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Showing results for tags 'safer gambling'.

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  1. Online customers have a few steps to follow before placing their first wager at an online casino. The process referred to as Know Your Customer (KYC) may annoy some consumers, but studies reveal that most understand the importance of the process and prefer service providers who stick to it. Safer gambling starts with a responsible, licensed operator, and these online casinos will always follow KYC protocols for increased player and platform security. If you have ever wondered why it is necessary to submit identity verification documents, we are here to explain the reasoning behind it and the process. Forbes projects the online gambling industry could be worth $92.9 billion by next year, making it an extremely lucrative space for criminals. All the more reason for providers to double down on KYC processes. Identify Yourself With more and more consumers flocking to online gambling platforms globally, it is paramount that providers ensure they know who gambles on their sites. KYC refers to a brief identification process that usually includes submitting documents to prove you are who you say you are. Because online casinos offer services linked to financial transactions, players need to know their information and accounts are secure and protected from hackers or bad actors. Regulated gambling jurisdictions worldwide require impenetrable security from their licensed operators to enforce the highest level of consumer protection for honest players. Seeing that gambling is an age-restricted practice, all providers must establish the age of all players before granting access to their casino. This well-known practise is mostly accepted as land-based casinos do the same. With online gambling and the expansive internet, remote casinos have a few more points to cover to verify the legitimacy of their new sign-ups. Uploading documents that contain highly sensitive information, like your address and ID, is an uncomfortable situation for most people. That is why it is so important to choose a trustworthy licensed casino. However, it is essential that platforms make the process as easy as possible. Have a look at what you can expect with online casinos and how crypto casinos vary, if at all, from traditional fiat currency casinos. KYC at Fiat Online Casinos Most licensed and regulated casinos may only request your proof of identification once, and regulators prefer this to be at the time of registration. Before you can deposit money to place a bet and play a game, you must submit the right documents for verification. Online casinos that work with regular currency, fiat money, mostly use the same sign-up procedures. This relates to creating an account by selecting your profile user name and a secure, unique password. Once your profile is active, the site requests documents to verify your identity, including a copy of your ID, a valid proof of address, and verification of your contact details. All the information captured on your profile must match the data from the documents you submit. Because KYC and anti-money laundering (AML) processes go hand-in-hand, online casinos have to confirm a source of income if deposits exceed specific amounts. ✓ ID Verification Many casinos accept pdf uploads from new players, and sometimes, these documents must be verified manually. Acceptable means of identity verification around the world vary according to jurisdiction and from one continent to the next. Still, most companies accept a photocopy of your driver's licence, ID document, or passport. Through personal details from these types of documents, providers can confirm that the new customer meets the age requirements of the region and that they are not on a blocked list. It is important to submit clear, legible copies to ensure swift processing and avoid frustration. Modern providers may use AI technology in their KYC process, which requires users to take a selfie during registration. This speeds up the process tremendously and sometimes allows for immediate play. ✓ Address Verification Are you wondering why they need to know where you live and how safe your private information is? Licensed online casinos must comply with stringent laws on security systems that include SSL Encryption. They must know where you live to confirm that you are from an accepted jurisdiction, or they could lose their licence. SSL Encryption keeps the data you send safe from your end to the operator's end. Essentially, it prevents hackers from stealing your information. Address verification documents include the recent paperwork containing your name and full street address. Accepted versions may be utility accounts, lease agreements, bank statements, or credit accounts. Your selected online casino will describe what they accept as valid address confirmation. Top casinos always have customer support available if you get stuck. ✓ Verify Contact Information These steps usually require no documents, only manual verification from the player's side. When remote casinos verify your telephone number, they typically send a unique code to your