may add to their fortune and, with some games, players can use all the luck they can get. Certain gambling games require a level of skill to win, but even these skilled punters have superstitions and carry talismans for added luck. Others may even have a ritual they perform before playing their game of choice. Let’s take a look at the interesting lucky charms people believe in around the globe and explore where some of these amulets originated. Some are well-known beliefs while others have questionable roots, but some believe these charms to bring fortune to the wearer. ✓ American Charms Thanks to the media, American traditions seem to be some of the most well-known ideologies in the world. This rings true for superstitions and good luck charms as well. One of the most popular amulets is the horseshoe. This belief stems from folklore about Saint Dunstan, who struck a deal with the devil and from there on out the horseshoe wards off evil and brings luck. Be sure to position your charm in the right direction though as the u-shape will catch the luck for you if pointed up, but lose it if pointed down. The Rabbits Foot is another well-known lucky charm that America seemed to have put on the map. Its origin is debatable but said to be linked with the European mid-century practice of the ‘hand-of-glory’. As it is not the most upbeat of tales, we suggest you rather focus on the luck of the rabbit’s foot. Not to worry, as you do not need to capture and injure a real bunny. Faux rabbit’s foot charms are available, and you can always have one made in silver or gold. If you want a real one though, be sure it is the left hind foot of a rabbit caught in a cemetery at night. Animals seem to play a big role in the realm of superstitions and one more American folk tale states that alligator teeth are a talisman that will bring the wearer luck and money. It is not surprising that American gamblers wear these odd trophies to ensure big wins then. Alligators have better luck than bunnies though, as their teeth fall out periodically, so gator slaughtering isn’t necessary for these trinkets. Moving toward the more ancient parts of America, Peru has a national symbol represented by an ornate ceremonial axe. It is also a lucky charm in Peruvian culture. The origin of this charm is a little strange though as it used to be a ceremonial axe used to perform religious sacrifices and trepanation. The latter is an ancient Incan surgery performed to remove a piece of the skull. Today, they wear it for fortune and hang it on walls of homes to ward off evil. ✓ European and British Lucky Trinkets Beliefs from the European and British continents seem to be well-known ones too like the four-leaf clover everyone hopes to find. The clover symbol is so well-known as a lucky charm that we can find it in many casino games and although the rare four-leafed version is scarce, clovers have a positive meaning. The inspiration comes from the Christian faith of the Holy Trinity and when there is a fourth leaf; it represents God’s grace. In Britain and certain parts of Europe, they believe an acorn to be the symbol of prosperity, wisdom, fertility, and youth. Legend has it that the Norse god Odin hung himself from an oak tree to get wisdom and from there on, people wear the tiny nut for good fortune. The acorn does not need to be real. Simply pick from a variety of jewellery items made with this symbol. Some European traditions are not that well-known and these two smaller countries have unique amulets they believe will bring luck to the wearer. In Poland, it is a tradition to eat carp for Christmas, but the meal includes some scales from the fish. Superstitious Poles then carry a few of these scales in their wallet for the rest of the year to attract wealth, prosperity, and good luck. Swedes carry a Dala horse which originates from the 18th century. Soldiers would carve these horses out of wood and trade them for food. Since then, it represents luck, perseverance, and good fortune. When it comes to luck, many believe that the key is not just to attract it, but also to ward off evil omens. Nazar Boncugu, aka the Turkish evil-eye bead, is for exactly that reason. The name seems counter-intuitive, but many believe this cobalt blue symbol has the power to ward off curses and ill intentions from other’s staring eyes. People from all over the world place these glass beads on key chains, in their cars, their homes, or wear them as jewellery. It is especially lucky to wear while gambling, as opponents could not block your luck. ✓ African and Middle Eastern Amulets for Luck The very popular Hamsa Hand is now found in most western cultures as a universal sign of protection, but it found its origins in the Middle East and North Africa. It is predominantly a Jewish and Islamic symbol with similar meanings in the religions. Also known as Hamesh, Chamsa, or Khamsa, this charm is a hand with five fingers, but the two outside fingers are often symmetrical thumbs. Linked with the meaning of the number five, it wards off evil and brings the wearer happiness, luck, health, and good fortune. Ancient Egypt had a language made up of symbols, so it is easy to find meaning within the cultural signs, but some symbols carry significant weight. All Egyptians wore the Scarab Beetle to protect them and guide them, even in the afterlife. Punters will recognise the symbol, as many slot games have Egyptian inspiration and the beetle is present, more often than not. In Ghana, West Africa, the age-old tradition of Adinkra symbols originates and the Ghanaian people have a symbol for almost everything. They create their beautiful textiles with these symbols printed on them and wear traditional clothes made from them. Wrap yourself in cloth covered with Mmusuyidee to remove bad luck and attract good fortune. It is not uncommon for these traditional prints to show up in high-end fashion collections, so you might even find a scarf or purse to carry along when you place your bets. ✓ Eastern Money Charms In the East, they usually ordain their homes and businesses with gold and red ornaments and symbols, and in Chinese culture, one will find the luckiest charms of all. Laughing Buddha, also known as ‘Hotai’ or ‘Pu-Tai’, is a figurine of Buddhist origin. A version of this chubby figurine holds a pot of gold or gold nugget, and this represents prosperity and wealth, befitting for gambling luck. Best you rub the smiling figurine’s belly so that his luck can rub off on you. Don’t worry, there is no need to carry a statue into the casino. Because he is such a popular charm, laughing Buddha is available in many sizes and in a keyring shape to travel with you. A Chinese money frog, often found at the entrance of a business or Chinese family home, known as Jin Chan is a three-legged gold bullfrog. He has red eyes, a coin in his mouth, and sitting on a pile of traditional Chinese coins. Chinese folklore tells how the golden toad appears near homes or businesses during a full moon to announce the coming of good fortune and wealth. Be sure to place it in the correct direction, as the frog must face inward to bring money. According to tradition, if it faces outward, the money will flow away from you. The colour red is the national colour of China and represents happiness, beauty, vitality, good luck, success, and good fortune. Most Chinese charms and symbols display this colour, and it is a tradition that children receive a red envelope filled with Chinese coins for New Year to bring fortune. This is one of the easiest ways to ensure added luck when placing your stake. Wear something red for added fortune to beat the odds. Maneki Neko is a Japanese talisman known as the beckoning cat. This figurine comes in different colours and always has one front paw waving. Depending on which paw is up and what colour the cat is, the owner will experience different fortunes. It dates to the 17th century and often one will see it at the entrance of Japanese or Chinese businesses. Some of these charms are available with a mechanical paw that waves at you and others come in luxury materials like jade or precious metals. Look for a Maneki Neko that has a coin in its paw and a koi fish, as this charm will bring fortune and wealth. With a raised right paw, it attracts good luck and wealth. This is the feline to accompany you to a gambling outing. ✓ No Charms? Here are Other Tricks for Luck Seasoned gamblers have their charms of choice, although some choose not to carry a trinket for luck. You may wonder what you can do if you don’t have any of the above talismans, and the following tricks will help. Carrying a momento that is sacred to your family is an age-old manner to carry luck around. Many successful gamblers wear an item of clothing they wore when they first won big, so dig out those lucky socks before you place your bets. Craps players sometimes set up their dice with certain numbers facing up and others blow on the dice for luck to transfer on the die. Astrology followers can visit their gambling horoscope to see whether the planets align for their big win to roll in. Finally, you can always bet on 7, the luckiest number, or in increments of it. ✓ Feeling Lucky? At the end of the day, all forms of gambling come down to odds and in some games the numbers are great, but in others not so much. Whether you knock on wood or cross your fingers, the fact remains that the house always wins. Carrying charms should add to the fun of the game and applying wisdom and limits to your betting ensures that the fun doesn’t transform into a negative experience.
