During the lockdown, online gambling sites gained popularity. People turned to the Internet to find things to do when they could no longer go outside. Online gambling has been trending for the past decade.
There are certainly plenty of sites available for you to get your gaming fix full stop; however, it is vital that we remember online safety when using the Internet, especially when transferring money.
The casinos that you find will be reputable more often than not, but there are still things you can do to ensure your own safety and make sure that you are taking a safer approach to gambling.
First of all, it’s essential that you are playing on a legitimate site. Of course, there are many well-known big names out there, some of which were High Street casinos or betting shops before they moved to this online arm of the business. Some of these have now become household names, and you will be safe using their sites.
However, there are also a lot of very reputable casinos that you may not have heard of, and the quickest way to see if they are legitimate is to look for their registration information. Online the Gaming Commission regulates UK sites and gives each one a registered number which you can check with them.
The casino should be displaying this information clearly so you can find it easily. Generally, it has been accepted that it will be displayed in the footer information on every page. If you can’t find it, then don’t gamble there.
You should also be able to find out information about how the site protects your personal information. This includes encryption and SSL servers. Again, most sites will offer this as standard, but it always pays to check. Another sign of a reputable casino is that they provide customer service.
Whether that be online chat, telephone support, for email, you should also be able to get help when you need it. Sites that aren’t interested in their customers will squirrel this information away and make it really hard for customers to find. Virtual wallets like PayPal or another good way to protect your money.
This means that the casino or bookies do not have your bank details, and when you want to deposit or withdraw money, you do so via this third-party site. PayPal has its own security, and it is their business to ensure money is kept safe. Cryptocurrency is also gaining in popularity as another way for people to play online gambling.
There are also things you can do to ensure your safety when gambling online. For example, it is good practise to set yourself a budget and stick to it. It can be really tempting to keep adding money if you’re not quite winning what you think you should be but, in all honesty, using your rent or food money is not a good idea as there is no guarantee you will win it back.
Try to remember that gambling is supposed to be fun. It isn’t how we can sort financial problems or make money. It is purely for entertainment. If you are having a hard time with money, you should probably stay away from gambling sites. By all means, experiment with different games, but it’s always a good idea to understand how they work before you start spending money.
Many sites offer an incentive, usually in the form of credit, so that you can try games for free before you spend your own money. This is a really great way to get to know a game that you are not familiar with, so you don’t end up gambling more than you want it.
Take a Break
Try not to make your online gambling sessions too long; it’s probably a good idea to have regular breaks get up, walk around and make yourself a coffee, as it can quickly become a bit obsessive. If online gambling is making you stressed or angry, it is probably time to stop playing.
It is frustrating if you can’t win when you think you should, but it has been designed to be an addictive pastime, and you need to ensure that you are not falling into the trap of not being able to stop and spending more than you can afford.
Finally, take advantage of any help that the casinos offer. Most of them have some form of self-exclusion available through your account. You can limit the access for any period of time, and they will even help you decide whether it’s safe to start gambling again.
Gamstop is an organisation in Great Britain that will help anyone struggling with a gambling addiction in various ways, and they are certainly worth talking too if you have a problem. They are not tied to any site, and anyone can access them.