phone. You need to enter this code before moving forward with registration. This process quickly and easily links your number to your profile. Email verification happens similarly where the operator will send a registration alert to the email captured during sign up. Users have to confirm their email addresses via the email received from the casino platform. Some online casinos ask players to set up security questions. These come in handy when players forget their passwords. Always pick questions and answers that only you know and can remember to prevent breaches and disappointment in the future. Combining these documents and verification steps helps companies protect players from identity theft. Most top online gambling platforms take 24 hours to process the verification documents, but if there is a problem with the documents, it can take longer. A service agent from the company will reach out if there are issues. KYC with Crypto Casinos Bitcoin casinos and other crypto casinos are rising in popularity as a new generation of gamblers emerges, and players notice certain advantages linked to Defi (decentralised finance). A significant benefit is the anonymity the blockchain currencies provide, and players may wonder why they must provide ID verification at crypto casinos. As KYC has to do with money laundering prevention, counter-terrorism protocols, and the prevention of under-aged gambling, all casinos must confirm their player's identities. Another fact to consider is that cryptocurrencies provide anonymity through a decentralised ledger. So crypto has become more and more popular. Therefore, players can expect similar requirements from crypto casinos to sign up. A major advantage of these platforms is the blockchain technology they use. To players, this means unsurpassed security. Advances in KYC Processing The future of this important part of registering for online gambling contains innovations ranging between digital identities, AI, and the massive adoption of blockchain technology. Europe continues to work on the proposal of a continent-wide digital identity to streamline and secure its citizens' online activities. A single digital e-ID means Europeans will have access to services throughout the continent's participating states without constantly submitting sensitive documents. They hope to have most member-states onboard by 2030. Artificial Intelligence provides many advantages for KYC processing, including fast and accurate checks. Industry leaders in Fintech suggest providers utilise AI for basic checks. This allows their staff to focus on high-risk profiles or customers who have trouble registering. AI allows for an all-around happier customer with user-friendly experiences and saves a lot of time. As mentioned, blockchain technology presents financial businesses like casinos with the advantage of unsurpassed security. This is because the technology relies on immutable ledgers made up of data blocks filled with nodes. Before we get too technical, this basically means it is challenging to hack blockchains. If some brilliant fool manages to break in, the chain shuts down and notifies all relevant parties immediately. Is it Safe? You may still wonder how safe your private information is with an online casino platform. As mentioned, licensed operators must comply with strict security laws set out by regulators. These include SSL Encryption as well as highly sophisticated security systems. Apart from what the operator does to keep your information secure, there are extra steps you can take to avoid a breach. Advanced Security Options If the casino you chose offers the following advanced security options, use it for more peace of mind. ✓ Two-factor Authentication – This means that you will need to confirm it is you every time you sign in. You will receive a message either via your mobile or your email, which you must confirm before gaining access to your account. ✓ A Strong Password – A strong password has over 14 characters comprising upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and characters. It must not be a password you are currently using or have used before for any other account. ✓ Biometric Access – If the device you use most frequently to play supports it and the casino offers it, use this option. Phishing Scams A common scam used by cybercriminals is phishing. Online casinos will never ask you to confirm banking passwords or pins online. They will not randomly change their banking details and email you about it. Scammers who use this tactic mostly try to manipulate or intimidate and often use confusing processes to unsettle their victims. If you feel uncertain about a call, email, or text message you received, call the provider directly and confirm whether they are looking for you. Above all, go with your gut. If you feel uncertain, request the information in writing and tell them you will read through the details. KYC for Your Safety It may be one of the least favourite parts of gambling online, but KYC is essential to our security as players. If the casino you chose is a responsible provider with a licence from a reputable regulator, they will verify your details in the most efficient and pain-free way possible.