  6. If you are looking for a new hobby and online gambling is the option, here are a few pointers to make it an enjoyable experience every time. For seasoned gamblers, these may be obvious, and the wisdom may have come with expensive lessons, but even experienced punters forget the basics. With land-based casinos closed for long stretches over the last two years, many countries finally saw the importance of a regulated online gambling market as their citizens turned to igaming. Now that we see many new regulated markets and platform providers popping up from everywhere, it is more important than ever to keep your head cool when taking part in remote betting activities. Especially if you are new at this. online casinos offer bonus deals to attract players to their platform and developers do their best to make their games stand out. With all the flashing lights and “Free” banners popping up, would-be punters as well as experienced gamblers can easily get carried away. So, before you get caught up in the moment, implement these 5 steps to ensure a relaxing and entertaining online gambling time. ✓ 1. Do Your Homework We get it. If reading was your thing, you would curl up on a sofa and get lost in your favourite book. The thing with reading casino and game reviews, though, is that it saves you a lot of time and unnecessary frustration. How so? Experienced players do the grunt work for you by checking all the important facts to consider when picking your gambling platform and which games you will wager your money on. If you pick a reputable source, you can rest assured that the casinos they write about and suggest to their visitors have the correct licenses in place. It is very important to only gamble at online casinos that are regulated within your country, as this ensures your right to recourse if you are dissatisfied with the service you received. On top of that, licensed and regulated platform providers need to adhere to strict gambling laws to maintain their licensed status within their respective jurisdictions. This ensures that players’ safety is a top priority to the casino and their staff. A good review will include factors such as payment solutions, available currencies, available languages for customers, and the level of customer service provided. With online casinos, punters need to know how long they will wait for their withdrawal as well. Most good review sites will include details on bonus deals from all the leading licensed operators, but always be sure to read the terms and conditions for yourself, to ensure you understand them. Review sites will help you choose the best game for your preferences too. With the multitude of slot games available, rather read a couple of reviews and play demos, if available, before you place your first bet. The important statistics will be on the review as well as the theme and rules. Should slots not interest you, all other casino games will have reviews too. Where your hard-earned money is involved, it is always better to have a good understanding of the game rules. ✓ 2. Manage Your Most Precious Resources: Money and Time Cash-flow mismanagement is the quickest way to get yourself into trouble with gambling and bring an abrupt end to the fun. The habit of setting a monthly and a session budget should be part of your gambling strategy to ensure that you don’t overestimate your betting allowance. Always make sure that you stick to what your budget allows and never overspend. Breaking this rule, even once, is a slippery slope to problematic gambling habits. Another golden rule of money management for gambling is to never wager with borrowed money. Some you win, some you lose. Take this to heart and walk away from your losses. Borrowing money to place a ‘sure bet’ or to cover your losses is a certain trap and one that you should avoid at all costs. Money is not the only precious commodity you own. The mentioned budgets should go further than currency to include how much time you spend on gambling. Time management is just as important, if not more so, and knowing when to stop even if you must ‘end on a high’ or walk away from a big loss will set you up for success in the long run. This, in turn, creates a winning mindset, which is a key component in every successful punter’s arsenal. Make sure that your time spent gambling fits in with your daily schedule and does not take away from other priorities, such as family time, work, etc. If you find it challenging to stick within the budget(s) you set for yourself, consider talking to someone about these challenges. Impulsive gambling can lead to detrimental consequences. ✓ 3. Make Use of Deposit and Time Limits The third point ties in with our discussion above and will make it so much easier to manage your bankroll. Online casinos and gambling regulators created this tool to help punters stick within their means and budgets. This is a great tool that promotes responsible gambling and helps you live to wager another day. Utilising the deposit limit application takes one more thing off your mind, as you only need to focus on the game and your betting strategy. Most veteran gamblers have learnt that it is too easy to give in to temptation and make that extra deposit in the hopes that the tides will turn or that the table is about to turn hot. In the heat of the moment, you may believe that the next spin or hand will bring your fortune but sticking to your budget is a skill to hone and setting a deposit limit helps you do exactly that. Regulators require online casinos to offer punters the deposit limit tool and, in most instances, you can limit yourself in different forms. Daily, weekly, and monthly limits will make it easy to structure your budget. ✓ 4. Check the RTP and Variance RTP, the acronym for Return to Player, refers to the amount the game pays back to the player over thousands of spins. They normally display this value in percentages. For example, if a slot has an RTP of 95%, it will give back 95c for every €1 spent. Essentially, this statistic communicates how much you can expect to lose. The % difference is the house’s edge, which translates to the percentage of player bets retained by the game in the long run. Although it is a theoretical amount, the fact remains that the house always wins. Some games have better return values and lower house edge and naturally, these should be the ones you play. The accepted average RTP for online slot games is around 95.5% but some slots can go as low as 85% as certain regulators allow for it. Finding out what the game’s RTP is will empower you to make better game choices for greater winning potential. Slot games have one more vital element to consider and that is the payout variance, also referred to as the game’s volatility. They rate it from low to high and it has a tremendous impact on how you should manage your bankroll. A low variance game will pay out often, but the returns are usually small. High variance games have erratic payout structures and spinners can experience dry spells and sudden big wins. These games are popular for the big wins but understand that they can stretch your bankroll with wins awarded seldom. ✓ 5. Ignoring Betting Lines on Games Understanding the mechanics of the game you are playing is key to the success of any prospective punter. Betting lines, also known as paylines, are a line-up of specific symbols on which they will reward a payout. Traditional slot machines used to have only one betting line running through the middle of the reels, but most modern slot games can have anything from five to hundreds of paylines with winning combinations in all types of patterns. Some video slot developers allow the player to decide how many lines they want to bet on before the spin and more lines mean more winning opportunities. Most of these slot games have a set number of lines you would need to bet on, so adjust your bet amount accordingly. Usually, there are two different bet settings. One for the currency you bet on and one for how many coins you will use per spin. This mechanic may confuse punters and others may just ignore the fact, but this can push your bet up without you realising it. If you find that your total bet displayed on the game’s dashboard is more than the bet amount you entered, chances are the structure of ‘bet per line’ is in place. These details are available in the paytable menu or the game rules, another point that many punters forget to explore before spinning away. Here you will see what individual symbols will reward you and how many need to match for a pay-out. The payline structure will explain how stakes apply and wins are split. If your bet amount is split between lines, they calculate your payout according to line wager. For example, a €3 bet on a 30-line slot means you are only betting 10c per line and would pay out relative to this. As the saying goes, different strokes for different folks. So always check the mechanics of the game before playing and find a game best suited for your betting style. When the Fun Stops, So Should You Having fun while gambling is about staying in control of the situation. Incorporating the above steps can help gamblers to focus on the entertainment factor while practising responsible gambling habits. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our recommended and reviewed GamblersPick online casinos.
  7. We know that the online casino industry has many misconceptions that are attached to it. Whether or not these myths are a reality make all the difference to just how safe or rewarding playing casino games can be. The world of online gambling, casino games, and even land-based casinos has come a long way since its conception. As gambling regulations are established and laws become more stringent, it’s easy to see that many concerns about casinos are nothing by but a myth. Let’s take a look at the most popular “myths” and debunk them to put your mind at ease. Myth #1 – All Casino Games are Rigged While it may be frustrating when a losing streak drains your bankroll, it doesn’t mean that online casino games are rigged. In fact, it’s the complete opposite. With regulators such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gambling Authority keeping a keen eye on how casinos and software providers operate, games are tested on a regular basis. Third-party companies have been created to ensure that casino games are fair and payout as they should. No more or no less than they have been designed to do. You can rest assured that all of the online casino games you play by trusted software providers at licensed online casinos are safe and fair. Myth #2 – Past Results Can Predict Future Wins Unfortunately, no matter how many times you’ve won while playing blackjack or roulette, casino games are based on pure luck. Yes, while certain casino games may take some skill to get the most out of a bet or hand you’re played, only Lady Luck can truly determine who wins or loses. In games such as roulette, where the random outcome of the ball is what determines the winner, this couldn’t be truer. Random results are what make casino games such a gamble – but it’s also what provides a lot of the fun. Myth #3 – Betting Systems are the Key to Winning The online casino industry is filled with betting systems and “experts” who insist that betting systems are the perfect way to make yourself a winner. While certain steps can be taken to get the most out of your bet and make your bankroll last longer, betting systems are no guarantee of landing a win. Depending on the betting system you choose to incorporate into your gaming session, you could end up walking away with a much lighter bankroll instead. Myth #4 – Online Slots Pay Out in a Rhythm While it’s true that all online slots pay out eventually, there’s no way to determine when or how that will happen. If a certain online slot hasn’t paid out in a while, it doesn’t mean that you can force that win by playing it more. When outcomes of a slot are determined by random outcomes, it’s impossible to guess what it will take before a big win lands. Instead, be patient and play responsibly. Myth #5 – Online Casinos Never Pay Winners We can with certainty that this is 100% not true. All trusted, licensed and regulated online casinos are required to pay out winners if they meet the standards set out by the regulator. While there may be some paperwork involved, online casinos worth their salt pay out their winners as quickly as possible. It’s because of this that it’s so important to choose the right online casino. We have a long list of reviewed online casinos that can be trusted but not all casinos are created equally. If you find that an online casino has been blacklisted or has a bad review, steer clear to be safe and keep your money and information safe. Myth #6 – Certain Slots Never Pay Out Jackpots All online slots are created with an RTP percentage. RTP or Return To Player, is the percentage that determines how often an online slots pay outs across its lifetime of spins. This is entirely hypothetical and can range from 92% to 98% depending on how generous the provider is feeling. While this number is hypothetical and cannot truly be tracked, it does give players an idea of what to expect when it comes to winning. A higher RTP means there’s a better chance of winning, but this could be over a long period of time. For instance, if a slot has an RTP of 94%, it should pay out $94 for every $100 bet over the game’s lifetime. Statistically, all online slots are designed to pay out wins. This is what makes them entertaining and rewarding for players who bet. Myth #7 – Online Gambling is Illegal Depending on where you live, this may be true. However, many countries around the world are starting to embrace legal gambling practices and putting regulators in place to keep gambling safe. While this doesn’t mean that online gambling is legal everywhere, the chances of finding legal gambling sites in the country you live are better than ever. If you find yourself in a country where online gambling is legal, make sure that you play at a safe and licensed online casino for the best possible experience. There are many online casinos that offer their services to players in countries where gambling online isn’t legal. This is unsafe and means you’re playing without any protection. Play Safe, Stay Safe The online casino industry is simply a part of the entertainment industry. This means there are rules and regulations that must be met to keep players like you safe. Playing at a safe online casino means you should have a fun and rewarding casino experience and that’s why we want to make sure that you’re always in good hands. Trust our GamblersPick Select casinos for the best experience possible.
