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Showing results for tags 'safe gambling'.

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  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Great Britain has been one of the leading countries in ratifying and regulating the online gambling industry. The work done in the UK to show the world that it is a viable revenue source for the government, an incredible local job creator and a safe form of entertainment has been invaluable in normalising the pastime. “Safer Gambling Week is a cross-industry initiative to promote safer gambling in the United Kingdom and Ireland” However, as with any activity that offers a potential reward, both emotionally and financially, there are those who may need assistance in not letting it rule their lives and this is where initiatives like Safer Gambling Week come into play. Get Involved with Safer Gambling Week 2020 Safer Gambling Week 2020 is live now, the forum runs from 19-25 November 2020, participating websites and local venues will do a deep dive into the tools, systems, support vehicles and best practices that will assist gamblers, their families and staff members of gambling-related companies to recognise and respond to compulsive gambling behaviours. The key areas it aims to create awareness around are: How to gamble safely both on and offline The tools which are available to help you gamble safely all year Trusted sources of information and support It is important to note that when it comes to addressing gambling it is not online land-based and online casinos which are involved in Safer Gambling Week 2020 but also amusement arcades, bingo halls and local bookmakers. Anywhere you can gamble, regardless of the payout potential or size of the stake, is a place where gambling can translate from fun into addiction and therefore, they are all involved in creating a safer gambling environment for you. What Can You Expect During Safer Gambling Week? The team at SG 2020 have taken a multi-pronged approach to address the issue of responsible gambling and creating awareness of the need many players face through the following activations: Key venues are undertaking special events during SG Week 2020 Participating online gambling websites are promoting SG Week 2020 with banner ads and pop-ups Land and online organisations will be promoting the week on social media Supporting organisations, such as Facebook, are promoting key messages and awareness materials key support organisations like the National Gambling Helpline, GamCare and YGAM are running training sessions and have increased support teams to handle increased support volumes The organisers of the outreach program have also designed and distributed an array of promotional materials which cut to the core of the issue Safer Gambling Week is trying to combat. This includes highlight such talking points as: How and what to ask about gambling behaviours Five key behaviours of safer gambling Details of where and how to obtain the information and help you need The hope is that by creating open and honest dialogue around these conversation points it will lead to the recognition of potentially harmful behaviours and the ability to take the steps needed to get help. Do Your Part to Promote Healthy Gambling Habits In addition to providing expert workshops and training opportunities in conjunction with safe gambling organisations such as GamCare and YGAM, Safer Gambling Week also aims to encourage individuals on the ground to share the message of the program with those in their sphere of influence. They have made it incredibly easy to get involved with very little effort through the creation of a number of ready to use infographics such for posting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Below are a few examples of what they have on offer: With their insight into the power of video on social media they have also created a number of shareable video clips which you can share on your preferred platform. They have uploaded files that meet the required dimensions and file size for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram… but that can be used on other platforms such as TikTok or even shared via email. UK Safer Gambling Support Resources Understanding the urgency and immediacy of the support problem gamblers require the Safer Gambling Website offers three telephone numbers for you to call any time of the day or night: In Great Britain call 0808 8020 133 (free call) In Ireland call 1800 936 725 (Freephone) In Northern Ireland call 08000 886 725 (Freephone) If you are not a resident of the UK and find yourself in need of someone to speak to about your gambling needs, please visit our Problem Gambling page for more options and information.
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