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  1. 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.
  2. At GamblersPick we are committed to bringing you coverage of the online gambling industry that puts you first. Whether it’s revealing a new online slot, discussing an important industry news event, or reviewing an online casino we look at it all through the lens of what it means to the player. This player-centric mentality was the driving force behind the creation of the GamblersPick Seal of Approval. Most importantly this Seal of Approval cannot be bought, any of the recommended casinos featuring the emblem have earned it! Our vetting process scrutinises the gambling site looking at five key criteria: their trustworthiness, the quality of their customer service, how they secure your private information, available banking options and their library of casino games. These review criteria were not chosen at random but rather because they covered the most important questions players around the world are asking about gambling. Join us as we specifically answer the 20 most frequently asked questions about online casinos and gambling in general: Trustworthiness ✓Are online gambling sites rigged? This is a very valid question given that a casino could rig games in their favour. This is why recommend always playing at a regulated online. Licensed casinos have their payouts and games tested by third-party auditors as part of their licensing agreement which ensures your safety. ✓Which online casinos are best? This all depends on what you like in an online casino. We always recommend playing where you can use your local currency, transact via a local banking option, and get games from your preferred providers - we cover all this information in our casino reviews. Start your journey with our already vetted list of GamblersPick Select casinos. ✓Who regulates online gambling? The online gambling industry now boasts a host of licensed and regulated gambling jurisdictions. These gambling authorities ensure that online casinos operating in their region follow strict safety and fair play guidelines. For a full list of gambling regulators visit our section on licenses. ✓Where is online gambling illegal? This is a broad question as there is a fine line between illegal and unregulated. Some countries do not offer licensed online gambling but still allow citizens to gambling online without fear of prosecution. We recommend checking the legality of online gambling with a local legal professional to avoid any problems. Customer Experience ✓Are gambling winnings taxable? There is no universal law on whether gambling winnings are taxable. We recommend speaking to a local tax professional or visiting the website of your national revenue service to ensure you are complying with local laws. ✓Can gambling affect your credit score? Interestingly it is not gambling that affects your credit score but where you are seen to be spending your money. Gambling is considered a high-risk activity that could cause your credit score to be adjusted down. However, since it is only a fraction of your income or net worth the impact should be negligible. ✓Can gambling make you rich? For a few lucky gamblers winning a progressive jackpot or big poker tournament has made them rich. However, gambling is not a guaranteed way to make money rather it should be seen as a hobby. Gamble for the entertainment factor, and should you hit a big win consider it a stroke of good luck. ✓How do casino odds work? Whenever you play an online casino game there is the chance that you will win despite there being a House edge that ultimately favours the casino. This is expressed as the game's RTP% (return to player percentage). Should a slot offer an RTP of 96% it means that over time that slot will return 96% of the staked amount to players leaving the House with a 4% margin. There is not guarantee that you will get your money back, however, which is why some lose while others win. ✓Do online gamblers ever win? Yes, there are many stories of online gamblers winning big jackpots. The Microgaming progressive jackpot network for example has paid out over €1.4 billion in prize money. However, the real question is not whether players win but how many players win more than spend. We always recommend playing with a budget that you can afford to lose which ensures you will have a good time regardless of the outcome. ✓Where can I find the best online casino welcome bonuses? With so many online casinos on the market, we have taken the time to both review them and give you detailed information on the available welcome bonuses that you could claim. Visit our Bonuses section for access to nearly 300 welcome offers. ✓What is a No Deposit Bonus at online casinos? When you claim a welcome bonus when joining a new casino, you generally receive bonus credits or spins once you make a minimum deposit. In the case of a no deposit bonus, you will get these credits or Free Spins without having to deposit. ✓Are online casino bonuses worth it? When an online casino bonus meets your needs, it is. If you’re looking to test a casino without risking your own money or want to boost your bankroll to extend your playtime, they are great. Some players do not like having to meet wagering requirements before making a withdrawal and in that case, it is better to only play with your own money. Safety ✓Is it safe to play at online casinos? It is safest to play at licensed online casinos as you are guaranteed that they employ the latest online security and encryption measures to protect your personal and banking information. When visiting a gambling site always look for the “lock” symbol in the web address bar as this shows that the site is secure. ✓Can online casinos cheat? The honest answer is that they can. To avoid this play at a reputable online casino that offers games by well-known Game developers and is audited by recognised third-party auditing firms. This ensures multiple levels of compliance and gives you the best chance of a safe and secure experience. Payments ✓Which gambling sites accept PayPal? If you’re looking for a GamblersPick Select PayPal site to gamble with we can recommend visiting PlayOJO Casino. That being said we offer insights into more than 400 payment methods and the casino who offer them to help you find the best banking options and casino partners. ✓Can online casinos refuse to pay out winnings? Not legally no. If you have legitimately won, then the casino owes you your payout as part of the agreement you entered when joining their site. The only caveat to this is if there is an error that occurred in the game which invalidates the win. Should this happen, a reputable online casino will provide proof of the error and in some cases provide some measure of compensation to ease the loss of a big win. Casino Games ✓Where did gambling originate? Nobody knows if early cavemen placed bets on who could take down the biggest woolly mammoth, but historians have found examples of six-sided dice which could be dated back to 3000 BC. It has also been proven that early Chinese civilisation held lotteries as far back as 2300 BC. However, casinos, as we know them today first, appeared in Italy in the 17th century. ✓Which online gambling game has the best odds? The three casino games with the best odds for players are without doubt Baccarat, roulette and craps which have a House edge of 1.06%, 1.35% and 1.4% respectively. Slots are the most prolific online casino game type but generally hold a 3%-5% advantage for the casino. ✓What are the different types of gambling? The term “gambling” covers a wide variety of activities, which not only includes games of chance like slots, roulette and even lottery but also games of skill like poker and sports betting. ✓Are online casino games fair? Casino games from reputable providers like Microgaming, Playtech, Evolution and others use random number generators which use the law of probability to ensure random and therefore fair outcomes. As part of their licensing agreement, these providers are audited by third parties which adds an additional layer of accountability and security.
