Aug 06

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino Business

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino Business

If you’ve spent any time gambling in an online casino, you may have noticed a few things. For one, the games are extremely entertaining. There are hundreds to choose from, with rules and themes to appeal to anyone and everyone. With so many online casinos vying for your membership, there’s clearly some healthy competition in the industry. Perhaps most important of all, you’ve recognized that the house has a distinct advantage in every game.

If casino games are designed to win more money for the house than they pay out to players, wouldn’t it make sense to play on the side of the house? And what better way to do that than to own the house? With that in mind, we’re going to take a look at how to start and online casino. It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not cheap, but if you’ve got the means and the drive, it may very well be worth your time and effort.

What it Takes to Start Your Own Online Casino

While the concept above – the casino always wins, so I’ll just open my own casino – is a common theory, it’s not necessarily a realistic one, which is why most people don’t do it. The truth is, there’s a lot that goes into opening an online gambling site; much more than most people realize. It’s a lengthy, step-by-step process, and an expensive one at that. The very first thing you’ll need to do is…

Register and Host Your Online Casino Domain

The first step is to choose a domain name. It should be something quick and catchy, and directly to the point. The shorter the name, the more likely people are to remember it. Betfair, LeoVegas, PokerStars – they all meet this easy-marketing requirement.

Once you choose your domain name, you need to register it with a domain registering service. Then you have to pay a server to host it.

Even if you don’t intend to launch your casino for a year or two, registering the domain should come first. Search engines take into account the longevity of a domain when indexing. Simply put, a website created two years ago ranks better than one launched two weeks ago.

Apply for an Online Gambling License

This is going to be the most expensive step, by far. Your operation must be licensed to garner any respect from the iGaming community. Where you obtain your license from will directly impact the cost and reputability of the operation.

Some jurisdictions, like Costa Rica, Panama, Belize, pretty much anywhere in Central America, offer very little in the way of regulation. You pay a smaller fee, but sacrifice the respect of strict player protections. Obtaining a license from the Malta Gaming Authority carries much more respect, as you’ll have to comply with their high standards. But, you’ll also pay a lot more for that license.

Also consider which countries you want to accept players from. Black markets, including much of the US, require lax regulation, but could get you into trouble down the line. To accept players from the UK, the world’s most productive iGaming market, you’ll need a UK license, which comes with the strictest standards, and highest price tag. A Maltese license will grant you access to most legal markets, including Canada.

Every license comes with fees. Expect them to be in the five-figure range. Then there’s financial reporting and taxes to be considered. Think very carefully about which way you want to go here, and do your research.

Employ One or More Casino Software Suppliers

Every online casino needs an assortment of games to offer their players. There are dozens of highly respected content studios to choose from. You may wish to go with a single platform with a large portfolio of games. Or, you could employ a collection of software brands to offer more diversity. Just keep in mind, you’ll pay a separate fee for each casino suite you integrate. Then there’s always the option of going beyond csaino games and into the field of poker, bingo, sports betting, etc.

Another thing to consider is just how involved you want the software supplier to be. There are generally three options.

  1. Casino Games Only: Employ the casino suite only, granting you a license to supply its games.
  2. Games + System Platform: This option comes with the casino suite license, plus a back-end platform that administers and manages player account services.
  3. The Whole casino Package: If you take the full package, you’ll get the casino suite license, the player account system, plus integration of security features, software certification, and a dedicated customer support / tech support team.

The more you want, the more you’ll pay for it, but the less you’ll be responsible for managing in the long run. Choose a full package from a major content supplier like eCOGRA-certified Microgaming, and you can rest assured everything that needs to get done, will get done.

Payment Processing – Choose Your Banking Methods

As any avid online casino gamer knows, the security and availability of payment methods is paramount to attracting new player sign-ups. Today, iGamers expect a wide selection of banking options for deposits and withdrawals.