  2. Some gamblers have a list of superstitions and create habits around these as they believe it will increase their odds. The truth is that whether you believe in lucky charms or cross your fingers before clicking spin, your probability of winning doesn’t change. Yes, some games have better odds than others, and certain online casino games allow players to use their skills and increase their chance to win, but the one certainty in gambling is that the house always wins. That being said, there are approaches you can take to improve your experience and minimise your risk. Navigate your gambling activities according to the best and worst times to wager, as the wisest of gamblers do. Let’s explore when it is safe to place bets and when you should rather watch your favourite series. To Bet or Not to Bet? That is the Question! One way to approach gambling is to consider whether it’s the best or worst time to make a wager. An important deciding factor here is whether you have access to licensed and regulated online casinos. When the answer to this is yes, the following points can direct your decision. Good Times To Bet: ✓ You Have Money You Can Afford to Lose Thanks to the golden rule mentioned earlier, the only time it makes sense to gamble is when you have money you can afford to lose. Always consider the house-edge rule before having a flutter, and understand that you may lose everything you bet, regardless of the game you choose. Once you are comfortable with losing the money, go ahead and pick games with better RTP ratings. With online slots, the average acceptable rating is 95% and above. Table games like blackjack have better odds, and so do other online casino games. Take a look at our gambling strategies for the best options. ✓ You Have a Budget and a Target So, you have established that you are ok with losing the money you bet, and you know which games you prefer. The trick to staying in control of gambling is to manage your bankroll effectively. This advice will come up time and again from anyone who understands sensible gambling. If you want to gamble, it must be part of your budget, and it is paramount that you stick to the budget. When you reach your spending limit, it is time to walk away. Similarly, players must have a win limit in place. If this sounds bizarre, that is probably because it seems counter-intuitive. Don’t we play casino games to win money and lots of it? Yes, but a winning streak can just as easily turn into a losing streak and players get caught up in chasing the losses. Without a win limit, the risk of losing everything becomes much more likely. A win limit makes it easier to know when to walk away. ✓ Operators Have Promotions With steps one and two in place, punters can confidently find fun games to play at the best online casinos. On affiliate sites like GamblersPick, players get information on the newest and top offers from operators available in their region. These include deposit match bonus offers and free spin offers. Depending on the time of year, it may also include tournaments with massive prizes. Use the tools at your disposal, like news articles and community updates from affiliates. If your casino of choice has an option for a newsletter, sign up. This way, you stay ahead of the best promotions and get the first option in participating. Loyalty programs often include attractive offers that improve as your membership status grows. Find the best VIP offers and take advantage of them. ✓ It’s the Holidays The holidays make people more generous, except Ebenezer Scrooge, of course, which makes it a great time for online gambling offers. Most providers have tournaments with exciting prizes to give away during the holidays. International and local celebrations often inspire software providers to release aptly themed games, which makes it so much more fun to play. With a responsible plan for managing your bankroll, there are few other times of the year where it is as much fun to gamble. Because celebrations tend to include alcohol, we suggest you continue reading this article for advice on drinking and wagering. ✓ You Are in High Spirits Because casino games vary in outcomes, gambling may sometimes feel like an emotional roller-coaster ride. For this reason, it is wise to wager only when you are in high spirits. This is simply because winning triggers positive feelings, and losing potentially does the opposite, especially when you are feeling down. When you are in a good mental space, it is easier to remain in control of your emotions throughout the win-lose ride of gambling. This empowers you to walk away when the time comes. When in a negative mindset, gambling can be a slippery slope. When players make wagers and hope the outcomes will improve their emotional state, they become susceptible to gambling harm by chasing a big win. If you are having a great day and you have responsible wagering measures in place, it is a good time to bet. If not, rather choose a different way to pass the time. Betting for the Right Reasons To have some fun To switch off for a few minutes To enjoy a game you are skilled at Don’t Bet When: ➀ You are Cash Strapped As previously mentioned, to have an enjoyable casino experience means having a well-planned budget. Therefore, if your bank balance is low or you haven’t covered all your monthly expenses yet, it is a bad time to gamble. Researchers found that those who find themselves in a financial predicament and turn to gambling as a solution or distraction are twice as likely to suffer from gambling harm. Some may think that ‘smart’ wagers can turn their situation around, and if lady luck smiles