  8. The tech world has always been obsessed with the next big thing. Whether that was the advancement of the basic home computer, the release of the first mobile phone, or the chance to step foot on Mars – every day, finding what could be next while on the search for new technology is never a dull experience. While not a new concept, the metaverse is the latest landscape to be conquered and 2021 is the moment that many tech giants have chosen to embrace it. But what does that mean for the online gambling industry? What is the Metaverse? The metaverse is a mimic of real life (or a twin universe) that combines the online world with our own via the use of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), and social media. Naturally, cryptocurrencies are an important part of the metaverse as people aim to remain as anonymous as possible when spending money to protect themselves and their cash. 3D avatars, connecting via virtual spaces, gaming in a virtual world where you can interact with your friends face to face while being on the other end of the world – all of this and so much more can be achieved via the metaverse. Or at least, that’s the hope. For many years, the idea of a virtual world much like our own (but better) has intrigued inquisitive minds. In fact, the term “metaverse” was coined by a sci-fi writer named Neal Stephenson in 1992 in his novel, Snow Crash. In the novel, a 3D world was used to interact with avatar versions of human beings as a metaphor for reality. Facebook and Microsoft Embrace the Metaverse Some are calling it the modern space race – who will be the first to conquer the metaverse? Facebook rocked the world when it recently announced that it would be fully embracing the metaverse and cemented the idea by changing the larger company’s name to Meta. Only days later, Microsoft released their plans for a more immersive Teams experience with 3D avatars and meeting spaces. While many are disappointed that the metaverse’s first real implementation will be for work meetings and presentations, it’s only the start. No matter how the technology is used, it’s apparent that creating virtual versions of ourselves and uploading them to a “twin” world of our own has been the aim for many years now. But where did the obsession begin? The Metaverse: Inspired by Sci-fi The concept of using AR and VR in everyday life has long inspired movie creators to make that dream a reality. Minority Report and that infamous scene where Tom Cruise navigates the world around him using a virtual reality ‘map’ is one that has been recreated again and again. Tony Stark uses similar tech to create his Ironman suit in the Avengers movie by creating, conceptualising and eventually sharing his work all via an AR interface. Fans of Ready Player One, the popular novel that became a film in 2018, will recognise living life in a virtual world. Rather than having AR or VR become one with our world, Ready Player One shows what life could be life if we spent all of our time online instead. Finally, one of the largest mobile games in the world, Pokémon GO, lets players experience AR in a fun and easy to use manner. Players can choose to have the Pokémon they’re attempting to catch appear in the room with them, rather than just appearing on screen. While this is all optional, it still makes AR a normal part of life for those who use it daily. The Future of Online Gambling with AR and VR Anyone who’s been in the online gambling industry for even a short amount of time can tell you that the future is always the aim. What’s next on the cards for technology and casino games? Developers want to know where to focus their talents and expertise. Staying one step ahead of the rest of the world is where casino Game developers thrive. Even the metaverse has always been something they’ve seen as the next big thing. For many years now, analysts and experts have said that VR and AR are where the online casino world will blossom. Up until recently, however, it was nothing more than a gimmick. But now that tech giants such as Facebook and Microsoft are pouring more and more cash into making the metaverse a real-world reality, the advancements for every other industry will begin to flow. Perhaps it’s been the recent worldwide lockdown and subsequent need for human interaction on a new level, or maybe the world is just ready for the metaverse – but things are advancing much faster than was ever predicted. Many believed that the metaverse would only really become a reality within the next 10 years or more. But instead, it’s here. It’s new but it’s here and the future is bright – for everyone, including online gambling enthusiasts. Play with VR Today Currently, augmented reality is not really on the table for online gambling just yet but VR has been embraced with a cautious hand. SlotsMillion Casino launched the first ever virtual reality casino in 2015. While it’s still functional today, it’s not utilised as players realised that it simply wasn’t sustainable. The futuristic and heavy graphics meant spending hours with VR goggles on and this can cause some users to feel ill. Others simply don’t want to be tied to their computers, instead opting for mobile gambling. In 2021, the shift is starting to take place with Evolution releasing the first-ever VR live casino game. Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt in VR combines the excitement of playing an online slot while interacting with a live host, all set in a virtual reality. It may not be as immersive as the metaverse plans to unleash one day but it’s definitely a step in the right direction.
  9. Online gambling is one of the largest entertainment industries in the world. With technological advances and greater access to the internet, it is something that is no longer reserved for the wealthy who can travel long distances to visit a brick and mortar casino destination. It’s estimated that over 80% of humanity owns a smartphone and there are approximately 4.66 billion active internet users in the world. The worldwide pandemic has caused many consumers to facilitate the internet for shopping and entertainment, and this is one reason the online gambling industry saw tremendous growth in the last year. With a compound annual growth rate of 12.3% from the previous year, operators have quite the task to ensure their users are safe and they adhere to license regulations. One way they do this is through Know Your Customer (KYC) protocols. KYC and Regulations Creating a safe and enjoyable space for punters to play their favourite games is the principal aim of online operators. Happy patrons become loyal ones and this pushes bottom line turnover. The global regulatory bodies in the igaming space have very strict conditions, specifically linked to consumer safety, anti-money laundering (AML), and anti-fraud procedures. KYC is the process operators use to identify their clientele. In turn, this allows them to manage their customer database according to various regulatory conditions. The online casino industry is worth more than $70 billion, making it an extremely attractive space for criminals. Casinos have always been a space where chancers try to get rid of “hot” money or make money in a crooked way. Gambling is also an age-restricted practice, therefore providers need to be sure that patrons are who they say they are. As part of a player’s onboarding process, they need to register a profile with the online casino of their choice and proof of identity is part and parcel of this. The information provided by the player and how the operator stores the data is a key factor for most regulators. This sensitive information needs to establish a few important details, like the player’s identity, age, residential address, and in some instances, source of income. Customer profile systems, with efficient KYC protocols in place, help online casinos to recognise identity fraud or theft, financial crime, and problematic gambling behaviour. The KYC process should also flag high-risk profiles, whether it’s for problematic gamblers or persons of interest. Regulators prohibit online casinos from accepting money from their new clients until the identity verification process is complete. To ensure that their users, brand reputation, and license remain safe, online gambling platforms need to provide a seamless user experience whilst complying with tight mandates from regulators. If operators can’t maintain this balance, it can have devastating outcomes for their business, like losing clients to more efficient suppliers and even losing their license because of non-compliance. Let’s have a look at how online casinos deal with KYC procedures, what the future of KYC is, and what some are doing to make the process more effective. The Process and Outcome It has become customary for certain regulatory bodies to lead the way in the online gambling industry and others follow suit. The UK Gambling Commission is possibly the most respected and revered authority in the industry. According to the UKGC, the registration of new players needs to include immediate submission of their ID and only once their identity is verified may they deposit money and play online. Thankfully, we are in the electronic age and manual processing of documents has become redundant. eKYC processes allow a player to create their profile online and submit documentation in a like manner. A player only needs to submit identification for registration, as casinos may no longer request additional ID documents when a player wants to withdraw funds. Recent technology makes it possible for operators to use artificial intelligence (AI) in the process of identity verification, which speeds up the process and eliminates unnecessary errors. Through facial recognition, AI systems can compare a person’s selfie to their ID document and confirm whether it’s a match. An important advancement to mitigate the attempts of underaged gamblers who use their parents’ ID documents to register. KYC procedures include Customer Due Diligence (CDD) and Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD). The former is what we listed above, the latter is a lot more involved and requires a broader analysis of potential risks. AI automates large volumes of workflow and can quickly analyse large volumes of data. With the enormous sums of money that move through casinos, precise and speedy data processing is paramount and EDD systems need to detect any suspicious transactions. Biometric technology allows players maximum security on their profiles as financial platforms integrate with other websites that use biometric identification systems. It provides users with the option to forgo the tedious and risky option of creating a password, as they linked their fingerprints to the profile. The Swedish payment solution company, Trustly, introduced Pay N Play where players make a deposit via Trustly and the Pay N Play platform does ID verification through the client’s financial institution. The process happens in the background and patrons can play while their bank verifies their credentials. What Could Be Next? Technology advancements encourage criminals to be creative and, as their modus operandi changes, so must KYC measures improve. It is clear that KYC and AML regulations will only become more rigid and online casinos need to apply technology to their advantage here. Innovative automation companies have KYC solutions like apps and video technology, which makes the process more efficient and user-friendly. Video technology allows for liveliness checks by assigning a task like blinking or smiling to confirm the live-state of the applicant. This prevents users from submitting a video recording or using fraudulent 3D mask technology. This technology is also highly accurate in verifying documentation against forgery. It’s not just technology that drives improvement for KYC practices, but government initiatives as well. The European Commission plans to launch an eID for the entire continent and Europeans will be able to share their sensitive documents electronically via this platform. This type of program has the potential to eliminate the costs of verification software for gaming providers in Europe. We already see face recognition, fingerprint scanners, and AI in the application of identity verification, nothing short of a futuristic science-fiction story. With smartphones that have retina scanners and voice recognition, we can only imagine what technology and procedures await us in the future to create a client experience with minimal friction and risk. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) chips, also known as microchips, are on the rise and highly popular in Sweden. Whether these rice-grain sized implantations will form part of the ID verification system for KYC is uncertain. For many, this represents the seamless integration of human biology and tech, but for others, it is still unthinkable. The reality is that the technology exists for these RFID’s to replace passwords, keys, tickets, and cards, making it an all-in-one device, which is physically impossible to lose. Bio-enabled devices like this would make cashless living possible. However, there is a lot of controversy about the topic. Providers Should Go All In The matrix of technological advances makes it tricky to predict where ID verification will be in the next few years. One thing is certain, and that is the regulatory grit of gambling authorities when it comes to KYC and its implementation. Online casinos need to apply their maximum efforts to offer the best onboarding experience. This will not only provide user satisfaction but also increase their revenue.