Some players are very picky, and will only use eChecks, or Paypal, or Instant Banking methods like Interac or Citadel. Others are esteemed supporters of the cryptocurrency movement. If you want to cater to these types, you have to supply a long list of trusted payments to hit all niche players. And of course, credit and debit cards (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) are a must.

Once again, consider your options, do your research, and know your intended customers.

Catering to the Mobile Generation

Ten years ago, the mobile casino movement was hardly a quiver. Today, it’s rushing ahead like a locomotive. You don’t have to build a mobile app for your casino, but you could miss out on an entire generation of would-be customers if you don’t.

Now You Must Build It…

With all these steps out of the way, it’s time to put all the pieces together. You may want to hire a web design team for the website, as well as a mobile app developer. That’s more money going into your project. And once you get the casino up and running, you’ll need to factor in software and licensing renewal fees, plus additional costs like marketing and employee salaries.

As I said, this will be an expensive venture. There are cheaper routes, but as the old adage goes, “You get what you pay for”. Like any successful business, the more you’re willing to invest into a quality product, the more you’re likely to get out of it.

If learning how to start your own online casino business was enough to make your head spin, maybe it’s not the right choice for you. Maybe playing those online slots and table games, despite their slight disadvantage to the player, weren’t so bad after all?

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jan 29

Can an online casino refuse to pay out your withdrawal?

Can an Online Casino Refuse to Pay Out Your Withdrawal

Online casinos provide the world’s gaming fans with a quick, easy way to play their favorite gambling amusements for real money, from home or anywhere else their travels may take them. It’s all so easy. Sign up an account, make an instant deposit, and start playing. Convenience, entertainment, the thrill of the risk – these are all things we can easily understand. What’s difficult to wrap our heads around is that sometimes, after winning a little money, the online casino may refuse to give it to us. What’s even harder to understand is that, 99 times out of 100, they’re correct in their refusal to pay up.

Can an Online Casino Refuse to Pay Out?

The simple answer is yes, they can, but not for the reasons you’re probably thinking. Rogue casinos are not nearly so common as they once were. Yes, they do exist, and if you didn’t bother checking on the legitimacy of your chosen online casino before signing up, well – you may be a victim of fraud. More likely, if your online casino is refusing to pay out, it was your own fault.

The following is a list of the top 10 reasons online casinos can deny a withdrawal, in order of most to least common. If your withdrawal got canceled, odds are the reason is on this list.

1. You violated the terms of a bonus.

The most common reason of all is that players have violated the conditions of a bonus. Far too many players don’t bother reading the fine print. There are game restrictions, bet size limits and wagering requirements to comply with. Read the terms. Know the rules. Follow them.

2. You haven’t finished bonus play through.

This is a direct follow-up to the last issue. Maybe you’re following all of the rules of the bonus, but you didn’t complete the wagering requirements yet.

Example: If you have to complete 40x WR on a $50 deposit, that’s $2,000 in wagers that must be placed before you can withdrawal any winnings. You have two options; finish WR, or run out of bonus money trying. Only then can you cash out anything you have left.

3. You haven’t verified your account.

Somewhere between the time you register your account, and the time you request your first withdrawal, you will need to verify your identity. This is true of all legitimate, reputable licensed online casinos. They’ll need you to upload a picture of your photo ID, a bank statement or utility bill, and, depending on your method of deposit, maybe proof of that as well. It’s all standard KYC practice. If you don’t do it, they can’t pay you.

4. You used someone else’s identity / payment info.

Identity theft is a big no-no! If you read #3 above, you know you’re going to have to verify your identity at some point. Fake IDs rarely work anymore. The person you stole the ID and/or banking info from will get their deposit refunded eventually, and you’ll get nothing (except maybe some jail time).

5. You typo-ed your own information during sign-up.

I’ve said this a thousand times. Double check your information when you sign up an online casino account. If you misspell any part of your name or address, you’re effectively signing up with a fake ID. You can’t sign up with false information, even if it was an innocent goof up on your part. If you’re lucky, your account will be closed with original deposits refunded.