  3. As lifelong fans of gambling and in particular online gambling it is fantastic to see how many countries are adopting a positive stance towards the hobby. Even if a region does not currently allow local licensing and advertising opportunities, they tend to adopt a ‘no harm, no foul’ approach which allows players to gamble at offshore casinos without any legislative requirements. In a 2021 review of the legal online gambling landscape Slotegrator reported that gambling regulation falls into one of four distinct categories: Those where gambling websites must be licensed by the local regulator (32 countries) Those where only local gaming sites need a license, not foreign sites (32 Countries) Those where online gambling is prohibited, but no legal action is taken against play at foreign sites (28 countries) Those where there are no gambling restrictions at all (93 countries) When looking at the European Union in the context of these categories is becomes clear that the majority of the member states have adopted or are investigating a multi-license regime. ✓EU Free Trade Supports Gambling Regulation For those who are unfamiliar with how the European Union works simply put it is an agreement between 27 member countries that make up most of continental Europe that aim to promote economic and political unity. As a response to the devastating impact of World War 2 on Europe, the European Economic Community (EEC) was created in 1958 to foster financial dependencies. The logic being that when countries are reliant on one another for trade the likelihood of aggression declines. According to a report by the EU Commission in 2021 “82% of products traded in the Single Market are subject to harmonised rules and some 18% of intra-EU trade in goods fall under mutual recognition”. Given that the EU free trade agreement is such a pivotal part of the makeup and longevity of the Union, online gambling became a hotly debated topic as the UK, who was still a member of the EU at the time, promoted full regulation and licensing and expected to be able to trade with its partners. Jurisdictional legislators such as Malta became highly respected markets who expected EU member states to recognise the validity of an MGA licensed casino to trade within the Union. Members that stood against regulated online gambling were seen to be contradicting the compact, and this early friction ultimately led to a burgeoning European online gambling industry. ✓EGBA Striving for Standardised Regulation As with any other multi-party endeavour one of the challenges members of the EU have had to face is how their differing definitions, requirements and even fee structures have become stumbling blocks for their peers. To assist in creating a unified logic to regulation and a set of standards the Brussels-based European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) was founded. “EGBA works together with national and EU regulatory authorities and other stakeholders towards a well-regulated and well-channelled online gambling market which provides a high level of consumer protection and takes into account the realities of the internet and online consumer demand.” To achieve a sustainable online gambling regime the EGBA strives to: Achieve a well-regulated and competitive market Define an ambitious set of European industry standards Build an integrity-based betting market Address betting-related match-fixing and corruption In addition to creating forums for discourse and staying on top of the day-to-day minutiae associated with tracking the gambling rulings and legislative decision making of 27 member countries the EGBA is also a founding partner of the EU Athletes program, a member of the International Betting Integrity Association (IBIA) and registered with the EU Transparency register since 2009. A July 2021 decision by the EU Commission to not reinstate the Expert Group on Online Gambling to assist regulators in coordinating their legal efforts could see the EGBA having an even more authoritative voice as it fills the role that the Commission renounced. ✓The French Gambling Legislation Interestingly enough when looking at online gambling regulation it is important not to interchange online gambling and online casino, especially if you are looking to play Online Slots in France. While many gambling sites will say that online casino is legal in France, they are in fact incorrect, however, it is correct to say that online gambling is legal in the country. This is because in 2010 France had a massive overhaul of its gambling law which both created the current body known as the Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ) and legalised all forms of land-based gambling including casino games, card games, and sports betting. However, in an unexpected turn of events when addressing online gambling the regulation only made allowance for the licensing of online poker and online sports betting, while online games of chance remained a restricted category. ✓An Avid Gambling Community Despite the exclusion of online slots and other casino games, online gambling has flourished in France with La Française des Jeux (FDJ) being responsible for betting and lottery games, while Pari Mutuel Urbain (PMU) is specifically responsible for horse racing. The Q2 2021 report by BusinessWire on the financial results of the FDJ reported that the “digitalised and online stakes” showed an impressive 70% growth over its Q1 results reaching €1.1 billion in revenue from stakes of €9.2 billion. Stéphane Pallez, Chairwoman and CEO of FDJ, said: “Our stakes are increasing, both online and in our point-of-sale network. Over the half-year, we accordingly recorded an increase of nearly 9% in revenue compared with the same period in 2019. Barring new restrictions in response to developments in the health situation, the Group expects to maintain good momentum in the second half and is confident in its business and results prospects in accordance with its responsible gaming model.” These reports show that the FDJ’s online performance is tracking perfectly for the body to achieve its target of €2.2 billion for the year. Market analysts expect this to come from just over €19 billion in stakes. However, the growth in both player stakes and overall revenue for France’s online gambling market has raised the question of whether their reasoning for excluding online gambling was genuine. When the regulations were announced in 2010 ARJEL argued that games of chance held too high a risk of gambling addiction. That games like slot machines encouraged high engagement and participation, something they then claimed to be looking to actively discourage. However, with the €9.2 billion in stakes over six months it proves French gamblers are an engaged and active community. Despite numerous calls in recent years for other EU member states to open their borders to regulated online gambling, to protect locals and actively participate in the free trade compact France has silently refused to budge on the issue, deflecting the conversation around casino games to a discussion of regulated online gambling instead. In a decision that further confuses the matter, France declared that its citizens may gamble at international offshore casinos. Yet this puts them at risk of playing with casinos who do not adhere to EU safer gambling standards, reduces channelisation by not offering a casino game option for slots players, and driving revenues offshore which could be funnelled into programs that would uplift the French community such education programs and compulsive disorder treatment centres. ✓The Bitcoin Casino Stumbling Block France is one of the most progressive nations in the world and as such has been at the forefront of cryptocurrency adoption. The French are proud HODLERs with nearly 4% of the population owning Bitcoin, Ethereum and other digital tokens. Unsurprisingly the lion’s share of this ownership sits with wealthy, tech-savvy men and women in their late mid-twenties to mid-thirties. It should come as no surprise then that in the absence of regulation making online casino gambling illegal a large portion of the French casino market is turning to bitcoin casinos. Not only do they get to engage in leading online slots and tables games, but they stand the chance to withdraw even more of the valuable cryptocurrency in the process. However, July 13th saw a Parisian court rule that French ISPs had to block local users from accessing two cryptocurrency gambling sites. The ruling came of the back of a decision to hand over cryptocurrency regulations to Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF), a securities watchdog with a specific brief to manage digital currency exchanges in the region. In this case while the casino games themselves were not the issue the ability to buy and sell cryptocurrencies in an unregulated marketplace saw the AMF flex its muscle and once again limit French players access to online casino entertainment. Once again, sane minds argue that if France would extend its current online gambling legislation to include online casino games, they could offer local players access to a secure crypto-exchange and secure a valuable revenue resource in the process.
