A Guide to Safer Online Gambling

    The popularity of casino games and betting over the Internet has continued to rise throughout 2023. It’s no surprise considering people are glued to their mobile phones like never before and most gambling websites are available as an app or directly in the browser.

    As part of this trend, responsible gambling has never been more important. There is much to consider when wagering real money online, whether it’s understanding the legal landscape, choosing a reputable provider or protecting your personal information.

    Here is a short guide on the most critical aspects of online casinos and bookmakers and what to look for to ensure a fun and safe experience.

    Understand the Legal Landscape

    Probably the start of everyone’s Internet gambling journey should be understanding what is legal and what is not.

    In the United States, for example, online gambling is regulated at the state rather than the federal level. It means that you might be legally placing bets in one state, but as soon as you cross borders to another, you’re actually doing something that would be considered outside the law.

    Things are a little easier in the United Kingdom as the Gambling Commission regulates this matter for the entire country. That doesn’t mean it’s easier, though, considering plenty of black sheep are still operating in the UK’s online gambling market.

    Choosing a Reputable Online Casino

    This brings us to the next point: choosing a reputable online casino or bookmaker site.

    All regulated online casinos in the United Kingdom must get a UKGC licence. If an operator does not hold a permit, consider the website to run illegal online gambling activity. The easiest way to find out a website’s regulation status is to look at the site’s footer and look for the five-digit account number associated with the Gambling Commission. If it’s not there, alarm bells should be ringing loud and clear.

    Players typically try out several online casinos before settling for one, and it can be pretty cumbersome to play Sherlock Holmes each time you want to play a round of slots. If you’re one of those players, sister sites might be the way to go.

    Sister sites are online casinos related by operator, meaning they share the same licence and, more often than not, the same technology, payment processing and customer support team. Switching between connected sites means you can skip the licence verification and focus on what matters more; a new welcome bonus and other promotions. The easiest way to find sister sites is through Sister-Sites.co.uk, a glossary of online casinos and bingo sites predominantly from the United Kingdom.

    Protecting Your Personal Information

    Making sure your personal information is safe is the key, whether you choose to go down the sister site path or not. As such, you should be aware of the following:

    Choose a strong and unique password when registering your account

    Only login through secure Internet connections, e.g., not through a public Wi-Fi

    Be aware of phishing scams, e.g., emails asking you to confirm your password or payment methods

    If you come across a situation that smells fishy, it’s best to assume something is wrong. Instead of ignoring it, immediately contact the casino’s customer support team, who will be able to help you protect your account and personal information.

    The Use of Safer Gambling Tools

    It might not always be someone else who tries to harm you. Sometimes you are your biggest enemy, which can be especially true in (online) gambling. As such, it’s important to use the tools that are available at your fingertips to create a safe gambling environment.

    All reputable online casinos offer mechanisms that allow you to control your gambling, such as setting time and deposit limits, choosing cool-off periods, and questionnaires to spot signs of addiction early. It is highly recommended to familiarise yourself with the toolset and ask the operator’s customer support team to help set it up for your account.

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