6. You gambled as a minor.

Adjusting your date of birth to play as a minor won’t get you anywhere either. Casinos can get in severe trouble for allowing underage gambling. And, thanks to the ID verification rules, you’re going to get caught anyway. Once caught, you don’t get paid.

7. You have multiple accounts with the online casino.

This is incredibly common, but rarely done on purpose. If you read the terms of any online casino, they’ll tell you that multi-accounting is not allowed. That is, one person cannot have two accounts with the same casino. In fact, you can’t have two accounts from the same household or IP address, either.

Short version: “One account per casino, per household.”

8. You claimed multiple bonuses with the same operator.

This is similar to the above problem, but goes deeper, and only involves bonus collection. We’re not just talking about having two accounts with the same online casino, but the same operator. For example, DigiMedia operates Royal Vegas Casino, plus around a dozen other online casinos, like All Slots, Euro Palace, and Platinum Play. You are allowed to have one account with each, if you wish, but you can only claim the bonus from one.

Short version: “One bonus per operator, per household.”

9. You used a VPN to sign up and gamble.

Online casino gambling is illegal in some parts of the world. But where there is prohibition, there are always a determined few who think they should be able to do it anyway. Using a virtual private network (VPN) to mask your IP address / location, making it appear you’re in a country players are accepted from, is illegal. It rarely works these days, anyway. Geo-location systems are constantly getting smarter. If you get caught using a VPN, don’t be surprised when your online casino is refusing payout.

10. The casino is not reputably licensed and can’t be trusted.

In the least of cases, the online casino is to blame. Rogue operators do exist. They aren’t licensed by a strict regulator that demands compliance with player protection laws. Therefore, they can refuse to pay out a large amount of winnings simply because they don’t have to. They have no obligation to obey a higher authority.

Once this type of online casino refuses to pay out, there’s not much you can do. The only good news is that these situations are easily avoidable. All you have to do is take a moment to check up on a brand before signing up an account and making a deposit. To be honest, anyone who’s willing to give all of their sensitive information to some random website without verifying its reputation first is just as guilty as the website that’s ripping them off.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , ,

Jan 13

Inside Look: ALC online casino comes to New Brunswick.

Inside Look: ALC Online Casino Comes to New Brunswick

Take a step back in time to nearly a decade ago – February 2011. That was when the New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corp (NBLGC) first showed documented interest in launching an online casino for its adult population. They had already begun talking with the Atlantic Lottery Corp, which was in the process of filing draft regulations to expand further into online gambling.

The ALC, which supplies regulated gaming services for all four Atlantic provinces – New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island – was unable to get those regulations passed. Despite consistent lobbying within the provinces, no progress was made over the next nine years. And then, with no prior notice, residents woke up one morning in August with access to a New Brunswick online casino, courtesy of ALC.

A Look Inside ALC Online Casino New Brunswick

The quiet, overnight launch of internet casino gaming on ALC.ca was a surprise to just about everyone. The start-up came with a small variety of games from digital gambling powerhouse, International Game Technology (IGT); 34 online slot machines, 7 table games, plus IGT’s famous Game King, a dynamic virtual machine that features 9 of the most popular video poker games. ALC promises many more games to come, but for now, you can see the complete list of what’s available below.

