UNITED STATES—In April 2022, Ontario officially legalized online gambling, but Canadian citizens have been playing at both land-based and offshore online casinos for a long time. However, it’s always an excellent idea to remind yourself of a few basic rules to play safely and responsibly.
When you’re playing online, it’s easy to lose your head when you see the endless list of casino games available. So here are a few tips to keep in mind and apply to your gaming sessions to keep the experience pleasant. In any case, if you think you or one of your friends has a gambling problem, don’t hesitate to contact organizations like BeGambleAware to assist you.
Tips To Stay Responsible When Playing Online
Be Responsible With Your Money
When you play at online casinos, it’s essential to manage your bankroll. You should always have budget limits set so you know when to stop playing. Also, chasing losses will likely create the envy to bet more to try to land back on your feet; however, gambling should always be a form of entertainment.
Try To Stay Sober When You Play
When you drink alcohol or consume drugs, your judgment gets clouded, affecting your capacity to make reasonable decisions. It’s never a good idea to play while under the influence, as it’ll impact the way you play, leading to you taking unnecessary risks.
Stick To Your Set Budget
One of the sentences you’ll hear often is: “Only gamble with money you can afford to lose,” and nothing could be more accurate. The worst thing you can do is borrow money or use money that can jeopardize your daily life. This can lead you to a very dark place, and if you’re thinking about using money intended for something else in your life or borrowing with the hope to pay back someone, you should immediately stop playing and contact people able to help you.
Don’t Try To Make a Profit
As previously stated, gambling is entertainment, nothing more. At the end of the day, the house always wins, so don’t expect to be making a living out of online gaming. Sure, you can win a jackpot or have a day where you made a profit out of pure luck, but the only winner is the casino most of the time.
Balance Your Life
It’s essential to set time limits and to have obligations and other activities to attend to because when your playtime goes fast, and if you don’t have anything better to do, the sessions slowly get longer and longer. If you don’t have an obligation to make you leave the site, try to take breaks by going outside if the weather allows for it or switch to a video game or a TV Show. It can be dangerous to spend all your free time gambling.
Playing Safely at an Online Casino
Make Sure the Casino Operates Legally
If you want to play at an online casino, you should always ensure that it offers its services with a license from a gaming commission. Gaming commissions are governmental entities, which regulate casinos in their local jurisdiction, and you can find all the information about the license of a casino at the bottom of its main page if it’s trustworthy.
Check the Casino’s Reputation
Some online casinos have proper gaming licenses, but this doesn’t mean you can automatically trust them. If a specialized review site blacklists the casino or if you only see negative user feedback on sites like Trustpilot or Reddit, it’s usually an indicator to steer clear.
Only Play at Secured Sites
When you play online, you take the risk of seeing your personal data exposed if the site isn’t secured enough. Always check the encryption certificate of the site you decide to play on, and you can easily do so by clicking the lock icon to the left of the address bar. In this menu, you should look for the validity of the certificate and the level of encryption. Nowadays, secured websites offer SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) 256-bit encryption (also referred to as SHA-256) to protect your data from hackers.
Look at the Payment Methods Offered
While this tip isn’t absolute, looking at the payment methods offered can indicate the level of seriousness of the operator, as some payment services are pickier than others. For instance, Trustly will only work with operators who have a European-issued license and respect it fully.
Find Out as Much as You Can About the Casino
A reliable casino will provide a lot of information as it has nothing to hide, and the best way to avoid scam sites is to check how long the online casino has been in operation. Scam sites will rarely last more than a year, and frequent license changes can also indicate that the casino isn’t as trustworthy as it seems.