on them, the difficult times are over. In reality, there is no way of telling whether you will win or not. When in doubt, refer to step 1 of the previous section. Only gamble when you can afford to lose. ➁ You are Chasing a Loss This is easy to fall prey to when it has been an especially lucky gambling session. When we’re on a winning streak, and suddenly our luck turns, we often continue gambling hoping the tides turn again. This is where the loss and win limits become extremely helpful. Regardless of your game of choice, call it a day once you reach your loss limit. Because gambling has a way of evoking powerful emotions, limits have to be predetermined according to your budget. Do not give in to thoughts of adjusting your limits during gameplay. Take control of each gambling session by knowing your budget and limits, and stick to it. ➂ You’ve Had Too Many Drinks Let’s be honest. We are talking about online gambling, and it isn’t like you will stumble onto a casino floor from a night out at the hotel club or cocktail bar, but online gambling is accessible anywhere, anytime. Studies revealed that when gamblers use alcohol excessively or wager while intoxicated, the likelihood of getting themselves into a financial pickle is quite high. The well-documented fact that alcohol and other narcotics impair our ability to make reasonable decisions is a guiding factor. If you are planning to let your hair down by having a few drinks, leave the gambling for another day. ➃ You’ve Been Gambling For Too Long Gambling is meant to be a fun pastime and should not take time away from important areas in your life. Unless you are a professional poker player, it is advisable to use time limits. Many operators have responsible gambling tools that can help players with this. Use the time limit tool to ensure you don’t lose track of time. A healthy gambling regime comprises limits for spending, winning, losing, and time. Whichever one shows up first is your cue to walk away. Reasonable time limits depend on the game you choose to play. Those with quick or instant results like online slots, video poker, craps, and the like can quickly become dangerous games if played for too long. Strategy games like live blackjack and live poker require players to pay attention while applying their skills, and once exhaustion kicks in, poor decision making follows. Set your time limit and end your session once the buzzer signals. ➄ You Have a History of Compulsive Gambling If you have ever been diagnosed by a professional or show any signs of gambling addiction, there is no good or right time to gamble. The best approach for anyone who displays signs of gambling compulsion is to stay away from all forms of gambling through self-exclusion programs and seek counselling for support on the road to recovery. If you or anyone you know is having a difficult time with responsible gambling, reach out to your national gambling support program. UK players have BeGambleAware, GamCare, and GameStop to turn to, and players from other jurisdictions can contact their local health systems for guidance. Betting for the Wrong Reasons Chasing a Loss To make up for a short To turn your luck around To Improve Your Mood Healthy Habits At the end of the day, gambling must be a fun activity used for entertainment and not to make money, unless you are Phil Ivey. The most responsible approach to wagering includes the above measures. Focus on making these habits and walk away when the game isn’t fun anymore.
  3. Responsible Gambling is not a new concept in the world of wagering. Sadly, there is still some stigma attached to gambling disorders and for this reason, many problem gamblers don’t ask for help. When referring to safer gambling in the industry, we often talk about the practices put in place by gaming providers to prevent gambling harm and addiction. Just as the gambling industry evolves, so player protection protocols must adapt and flow into more effective outcomes. Thankfully, technological advances and scientific studies make this possible. Technology helps gambling companies to keep their finger on the pulse of the high-speed market and studies show them how to apply the technologies to best prevent harmful behaviour. The massive growth curve in online gambling throughout the past two years means that platform providers have their hands full. Long-term social effects of the pandemic may expose vulnerable players to greater risk and lead to new occurrences of problem gambling and addiction. Industry leaders create platforms to share best practices and global regulators constantly take steps toward more aware and effective player protection. These tendencies make it clear that there is a sincere hunger for improvement in this regard. So how has responsible gaming changed and what more can be done as stakeholders align practises with the new normal? The Evolution of Responsible Gambling The saying goes: We don’t know what we don’t know. Moving into a conscious state has various levels. The first is unconscious incompetence. Although gambling and the concept of player protection are not a new thing, online gambling and efficacious protection protocols have evolved over their brief existence. Industry leaders learn as more evidence becomes available, which shapes and improves the topic. The first type of protection method came as prohibition, but lawmakers soon discovered that this didn’t keep citizens from gambling illegally. Black market gambling is one of the biggest problems for gambling harm, therefore governments sought safer approaches and started regulating games. The gambling industry boomed, and casinos