Full List of Games (current Jan 13, 2021)

ALC Slot Machines
  • Anchorman
  • Cats
  • Cleopatra
  • DaVinci Diamonds
  • Double Diamonds
  • Doubleplay Super Bet
  • Elephant King
  • Foxin’ Wins
  • Ghostbusters Level Up Plus
  • Golden Goddess
  • Endless Treasure
  • King Kong Fury
  • Little Green Men Nova Wilds
  • Lucky Tree
  • Mad Mad Monkey
  • Medusa II
  • Medusa Megaways
  • Merlin’s Millions
  • Pixies of the Forest
  • Raging Rhino
  • She’s a Rich Girl
  • Siberian Storm
  • Spartacus Gladiator of Rome
  • Sphinx Wild
  • Starmania
  • The Big Easy
  • The Demon Code
  • The Mask
  • Wheel of Fortune On Tour
  • White Orchid
  • Wild Play Super Bet
  • Zeus
  • Zeus III
ALC Table Games
  • Baccarat
  • Blackjack
  • Blackjack Multihand
  • Let it Ride
  • Fortune Pai Gow
  • Roulette
  • Three Card Poker
ALC Video Poker (Game King 9-in-1)
  • Bonus Poker
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Deuces Wild
  • Deuces Wild Bonus
  • Double Bonus Poker
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • Jacks or Better
  • Joker Poker
  • Triple Double Bonus Poker

Who Can Play at ALC Casino Online?

Anyone physically located within any of the Atlantic provinces of Canada is welcome to sign up an account and play the full variety of games in “demo” mode. However, only players in New Brunswick, age 19 and above, are able to deposit and bet real money.

Ways to Move Money In and Out

The ALC website accepts the follow methods of payment.

Deposits: Credit Cards, Debit Cards, Interac and Web Cash.

Withdrawals: Interac, Cheque

Note that ALC offers an optional weekly deposit limit as part of its Responsible Gaming protocol. Players can set, increase, or decrease their weekly deposit limit by logging into the website, then choosing My Account > Play Responsibly, and entering a new limit. It takes 24 hours for a limit increase to be approved, whereas decreases take effect immediately.

What About the Other AC Provinces?

Residents of Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are not currently able to gambling at the ALC online casinos. It is open only to eligible players located in New Brunswick. The ALC recently announced its intent to expand into Nova Scotia and PEI, likely to occur sometime in 2021. There are no known intentions of launching the ALC casino website in Newfoundland and Labrador at this time.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Mar 13

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.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Jan 09

Realistic impact of Canadian online betting with international sites.

The Realistic Impact of Canadian Online Betting with International Websites

It was more than two decades ago now that the online gambling industry skidded across the proverbial tarmac to its launch. Times were far different in the 1990s. Computers, and the internet in particular, were still striving for mainstream household status. Security technology was nowhere near as advanced as it is today. Legal restrictions were virtually non-existent. At that time, everyone who trusted internet gambling enough to partake in its immaturity did so with operators all over the world.

Today, with global online and mobile gambling businesses generating billions of dollars each year, most governments are encouraging – if not legally mandating – residents to do their iGaming with a locally regulated operator. Odds are, if you live in a jurisdiction where internet gaming is legal, your government is taking steps to keep your wagering dollars within their jurisdictional borders.

Canada is one such nation. Every province that delivers a home-grown iGaming service (all but Alberta and Saskatchewan) encourages local play. The difference between Canada and some other jurisdictions, including numerous European and US states, is that Canadians can gamble at any website they wish. In Canada, iGaming is legal for players whether the online casino is locally regulated, or internationally operated. Freedom of choice is fantastic, but as is true of most things in life, every choice you make has an impact.

Canadian Online Betting with Offshore Sites

Our government tells us we should never gamble with offshore websites. So what is it that makes these websites so bad? According to provincial governments, there are three primary problems. We’ll take a look at these claims and dissect the reality of each situation.

#1 No Benefit to Provincial Coffers (True)

First and foremost, offshore sites aren’t providing our provinces with any revenue. The government has stated many times that millions of dollars are flowing offshore due to Canadians gambling with international websites. There’s no arguing with them on this one. They are 100% right.

If you lost $100 at BC’s PlayNow online casino, that money goes to the BC Lottery Corp, which reinvests it back into BC communities. If you lose $100 at Maltese-licensed Royal Vegas Casino, that money never sees the Canadian light of day again.

