Common and avoidable risks associated with online casinos
Online casinos are increasingly becoming popular in today’s digital age. The industry, however, comes with unique risks which can cause serious problems.
The online casino sector has attracted millions of people around the globe, and it received the most signups since the onset of the covid-19 pandemic as more people find something to do while at home. The main reason behind online casinos’ popularity is the ease of access. All you need is a device with internet connectivity.
Though this activity is fun and famous, it has a set of dangers and risks. If you are affected by gambling problems, online casinos can be even more destructive and tempting. In this article, we look at the potential dangers of online casinos and how you can avoid them to have a safe playing environment.
Common Risks of Online Casinos and How to Avoid Them
1. Easy Accessibility
Online casinos are open 24 hours. You only need a device with internet connectivity to be online. Gamblers can access an online casino account and play games such as slots, table games, and many others as this website shows. Ease of access to online casinos poses significant addiction risks to the players. Gambling addiction is a substantial risk since those who are addicted don’t recognize they are addicted.
The unique, addictive element with online casinos compared to land-based is that the device they use to play with has other uses, and it’s virtually impossible to get rid of it. Gamblers can avert this risk by keeping busy with other activities and engaging in meaningful activities. It calls for high-level discipline and determination to refrain from frequent gambling.
2. Identity theft
Identity theft is a crime of obtaining another person’s personal and financial information, which is then used in committing fraud. Hackers in the online casino industry can access personal and financial data through viruses and Trojan horses on websites. Not all websites are secure enough.
To avoid this risk, always check out whether the online casino sites have basic SSL certification. The URL should at least have HTTPS instead of HTTP. Also, avoid betting on a casino that demands you key in passwords and usernames in financial transactions. A reliable site asks you to verify your identity to prove you are how you say you are.
3. Stolen money
Every gambler is at risk of stolen money. This risk is increasingly becoming problematic as 30 percent of online gamblers have complained of losing money that was not invested in the game. The money is mainly stolen through identity theft. Hackers get your banking credentials and start taking little bits from your account in a way you might not notice. Identity theft can happen to anyone—even the pros.
The remedy to protecting your account is that you should never link your primary banking account with the one you use in gambling so that if the worst happens and hackers clear your bank account, you lose a few hundred bucks.
Gambling addiction has drastically increased over the last decade since the onset of online casinos. Most online casino sites have downloadable apps in google play store or apple store or downloadable from their website. A mobile app consumes less internet and has a better customer experience. These developments are fantastic for responsible gamblers but are a worsening risk for bettors with a gambling problem.
Gambling addiction is best overcome by accepting you are addicted. It takes a long journey with tremendous effort to own up to gambling addiction. Gambling is best avoided through responsible gambling. It is essential to understand that online casinos are meant for pastime activities and not a full-time job.
5. Living in Isolation
While land-based casinos promote socialization, online gambling, on the other hand, fosters isolation since all you need is your phone or a laptop and a serene environment to plan your gambling strategies. Today, online casinos are slowly acting as a surrogate for companions and friends. Players use gambling to avoid loneliness, but it’s the leading cause of loneliness in the first place.
Online gambling quickly leads to isolation, especially when you make continuous losses. Here are a few ways to avoid isolation.
- Connect with old friends and be in touch with people regularly
- Adhere to a day and night cycle of life; when to sleep, work, and gamble
- Leave your house daily
- Create networks through wholesome activities and hobbies
- Get professional help if you have trouble socializing with others
6. Unregulated Websites
The internet has thousands of online casino sites which attract new users with generous welcome packages and bonuses. They have access through limited documentation requirements. These websites have poor customer services and hard to crack down and sue should a problem occur. Once the site pulls out of the internet, you have no means of cracking them down since the company is neither registered nor licensed.
To avoid falling victim to such scammers, join licensed online gambling sites. Research determines whether they are approved by a reliable source like the UK gaming commission, Swedish Gaming Authority, among others. A licensed casino will follow set rules and standards of operations and ensure secure transactions.
7. Risk of Prosecution
The legality of online casinos is different in various parts of the world. In Pakistan, for instance, you can be arrested and prosecuted if caught in any form of gambling. Other regions prohibit any form of online gambling but allow land-based gambling. The risk of arrest and prosecution increases based on the law of the land.
Before signing up for an online casino, be aware of your region’s laws on online gambling. Understand what the laws of the land demand of legal gambling.
8. Unregulated Consumer Protection
Lack of Consumer protection is dangerous when engaging in any monetary transactions. Some casinos are not part of any regulated jurisdiction. Consumer protection is regulated by gambling regulatory bodies. Online casinos without regulations can easily take advantage of the players. AML and KYC are the primary checks run by trusted regulatory bodies. These checks help casinos decide whether a player can deposit and bet the amount they intend to. Most players are not savvy and may not understand the proper consumer protection to look for in the online casino market.
To avoid heading the wrong path without warning, take time to go through customer reviews before opening an online casino account. A trusted online casino should provide users with self-exclusion tools key to keep gambling at bay.
9. Children Access to Casino Sites
People rarely notice that online gambling is an easy way to recruit children to online gambling. Parents often leave their phones and laptops with children without care to logout of gambling sites. Children can easily access these sites and empty their bank accounts without an idea of what they are doing. Parents can avoid this risk by logging out the gambling websites and putting password protection on gambling applications.
Rapid urbanization and increased internet use are key factors driving growth in online casinos. The legalization of betting in developed countries offers a significant boost to the industry’s growth. These risks will only worsen with the rise of online gambling, but they are avoidable, and punters need to be keen and cautious not to fall victim.