were thriving, while encouraging players to gamble more, place bigger bets, and stay longer. It became apparent that these bottom-line drivers were enabling gambling-related harm, and the government stepped in with responsible gambling policies. The establishing of national gambling addiction organisations where at-risk players can register themselves was one of the steps taken. This process used to be a manual one where people had to visit the organisation to register. Registered gamblers would opt for self-exclusion and counselling offered by the government. With the tremendous accessibility of online gambling and technology that allows for mobile gaming, the risks and exposure are much higher. Lawmakers recognised this, as did many of the biggest casino operators, and this brought forth greater social responsibility practices. Today, features empower players to take control of their deposits and the time they spend playing. Operators use AI to encourage better gambling choices and to keep track of player patterns. Although gambling harm instances have decreased, industry leaders seek to eradicate it and we must learn from history to prevent recurring cycles of harm. Prevention is Better than Cure Having the right information allows for informed choices, and this is one of the major driving forces behind current safer gambling practices. A fundamental truth is that the ultimate decision to gamble lies with the player, and this is where the industry aims to change behaviour. Awareness campaigns throughout the world attempt to educate the public on gambling harm. Some are more effective than others. Recent studies in Australia revealed positive messages relate to greater behavioural changes and encourage gamblers to make use of the tools at their disposal. The study also exposed that these types of messages opened the stage for healthy discussions on gambling addiction instead of fuelling the stigma attached to it. Other regions approach their duty of care from the premise of ‘out of sight, out of mind’ or by making certain decisions for the players. Examples of these would be advertisement bans and deposit caps. The fine line between protecting players and pushing them toward unregulated sites is where regulators and providers need to be mindful. Different Regional Requirements An ongoing challenge faced by regulated operators is the varying requirements of the global igaming market. Different regulators have different requirements, with some countries having different rules for each of their regions. GamblersPick has a great tool for players to familiarise themselves with the relevant laws in their area and if gambling is legal. Playing with a regulated provider is the first step to responsible gambling. Africa - Most of Africa is still a grey market. However, punters in South Africa can enjoy legal and safe online gambling at certain sites. Their Gambling Act of 1996 has guidelines for operators and by choosing a licensed platform, players can wager with peace of mind. Asia - Although the largest percentage of the world’s population lives on this massive continent, most Asian countries either prohibit online gambling or restrict it in some manner. Asian punters choose offshore sites, exposing them to unscrupulous providers. Macau, the gambling capital of the world, is the exception and Hong Kong is less strict than the rest of China. Europe - Europe and the UK are the forerunners with regulated online gambling and many countries on the continent offer safe gambling for their citizens. The UK government launched a gambling act reform in 2020 to update their policies, paying specific attention to player protection policies. Many of the European Member States have their own regulatory bodies like The Netherlands, Germany, Italy, and others. Middle East - The dominant religion in the area is Islam, which forbids gambling and, therefore, regulated casinos are not available here. Israel is working on legislation and should they be successful, it may be possible for Israeli punters to enjoy a safe flutter. North America - Throughout the past two years, a few US states opened regulated gambling markets, with sports betting being the focus. Gradually more are coming on board and adding casino licences. Canada also does regional licensing, so some areas have regulated options and others allow their players to use offshore providers. South America - Online gambling is available in most parts of South America, but only Peru and Argentina offer locally licensed platforms. Venezuela and Brazil have anti-gambling laws, but the rest of the continent’s players can make use of offshore licensed casinos. Oceania - Gambling is an extremely popular pastime in Australia and New Zealand. It is prohibited to offer online gambling to Aussies and Kiwis, but countless providers from offshore regions offer services here. Players must take care to choose regulated sites for their own safety. Scandinavia - Norway, Finland, Sweden, and Denmark offer online gambling regulations and punters can enjoy safe wagering through their respective authorities. Svenska Spel, the Swedish state-owned company, recently implemented blanket deposit limits to curb gambling harm. Safer Gambling Tools Responsible gambling tools are requirements by legislators and if platform providers don’t comply, they may lose their licence to offer gambling services in the region. These operational protocols should aim at Prevention and Intervention, Education, Treatment and Support. The latter mostly falls on the government’s side of the fence and platforms focus on the first two. Independent organisations such as