  10. The internet is filled with many wonderful experiences, a wealth of knowledge, and the ability to entertain just about anyone. Unfortunately, for all of the good the internet has brought to the average household, there’s an equal amount of sinister dealings happening at the same time. While the web may not be all sunshine and roses, we can help keep ourselves safe from those who want to do nothing but rain on our parade. We can’t stop hackers from trying to steal personal information, online casino account logins, or important files – but we can do everything possible to protect ourselves from prying eyes. But where do we begin? We’ll help you get started and learn a few important ways to implement cyber security. What is Hacking? We’re sure you’ve heard of the term “hacking” before now. Initially, the term “hacker” was used to describe a tech expert that could solve any technical problem using their skill. Today, it may trigger images of underground groups hunched over their PCs with screens filled with code and numbers. While that may be the case in the movies, hacking is used by criminals to gain access to personal information and data that can be used to steal from you. Often that can take place in the most unsuspecting ways. Are You at Risk of Being Hacked? Perhaps you spend most of your time enjoying online casino games or browsing Facebook. You may consider yourself too “unimportant” to be hacked. What could a criminal possibly want with your information, right? The fact is, we’re all at risk of having our devices hacked. Hackers use any information they can find to use or sell as they see fit. Hackers are always out to find the following: ➀ Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – This can include your name, social security or ID number, date of birth, tax number, medical records, or any other form of personal information that could help a criminal access your accounts. ➁ Activity from time on the internet – Browsing data, cookies from websites, ISP logs, plugins that read your data, and even the websites you visit can all be sold to advertisers. ➂ Emails and social media accounts – Emails tend to have a lot of personal and financial information stored that we all want to keep private. Even instant messages and texts can reveal a lot about how we spend our time and money. ➃ Data from connected devices – Real-time connections via our devices could give full access to a hacker that wants to steal documents or drop viruses onto your computer. This can take place via connections through apps such as Skype. If you tick any of the boxes mentioned above, you could be a target for hacking. But there’s no need to fear! Keep reading to learn how to keep yourself safe. How to Protect Yourself Online Every time you connect to the internet via your computer or mobile device, you need to make sure that you’re protected. When you’re using your computer, there are many ways to stay safe. Using anti-virus software or a VPN can help keep your connections safe and your devices clear of viruses. A virus can find its ways onto your computer in many different ways. The most popular is via a phishing scam email. These emails are often disguised as innocent forms of communication. They could even seem to be from companies you know such as your favourite online casino or the bank you use everyday. Phishing emails are designed to look exactly like a normal email you would open without thinking twice. However, there are usually a few pointers that can help you spot a scam. Does the email address look like it’s from your bank or a business you trust? Is the logo out of focus or pixelated in any way? Is there a suspicious attachment that requires you to download it or provide personal information to open? If you’re ever in doubt, contact the company the email claims to be from and enquire about its legitimacy. While computers are the main target of hackers and scammers, mobile devices are just as at risk. Many users believe that accessing the internet via a mobile browser is 100% safe. At one point, it was believed that iOS on Apple devices was completely unhackable – but this isn’t the case. Just as technology evolves, so does the technology used by criminals. It’s important to always make sure that you’re visiting legitimate sites and that you avoid opening any links that you don’t know or trust. Top 5 Anti-Virus Software Anti-virus software is a great way to protect your computers from hackers. Trusted companies who create anti-virus software constantly upgrade known virus logs and can help you protect you on a daily basis. Here are 5 of the best anti-virus software available now: Norton Bitdefender Panda McAfee TotalAV Use a trusted anti-virus program and keep it updated. Let the software scan your PC regularly and it will inform you if there are any suspicious or potentially dangerous files that need to be dealt with. 5 Best VPN Providers A VPN (or Virtual Private Network) connects you to a service via the internet that creates an encrypted space for you to browse safely. Using this encrypted space, you are practically untraceable and all of your information is kept from prying eyes. You can use a VPN to access sites outside of your region, do your banking with peace of mind, or even play your favourite casino games without worrying about your account being hacked. Here are the top 5 VPN providers you can sign up with today: ExpressVPN CyberGhost IP Vanish VPN Vypr VPN Private VPN A VPN can be used every time you connect to the internet via your PC or mobile device. Be sure to find out if the service you choose has a mobile app to download. Playing Safe at an Online Casino If you enjoy spending your time playing at an online casino, there are a few tips you should keep in mind when selecting how and when you log on to your account. Choose a safe online casino – Take your pick of our GamblersPick casinos and to find a site that is legal and licensed. Choosing a casino that is regulated means you’re already in good hands. Play through a VPN – If your casino accepts logins via a VPN, simply set your service to the country your live in and play through the encrypted connection for extra protection. Select a payment provider you trust – Depending on how you want to deposit and withdraw your funds, you should choose a payment that you’re comfortable with. If you prefer to gambling use cryptocurrency, that is possible at many online casinos today too. Protect yourself from hacking and harm as you enjoy your time online and you’ll have the best experience possible. Stay one step ahead of criminals using our tips and always choose a safe online casino to make the most of your time on the internet.