  4. When Satoshi Nakamoto penned his now revered whitepaper “Bitcoin: A Peer-to-Peer Electronic Cash System” in 2008 it was taken as nothing more than the ravings of an anti-establishment nut by those who bothered to take note. For the most part, the idea of an electronic financial system, run by the people and for the people, free from government oversight and unshackled from the established banking infrastructure was pure fantasy. However, as with most bleeding-edge technologies that hold any real value one of three sectors will drive its progress: the war machine, the adult industry, or the criminal underground. Even in the world of gambling, this trinity of progress holds true. The history of land-based gambling is rife with stories of mobsters and gangsters; however, the business has matured into a legitimate gambling entertainment industry. The internet was developed and nurtured by governments intent of its data transmission potential, something vital to national security measures and in gaining an advantage in times of war. This new technology received funding and was driven into the mainstream by the adult industry as its need to store and transmit high-resolution images and video files became central to how it operated online. Whether you support or appreciate any of these individual building blocks is irrelevant. The reality is that we all benefit from the advancement and adoption of high-speed internet, data storage technology and high-resolution streaming available to us today – be it watching content on YouTube or playing Live Dealer casino games at your favourite mobile casino. Silk Road’s Rough Edges One of the early adopters of the then fledgling decentralised cryptocurrency Bitcoin was a 26 year old Penn State graduate, Ross Ulbricht. During his studies Ulbricht became enamoured with the economic musings of the libertarian economist Ludwig von Mises. Investopedia describes von Mises as: “… an economist of the Austrian school who argued for free markets and against socialism, interventionism, and government manipulation of money.” Confronted with the potential of Bitcoin, full of passion and head knowledge, swayed by the outlandish teachings of an expert, and confronted with a once in a lifetime opportunity to make difference in the world of finance and market economies Ulbricht leapt without thinking… and in 2011 he landed on the idea of Silk Road. In a recorded call with Bitcoin Magazine Ulbricht said: “I thought with Bitcoin, I could try and do something that actually makes a difference— Back then, I was impatient. I rushed ahead with my first idea, which was Silk Road… That’s a 26-year-old who thinks he has to save the world before someone beats him to it. I had no idea Silk Road would work, but now we all know it caught on.” In concept it a great idea, the perfect digital resistance to world full of government dominance and financial strangulation. A truly free and unfettered marketplace where buyers and sellers can transact using Bitcoin without Big Brother tracking their every move. The sad reality is free from restraint and needing specialised skills to enter this new decentralised world it was the criminal element that attached itself to his new venture, not the everyman that he believed would be best served by it. And it would be this element that would be his downfall. Duality of Decentralisation Conceptually the free market economy of Silk Road was a great idea and a practical way to prove the potential of decentralised currencies. You can sell your property, skills, and goods free of excessive fees and taxes. Restraints of goods and materials that exist only because of the squabbles of politicians can be sidestepped in the name of the greater good. The flip side to this altruistic coin is that profit is the real driving force in any economic environment and there is no denying the amount of money behind organised crime. Where Silk Road had the potential to do good, the charges brought against Ulbricht tell a quite different story. Ulbricht, who operated under the moniker “Dread Pirate Roberts”, was arrested in 2013 for creating and maintaining a darknet marketplace which facilitated: The sale of illegal narcotics The sale of stolen weapons Murder-for-hire contracts While Ulbricht never personally traded in drugs or firearms and was never connected to any provable assassination contracts, he ran the empire that brokered the relationships and financial transactions that made these possible. Not only did he facilitate these illicit transactions, but Silk Road took a percentage of the cost of the transaction meaning he benefited directly from each contract. Silk Road is recorded as having generated $213.9 million in sales during its two-year run which meant $13.2 million in commissions for Ulbricht. While many of his supporters cry foul, lumping Ulbricht in with the likes of infamous whistleblower Edward Snowden, Ulbricht’s laptop was shown to hold millions of words in conversations between Ulbricht and his team discussing the types of sales available on the site. Proving he knowingly profited from illegal and even life-threatening activities. What may have begun as an altruistic movement sadly ended up being nothing more than a highly profitable criminal platform. One that has seen Ulbricht sentenced to two-life terms plus forty years without the possibility of parole. The Power of a Maturate Market The world we are in today seems incredibly far removed from the wild times that saw the meteoric rise and fall of Silk Road. Discussions around cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and many others are part of daily life. The need for specialised access to tools like Tor browsers and access to the dark web is virtually non-existent as exchanges have simplified the buying and selling of cryptocurrencies, and mainstream financial institutions begin to offer crypto investment options as part of the portfolios. Even the adoption of stablecoin methodologies by world governments in the pursuit of the creation and institutionalisation of digital currencies such as the digital Yuan and digital Dollar is proof that blockchain technology is changing the world. For the online gambling community, this means even faster and more secure banking options, instant withdrawals of winnings and the highest possible levels of data security for your personal information. While Nakamoto’s vision of a global financial system free from restraint and control by external parties may one day come into being, where we are right now is a good place to be. We have a groundbreaking technology that is changing the world by allowing unbanked and poor countries to transact internationally in order to feed families and save lives, it is creating the potential for a new trade paradigm not dominated by the US dollar and it is doing so in the public domain, where the global community is learning and growing together.
  5. 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.
  6. As human beings, we are remarkably resilient creatures that can adapt and evolve to survive anything served to us. 2020 quite simply proves this fact and provides yet another historical showcase of how we manage to take a bitter scenario and create a fabulous silver lining from it. The COVID-19 pandemic was certainly one of the worst global disasters we have had to face in recent history, yet we have managed to adapt and become even stronger because of it. One of our greatest assets during the past year has been our push for global digitalisation. Our love for technology has worked tremendously in our favour and has made lockdown and social distancing so much easier. In fact, 2020 is a defining moment in the refinement of the digital realm. Great advancements were made to cater to the scenario, such as improvements in online shopping, digitised payment solutions, advancements in live chat technology, and so much more. The effects of the pandemic challenged us to find a new normal that could pander to our needs as social beings. Fans of online gambling have experienced a similar renaissance in response to these worldwide improvements in working, living, and playing online. In search of our very own silver lining, we have discovered 5 ways in which the online gambling industry has become safer, more secure, and more popular over the last 24 months. Newly Regulated Regions Many countries previously opposed to online gambling have seen reason when it comes to digital gaming and recognise its positive impact on regulated economies. While land-based gambling establishments closed in various countries due to lockdown protocols, online casinos have taken over and provided socially distancing residents with sought-after ways to amuse themselves. Did you know? More states in the USA are looking to legalise online gambling at the moment. These include regions like California, Connecticut, Indiana, Illinois, Massachusetts, and New York. As more countries and regions move to legalise iGaming, it only improves the security of the citizens in those areas. Many players gamble without the security and protection of regulation, so steps to regulate the market are set to create a safer environment for all punters. Thriving Business Where various businesses were forced to close their doors to limit social interaction, digital companies like online casinos have had the privilege of remaining in full operation over the lockdown periods, which has had a hugely positive effect on the overall market. Quick Fact: According to the Online Gambling Market Report 2020-2025, COVID-19 has led to a sudden rise in online gambling revenues, with some reports citing a 67% increase. An influx of people has moved over to the digital gambling realms, as it presents one of the few forms of entertainment available to adults in an environment where social distancing and staying at home is the societal norm. Active Approach Towards Legislation Thankfully, regulators recognised the need for rapid changes to gambling legislation. Laws that would have taken months or years to pass before, were passed quickly to cater to the sudden growth in popularity of internet gambling. Did you know? Official figures show that online gambling has emerged as one of the most popular pass times during the pandemic alongside online retail, food delivery, and subscription services. It’s only natural that its infrastructure would adapt to keep up with its growth. Various regions are in the process of passing laws to establish viable iGaming markets to ride the gravy train to wealth. There is much to recover and make up for, especially with land-based casinos only operating at limited capacity right now. A Proponent for Responsible Gambling The sudden attention of the masses in the online gambling sphere was a positive catalyst for governments and gambling commissions to improve their oversight and increase their focus on maintaining a responsible gambling environment. With much more time to play casino games, it was evident that enhanced responsible gambling protocols were needed to protect the playing public. Regulators in Spain and Britain were among the first to increase their safety protocols. Some of these security measures have included lowering the betting limits, the introduction of enhanced verification measures, and restrictions on marketing. Quick Fact: Spain has been the most heavy-handed with its laws on gambling marketing and has recently passed laws to prohibit sports teams from being sponsored by gambling institutions in the region. Some gaming commissions have limited the types of bonuses and promotions allowed at online casinos with certain regions putting a hold on such offerings. At the end of the day, these improved protocols ensure a safer gaming experience, despite the fact that old-school gamblers have not been in favour of these security enhancements. New Betting Avenues Although it is an online betting practice, sports betting has not faired as well as online casino entertainment because of the banning of live sports events. While football has since made a return, along with many other prominent sports, their initial absence from the scene caused bookmakers to become more innovative. Now that sport is back, there are far more options for the public to enjoy. Egaming became extremely popular thanks to the global lockdown. More and more people took to the exciting video gaming world to pass the time away. Of course, competitive protagonists found it the perfect platform to stage competitions and tournaments. This in turn provided an opportunity for sportsbooks to expand their repertoire and add new gaming options into their libraries – something that has been well-needed to this point anyway. Quick Fact: While you may think that games like FIFA Soccer would have ranked highly in the Esporting arena, the number one game for total winnings in 2020 is held by a shooter game. ‘Counter-Strike: Global Offensive’ forked out $14.75 million in winnings to its players last year! Esports is only gaining momentum and is an area of interest that needs watching over the next few years. Heightened regulation may be needed in this arena to protect under-aged players from getting caught up in the betting aspect of the market. Round-Up It’s always good to find the positive in any negative situation. The iGaming industry is one of the only markets that can safely do this when looking back over the last two years.