GamCare and BeGambleAware provide guidance and support for players and providers. Prevention becomes tangible practice through regulations like limiting exposure through gambling advertisements and marketing material. This is important not only for at-risk gamblers but also for children. Marketing material may not display claims to encourage problem gambling, like paying debt with gambling, nor should it make promises of gains. Sign-up processes must be ironclad in preventing underage gambling. Therefore, the platforms need to identify their players adequately. Platforms offer players the chance to set limits on their profiles. These help punters to stay in touch with how much time and money they spend while gambling. Most regulators ban credit gambling or betting with borrowed money. Providers utilise data programming and AI technology to recognise problematic patterns, and this is where the next step becomes imperative. Intervention is necessary when individuals show signs of at-risk gambling and providers have dedicated and trained teams to deal with these situations. Here, players will have the option to take the help before the problem gets out of hand and make use of other tools at their disposal, like taking a break for a while. The gambling community works together to educate punters on signs of gambling addiction. This comes as banners on sites, messages while playing, campaigns that include widely published marketing material, and research to improve it all. Transparency is key to successful player protection. Therefore, operators need to make their terms crystal clear and offer them in the region’s dominant languages. If gambling harm already exists, government bodies, regulators and NGOs provide players and affected parties with various channels for treatment and support to overcome gambling addiction. Be the Master of Your Gambling Universe At the end of the day, the initiatives and best intentions of providers and governments are wasted if players don’t make the right choice. Gambling addiction is not a myth, nor are the risks of problem gambling. So, what can you do to protect yourself and those around you from gambling harm? ✓ 1. Plan and Stick to a Budget Knowing what your financial abilities are is key to managing your wagers well. Only bet what you can lose and don’t neglect the budget you set for yourself, regardless of how much you win. Walking away as a winner means withdrawing your prize and utilising it elsewhere. ✓ 2. Use Limit Tools from Providers Once you know what your budget is, set your limits accordingly. The devils in the detail, so specify daily, weekly, and monthly limits. Time limits are important as well. Enjoying a flutter here and there is great, but it should not take away from other quality time that enriches your life. Set a time limit for each session and stick to it. ✓ 3. Ask for Help All regulated regions have hotlines that their citizens can call to find help. If you worry that your gambling is on a slippery slope or know of someone who needs help, reach out to organisations such as GamStop. Here, you will find people geared to listen and help with experience in the field. Improve Together As industry leaders work to improve player protection protocols and find innovative ways to educate players on their choices, the online gambling world becomes more fun. The more aware we become of where legislation and behaviours can improve, the faster we can break down myths and stigmas that surround gambling addiction.
  4. 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.
  5. While the US has Las Vegas as its gambling mecca it is Great Britain which has the most widespread and accepting relationship with gambling of any country in the world. While going the races with your dad might be a fond memory of a special occasion for some, in the UK all you need to do to place a bet on any number of sporting events is head down to the local bookmaker which can be found on any high street. With the regulation and licensing of online gambling, this access to betting and casino games is now more ubiquitous than ever. There is no longer a need to leave your home, simply click on your mobile casino app and gamble in the privacy of your own home while watching Netflix or doing your taxes. ✓What Does This Mean for Young Britons? Growing up with this ease of access to gambling be it in town, at your pc or on your mobile phone does raise the question of whether the UK runs the risk of its young people becoming too familiar with gambling. Tim Miller, Executive Director of the Gambling Commission said: “Protecting consumers is at the heart of everything we do, and it is important we understand the ways in which children and young people gain exposure to gambling, the products they are playing, and what factors influence their relationship with gambling.” While it is a hobby there is the risk of losing one respect for the addictive potential that is inherent to the fast-paced risk-reward cycle that makes gambling so thrilling. Especially in the 16-30-year-old age bracket where many financial and societal patterns are being formed and instilled. To gain a practical insight into the mindset of young Brits and their major influences when it comes to gambling the Gambling Commission had global insights agency 2CV survey the target segment using “a combination of quantitative and qualitative methods” to paint them a real-life picture of “this demographic in their own words and reflecting their own voice”. ✓Snapshot of the Survey Results In addressing the intent of the Commission's inquiry 2CV surveyed two market segments sequentially. The first