  11. Online gambling has been around for close to three decades now and has evolved and grown immensely over that time. Enhancements in technology have been one of the biggest motivating factors for these changes, coupled together with the demands from the player-base for increased innovation in keeping with these modern conveniences. The perfect example of this trend playing out can be found in the call for a mobile gambling market. Did you know? The first mobile gambling venture in the UK (the biggest iGaming market in Europe) was a mobile lottery, which launched in 2003. One of the most significant evolutions happening at the moment is the increased growth and influence of the cryptocurrency market. The popularity of crypto casinos is on the rise, thanks to the increasing technology in the blockchain world – a world dominated by a millennial generation that is comfortable adapting to fresh technology and ideas. In fact, they demand it! Because the future is in the hands of the current generation, tomorrow’s gambling market must evolve to meet their needs and desires, or it will die out. Current data suggests that sub-40-year-olds are not as drawn to mainstream casino games as older generations are and are more prone to enjoy the latest social gaming innovations from the crypto space. What is the Winning Recipe for the Future? To understand the future for crypto and general online casino gaming, we need to understand the subtle changes that are happening in the market right now. These are indicating factors of where the gambling market is going. Currently, all the communicating factors point towards the position that strong ‘’digital community’’ values are at the heart of this current and up-and-coming generation of players. Interaction online is becoming a major trend across various markets. Just look at a few of the obvious examples around us. Social Media Social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are bigger than ever before and newcomer, TikTok, is making big waves. Billions of people use these applications daily to reach out to their friends and the greater world. Quick Fact: Facebook is the largest social media platform in the world. It boasts a massive 2.8 billion active users in the first quarter of 2021. These platforms provide the perfect setting for a digital communal environment. People can find their voice and link themselves to special interest groups and communicate with friends across the span of the globe in a matter of seconds. The social media craze is a real indicator that the current generation is a fan of digital community qualities. The Latest Video Gaming Crazes While single-player games were a lot of fun for those over 35 years of age when they were growing up, this is no longer the case. Today the most popular games in the world are all multi-player options. Games such as Roblox, Fortnite, Call of Duty: Warzone, and Apex Legends draw millions of players around the world daily. All the pre-mentioned gaming brands have one thing in common – they are multi-player based. In fact, Fortnite, Warzone, and Apex Legends are all Battle Royale type games, meaning that players can team up with others to compete against other player-based teams. Technology like Discord and other team chat software applications even allow the gamers to talk to each other while playing. Why are these multi-player titles the most popular games right now? Because they all offer a social environment where people can interact with others. It seems like common sense that players exposed to such gaming environments would seek similar or better-quality gaming interactions when they graduate to the gambling sphere. ✓ The E-sports Boom One of the fastest-growing digital industries at the moment is e-gaming. This immerging market not only harnesses the qualities of one-on-one competition but affords fans the option to bet on the outcomes of the games. While e-sport is in its infancy, educated estimates predict that this fresh and fast-paced gaming market should reach a capitalisation of around $13 billion by 2025. Once again, the driving influence for this popular digital sport form is the fact that players compete against each other for a shot at the prize. In many games (like FIFA), each side can comprise of multiple gamers. It is no longer as thrilling to compete against a machine as it is to take on your peers head-to-head. It seems that even in the world of machines and high-end tech that basic human qualities will endure, albeit that the social trends are a little different from the norms of generations gone by. ✓ Live Casino and Poker Trends Closer to home, two of the quickest growing game options at online casinos are online poker rooms and live dealer games. Evolution Gaming has taken the world by storm and is a heavyweight in international gambling circles. They just recently acquired gaming giant, NetEnt, for a massive sum. The recipe behind the company’s success has been its ability to join real people together in a casino environment for a common cause. The social interaction involved makes live table games and gameshow titles very popular. Virtual table game libraries are shrinking on casino sites while live game portfolios are growing. Did you know? Trends amongst younger gamblers show that live casino games such as Live Monopoly, and other such gameshow titles are firm favourites in the live dealer marketplace. Online poker similarly offers a social aspect to the game. While the dealers are not visible via stream, multiple players can take seats at the virtual tables and interact via a live chat tool. Online poker has exploded thanks to fabulous social poker sites like PokerStars. ✓ The Outcome The simple fact is that the current generation loves technology and can spend hours lost in the digital realms. However, they remain human and therefore crave interaction as social beings. A platform that can combine this form of entertainment with the necessary interaction qualities is onto the winning solution for the future. Up until now, the crypto casino world has done a sterling job in identifying this need and working towards placating its punters. Why Does Crypto = Community? There are few good reasons why cryptocurrency and crypto casinos are on the cutting edge of the social gambling trend and why they are community-friendly. These include: Multi-Player Games: There are a number of casino games coming from the decentralised market that focus on multi-player playability. They are extremely popular. As a relatively new tech in casino realms, blockchain-based casinos are usually frequented by younger players. Power to the People: Decentralised blockchain technology removes the need for a trusted middleman. This ideology directly empowers the people and encourages person-to-person interaction and trade. It implements a return to a more basic and personal way of life. Us against the world: The crypto world is very misunderstood and often shunned by mainstream finance, much like the current millennial generation is misunderstood by the ‘boomers’ who have gone before it. Both the platform and the people have an ‘’us versus the world’’ outlook on life. A common cause is usually a great unifier and brings communities closer together. One thing we can learn from crypto is that the next generation is eager for change. A change that sees a move away from isolated gaming experiences and embraces a more social and inclusive environment. What We Hope to See Soon The crypto realms are already on the right path and are quite likely to lead the way ahead. This is what we hope to see happening soon. ✓ More Innovative Multi-Player Games Now that we know what the industry needs to attract the next generation, we hope to see more and more mainstream and blockchain-based game providers introduce such games into the marketplace. Spearhead Gaming’s debut arcade/gambling game, Astroboomers: To the Moon, is a classic example of the type of entertainment we need to attract the up-and-coming player base. We also hope to see advanced mechanisms for players to share their accolades and wins within groups and special social media platforms. This alone provides great incentives for more competitive player types. ✓ Increased Usability at Crypto Casinos The practical issues involving high costs for microtransactions need solving to bring the crypto casino market to its full potential. Quick Fact: Ethereum launched a second blockchain platform called ‘’Ethereum 2.0’’ to try and solve the high transaction fee dilemma facing the usability of Ether for smaller transactions. Right now, decentralised blockchains cater better to big funds transfers than to multiple small ones. Blockchains, like Ethereum, are leading the way towards this sort of usability. ✓ Increased Education on Crypto Tech ‘An informed people are a happy people,’ according to a wise old adage. More education about crypto-realms and the qualities of the blockchain would go a long way towards the evolution and enhancement of the current online industry and influence current player bases to make the change. This should include a change of ideology to follow current social trends and an increased willingness from mainstream operators to adopt cryptocurrency as a form of tender on their sites. Round-Up One thing is for certain, the online casino industry has proven itself resilient over the years. Its ability to change and adapt is demonstrated in its year-on-year revenue growth. Its versatility is sure to continue as leading brands place big money into monitoring current trends and ensuring they stay on the cutting edge of innovation. Journey with us, at GamblersPick, as we keep you up to date with all the latest trends and introduce you to all the newest innovations and technologies as they drop.
  12. Online gamblers continually seek out clever methods to safeguard their internet connections and increase their privacy when they are playing, but can you blame them? Gambling is a money game and wherever money transfers take place online, there runs a high risk of criminal activity. It is for this reason, that many gamblers make use of third-party security software to protect their interests. One such security software tool is a VPN. Unlike virus and malware blockers, these nifty tools have a way of confusing potential hackers and fraudsters, providing a firewall passage for you to access the net anonymously. For this very reason, they provide a smart way for you to play in an age where cybercrime is on a rampant increase. This article serves to introduce you to the concept of VPN gambling. Explore with us the nature of the software, the benefits and features it offers, and the legalities involved in using one within the context of online gambling. What is a VPN and how does it work? VPN stands for ‘’Virtual Private Network’’. It was initially used by corporations to protect sensitive information being transferred across various networks online, by creating a secure channel or network portal on the web. In essence, the software grants you access to remote servers under the control of your VPN host so that you can mask your location and safeguard your activities. VPNs are now available to private consumers through downloadable software. While there are several free VPNs up for grabs on the internet, the best ones are the ones you pay for, as this software is continually updated to provide the best and most secure services possible. VPN software’s primary function is to hide your location’s IP address so that websites and potential hackers cannot trace your actual network location. Instead, the VPN host provides you with a virtual platform from which to operate in the given region you choose to access. It redirects your traffic and access to the web from your local ISP. While the internet speeds are marginally slower thanks to the various redirects, the channel is far more secure this way. Did You Know: While VPNs often slow your internet speeds because of their rerouting aspects, sometimes they can be used to increase your internet experience when your own ISP is labouring or is experiencing technical difficulties. All the data that you send along this channel is heavily encrypted. If anyone tries to access the information, it will just render as gibberish. It would take a very long time for any hacker or fraudster to unencrypt the security protocols protecting you. The General Benefits of Using a VPN Before we can understand the benefits that VPNs give gamblers, we need to explore the general advantages and features offered by virtual private networks. This includes: Secure encryption: With the help of a VPN, your online activities remain private – even on public platforms. The data is encrypted and can take years to decipher by hackers and fraudsters. Disguise your location: A VPN server acts as your proxy online. Instead of websites tracing your activities back to you, they can only get as far as the proxy platform. In many cases, these proxy servers do not record your history or pass it on to third-party servers. This means that no marketing companies can use your web searches to target you with spam advertising. Secure data transmission outside your region: If you work remotely from your business headquarters and you need to access files securely, you can use a VPN server to retrieve the information. The extra encryption offered by the servers reduces the risk of information leakage. Access region-locked content: Some websites use GEO tagging to lock out certain IP addresses from various regions. This may cause issues if you are travelling for business and need to access a website back home that is geo-tagged against the country you are in. You can use a VPN to trick the website into thinking you are in your home country by allowing the software to create a virtual private network on their servers in the respective country or state. By exploring the points above, it becomes clear how advantageous VPNs can be for business. But, what works for business can work for the private consumer too. In fact, VPNs play a big role in online gambling circles. VPN Benefits for Gambling Oftentimes, as a gambler, you may want to keep your gaming activities private in the public space. The best way to do this is by using a VPN to mask your activity. Inadvertently, you