Online casinos have many advantages in relation to land-based casino gaming; but where there are advantages, there are also risks.
However, through increased awareness a player can minimize the risks of online casino gambling, and cash in on the substantial rewards offered by today’s online casinos.
The online casino industry has seen an explosive growth since the introduction of the World Wide Web, and currently there are more than 1,300 online casinos, compared to slightly more than 2,000 land-based casinos worldwide. §
As a result of the Internet breaking the geographical barriers faced by land-based casinos, online casinos compete fiercely to attract the same worldwide target market.
This is an advantage to you as a player, because online casinos have been forced to offer competitive bonus programs to attract them.
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Additional Advantages of Online Casinos
As stated previously, an online casino will surpass a land-based casino in terms of bonuses and payouts. In addition an online casino generally has more favourable rules than a land based casino.
Your total costs are decreased in the online sector because there is no obligation to tip, and there are now travel expenses required to play at an online casino.
The atmosphere of online casino gaming is more conducive to concentration because of decreased distractions. You might often get caught up in the sounds and effects of the land-based casinos, which are purposely designed to encourage you to spend more money.
The excitement of hearing jackpot signals, seeing flashing lights and observing other players winning, drives players to continue playing rather than cashing out. The calm environment of online gambling reduces the temptations and allows for a more strategic approach.
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? Of the 1300 or so casinos on the Internet, our estimate is that at least 50% defraud their players in one way or another.
1. Licensing (Land based)
The land based casino industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries. 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.
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.
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 undercapitalized, 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. Fortunately, nowadays these casinos do not have a long life online. But things are changing fast as more and more countries regulate such as UK, Italy, Spain and Sweden regulate online casinos.
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.
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.
How to play safe
Any player who is not willing to throw away his money by playing at an unscrupulous online casino should do his homework before placing his first bet on the Internet.
At HonestCasinos.com we are dedicated to providing accurate and honest information about every casino we have reviewed. If an online casino is listed in our famous Top-30 Online Casinos, you can be sure that you are betting your money with a legitimate casino operator.
We identify the professional, honest and viable internet gaming options for you, and we will always attempt to provide you with accurate information about gambling in general.
Casinos are evaluated based on their total package offering including bonuses, rules, transaction fees, licensing, professionalism, service, stability, integrity and most importantly honesty.
In addition, the software is carefully reviewed and examined to ensure that it is not fraudulent, prior to recommendation of any online casino.