How safe is gambling on the internet?
Most people think that gambling on the internet is very dangerous and that if you have a problem, you may have no legal recourse at all since the companies that you deal with are in other countries. Gambling online, however, is a lot like gambling in real life, except that since you're online, you have lower overhead charges. But that doesn't mean you should automatically rush to gamble with any casino you should find. Here are some tips to help you find the right casinos for you, rather than getting trapped with a rogue outfit.
Check the methods of deposit.
This should come as no surprise that the more disreputable casinos will only accept checks, cash or wire transfers in order to build an account balance. A few would take credit cards in addition to that, but the most reputable and best casinos will also take a third party service such as FirePay and NETteller. These services extensively restrict the information given to the casino and with them being unable to access your financial information, you know that your risk to online gambling is completely in your hands.
Check the encryption software
Reputable online casinos know how important security is to their players, as well they should, they might deal with thousands or even millions of dollars in deposits and withdrawals on a daily basis. The thing to look for is encryption software that is 128-bit. That is the same technology used by the military to encrypt their data and makes hacking nearly impossible. Good encryption software companies have names like Cryptologic, MicroGaming or Playtech. If one of these three softwares is being used, there is a very high possibility that the casino running the operation is reputable.
When you request a withdrawal, most casinos should not have a problem giving it to you. In fact, many of these companies can't get permits unless they have bonds or insurance that guarantees that they can distribute the funds out to players, regardless of what country they originate in.
There will always be some responsibility on behalf of the player. Players should NEVER reveal their passwords or screen names to anyone claiming to be a representative. This is important.
Just research it
This takes a few minutes longer but it's worth it. Just go to a search engine of your choosing and check the name of the casino you're thinking of going to and follow it with certain buzz words, such as "banned", "grievance", "arrested", "rip off", or "pay" after the sentence. A good place to start is to type in "casino gaming". Off course some sites just have a great reputation. Poker site PokerStars for example is famous in the gaming world and sponsors players like Daniel Negreanu and Matthias De Meulder. Big names like that only put their name on something if they KNOW it's legit!
Most of this information will be available on message boards or separate forums. Even if you see one or two, that doesn't necessarily mean anything but a history and a long list of posts saying about the casino is likely a tell tale sign that you do not want to do business with them at all. Check the forums to see what information is available about the casino in general. Most reputable casinos will have little or no negative information about them at all.
There will always be problems
Online gambling, like online shopping is only a relatively new technology. The internet hasn't even been made accessible to the public for 20 years. So there will never be no risk, but risk can be substantially reduced by doing research and getting as much information about the casino you plan to gamble at as possible. Look for ones with the best incentives, the most in-depth security, open payment methods that allow you to limit the amount of control that the casino has over your financial transactions.
Just as the old saying about gambling "Bet with your head, not over it", remember to use that head to research the best casinos out there and your risk will be equal to or less than what it would be to even go online shopping at your favorite store.