  7. The hit British Netflix series Peaky Blinders introduces us to a fictionalised version of 1900s Birmingham England where we follow the adventures of the Shelby family as they climb their way up the social ladder through dastardly deeds and both legal and illegal bookmaking. Based on the awe that the real-life Peaky Blinders inspired in his father, Steven Knight, Writer and Creator of the Peaky Blinder series said: “In a way I want Peaky Blinders to be a sort of the view of this world through the eyes of a 10-year-old because the men are smarter and stronger and handsomer and the horses are bigger and everything is big and intimidating as a kid.” His series so expertly interweaves the lives of the fictional leaders of the Peaky Blinders, the Shelby family, with real-world villains and heroes that most viewers struggle to separate fact from fiction. ✓ The Razor Blade Fallacy To clarify, the Peaky Blinders were a real-life gang of working-class Brits who were described as incredibly well dressed. These young men would often wear nice jackets, keep their hair closely cropped and wear peaked caps. Legend has it that they would stitch razor blades into these caps and use them as weapons in a pinch, blind enemies with a slash across the face. As dramatic as it sounds, and despite fitting their recorded penchant for violence this is simply not the case. Rather the reference to “blinder” in their name is an old English affectation which refers to how good they looked. An attractive young woman in her best dress or a young man in a stylish suit would both be considered “blindingly good looking” or simply “a blinder”. With the gang's affectation for bowler hats and peaked caps the name Peaky Blinder was an obvious choice in the day. ✓ The Shelby Bookmaking Empire A super fan of the Peaky Blinders series translated the money made by the main character, Thomas “Tommy” Shelby, into its modern-day equivalent. According to their estimations, Tommy would be making approximately £13 million per year from his bookmaking operation. In the series, the Shelby family run both legal and illegal bets on the horses in Birmingham and begin to come into conflict with other gangs as they look to expand their operation around the country. While the series shows operators like Tommy outwitting the law at every turn the reality was less in their favour. With the telephone in its infancy, special excursion trains that brought punter to the racetracks and the constabulary having a “the end justifies the means” approach to law-keeping, illegal bookmaking was not as common or as profitable as seen on TV. ✓ The State of Gambling in the UK The United Kingdom has always had an interesting relationship with gambling. While it was legal under English law the Unlawful Games Act of 1541 would make nearly all forms of gambling illegal as it was feared gambling would distract young men from military training. In particular, these new casino games were blamed for the “decay of archery”. This was addressed in the law as follows: “All Men under the Age of Sixty Years "shall have Bows and Arrows for shooting". Men-Children between Seven "Years and Seventeen shall have a Bow and 2 Shafts". Men about Seventeen "Years of Age shall keep a Bow and 4 Arrows". The penalty for non-observance was set at 6s.8d.” Since the British archers had been key to Henry V's victory at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415 the practice was deemed one of national security, if not national pride. However, by 1845 the law was repealed as archery lost its importance as an art of war and, as a law revision would later note, archery was no competition for “the nefarious pursuits of cricket, dicing, and carding”. One gambling practice which was not deemed nefarious was that of betting on the horses. Bookmaking came into its own in the UK in 1790 and even under the Gaming Act 1845 was not made illegal but rather merely limited to racetracks. By 1961 the UK would have legal high street betting shops thanks to Harold Macmillan. These bookmakers made it possible for even more punter to place bets and without the concerns of dealing with gangs and underworld figures. At its peak, the UK was estimated to have more than 15,000 legally recognised betting shops practically putting illegal betting out of business. ✓ Online and Mobile Betting Generation The advent of online gambling in the late 90s changed the game for all parties concerned as the casino games industry blossomed. By 2001 the Big Three bookmakers – William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral – were able to not only offer patrons the chance to bet at their local betting shops and offered bets online. With reputation being everything in the online arena these operators were easily able to spin their land-based punters into online punters with the promise of being able to gamble from the comfort for your home. By 2003 the first mobile gambling product was launched in the UK, The Mobile Lottery. It was not long after that the betting shops launched their own mobile-friendly sites and apps to allow punters to place their bets wherever they had the time and an internet connection. The government did step in to limit the scope of betting on offer through regulated betting shops – be they online or in retail outlets – with the Gambling Act 2005. This Act limited licensed betting to events that took place in the UK and European Economic Areas (EEA). Offering bets on no-EEA regulated events was deemed illegal.