#2 Lack of Regulation / Player Protection (False)

Canadian provinces say international gambling websites are not regulated, and that they do not protect players from the potential harms of gambling. To address that first point, international gambling sites are, indeed, regulated. They just aren’t regulated here in Canada. The most reputable ones are regulated in European jurisdictions (UK, Malta, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, etc.), where player protections are actually more strict than Canadian law.

For instance, in the UK, licensees are required to monitor all gambling activity and intervene when at-risk behavior is detected, encouraging players to take a break and think about the potential consequences of their spending. Voluntary self-exclusion and deposit limits can be set by players. Regular software audits and fairness certification is mandatory. This is hardly different from the GameSense program promoted by most Canadian provinces.

#3 Offshore Gambling Sites are Illegal (False)

On several occasions, our provincial government’s have gone so far as to say international gambling websites are illegal. Anyone with a basic understanding of the English language, and the patience to read the relevant text in the Criminal Code, knows that’s not true.

Online casinos games, poker games, bingo games, etc. – these are not illegal. We can play them at Canada’s land-based casinos, as well as some of the nation’s provincial online casinos, so long as we are physically located in the province that offers them. We can also play them at international gambling websites, despite those claims.

Province’s like to call them illegal because it is illegal for them to offer some of those games. Take single-event sports betting for example. The Criminal Code says single-event sports betting cannot be authorized or presented to Canadians. It is illegal to do so. However, the law does not states Canadians can place single-event sports bets. The penalty of law lies with the receiver of the bettor, not the placer of the bet.

Offshore betting sites are not bound by Canadian law. If single-event sports betting is permitted in the country that regulates the website, it can be offered to Canadian players without consequence. Therefore, it is perfectly legal for Canadians to bet on sports, so long as the bets are placed with an international sportsbook.

What’s Better – Domestic or International iGaming?

That is a question that can only be answered by the person doing the gambling. If your home province offers an iGaming website that meets all of your needs and wagering desires, by all means, utilize its services. At the least, your losses will go back into the community. If you want more from your iGaming experience, so long as you only gamble at reputable, strictly regulated websites, you will be perfectly protected, and are not doing anything illegal.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Dec 20

Why casino safety and security are paramount to online gambling entertainment, and how to ensure you’re getting it.

Player Protections Come First at Online Casinos

In the earliest days of online casino gambling, it was promotions that drove players to operators above all else. Just think how crazy / scary that was. In those days, internet security was lax, and regulation non-existent. Signing up an account and depositing with any gambling operator that advertised a generous bonus package was a quick way to get your identity stolen. Yet, that’s what so many people did.

The industry isn’t nearly so harsh these days. More people are educated about internet safety. They know not to input financial information on any website that doesn’t have “https://” at the front of its URL. They know a license from a reputable jurisdiction is more important than a bonus wrapped in pretty dollar-sign bows. Most of all, they know the consequences for failure to adhere to basic safety measures can be extreme.

Unfortunately, every day brings new players to gamble over the internet. Those who grew up with computer technology understand it better than anyone, but there are still generations out there that have no clue what keeps internet users safe, or what makes a website secure. If you think the internet has matured so much that all online casinos are upright businsses, you’ve got another thing coming.

Casino Safety and Security Paramount to Online Gambling Entertainment

Casino Safety and Security Must Come First

Twenty years ago, there are more rogue online casinos than there were reputable ones. Today, the number of rogue operations is far lower, but they still exist, and they are still preying upon the novice users of the internet, just like they always have.

Think of it this way… Years ago, an email from some young African Prince looking to hand his fortune to the first person who would help him move it to a secure bank duped a lot of people. Today, most of us know this scam. We use the “African Prince” reference in everyday conversations, and everyone knows what it means. But has that stopped scammers from sending these same illegitimate emails to any @ddress they can find? No it has not. Why hasn’t it? Because there are still vulnerable people out there who respond, having no idea how dangerous it is to do so.

