From the outside, online casinos can be a scary place. You sign up, hand your money over to some anonymous folks, who then promise that if you spin a wheel just right, they'll give you some more money for free.
It sounds like a terrifying scam on the face of it. Not only that, but the early days of internet spending have left people with a paranoia that their money will simply disappear. However, things are much different now and so, to put these myths to right, we've found the biggest misunderstandings about the online gambling scene and have come to tell you why they're simply not true at all.
Skip ahead to whatever myth interests you most
Online Gambling Leads To Laundering
This was more of an issue until a few years ago. Casinos from abroad were a problem with this, but even UK based remote casinos were causing issues with laundering money. The problem was that the UKGC simply didn't have the authorisation to check accounts regularly.
The UKGC had to announce far before the date when they were going to check casino accounts and even then, they could only do so a few times a year. But now reform has brought about more regular checks, that don't have to be announced.
Now casinos can't be certain when their finances will be checked. Increased outreach to the public has also meant that the UKGC can receive more information about casino finances from the public, before investigating them more swiftly. It's made policing the industry much simpler and made the whole system much safer.
Online Casinos Don't Pay Out
The rule is the same as always. If it's regulated by the UKGC, then it's safe. You hear horror stories of online casinos not paying out and this can happen. But the reason this happens is because people often use unregulated casinos that operate overseas. They are under no legal obligation to give you your money and so when it comes to it, some simply won't.
However, online casinos that operate with the intention of being used by UK customers, must be regulated by the UKGC. The UKGC offers all kinds of protection, not least being that casinos regulated by them are subject to British laws. Casinos regulated by them will be held to task for committing fraud.
So check out the casino before you deposit and make sure they have UKGC licences. If they don't and you don't get your money, then the fault lies with you.
Casino Games Are Rigged
It is true that you are more likely to lose money than earn money when you gamble. This makes sense given that most games involve you vs the casino in terms of who receives the money.
Games don't hide this fact however. Slots especially, are very open about their RTP. The RTP is the return to player rate and simply states the average amount that will be returned to you, over an extended period of time. The industry standard is around 95%, so for every pound you spend, you receive 95p back.
This is only an average however, and there is an ebb and flow to your losses and wins. Sometimes you can win a lot in one go, which will counteract what you've put in. Other times, you may lose more than you have to put in, leaving you with no money. If you were to play for an infinite amount of time, you would receive 95% of your money back. But within that timescale, you can have excessive wins and excessive losses.
The casino game is rigged for you to lose money over a long enough period of time, but that doesn't mean that you will necessarily lose money. This is the system slots have worked on for many years and is information you can easily find within their paytable. The people that think it's a scam are the same people who haven't taken the time to understand how the system actually works.
The system is different for player vs player (PvP) gambling. Casinos that focus on multiplayer games, like Poker, will have a rake system. A rake system is where the casino takes commission from the pot that is won. This system only works if players are trying to win the money of other players and not money held by the casino.
In this way the casino is simply a host for the game and not the competitor in it. If you're looking for gambling games where you are more likely to win money, then rake based games are that, since the casino has little vested interest in who wins, so there is no house advantage. It's simply whatever you and the other players can muster up.
There's No Security At Online Casinos
This leads back into the earlier point we made about casinos not paying out. Since the enforcement that casinos operating in the UK, are now subject to regulation by UK regulators, such as the UKGC; this means that remote gambling sites can be held legally accountable for withholding money that is rightly yours.
But in terms of security such as encryption, casinos are also legally obliged to use standard encryption to protect your data. The standard security for casinos to use for credit card and debit card information is “128-bit Secure Socket Layer (SSL)” digital encryption. This is the industry standard for all online payment protection.
On top of that, all other payment methods are similarly protected. e-wallets like Paypal run all payments through their own system and mobile depositing makes it so no one can steal any payment information whatsoever, since you only provide your mobile number.
The UKGC requires all remote gambling sites to encrypt all the personal information of its customers. They also frequently check casino accounts to make sure that none of your money is being moved around for the casino's own gain.
Granted, these may have been issues with overseas casinos before the UKGC enforced that all casinos must be joint regulated by them.
The last few years have been stellar in terms of increased security at online casinos.
You'll Spend More Money
In contrast to public belief, online gambling has many more barriers to stop excess spending than real life casinos. The belief stems from the idea that being isolated at home will cause people to compulsively spend more, outside of the watch of people.
But it's the lack of people that actually makes online gambling much cheaper. Firstly, online casinos have automated systems built in to notice problematic gambling. Online casinos are required by law to notify you if you're spending excessive amounts of money or have been playing for extended periods of time. These are known as “reality checks”.
On top of that, casinos all offer the option to add deposit limits to your account. These deposit limits can't be changed for 24 hours, so once they've been set, they're locked in and can't be changed on a whim. Players are even able to exclude themselves through the casino. Once this block has been put in place, the player will be able to close their account for good and won't be able to open another account using any of the same details for 6 months.
In comparison, in real life casinos, players can be given free alcohol in order to continue gambling and most casinos aren't paying attention to the punters to see how much they've been spending. People are encouraged to spend far more in real casinos and they simply lack any of the automation or regulation to stop people from overspending.
There are a lot of myths surrounding the online casino industry. That isn't to say it's a perfect system. There's certainly more to be fixed within the industry and as the UKGC have threatened, it could do more to recognize problem gambling.
But the reputation of security issues and illegality surrounding the business really hasn't been a problem for several years and continues to be cracked down on. If you're looking to join in on the world of online gambling, then there's never been a safer or better time to get involved.