are adding an extra layer of protection to safeguard any of your sensitive data transferred in the online space. By using the VPN, you are also less likely to receive unwanted spam and marketing from online casinos and sports betting sites. Did you know? While the VPN provider works to hide your sensitive information from outside websites and individuals, it has full access to your browsing details. Be sure to use only well-reviewed, trustworthy VPN providers like Express VPN, Ghost VPN, and others. Because of the various regulations around gambling in certain regions, gamblers can use VPNs to access restricted gambling sites and play games that would ordinarily not be available when accessed directly through the local internet service provider. In most states in America, it is illegal to gamble at online casinos. A US resident could then install a VPN and activate a virtual network server in a European country, like Britain, and access a casino in the UK that would ordinarily block the user’s domestic IP address. By using the VPN, the user tricks the casino into thinking that they are accessing the services on offer from within a legal and regulated country. However, this is illegal and we do not recommend that you use a VPN in this way. You can, however, access a legal online casino in your own country through a VPN to safeguard your data. This way, you are not infringing on fraudulent access to illegal services. The Legalities of VPN Usage Laws on VPN usage vary from country to country. Regions like Russia, China, Oman, Belarus, and North Korea ban the use of such software altogether. Penalties for infringing these laws vary from fines to imprisonment. Most other countries simply censor the usage of VPNs. Unless you are subscribing to terrorist activity, you should not encounter too much fallout from using VPNs. Certain nations, like the USA, allow legal use of VPN software but will penalise you by fine or arrest (depending on the severity of the crime) if you use the software for: Hacking or cyberstalking Illegal sale of protected or copywritten goods Gambling online when it is illegal to do so It may be difficult for the government to connect you to the illicit use of the software on their own, but most VPN hosts are duty-bound to report illegal usage to the necessary authorities. Fall-Out at Casino Level While the risk of arrest or penalty is always possible when accessing sites illegally, the repercussions of being caught out are usually levelled by the casino site itself and not by the government. The terms and conditions of some online casino or sportsbook sites warn against using VPNs to access their services. If illegal players are caught, they could stand to lose their bankroll and any winnings generated on their account, resulting in account suspension. Quick Note: At GamblerPick, we do not condone the illegal use of VPNs but recognise the quality of the security they provide when used properly and within the laws of your country and the terms and conditions for the online gambling site you choose. Be sure to always use VPNs legally at online casinos. This means that you use it purely as a security measure. Ensure that the VPN proxy is set up to work from the region you live in. This way, you can protect your privacy and avoid all other risks. How to Use Your VPN Once you have selected the VPN service provider you want to use, activating the software is a simple affair: Open the application. Select the region in which you would like to set up a virtual network. Press ‘’connect.’’ Once you establish a connection, you can open your browser and surf the net freely. Quick Tip: Pin your VPN application to your PC taskbar for easy access and monitoring at the ‘drop of a hat’. Be sure to keep an eye on your connection status to make sure that there are no interruptions at any point, as this would disconnect your secure passage and leave you vulnerable. The better “paid” service providers usually offer flawless operations with very few issues. Smart Ways to Stay Safe When Gambling Online There are several ways that you can safeguard yourself when gambling online. Be sure to use the following points as a checklist to keep your connection as secure as possible when gaming on the web: Use a VPN. Only play at sites with SSL security certificates. Look out for the ‘HTTPS’ prefix at the start of the casino’s URL. The ‘S’ stands for ‘secure’. Enable 2-factor authentication when signing up or using services at an online site. This provides a dual layer of protection. Create profiles with a long secure password. Change your security credentials often on platforms to keep you safe. Use a good malware protection programme as a firewall against malicious content. The top casinos listed on our site offer safe services to the public, backed by authentic licensing with first-class IT security software. Using a VPN is simply another great layer of privacy that we advise you use if optimum cybersecurity is a concern for you.
  13. The online gambling world is a massive industry worldwide and probably one of the most competitive digital markets around. With tons of content released each year at online gambling sites, picking a game as a new player can soon become an overwhelming task. Of course, some of the more prominent industry leaders tend to set the trends, but with the advances in technology of late, even the smaller companies can punch way above their weight. Every now and then, one gaming studio pushes the envelope just that little bit further than their competitors to introduce a game that stands a class apart from the rest. These innovative marvels demand royal mention and their providers deserve praise. It is here that the industry’s gaming awards associations play their part in giving credit, where it is due. Industry Instigators The three foremost gaming awards organisations in the iGaming market are the EGR (eGaming Review) Awards, the IGA (International Gaming Awards), and the Global Gaming Awards (GGA). Should a game provider or casino operator walk away with an acknowledgement of excellence from any of these icons, you can assume that they have dared to venture into the realms of cutting-edge development, service, and innovation. Remembering the Remarkable In an attempt to remember the best entertainment the online casino industry has brought our way, we’ve gathered a list of the most remarkable award-winning games to feature on our desktops and mobile phones in the past 20 years. The following games have proven to be leaders in their time, many of which have received legendary status in the industry and are still widely played today. ✓ King Kong Cash by Atronic (IGA Slot Game of 2008) King Kong Cash deserves an honourable mention here. The game was a VLT phenomenon that boasted new and innovative concepts within the branded slot genre. It was trendy on European casino floors thanks to its 4-level progressive jackpot and a free spin round that were based off scenes from the iconic 2005 King Kong movie. While Altonic no longer exists, their legacy was carried on by GTECH, which is now an IGT subsidiary. ✓ Book of Ra by Novamatic (IGA Slot Game of 2009) This Egyptian-themed game is probably the most popular title of its genre. It has inspired so many copycat versions over the years, such as Book of Dead by Play’n GO. Even so, players keep flocking back to the original. It won its award based off the back of its fabulous Scatter/Wild symbol, which when triggering the free spin bonus, selects a random symbol to become a special expanding icon for that feature round. Each time a symbol lands on the reels and can complete a winning combo, it will expand to cover its reel, thereby providing more winning chances. Combine that bonus round with a Gamble Feature, and Scatter wins, and you have a recipe for success. ✓ Big Bad Wolf by Quickspin (EGR Game of the Year 2013) Quickspin rose to the occasion in 2013 with this title. It has since become their flagship game, having won the EGR award based on the fantastic visual design and animated involvement from the characters on screen. It truly is a stunning sight. Based on the story of the Three Little Pigs, this title offers a flurry of features, including Big Bad Wolf Free Spins, where the K-9 foe attempts to blow down your house. Most notable, however, is the cascading/tumbling reel feature after every win. While many slots use this mechanic today, it was a new concept back in 2013. ✓ Immersive Roulette by Evolution Gaming (EGR Game of the Year 2014) Live Dealer casino games only gained traction around 2009, with the growing momentum of Evolution Gaming. The introduction of Immersive Roulette celebrates one of their award-winning milestones, and it has redefined the immersive quality and innovation of Live Casino games forever. Unlike their other standard Roulette game versions at the time, this one uses multiple close-up camera angles to immerse the player into every action taking place in a single game round. This was an innovative feature unheard of in the gaming world at the time. Not only is each movement captured, but it is rendered in High Definition for the clearest shots around. ✓ Spinata Grande by NetEnt (EGR Game of the Year 2015) NetEnt needs no introduction to online casino gaming enthusiasts. This beautiful Mexican-themed game got the attention of millions of players around the globe in 2015 and continues to thrill gamblers today. The awesome soundtracks, effects, and animations are very engaging. It truly feels like you are standing on a dusty road in a Mexican village playing for money. The dogs barking, passers-by whistling, sounds of pick-up trucks driving by, and the guitar playing the distance are fully immersive Of course, true to NetEnt’s style, the visuals are not the only award-worthy detail. The features are harnessing too. These include Colossal Symbol wins, a Mini-Slot feature, and Free Spins. Just like a pinata, this game contains many surprises when opened. ✓ Jurassic Park by Microgaming (GGA Digital Product of the Year 2015) The Steven Spielberg movie is a cult classic that has driven the franchise to produce a series of great films based on its storyline. Trust Microgaming to bring it alive on the gambling screen and scoop up the accolades at the same time! All your favourite cast members and dinosaurs are available in full view for you to see. You can relive the cinematics of the movie through the energetic soundtrack and vivid visuals presented in the game. As you play, the screen moves through the forest in search of wild and dangerous sights with winning combo animations bringing each dinosaur alive. The game is no slouch in the bonus game department either, which may have been a real catalyst in the decision-making process for the award. There are 5 distinct free spin rounds based on 5 different dinosaurs from the movie. They all provide free games with different add-on modifiers, such as Wild Reels, Multiplier Wilds, Running Wilds, Mystery Multipliers, and Winning Wilds. Welcome to Jurassic Park! ✓ Guns ‘n Roses by NetEnt (EGR Game of the Year 2016) Arguably one of the best rock bands in history is immortalised on the reels of this slot by NetEnt. Yes, there are tremendous features when playing Guns ‘n Roses, such as Appetite for Destruction Wilds, Legend Spins, Solo Multiplier, Encore Free Spins, and a Crowd Pleaser Bonus. But we all know why this game won the game of the year award in 2016 – BECAUSE THE SOUNDTRACK ROCKS! Set before a stage, while you roll the reels, you can select one of 5 of the band’s best songs to play along with you. Once a track is done, and your foot tapping has warmed up, or your air guitar is in tune, you can select another song to rock along to. You simply won’t want to stop playing until you have heard all the jams. Enjoy songs like Welcome to the Jungle, Sweet Child of Mine, Paradise City, November Rain, and Chinese Democracy. Here is one hint if you are going to give it a go – wear headphones and crank up the volume! ✓ Wild Toro by ELK Studios (EGR Game of the Year 2017) Elk Studios turns the brutal sport of bullfighting on its head in this humorous and quirky slot game. That’s right, in this game the bull always wins, which is probably why it has so many fans and walked away with the game of the year award only 3 years ago. Designed with real Spanish flavour, the game transports you across Europe to enjoy the bull defeat the matador in a flurry of features. These include Walking Wilds, Extra Wilds, and bonus Re-spins of the reels. The mix of authentic sounds and visuals combined with a great maths model and feature selection made this game the winning contender in its class and a firm favourite in the Elk Studios library to this day. ✓ Lighting Roulette by Evolution Gaming (EGR Game of the Year 2018) Innovations in Live Dealer gaming has dominated the online industry in the last few years. Lightning Roulette has seen great success since its introduction to the market because it combines the table gaming world with RNG jackpot entertainment. No longer is 35:1 the best reward for a straight-up bet. If the lightning selects the winning number prior to the spin, and your chips are in place, you could be looking at rewards of between 50x and 500x your stake in prizes. This unique concept is a crowd favourite, earning it the game award by EGR in 2018. ✓ Monopoly Live by Evolution Gaming (IGA Game of the Year 2020) Everyone’s favourite Hasbro board game, Monopoly, came to the Live Casino world thanks to a partnership between the game maker and Evolution Gaming. The new gambling variant is a remake of the famous Dreamcatcher wheel game with unique Monopoly game elements. This innovation combines the two worlds of live game action and augmented reality to produce something that players had never seen before. It is evident by Evolution’s actions, that boldness and chance-taking can lead to significant payoffs, as this game scooped up the International Gaming Award in 2020. Ponder the Pedigree For the ultimate in online casino action, we recommend that you revisit some of these iconic game selections to remind yourself of what true ingenuity and quality is like on the market. Feel free to play some of these titles at one of our Gambler’s Pick partner casinos for a safe and secure gaming experience.