group consisted of having online participants aged 16-30 take part in a series of community exercises over a 10 day period that would test their understanding of gambling and what formed those opinions. The second test was a straightforward survey aimed at 16-25-year-olds. The survey covered their current experience with casinos and sportsbooks, how young they were when they first gambled and several other key indicators to gain an understanding of who and what shaped their view of gambling. The highlights of the report indicated the following: Engagement with gambling throughout childhood and early adulthood aligns to a familiar set of life events and milestones, such as family holidays, first jobs and increasing financial independence. Engaging with gambling or gambling style activities during childhood is common, but participation is primarily passive. Exposure to the positive and negative extremes of gambling (e.g., witnessing big wins or big losses, or being exposed to very positive or very negative attitudes about gambling) at an early age can lead to an increased interest in gambling in later life, and in some cases riskier or more harmful gambling behaviour. Friends and family played an influential role in shaping gambling behaviour, whilst advertising and marketing has less of an influence on young people’s tendency to gamble. Young people are most vulnerable to experiencing gambling harm after achieving independence from their parents and moving out of home. As people grow older gambling behaviour does not stay the same, rather it fluctuates according to personal (and peer) experiences of wins and losses, and alongside changes in lifestyle and responsibility. To ensure that these findings are as true as possible to the experience of the broader UK gambling population all participants were divided across the country’s regional demographics based on gender and socio-economic status. ✓The Family Dynamic While there is an ongoing debate about nature versus nurture in the development of habits and mindsets the 2CV reports shows that the familial views and interactions with gambling impact the development of younger people. It is interesting to see that where family members were seen to be voracious gamblers or actively encouraged the participants to gamble less than 10% of them had a healthy relationship with gambling, while in both cases more than 30% showed a high risk of addiction. ✓Follow The Leader We know all too well the pros and cons of the herd mentality of is an inherent part of the human condition. This is especially strong in younger people as they are creating future support structures. In a region where gambling is so easily accessible, it is not surprising that those friendships play a huge role in forming gambling behaviours. The interesting vacillation point here is that while isolated adults are more likely to fall foul of compulsive gambling disorders, it is more likely that they could develop a reliance on gambling as a form of escapism through social gambling during their formative years. This is supported by the final point in the earlier highlights list where ones changing view on gambling comes about with age, be it for better or for worse is up to the individual. ✓Marketing Is Underplayed Unfortunately, the report underplays the impact of advertising, popular culture, and influencers on enticing younger audiences. The Gambling Commission heading on the topics writes it off with a footnote: “Advertising is primarily a trigger or ‘nudge’ to play as opposed to the reason to start gambling, however more targetable marketing channels – such as social media and email – are more influential.” Yet with the extensive research being done into the impact of video game loot boxes on instilling gambling triggers in children, the bans on certain types of influencer marketing across Europe and limitations placed on venue advertising there is clearly more to this than the 2CV report was able to highlight. Additional exercises or survey questions around video game spend on loot boxes, watching Twitch streamers who either play online slots or are sponsored by betting companies like Barstool Stops and how they were introduced to these mechanisms would have been a nice addition to this already insightful project. ✓Put Your Best Foot Forward Based on their analysis of the two projects 2CV has recommended the following focus areas of for the Gambling Commission moving forward: Education for parents should focus on protecting children from the extremes of gambling (positive and negative experiences) – responsibly modelled play doesn’t appear to have the same impact on people’s future behaviour. Education for young people on what ‘normal’ play looks like will have wide-ranging benefits – enabling young people to benchmark safe play more accurately for themselves, for family and friends. Education and early exposure to gambling ought to be ‘neutral’ (not overly negative or positive) to minimize the risk of unsafe play – e.g., understanding of odds and probability of loss. A more holistic approach to tackling problem gambling within friendship groups rather than individuals will have a longer-lasting benefit – highlighting the influence of friends on play. We can only hope that the Commission sees the value in pursuing a more socially aware campaign of education and support, rather than following the Ministers suggestions we which all revolve around limiting player choice and financially penalising the businesses who operate in the sector.
  6. 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.
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