  8. With 2021 just around the corner we’ve taken a look at the good, the bad and the outrageous that the online gambling industry has gone through this year. Rather than rehash it all here are 21 lessons we have learnt that will make your gambling safer and more enjoyable in 2021. Gamble with a Clear Head and Heart 1. Make time for friends and family – gambling is a hobby, make time for other leisure activities and the people in your life to keep a healthy balance. 2. Play when you are in a positive frame of mind – to avoid making costly mistakes or becoming overwhelmed its best not to gamble as a form of self-medication. 3. Play sober – getting drunk will make you less focused and could lead to overspending or making a costly big bet that drains your bankroll. 4. Money well spent – everything we do has a cost, whether it’s visiting a museum or eating out, see the money spent at a casino as the cost of a nights entertainment rather than a loss and you will be able to budget for it happily. 5. Be sure to stretch your legs and stay hydrated – be sure to take a break now and then, it will get the blood flowing and make sure you don’t end up chasing losses out of frustration. 6. When you win, cash out and enjoy the windfall – luck is a fickle creature and if you’ve been fortunate enough to land a tidy win then put in your pocket and enjoy it with your loved ones. Make a Plan and Stick to It 7. Decide ahead of time how much you will spend at the casino – budgeting is key to enjoying your time at a casino safely as it protects both your finances and diminishes stress. 8. Only play casino games for a predetermined amount of time – budgeting your time is as important as your money, play for a set amount of time then move onto something else. The casino will still be there tomorrow. 9. Decide ahead of time not to chase any losses – in the heat of the moment it can be easy to chase a loss, however by making a firm decision not to do so beforehand you will be aware of the urge to do so should it occur. 10. Get to know a VIP host or key customer service agent – having someone to speak to, who knows you, can be a great way to stop compulsive behaviour or figure out how to set limits on your account. Who better to help than a casino rep who knows the system inside and out? Manage Your Money 11. Only gamble with money you have available – avoid gambling with your credit card or money you’ve borrowed, losing money you need to pay back with interest is a double loss. 12. Find the best deposit and withdrawal methods for you – depending on the methods you use there are fees, transaction times and even bonuses you need to take into consideration. 13. Budget for progressive jackpot slots – progressive jackpot games like Mega Moolah are known for their outrageous payouts but they can be more expensive to wager on, be sure to create a side budget if you like these games. 14. Join a VIP or loyalty program – casinos offer great rewards, additional promotions, and more personalised service through these programs, all of which are great ways to maximise your entertainment. Learn About Your Hobby 15. Read up on game odds and return to player percentages – various game types offer differing odds of winning and require differing levels of skill, understanding these will help you enjoy the games and manage your budget. 16. Check out guides on casino bonus types – bigger is not always better, understanding the benefits and limitations of various bonus types will help you choose those that suit your playstyle and budget. 17. Take the time to read casino bonus terms and conditions – each casino will have their own set for terms for wagering, deposits, and withdrawals, to make sure you get the most from your bonus take a few minutes and read the fine print. 18. Take your time and test various games to find your favourites – before you spend your money playing a new game test it for free, this way you get to try all the available features and it doesn’t cost you anything. Safety First 19. Sign up and play at regulated casinos – choosing casinos licensed by recognised authorities such as the UKGC, MGA, Swedish Gaming Authority and others ensures you are playing a trustworthy site and that you have access to assistance should you feel the casino is not delivering on their promised service levels. 20. Choose casinos with good customer service reputations – while bonuses and features can grab your attention it is an online casino who takes care of your questions and resolves your queries swiftly that will always win the day. Start ahead of the pack by considering our GamblersPick Select casino partners. 21. Find trusted casinos who actively promote safer gambling tools – your financial and emotional health must always be a priority, any online casino actively promoting safer gambling strategies and tools shows they understand this and will be there for you however the chips may fall. We hope that these 21 tips help make your online gambling experience in 2021 more enjoyable and stress-free. Should you find yourself not enjoying your time online don’t hesitate to reach out to someone you trust and a safer gambling organisation in your area to ensure the experience remains a fun and entertaining – please don’t gamble with your health and wellbeing.
  9. Canada’s online gambling space is growing at a rapid pace. The industry currently generates sales in excess of $30 billion and is primed to continue growing. As more people join the fray, the questions are growing. What can you expect? Where can you find trusted online casinos? What do the rules look like? In light of this, we have compiled a list of the 50 most frequently asked questions relating to online gambling in Canada. We’ve addressed your burning questions so that you can stay informed! Plus, we’ve added handy categories to help you navigate these FAQs easily. Top Canada-friendly Online Casinos 1. Best online gambling sites for Canada? There are plenty of wonderful gambling sites available to the Canadian market. The top online sites are generally rated due to a variety of factors, including the number of games, payout size, speed of payment, trustworthiness, security and overall customer experience. To check out our top-rated Canadian online gambling sites, visit our Canada Online Casinos page. 2. Are instant play casinos available in Canada? Instant play casinos allow for immediate play in a web browser and do not require an application to be downloaded. Thanks to HTML5 coding, instant play casinos are available in Canada, with many online sites offering the no-download version. 3. Which online casinos offer the best payouts in Canada? Payouts are an important part of any online casino offering. The top payout rates for online casinos in Canada generally exceed 96%. For a comprehensive list of online casinos with high payout rates, have a look at our Canada online casino page. 4. Which Canadian online casinos can be trusted? There are several ways to verify the trustworthiness of an online casino. The first step is to check the licences of the online casino. If the licence has been issued by one of the industry’s top regulatory authorities, this is usually a good sign. Secondly, check if the games on the site undergo regular testing to ensure fairness. Testing bodies such as eCOGRA usually issue their stamp of approval to online casinos who have been audited by them, so be on the lookout for these badges on the casino site. GamblersPick has compiled a list of trusted Canadian online casinos and assigned them the Select badge. GamblersPick only awards this badge to casinos who are properly licensed and can show proof of fairness. In addition, casinos bearing the Select badge are licensed and regularly audited by an independent third party. 5. Which Canadian online casinos are good for beginners? When looking for a good casino, beginners need to consider two things: trustworthiness and ease of gameplay. Beginners should stick to online casinos in Canada that carry licenses from any of the top regulatory bodies, as this is generally a good indication of an online casino’s trustworthiness. As for gameplay, beginners should consider starting with online casinos that offer a wide variety of table games, especially blackjack, as this is seen as one of the easiest to comprehend. Most Canadian online casinos we feature offer blackjack, roulette and other table games which are easier for beginners to grasp. 6. Do I have to download software to play at Canada online casinos? Not always. While some online casinos do require the downloading of software to proceed, many online casinos are ‘instant play’. This means that no downloads are needed. 7. Are online casinos in Canada always open? Most online gambling sites in Canada are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. What may not be readily available are the customer support lines. 8. Where can I find online casino reviews for Canada? While online casino reviews are readily available on the internet, if you’re looking for honest reviews, look no further than GamblersPick. 9. What is the best online casino in Canada? While the title of ‘best online casino’ is quite subjective, the current favourite online casino among Canadians seems to be Jackpot City. Check out the GamblersPick review of Jackpot City. Welcome Bonuses and Promotions in Canada 10. Can I claim a welcome bonus when signing up at a Canadian online casino? Most Canadian online casinos offer a welcome bonus to new players who sign up. However, deposit rules may vary from casino to casino, so it is advisable to read up on the Ts and Cs before signing up. 11. What are my chances of winning at a Canadian online casino? There’s no definitive answer here. While there may be statistical odds or theoretical Return-To-Player (RTP) figures available, the reality is that any chance of winning boils down to pure luck. Canadians looking to indulge in the online casino experience should never pin their hopes on the stated odds. 12. Are there wagering requirements on winnings in Canada? It depends on the casino. While many establishments still use wagering requirements, several top online casinos have taken to offering players wager-free deposits and Free Spins. 