  14. Gambling has an interesting past and has been prevalent around the world since ancient times. As long as people have been competitive, crude ways of gambling have been around. Casino gaming is only a few hundred years old and has undergone many facets of change over the years. Commercial casinos are usually tied back to the USA eventually. American gambling culture is like no other in the world. Gambling in the Old West, in grubby saloons, has become a stereotypical image of traditional Americana but travel a little way south and you will find that paddlewheel riverboats provide a succinct betting pictorial as well. Famous movies, like Mel Gibson’s 1994 film Maverick, pays tribute to the riverboat casino world and provides a great picture of the sort of shady environment that was attached to the industry in its earlier days. While paddlewheel boats represent a vintage era in American history, they are still found in number along the Mississippi River, providing gambling entertainment in the modern era. They generate hundreds of millions of dollars in state tax revenues in six states along the river lines, including Iowa, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Indiana, and Missouri. History of Riverboat Casinos In the 19th Century, there was a strong trade route established between the towns lying across America’s longest river – the Mississippi. As a result, the waterways were busy with traditional paddlewheel vessels, which traders and passengers would use to commute effortlessly along the trade route. They accommodated mostly wealthy merchants and businessmen in the beginning, though professional gamblers soon made these vessels their marketplace. Gambling was first introduced to the vessels as a cure for boredom on the often tediously long journeys up the waterway. Passengers would use their available spare time to engage in games of chance, like poker and other card offerings. The presence of money and the need for entertainment made gambling the natural choice among the elite. As these gambling pastimes became more prevalent, it started attracting professional gamblers from far and wide. Gambling professionals were not well tolerated though and were regarded largely as cheats. Because the waters were not regulated, it allowed for gamblers to move around unchecked. This resulted in strong reactions from the public who were commonly bamboozled out of their money. It is understood that ‘lynch-law’ was used to deal with alleged transgressors at the time. The Decline in Riverboat usage Towards the end of the 19th century, railroads superseded boat travel as a mode of transport. Train travel was far faster and proved more convenient for business. That along with the American Civil war stymied the riverboat transport business in the states. As a result, the riverboat industry turned towards the leisure market, offering travellers the opportunity of taking cruises – a form of escape from the mundanities of life. The gambling affiliation attached to the boats never died out though and gambling became a primary form of entertainment on these cruises. The Laws Many states started outlawing gambling within their regions to protect their residents from problem gambling and to curb gambling associated crimes. Because the riverways were effectively a borderline between states, the boats would take advantage of the fact that they were treated like a no man’s land which provided the perfect grey area jurisdiction for betting trade. Gambling was practiced with no interference from the authorities. Most forms of gambling were outlawed in the USA by the end of the Second World War and it wasn’t until the 1980s before the first states started legalising gambling over waterways. Iowa was the pioneer for the introduction of this form of regulated gambling in 1989 but was followed by Illinois and Louisiana in 1991 and Mississippi, Indiana, and Missouri by the end of 1993. In each of these areas, casino gaming was expressly forbidden on land. Only boats on areas of water could offer this form of play. Initially, they could only offer slots and table games while the boats were cruising on the waterways, but later on, it was decided that docked boats could offer gaming too, which was far safer and more secure for the consumers. The purpose of restricting gambling to boats on waterways was done to limit the geographic and economic scope of gambling within the states. This way, the industry could be better controlled. Unfortunately, there is a lack of uniformity in the industry from one border to the next. Areas in the laws that vary include things such as: The appearance of the boats and the technical requirements: In Louisiana, the boats must resemble the traditional paddlewheel vessels of the 19th century and must be driven either fully or partially by a paddlewheel mechanism. The number of passengers the vessel must be able to carry also varies greatly from one region to the next. Betting Restrictions: Bet limits and loss limits are set by each state independently and may vary greatly. Geographical Restrictions: In most of the states, it is only lawful for gambling to take place while the boat is in transit, however, some have questioned the safety of this and allow the ships to be docked at the time of game commencement as long as the boat is still on the water. Licenses: The number of authorised casinos is set independently by each state. Where Louisiana will not license more than 15 casinos, Illinois will only grant up to 10 permits. Each of the 6 states that have legalised Riverboat gambling have done so independently which has led to these differences and variations. Riverboat Casinos Today Over three decades in and the riverboat casino industry is still thriving and producing strong revenues for each state. They remain a great avenue for job creation while providing an iconic traditional American experience – one that speaks to the heritage of the country. As of 2018, there are 63 Riverboat Casinos in 6 states. This includes both docked boats and those that traverse the rivers while gaming is at hand. These are however not the only form of River Casinos available anymore. Several casinos are located on boats situated in a moat or a waterway that has adjacent access to the main waterway. The government has turned a blind eye to these, as they prove lucrative for the coffers. In some areas, the government has allowed water-based casinos to move away from boats. These operators have been allowed to build their casino establishments on stilts above the river, as long as they are situated over the water as stated in the legislation. Perhaps the biggest factor for the change in the scope of riverboat casinos was Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The storm winds destroyed most of the riverboat casinos and their facilities along the Gulf Coast of the country. In some states, such as Mississippi, the legislation was changed to allow the casinos to be rebuilt on land if they were within proximity to the waterway. Most of the destroyed operators have rebuilt their casinos. One of a Kind Experience The old-school atmosphere of Riverboat casinos provides players with a totally unique gambling experience, allowing them to traverse back in time and experience true American history. The traditional architecture ensures that all gamers can experience what it was like to gamble over 100 years ago. You’ve seen it in the movies, but you can experience it in real life, too. The boats offer luxury amenities, including bars, restaurants, spas, gyms, hotels, and access to hundreds of slot games and skill-based gaming tables, like poker, blackjack, and roulette. Online Riverboat Dream Such is the premium experience of Riverboat gambling that the theme has managed to traverse the realms of the physical and has found a place to wow digital casino gamers via the internet at online casino sites like the River Belle. If you cannot travel to the United States at this time, the online casino owners have made sure that you can enjoy the next best thing from the comfort of your own home. River Belle has been around since 1997 and was designed with the authentic riverboat feel in place. It provides all the modern perks you have come to expect from online casinos, such as improved return to player ratios, competitive bonuses, and modern, engaging slots and virtual table games. Ride the River to the End The riverboat legacy holds a special place in the hearts of sentimental Americans and there is no evidence that this type of casino experience will die out any time soon. While the legislation on this form of gambling seems to evolve every few years, the base values remain intact, in a well-regulated and now safe gambling environment. The industry seeks to maintain its heritage in one hand while grasping for modern convenience in the other, ensuring customer satisfaction all the way.
