If you’re thinking of playing at an online casino then you’d be given for having second thoughts. The news is full of bad stories about online casinos.
And they contain a lot of truth!
You need to be ready to take on online gambling and to do it safely. A lot of advertising and sponsorship won’t let you know that – which is why we’re here.
Here’s what you need to know to get started safely!
How to find a safe casino site
You need to check that any site you’re considering is licensed. This is the best guarantee of safety we have at the moment.
It needs to be a current licence from the UK Gambling Commission, and it needs to be available to view via a link on the front page of the web site.
That’s really the best you can do.
How to find an honest casino site
If a site is licensed we’re going to assume that it is honest in at least one respect: it should offer you fair games, and you can trust the site not to run off with your money.
That’s not to say that everything about the site will be completely above board: the problems many people have with online gambling are to do with publicity, offers, and marketing.
Sadly, you may not find a site that is going to be completely honest in that respect.
All offers – in every business, this is just part of late capitalism – are in some senses dishonest. If you’re new to the casino world you may have experienced this cognitive dissonance when you encounter your first welcome offer.
These offers are presented as a headline that often looks something like this:
100% first deposit offer up to £200 – deposit £10 play with £20
However, once you’ve cashed in an offer like this you’ll realise that this is essentially meaningless: you will almost certainly be committed to spending several hundred pounds before you’re allowed to touch any money you win with that “free” money.
So while you can gamble with the cash, you’re not quite playing with it in the same way as you are with your own money.
And all offers are like this.
We’re not saying that you should go into any gambling transaction with an antagonistic view, but you should view everything that a casino site does as being done in order to benefit that site.
So, there’s dishonesty about offers and mechanisms that are designed to make you play more.
But you can still play safely if you keep this in mind.
How to Pick a Casino Site that Works for You
You use casino sites to play games. So the first thing you need to do – after the licence check – is to see if a site is offering the games you want to play.
This may include a live casino now.
If you like slots then look for a good variety of games from good quality developers.
Talking of honesty, no good site will deny you the chance to look around before you play. You need to verify your age to play gambling games, but you should be able to see around the site.
So look for a site that works well. Menus should be clear and easy to find. You should never be far away from a help option.
Look for the payment options that you like to use, and if you’re shopping around make sure you’re happy with the terms on timings for withdrawals and that the limits are big enough for you.
How to Find a Casino Site That Will Keep You Safe
There should be good quality information.
Information is the way to stay safe. But it has to be good information, and not marketing rubbish – sorry marketing people!
A good site will have an FAQ section that tells you everything you need to operate your account at the site.
It should also show you how the site is safe, with good information on privacy and data protection.
A bonus is good guides on how to play games. Not everyone knows their way around a roulette wheel, so a good guide is a great extra to offer players before they start chucking their cash around.
Be wary of sites that offer gambling strategy guides. Gambling strategies are for mugs to be honest. There’s no good gambling strategy beyond keeping your staking low, setting limits for your losses and your total spend and sticking to them, and never playing with cash that you can’t afford to lose.
And that brings us to the most important information on the site:
Gambling Safety Information for Beginners
There are ways to stay safe.
Please remember that everything a casino site does is done in order to increase the profits for that site. And always remember that gambling site profits are player losses. And always remember that most players lose, and the mathematics says that you will probably lose a small amount of money if you play safely.
So keep that in mind, and look for sites that offer you good quality information about gambling safely.
Sites by law in the UK have to offer a link to a couple of organisations that are supposed to keep gamblers safe. Sadly, the truth is that a lot of this safety work – remember the underlying ethos of the site, which is to make a profit – will be left to you.
So please don’t roll your eyes when you see safety advice on sites. And please go beyond what they offer to tell you and look for some good independent advice too.
There’s no reason why most people cannot play gambling games safely and for fun, but there’s also a risk in this sort of entertainment, and if you don’t take that risk seriously you could easily fall victim to it.
So do your homework, play for fun and nothing more, and enjoy your games!