13. Can I gamble for free online in Canada? Plenty of online casinos in Canada allow users to play free or demo versions of games without having to first register. While no winnings can accrue from these free games, players will be able to get acquainted with the rules and gameplay before making any deposits. 14. How do I choose a real money Canadian online casino? There are several ways to go about choosing a real money online casino. You could spend hours, if not days, doing the research yourself. Alternatively, you can check out GamblersPick’s recommended Select list of real money Canadian online casinos. 15. Are there online gambling promotions in Canada? Yes, there are. Most online casinos in Canada offer a selection of bonuses and promotions to attract players. These bonuses can be quite varied, ranging from free spins to deposit bonuses to seasonal tournaments. Each online casino provides its own unique offering. For a great selection of online casinos with top promotions, be sure to visit GamblersPick’s Canada Online Casino page. 16. Can you win money on online casinos in Canada? Winning is by no means guaranteed. However, if lady luck smiles down on you, there is every chance that you may pocket large sums of money from your online casino winnings. It should be stressed that online casinos should be primarily used for fun. Know when to stop, before the fun ends. Playing By The Rules 17. Are online gambling winnings taxable in Canada? The good news for Canadians is that winnings from online gambling are not taxed. However, any interest earned on gambling winnings must be declared. 18. Is online gambling in Canada legal? In short, yes. It is legal for Canadians to play at any offshore online casino. However, it is illegal for a company to operate an online casino in Canada without a license. 19. Legal age for gambling online in Canada? The general minimum age for gambling in Canada is 19, except in Alberta, Calgary, Manitoba, Montreal, Ottawa and Quebec, where the legal gambling age is 18 years. 20. What are the online gambling rules in Canada? Canada does not have many rules when it comes to online gambling. The Canadian government made the decision a while back to leave the rules surrounding gambling (including online gambling) to each province. At present, the rules simply state that it is illegal to operate an online casino without a licence from the relevant authority. Canadian players, however, can play at an offshore online casino, provided that the casino is properly registered and regulated. 21. Is online gambling banned in Canada? Online gambling is not banned in Canada. However, it is illegal to operate an online casino from within Canada without the proper licence. 22. How can I find legit online gambling sites in Canada? One of the best ways to find legit online gambling sites is to check their licence. While there is never a guarantee of legitimacy, all good casinos should, at the very least, hold a gaming licence from a reputable regulatory body. Casinos holding licences from the Malta Gaming Authority, UK Gambling Commission, the Curacao Gaming Control Board, Kahnawake Gaming Commission or the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority are generally seen as safer bets, due to the stringent licence requirements of these authorities. If you’re interested in checking out safe and trustworthy Canadian online casino sites, be sure to visit the Gamblerspick Canada online casinos site and view a variety of Canadian sites bearing the signature Gamblerspick Select badge. These sites have been verified for quality based on trustworthiness, safety and customer experience. 23. Can I play at international online casinos in Canada? Yes, Canadian citizens can play at international online casinos as no laws are prohibiting this. 24. Can US citizens gamble online in Canada? The answer is yes. US citizens are free to gamble online in Canada, as there is no specific federal law prohibiting this. However, in terms of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, it is illegal for banks to handle any deposits or withdrawals related to a US player’s casino account. Online Gambling Banking Options 25. Can I gamble for real money in Canada? Yes, you can. Players can deposit via debit card, credit card, EFT or several other methods. This money can be used to gamble for real money winnings. 26. Can I use PayPal when online gambling in Canada? Currently, online casinos in Canada do not accept PayPal as a form of transaction. The reason for this is that PayPal only operates in countries with clearly regulated and defined laws. As Canada does not currently have clearly defined online gambling laws, PayPal will not run the risk of processing any illegal gambling payments. 27. Are there banking fees when playing at Canadian casinos? This depends on which banking methods are used. Some instant banking methods will attract a fee, while most e-wallet transactions will also see a fee charged. Most prepaid cards and credit cards do not charge a fee. 28. Can I use my credit card when gambling online in Canada? Yes. Most online casinos available in Canada will allow players to deposit and withdraw money using credit cards. 29. Can I play at online casinos using Canadian dollars? Yes, as most online casinos available in Canada allow users to play using Canadian dollars. 30. Which Canadian banks allow online gambling? Currently, there are only 5 banks in Canada that allow online gambling, namely the Bank of Montreal, the Bank of Nova Scotia, the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, the Royal Bank of Canada and The Toronto-Dominion Bank. 31. Will I need to verify my identity before making a withdrawal? Most online casino sites in Canada will require verification before withdrawals can be made. This is mainly to prevent fraud and money laundering. However, not all online sites have made identity verification a requirement. Safe and Responsible Gambling In Canada 32. Who regulates online gambling in Canada? There is no specific body that regulates the online gambling industry as a whole. Due to changes in the Canadian Criminal Code, the regulation of gambling activity, including online gambling, fell to the specific provinces. Within Canada, The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is the regulatory body charged with issuing the licenses needed by online casinos to operate within certain Canadian territories. 33. Where can I get help for gambling problems in Canada? For people struggling with gambling addiction, several organisations in Canada offer assistance. Industry-specific organisations include Gamtalk and Gambling Therapy. 34. Will my information be safe at Canadian online casinos? While it is never possible to guarantee the safety of any information, there are plenty of casinos that conform to the strictest levels of security and encryption to protect customer information. If you’re looking for online casinos that offer strong safety protocols, check out Gamblerspick’s list of online Canadian casinos that have received the Select badge of approval. 35. What is the online gambling regulation in Canada? From a regulation perspective, players from Canada can gamble at online casinos located offshore. The only requirement is that they be legally registered to operate. 36. re there safe online gambling sites in Canada? Yes, there are. Online casinos that are regulated by a top gaming authority are the safest options, as these authorities impose strict conditions on casino operators wishing to obtain a licence. Gamblerspick has put together a comprehensive list of safe Canadian online casinos for you to visit! 37. Is it safe to download software from online casinos in Canada? It is generally quite safe to download software from any licensed and trusted online casino in Canada. Always check the casino’s regulatory licences before downloading software. Online casinos regulated by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority and the Curacao Gaming Control Board are usually seen as quite secure. 38. Is online casino gambling popular in Canada? Online gambling is growing in popularity in Canada. Almost 20 million Canadians actively gamble online. This has resulted in billions of dollars in revenue being generated. 39. What is the safest online casino in Canada? While it’s not easy to tell you what the safest online casino in Canada is, we can tell you that the safest casinos will adhere to the highest security protocols and will go the extra mile to ensure the protection of your sensitive information. This is why Gamblers Pick has a compiled a list of Canadian online casinos that meet their criteria in terms of, among other things, safety protocols. These casinos have been given Select status, meaning that they have all been verified for quality. Sports Betting in Canada 40. Is sport betting safe in Canada? Sports betting is generally quite safe in Canada. While there is no foolproof system, Canadians can only place bets with betting houses that are properly registered and licensed. Players can feel reasonably safe in the knowledge that, barring any unforeseen issue, they are placing bets in a relatively safe environment. 41. Is online sports betting allowed in Canada? Much like online gambling, there is no formal law prohibiting online sports betting in Canada. Players are therefore generally free to place online sports bets as they see fit. Canadian law does prohibit players from being found in illegal betting houses or casinos. 