  15. Using Your Credit Card In online casinos In today's technology-driven world, it was only a matter of time before online casinos started taking credit cards. Almost all online casinos will take your credit card and deposit money into your online casino account upon your request. That means you should already know which credit card you should use once you determine you want to put your casino account on your favorite plastic credit or debit card. There are almost online casino choices, but finding some credit cards offer top tier credit card options for depositing and withdrawing money. That's why the rate of people using credit cards for online casinos is growing. Read on and discover in the guide below what some of the online casino terms are per credit card and why it may be the one you want to start using. Online Casinos It's essential to understand the sheer number of online casino choices that are available to you that are now set up to use your credit or debit cards. You can now go to credit card gambling sites that include but aren't limited to online casinos, mobile casinos, sportsbooks/sports betting, poker rooms, and more. It's common for any online casino player only to want to use top-tier and secure online casinos before they indiscriminately start using their credit cards to withdraw or deposit money into a casino account. The three most common criteria players like to see when using an online casino that uses their credit cards for withdrawals and deposits is a legitimate body license, independent regulation, and valid SSL encryption. What exactly does that mean for credit card withdraws and deposits? #1 Legitimate Body License Every casino, whether it's online or not, should have a legitimate licensing body for their bricks and mortar casino or online casino website. The possession of that legitimate license means they are operating as a legal online casino. Different countries have different legitimate licensing bodies, but in the UK, one of them is the UK Gambling Commission. The UK Gambling Commission was set up in 2005, and it is an independent non-departmental public body that receives money and support from the UK government for culture, media, and sport. In essence, they are the regulator for all commercial gambling operators, including regulating lotteries. It is the online casino license that best represents that a casino can operate legally, so you feel more secure in providing your credit card information for deposits and withdrawals. #2 Independent Regulation Not only do online casinos have to be licensed, but they also have to be regulated for security reasons by an independent authority. A common independent authority regulatory is eCOGRA. eCOGRA was established in 2003 and is an independent body that is an approved testing agency that specializes in certification of any online software and systems used in gaming. #3 Valid SSL Encryption Finally, the epitome of security needs a valid SSL encryption certificate for online casinos. That's because encryption is one way you can ensure that if data is being exchanged between your credit card and the online casino, it is safe to use. The online casino's secure encryption ability should avail itself to credit card advances that make things as easy as possible for you. What Is The Best Credit Card for Online Gambling? There are over 24 million people in the UK that gamble, with about 800,000 of them using credit cards to gamble. That's why knowing what to look for in online gambling casinos doesn't let people know which credit card should be used. There are various opinions about which credit cards serve you best in an online casino. The best credit card to use for online gambling is broken into four different categories based on the credit card network listed in no particular order are: Visa Master Card Discover American Express The above four credit cards authorize and process a transaction, but they go an extra step by setting terms in liability for fraud or fees charged to merchants when you pay with credit. All four cards have a successful network within the online gambling network. But if you live in the UK as of April 14, 2020, there is a ban on players placing bets through an online casino using credit cards. The Top 10 Online Casinos That Accept Credit Card Deposits and Withdrawals The top ten online casinos that accept secure and regulated top-tier credit card deposits and withdrawals are listed below. Each of these online casinos has a reason they are so popular with players throughout the world. Many of the casinos also offer lucrative bonuses for players and allow credit card deposits made quickly for players. #1 888 Casino 888 Casino is one of the oldest and most recognized online casinos since it emerged in 1997. 888holdings operates 888 online casinos, and it's licensed through the UK and Gibraltar iGaming jurisdiction. Its claim to fame is that it gives its players bonus funds and daily cashback in addition to its welcome deals that include no deposit offers, cashback, and free slot spins. It's 888 Casino's earned perks that include dedicated and excellent customer services as well as a VIP club that makes it a top-tiered credit card online casino option. You can play 888 casino games on mobile devices with favorite games like Zuma Slots, Millionaire Genie, Gods of Gold, Gonzo Quest, Clash of the Titans, and more. 888 online casino also offers instant wins, video poker and table games with an American and European roulette version. Uniquely 888 online casinos have earned a fair and safe seal from eCOGRA. Its credit card network is large, using everything from PayPal to Apple Pay. #2 1XSlots Casino 1XSlots Casino has a massive library of slots with everything from NetEnt to Microgaming and Fugaso. You can find 5,927 online games, including almost any type of electronic table game, including video poker, live games, and live dealer casino games. They are licensed by Curacao and were founded in 2020. 1XSlots Casino has so many deposit and withdrawal methods; it's hard to list them all, but they range from you being able to use Cryptocurrency to 47 different payment methods. 1XSlots is known for its very generous promotions and always offer live support teams for their exemplary customer service. 1XSlots Casino live dealer games are top of the line. They offer live Blackjack, Baccarat, Stud poker, Texas hold-em, and a live Wheel of Fortune. Once you get up to $1500 /Ƀ0.2 on your first three deposits, you receive 150 Free Spins, which is hard to beat as an incentive. #3 22Bet Casino 22bet Casino has been around since 2018. It's a Marikit Holdings, Ltd online gambling site and has a gaming license issued by the Government of Curacao. This is a casino that's known for its instant-online play platform that can be used from almost any web browser. Players love the access to game types 22bet Casino offers that includes slots, jackpot, roulette, blackjack, and more. 22bet Casino is known for its robust portfolio of games in addition to its large variety of payment and deposit methods. They have over 40 e-wallets that work for you with popular bank cards from Visa, MasterCard to Maestro, and Entropay. Their slot games run from the popular to the exciting, and they also offer various casino Poker, Blackjack, Baccarat, and other table games. #4 7bit Casino 7bit Casino is a widely popular online casino that focuses on Bitcoin gambling. 7bit Casino was founded in 2014. It is licensed by Curacao and runs on the SoftSwiss instant play platform. This platform offers a very wide and varied selection of slots and table games. Even though 7BitCasino is a Bitcoin online gambling casino you can use credit and debit cards in addition to a variety of e-wallet applications. The customer service is known for being available to you 24/7 and 7 days a week. #5 Royal Vegas Casino Royal Vegas Casino is an oldie but goody recognizable iGaming brand that was founded in 2000. Royal Vegas Casino is owned by Digimedia Ltd and operates under a licensed issued by Malta Gaming Authority. Royal Vegas Casino is known for its generous welcome package and promotional events offered to its players. Some of these promotional events are in the form of a prize draw with others being leaderboard challenges. This is an online gaming casino that accepts global currencies and offers credit card deposits and withdraws through Visa, Mastercard, eChecks, Entropay and more. What's more, it has excellent web-based communication available that offers exemplary customer support in almost all languages. #6 PlayOJO Casino PlayOJO was founded in 2019 and is licensed by Malta. PlayOJO Casino goes one step further and lets you know they are audited by iTech Labs which gives it a seal of respectability. PlayOJO Casino is founded on another brand entitled Skill on Net that combines the network of what's offered on the iGaming sites. PlayOJO Casino offers a welcome package that's hard to beat with Free Spins of slot games, kicker promotions, and a diverse selection of live tournament games. PlayOJO Casino also provides SSL encryption for its cutting edge technology with credit cards like Mastercard, Visa, NETELLER, e-Wallets, and PayPal. #7 SlottyVegas Casino SlottyVegas Casino was founded in 2014 and is licensed by Malta. The owner NRR Entertainment, Ltd gives this online casino a recognized name with respectability. You can play video slots, gamble in the live casino with classic games, and more. SlottyVegas Casino uses software providers that are heavyweights in their respective industries like NetEnt and Microgaming. This is an SSL encrypted credit card website with Visa, Mastercard, NETELLER, and Skrill to name a few. The casino is known for its player support with live chat reserved for any player of Slotty Vegas. #8 Jackpot City Casino Jackpot City Casino was founded in 1998 and is licensed by Malta and the Kahnawake Gambling Commission. What's more, this is an online casino that's audited through eCOGRA to give it the seal of respectability. Jackpot City Casino is known for its microgaming software that makes the gaming offered safe and secure. Players at Jackpot City Casino have a variety of currencies they can choose from and Visa, Mastercard, NETELLER, Euteller, Paysafecard, bank transfers, and more are offered in a user-friendly method. The casino offers one of the most convenient customer service chat and email support available in online casinos. #9 BitCasino BitCasino is licensed by Curacao and audited by TST and has been around since 2014. It's owned by mBet Solutions which is a Bitcoin company that's available in the iGaming industry. BitCasino has a mobile and workable desktop system. All users can access the casino through an HTML5 browser or an Android, iOS, or Windows system. Their gaming systems run from almost any slot game imaginable to live casino dealer table games. There is a high-level of security due to Bitcoins encrypted software system with Bitcoin being the primary currency used for deposits and withdrawals. #10 Red Star Casino Red Star Casino dates back to 2005 and is powered through Microgaming, PlaynGo, Tain, GamesOS, and other software systems. There are regulated and licensed by Curacao and have over 1000 games it offers to its players. But this casino is most known for its progressive jackpots and its ability to offer players deposits and withdrawals via Mastercard. Your Online Casino Best Choice All of the casinos listed above accept credit cards. That's why once you understand who owns the casinos and regulates them you're able to discern which ones provide the best safety for your online casino deposits. When it's your credit card being used at an online casino there's no measure you shouldn't take in reviewing them and finding out not only what they offer in terms of fun and games but also what the provide you in security. The rest of the equation comes down to Lady Luck which is what casinos are supposed to be about.
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