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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.
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.
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.