42. Are there legal online sports betting sites in Canada? The only legal online sports betting sites in Canada are the ones carrying licences from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. That doesn’t mean that Canadians cannot enjoy betting on their favourite sports online, as there are plenty of offshore betting sites that cater to them. Popular Online Slots 43. Can I play with free spins at an online casino in Canada? Yes. Many casinos offer free spins. These spins are generally awarded when a particular deposit amount is made. It is also usually linked to a specific online slot. 44. Are there progressive jackpot games at Canadian casinos? Yes, there certainly are. Canadian online casinos, much like other casinos around the world, offer a variety of progressive jackpot games. As these jackpots accumulate. Canadian players stand the chance to win millions. 45. What are the best online gambling slots in Canada? There are some incredible online slots available in Canada. Depending on your definition of ‘best’, this may vary. If you’re interested in checking out Canada’s top slots, head over to Gamblerspick’s Canada online casinos page now! Canadian Mobile Gambling 46. Are there online gambling apps in Canada? Many online gambling sites in Canada also offer mobile apps. These online apps can be downloaded onto most Android, iOS and Windows devices. 47. Best online gambling apps in Canada? While there are plenty of great online gambling apps available, there are several standout options for Canadians. These include LeoVegas, Play OJO, Unibet and Betway. 48. Can I play on mobile when gambling online in Canada? Yes, you can. Most online casinos have formatted their sites for play on almost any mobile device. Users can experience the thrill of online casino gaming wherever they go! Finding the Best Casino Games 49. What is the best software for online casinos in Canada? Everyone has their favourites when it comes to the best software available. Some of the top software for online casinos are provided by the industry’s biggest names, such as Playtech, NetEnt, Microgaming and IGT. 50. Which software providers can be found at Canadian online casinos? Some of the industry’s top software providers can be found in Canadian online casinos. These include legendary companies like NetEnt, Microgaming, Quickspin and Playtech. This list of questions is by no means exhaustive. They simply represent the most common questions currently arising from the Canadian market. Frankly, the more questions, the better informed the player. For more information regarding the world of online gambling in Canada, be sure to check out the GamblersPick Canada page.
  10. Most casino games played both at land-based and online casinos involve a degree of luck when the outcomes roll-out. Even blackjack and poker, which are steeped in skill and strategy, involve the luck of the draw when your card hand is dealt out. Punters will grasp at anything possible to improve their odds in these luck-based environments, with some even resorting to superstitious rituals in a bid to earn good graces from the gambling gods. 10 Most Popular Casino Superstitions Below is a list of 10 of the most popular superstitions to circulate the gambling arena. Perhaps you might even recognise one or two good luck rituals that you, or a family member, adhere to when spending a night at the tables or when watching your favourite team play in an important tournament. ✓Itchy Hands? Scratch that Habit There is a long-held superstition that when your palms get itchy, money is coming your way. Perhaps someone has even said it to you in the past. This saying originates from Western Europe. In Bulgaria, if you suffer from ‘the itch’, it’s best you avoid the casino as it is said to be downright bad luck. Serbians hold the opposing view though, as do many other Westerners. In their region, if your hands are itchy, you better drop everything and hit the gambling halls or online casinos, for it’s a sign that money is on its way to you. ✓The Table is not for Counting It is commonly believed by gamblers worldwide that it is bad luck to count your money while you are still seated at the game table. It has become etched into casino etiquette in many regions, where the house will often advise their visitors to step away from the tables before counting their chips. It is such a big part of casino culture nowadays that Kenny Rogers included the practice in the lyrics of his hit song, ‘’The Gambler”. ✓Beware the Devil’s 13 Number 13 has had an unlucky connotation for hundreds of years. Have you ever noticed that hotels and skyscrapers do not have a 13th floor, or that Friday the 13th is a day that supposedly carries heaps of bad luck? Well, this superstition carries over to the gambling industry as well and it’s a wonder that casinos have not removed the number altogether from Roulette wheels and tables yet. Of course, there are those who fly in the face of lucky rituals and opt to play this number just to be otherwise. It would be interesting to see how often the number comes up, to be honest. ✓Faith in 8 While 13 is a number to avoid, many Eastern players have faith in 8. The combination of 888 holds the same degree of luck that 777 does in the Western World. "Did you know that 888 Casino used to be called Casino-on-net but switched to "888" when looking to enter the Asian market. The branding was so catchy, however, that it became their global identity." In China and other eastern countries, it is said that numbers that sound like words that are prosperous are considered good luck. The number 8 in Cantonese sounds similar to the word for wealth, therefore, it is regarded highly by gamblers. ✓Red is the Colour Another superstition that finds its origins in the East, is that the colour ‘red’ is lucky. The Chinese believe that the colour is a symbol of life, joy, and prosperity, so you will find that Asian players will commonly wear red when betting or attending casinos. It is thought that red garments, and especially undergarments, will appease the gods and cause their favour to shine on you. If you have played any number of slots and casino games that boast an Eastern theme, you will have realised that red is a very prominent colour in these titles. It is this colour that draws the superstitious crowds in. ✓Mob Money In America, accepting $50 bills from the cashier can be viewed as bad luck. This superstition ties back to the old mob era. When a mafia hitman killed someone, they would place a $50 bill in the victim’s pocket before they buried the body. Accepting $50 notes, therefore, holds a murderous connection with some US players who may refuse the payout in these denominations. ✓No Whistling Dixie According to some, gambling is a serious affair and should be treated as such, or it could anger the gambling gods. For this reason, whistling or singing at the table is frowned upon and it is believed that it could come back to haunt you in further rounds. Aside from the superstition behind the action, whistling and singing can be off-putting to other players and is just downright bad etiquette, so we would never condone it unless you are playing online. ✓Side Entrance Superstition Originally a Chinese superstition, it seems to have rubbed off in other parts of the world too. It is said that using the main entrance to a casino is bad luck. There are two reasons for this: It is believed that the doors are cursed by Feng Shui masters and using them will invoke bad fortune on your gambling endeavours. Rubbing shoulders with a loser will transfer the bad fortune to you. This is most likely to happen at the main entrance of the casino. If there is no other way into the establishment, be sure to dart in and out when the lines are thin to avoid contact. So, if you see a patron using the side door to access and leave the casino from now on, you know why. Perhaps it’s best that you start finding alternative entrances of your own to the establishment. Fortunately, this is not a worry for online casino gamblers. ✓Wash Away the Worry For those of you are on a losing streak, there is a simple remedy according to Eastern superstition. Simply head to the washbasin and wash your hands thoroughly. This in turn washes away all your poor luck. Winners, however, should not wash their hands, or else they may wash away their good fortunes and invoke some bad luck upon them. If only good fortune was this black and white and that access to good fortune was a given if you had access to a restroom with running water. We would observe the making of many more sanitary millionaires. ✓Betting Rituals 101 Some players use other small rituals when betting at the tables. These vary greatly from person to person. Some of the common ones include the way the chips are stacked, whether you blow on the dice before a throw or not, or whether you place chips with your left or right hand, and others. Often rituals and superstitions are personalised – things that work and don’t work for the individual. In many instances, players stumble across them while gambling. For example, you just so happened to have a great day of wins one day when you stacked your chips in a certain way, now you feel that the only way to repeat that fortune is to make sure the chips are laid out, in the same way, each time you gamble. Get Your Supersitions Here While some swear blind by many of these rituals, others regard them as flaky superstitious rubbish. The question that begs an answering here is – How has your luck been of late? Feel free to join the GamblersPick Community and leave us your thoughts on these and other gambling superstitions. Perhaps you have some to share that we haven't covered?
