While online casinos gambling is all about having fun, it’s not all fun and games. There is a safety concern that punters need to be aware of in order to keep their gaming on the level of entertainment, and that is responsible gaming.
Responsible gaming involves two parts:
- Players taking their own measures for playing responsibly
- Checking that the online casino you are participating in is reputable and on the up and up
Confused? Don’t worry; most punters aren’t even aware that there is such a thing as responsible gambling. So, we’ve set out a comprehensive guide to safe gaming online. Here’s everything you need to know to keep your online casino sessions safe, fun, and enjoyable all around.
Any semi-reputable online casinos will have some sort of licensing. It’s important to note, however, that not all licensing committees were created equal. In fact, you need to be careful that the online casino you are playing at is regulated by a reputable licensing jurisdiction. For example, the Costa Rica licensing jurisdiction is known for being totally unaccountable for their online casinos. So, when a player runs into an issue at one of these websites, there is nothing to talk about and no one to turn to for assistance.
On the other hand, renowned jurisdictions like Alderney and Isle of Man are well known for holding their casinos to strict legal and gaming fairness standards, making the punting experience more fun and fair for everyone. Make sure your online casinos are under legitimate licensing jurisdictions before you become a member.
Additionally, online casinos should be audited regularly to ensure that their software and gaming practices are legitimate and honest. Price Waterhouse Cooper does the auditing for some older casinos, but eCogra (eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is the main agency that audits most of the online casinos today. You can easily see the eCogra certification on reliable casinos such as 888Casino.com, Betway, and JackpotCity. It’s important that an external body audits an online casino because they will be more objective and rigorous with their checks. At the end of the day, proper auditing ensures that the games you are playing are truly games of chance and not skewed towards a seedy online casino’s benefit.
Reputable online casinos will publish their payout percentages as well as their RTP reports periodically.
One of the best ways online casinos keep things on the up and up is to facilitate a random number generator (RNG) to determine the game rounds played on their sites. An RNG produces the results of a game, the cards dealt in a blackjack game, the icons that appear on a slots machine, etc. Since these results are randomly generated by a computerised machine, punters can play without worrying that the online casino is taking advantage of them or “rigging the system” so to speak. Reputable online casinos will have the fact that they utilise an RNG displayed somewhere on their sites, so look out for this encouraging sign of fair and honest gameplay. Checking the RNG is part of the auditing process mentioned above.
Recommended Casinos and Their Licenses
Mr. Green is under one of the most reputable licensing agencies of all, Alderney. This commission requires its casinos to submit RTP reports, test their software periodically, and include a clock, so gamers don’t get sucked into the gambling vortex. Another reliable license is from Gibraltar, and you’ll find this one at popular casinos like 32Red and Ladbrokes.
Avoid These Casinos…For Your Own Good
Now that you know what to seek, it’s time to learn who to avoid. Check out our comprehensive list of blacklisted casinos for a clear indication of which online casinos should be avoided at all costs.
When Things Go Too Far
Gambling can be a wonderful pastime when played in moderation. Sometimes, however, fans take things too far, and they don’t know how to stop. The best way to avoid a gambling addiction is to prevent one from forming. Here are a few signs that you are addicted to punting, and it’s time to get some help:
- You are spending an excessive amount of time gambling
- You are shirking responsibilities to play “one more game”
- You are “borrowing” money from other people or accounts that should be going towards other financial responsibilities, bills, or payments
- You find yourself avoiding social settings and opt to play alone
Responsible Gaming with Help
Responsible online casinos have measures built into their systems to help players avoid gambling problems from the start. Some of the helpful features include:
- Self-exclusion programs
- Spending caps
- Timed sessions
Tips for Gaming Responsibly
And here are a few self-regulating tips for keeping gaming responsible and fun:
- Set aside a certain amount of money that you can lose responsibly without it making a difference to your financial situation or obligations. Once that money’s gone, walk away.
- Budget punting into your monthly finances. This way, you don’t withdraw from other areas of obligation to fuel your fun.
- Realise that gambling is a risk and that the odds are in favour of the house to win. Reasonable expectations go a long way towards responsible playing.
- Set a fixed timeframe for gaming both in length and frequency, so you don’t get too involved.
- Never gamble under the influence of alcohol or drugs or when depressed or angry.
- Gambling should not be done to impress someone.
In addition to all that we’ve mentioned above, online casinos are required to enforce a membership restriction on gamers who are not legally eligible for gambling. Generally, this is anyone below the age of 18, and it’s why you will be asked to provide your birthday or confirm that you are 18 or older before you can sign up for one of these establishments.
Stay safe and keep punting fun with these simple and smart responsible gambling pointers.