The Risks Involved in Online Casino Selection

Although the potential of walking away with a profit from an online casino is higher than in a land- based casino, the risks of online casino gambling are also much higher for the unaware player.

In evaluating an online casino, there are several things to be taken into consideration. The biggest bonus does not necessarily mean the best choice. What good is it to get a $500 bonus if the casino does not pay its winners?

1. Licensing

The land based casino industry in the US is one of the most heavily regulated industries in the nation. Land based casinos have to comply with state restrictions, licensing requirements and regulations, and are subject to numerous stringent federal laws. They are required to comply with federal corporate taxation, Securities and Exchange Commission rules and are required to file information reports on large winnings with the IRS, while withholding federal taxes on certain winnings as well as adhering to the anti-money laundering statutes and regulations of the US Treasury Department. The Gaming Control Board is responsible for enforcement and consists of gaming agents who review and control the amount of payouts and payout settings on slot machines. The Board has the authority to investigate and resolve disputes and in effect, keep the US land-based casinos honest.

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None of this is true in the world of Internet casinos. Offshore operators engaged in online gambling are not subject to state or federal requirements, and as the industry stands today, unlicensed, untaxed and unsupervised casino operators can engage in taking bets from unsuspecting players without any controls to ensure honesty, integrity and fairness. Unscrupulous operators who are undercapitalised, and without experience from the casino industry frequently take advantage of players, by defaulting on winnings or using fraudulent software that cheat the players.

Unprofessional individuals, who are not fit to operate a casino, or any business for that matter, run many of the online casinos available on the Internet today. Even larger operations without proper business ethics are known to change the rules of bonuses and promotions at their leisure, or withhold payments to players who win large amounts. In addition, some casinos will just steal a player’s money outright, and the majority of operators lack decent customer service. We only recommend online casinos that are licensed in territories with stringent regulations, and that have control systems in place to protect player’s winnings. An example is the Isle of Man where casinos are required to deposit a minimum of two million US dollars with the government in order to receive a casino license, and to protect player’s winnings.

2. Cheating

A surprisingly large number of online casinos use software that makes it possible for them to cheat players at will. They set their own payout schedules and manually decide who wins and who loses. We only recommend casinos that operate with software of highest reliability and trustworthiness, and were the casino operator cannot cheat a player by simply clicking a button.

3. Customer Service

A large number of online casinos have appalling or non-existent customer service, and this is true for many large as well as small casino operators. It is always advisable to search for a customer service number on the casino web site, and to call and confirm that it is a functional number before registering. We only recommend online casinos that have a proven track record of great customer service, and we would never recommend a casino that does not have the courtesy to offer a phone number for their players to call.