Are ‘Real Money’ Casinos for Real? How do I Know?

Internet Casino Gambling: Can I win real money at online casinos?

Internet Casino Gambling: Can you win real money at online casinos?

As a long-time iGamer, it seems strange to me that people still ask this question. Online casinos have been around so long, the industry itself is of legal gambling age! They actually started popping up in the mid to late 1990s. But alas, I do realize not everyone has been spinning digital slots reels and flipping virtual cardboard as long as I have, so let’s start from the top…

“Can I win real money at online casinos?”

Yes! There are thousands of internet gambling sites that permit customers to deposit money, make real wagers, and withdrawal their winnings as cash. But it’s not as easy as all that. You can’t go to Google, search “online casino”, click the first link you see and start playing. You can’t even type in “real money online casino” and get the right links these days.

In the next few paragraphs, I’ll explain (in brief) how the system works, how to know if you’re eligible to gamble online, and how to find the right sites to do it safely, securely, and fairly.

Internet Casino Gambling – The Basics

There are two types of internet casinos. The first and most common is a “social casino”. Their games are free to play, but will never award real money. Most of them are mobile phone apps with in-app purchases. You can pay cash for chips, but you can’t trade your chips back for cash. This is not gambling.

Online gambling can only be only done at “real money casinos”. They won’t offer the option to register your account via Google or Facebook. You have to fill out an inclusive registration form, complete with your real name, real address, real date of birth, etc. Once you do this, you’ll need to make a deposit from a financial account or credit/debit card belonging to you.

Once you’re account is funded, you’ll get a nice bonus of some sort to enhance your bankroll. You can then browse the full menu of casino games – slot machines, table games, video poker, etc. you’ll have the option to play the games for real money, or for free in demo/practice mode.

How do I know if it’s legal for me to gambling online?

Every jurisdiction has its own laws that apply to online gambling. They come in three distinct varieties:

  • Expressly Legal: These are explicit laws that specifically address the act of gambling online to be legal. Certain European countries (UK, France, Spain, Italy, etc.) and US states (New Jersey, Nevada, Delaware, etc.) have these laws in place. These laws will define the age requirements for gambling in their respective jurisdictions.
  • Expressly Illegal: Like the section above, these are express laws that specifically name the act of gambling online – or certain forms of gambling online – to be illegal. In these jurisdictions, residents are not permitted to participate in real money online casino games. Australia, for instance, explicitly legalizes online sports betting, but expressly prohibits online poker and casino gambling.
  • Not Expressly Defined / Grey Market: The term “grey market” applies to a jurisdiction in which the laws do not explicitly permit or prohibit an activity. In short, it is not illegal, therefore it is legal. Canada is a perfect example.
    The laws in Canada are so unclear that it is considered legal to gamble online at offshore casinos, as well as the government-run casinos of certain provinces. The only ones that are truly “illegal” are online casinos operating within Canada, but without the regulatory consent of their local government.

If you’re still not sure, check with your local authorities for clarification.

How to Find Real Money Online Casinos

This has been one of the most frustrating problems for novice players. As I mentioned above, you can’t just search for a relevant key phrase on Google and expect to find one. While there are around 4,000 gambling sites online, there are literally millions of affiliate websites competing for your traffic. Thus, these affiliate sites will appear in the search engines long before an actual casino operator does.

The best advice I can offer is to be very specific in what you’re searching for, because most affiliate sites cater to anyone and everyone. Look for operators that apply to your situation. They should accept players from your country, process deposits and withdrawals in your preferred payment methods, offer the games you like most, etc. If they don’t fit your needs, they’re no good to you.

Use those affiliate links to make a short list of possible candidates, but you don’t have to take their word at face value. After all, affiliates are looking to make money, and to be honest, most of them don’t care about the players nearly so much as they do the profit. You can protect yourself by performing a bit of due diligence on the sites you shortlist.

Here’s a bit of reading material that should help you out with this.

If you find the above challenge too daunting, you can always skip all that and do your online gambling at Royal Vegas. Don’t trust me just because I said it. Trust me because Royal Vegas is 20 years old, employs the industry’s oldest and most respected software brand, Microgaming, is licensed in the immensely respected European jurisdiction of Malta, and offers upwards of 1,000 games, including live dealer casino games. Internet casino gambling doesn’t get any safer than that.

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