  11. In a world where there are hundreds of gambling licences each with their own unique and potentially contradictory requirements, it has become increasingly difficult for online gambling operators to ensure they comply with the stipulations of their licences. We spoke to Ian Sims, founder of compliance monitoring company Rightlander, to learn more about the challenges facing the industry and how Ian has morphed his years of affiliate marketing experience into a leading compliance product. GP: Ian, you had a long and successful career in affiliate marketing, how did you pivot from driving traffic to creating the Rightlander.com compliance platform? Ian: I developed some tech to watch my landing pages to see when they changed or died or lost relevance. Each week I would get a page of screenshots back which made it really easy to spot where the customer journey was broken or could be improved. That was the foundation for Rightlander so when I sold my affiliate network, I decided to develop that out. Compliance became a big thing while that was happening, so it was a natural sidestep. GP: Could you clarify what it means to be “compliant” in the iGaming space? Ian: Being compliant means recognising that we offer an addictive form of entertainment which can exploit human vulnerabilities and then taking action to ensure that we minimise the impact. That might be through education, ethical marketing, or appropriate messaging but in my opinion, it is not about removing the ability for people to make their own choices to protect the vulnerable. GP: Given the nuances and intricacies of various regulatory bodies, is it possible to set a single compliance standard? If not, how does Rightlander.com navigate these individual market requirements? Ian: I don’t think it is possible. Addiction triggers can be different for different people. For some it is boredom, for others it’s lifestyle, for others it might be something else and as a result, you need to find different solutions. The common denominator is that an addict has to want to stop and not all addicts do. But that being said, from a marketing angle there are some common ideas to minimise the risk and impact, and most of that is just common sense. The trouble is that a lot of marketers don’t really understand the impact of what they are doing so you need to have guidelines and create conversations that provoke them into thinking about it. GP: The internet is a massive and evolving ecosystem. How does the Rightlander.com platform cover the bases you spoke about while addressing the thousands of pages of content that are added to the web daily? Ian: It’s impossible to police the web, but it is possible to remove a significant amount of threat if you know the most likely places to look. When you work in a vertical like gambling, our crawler can recognise relevant content fairly easily but social platforms and closed message platforms present significant challenges because of their transient nature. Technology has to constantly evolve but also, technology alone isn’t always the solution. You need the right people to back it up and often to investigate the data that has been found. Rightlander isn’t so much a data provider as a massive time saver for a person with a responsibility to ensure their affiliates perform compliant marketing. GP: On Rightlander.com your intro video refers to the fact that online gambling operators are responsible for the messaging affiliates use in connection with their brands. Why is this and what is non-compliant marketing messaging? Ian: It is the logical approach for a regulator who has limited resources. Someone needs to be accountable and if an operator chooses to market via affiliates, they do arguably have to take some of the responsibility. Affiliates are essentially a sales team, and while not employed by the company per se, they are representing them in an official capacity. Affiliate licensing will happen in some jurisdictions, which, no doubt, operators will welcome, and I agree that is a sensible move from an accountability standpoint. However, it will take time and resources and of course, the industry will have to foot the cost. GP: In practical terms how do the services that Rightlander.com offer benefit the online gambling operators – looking at both the short term (day to day operations, reputation protection) and long term (market growth, brand awareness etc)? Ian: Compliant marketing is mandatory in many countries now, so we have standard sets of reports for most countries that cover the essentials, but we also do a lot of customised reports depending on what needs the client has. Sentiment, PPC monitoring for non-compliant messages of brand bidding, investigative services for serious issues, monitoring of subscription content, brand coverage and brand protection monitoring are all services we can and do provide for individual clients. Image monitoring, discovering old logos and even monitoring video scripts on YouTube are all requests which come up, but the technology is very versatile. GP: Does the compliance magic that Rightlander weaves also have a tangible benefit for the player? Ian: No-one on the licensed side of the industry wants a problem player and the problems often start with the marketing messages that prey on the trait of human greed or exploitation of the vulnerable so obviously, the more items we can help operators to remove, the better. However, my main concern right now is that over-regulation will remove the fun. It’s almost like politicians see that as the answer but in my opinion, it will push players to unregulated operators and undo all the good that has been achieved. GP: Looking to the future, what do you foresee being integral to the success and maturation of the online gambling market? Ian: Instilling some common-sense into regulation, marketing, and the product. For operators, we need a shift in mindset from getting punters thinking of gambling as a way to make money to instead, thinking of it as a form of entertainment. For regulators, they need to start thinking about not what to prevent but how to control it. When the whole industry recognises the damage that bonusing and incentivising have done, I think things will start to improve dramatically. However, the problem is that the regulators and politicians cannot give them the safe environment to do that yet because everyone knows that the unlicensed operators will just jump in and take advantage. GP: In closing, what does the future hold for Rightlander.com? Are there any exciting new products and developments you can share with us? Ian: Rightlander’s USP is that we are driven by our clients. I always wanted Rightlander to be a different thing to different people rather than a set-in-stone set of products. The buzzword I think is ‘agile’! That makes it remarkably interesting to run but also challenging in that you never quite know what is next! An Eye Opening Conversation When considering a new online casino to play at we often look at bonuses, wagering and online reputation. Compliance practices are not high our list of considerations however thanks to Ian we now have a clearer understanding of its importance in ensuring we have a safe and secure gambling experience. Playing at a compliant casino ensures they remain above board with their marketing practices, retain their regional licences and we have the peace of mind of gambling with the protection of our local gambling authority.
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