Illegitimate online casinos exist for the same reason. If just one in ten thousand people who see the website join and make a deposit, it becomes a successful scam. So if you’re looking to do any gambling over the internet, you better know what to look for, and what to avoid, because it’s not just about stealing that deposit. It’s about taking your name, your bank information, and any other scrap of identifying info they can get on you and selling it to the highest bidder on the black web. And you don’t even want to know what can happen from there…

Player Protections Paramount to iGaming Entertainment

UK Gambling Commission Remote Gaming License

In recent years, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) has gained a reputation as the world’s strictest iGaming regulatory body. Any operator licensed in the UK is required to follow a stringent set of player protection rules. Non-compliance is not an option, resulting in anything from a massive fine to revocation of license, or both.

Other jurisdictions, especially European ones, are slowly molding their regulations to conform to those of the UK. The end result is an abundance of online gambling sites that can be trusted, simply because they are licensed in the UK or most other European jurisdictions that employ similar player protections.

The problem now is that rogue operations know how valuable a UK license is, and believe me, it’s not hard to steal a UKGC seal and plaster it on a website. Casino safety and security is dependent on due diligence. A player who takes that extra minute or two to verify a license, rather than trusting the presence of a graphic logo, is one that will avoid the dangerous pitfalls and enjoy the iGaming industry for the genuine entertainment it was always meant to offer.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , ,

Nov 19

Judging a Safe Online Casino by its Cover: Why licensing jurisdiction is everything.

Judging a Safe Online Casino by its Cover: Licensing Jurisdiction is Everything

When you were growing up, did your parents or mentors every teach you don’t judge a book by its cover? I’m sure you understand the meaning of this age-old idiom. And in many ways, it is excellent advice. You should never judge or negatively label anything or anyone without giving it a chance; finding out for yourself if it’s worthy of appreciation. That’s all well and good for most things in life, but not online gambling.

Joining a disreputable casino site can be a devastating experience. It can result in anything from identity theft to financial ruin; both of which have long-lasting consequences. If you’re lucky, the rogue operator takes your first deposit and disappeared into the great blue yonder. If not, you could end up investing time and again into games that are fraudulently designed to rip you off – much more so than the legitimate, low-edge casino games we choose to play.

Any educated gambler knows very well that every single casino game is built to favor the house. Only knowing we have a chance to win makes it fun. It provides an entertaining experience that’s worthy of our spare cash. Take away that reasonable chance, and what you’re left with is disappointment, despair, and downright illegal activity.

Judging a Safe Online Casino by its Cover

In years past, evaluating the legitimacy of an online casino was a tedious task. There were multiple features you had to look for, sifting through a website’s many pages and terms of service, reading the fine print… Who wants to do that?

While this method was extremely effective for those who took the time to do it right, most people didn’t. Instead, they went to one of thousands of the world wide web’s online gambling review websites and trusted the information they found there. But iGaming affiliates are comparable to the online casino industry. Some sites are safe, and some are not.

Some affiliate reviews sites are great. They’re honest, diligent in their reviews, and updated regularly with helpful information. Others are biased, lacking any integrity, saying anything and everything they can to get players to click their links. And why wouldn’t some do this? Let’s not forget, just like the casinos, affiliates are looking to make money. So if you can’t trust every casino, you can’t trust every review, either.

The good news is, thanks to the increasing rate of iGaming regulation in some parts of the world, no one has to go through all that trouble anymore. In fact, the whole process can be narrowed down to the evaluation of one single item.

Jurisdiction of License and Regulation

Kim Kardashian Playing Poker with Mirrored Sunglasses

If you want to know if an online casino is safe, go to its website, scroll down to the bottom of the page, and look for the licensing info. The jurisdiction in which an operator is licensed and regulated is more telling than Kim Kardashian playing poker in mirrored sunglasses… yeah, she really did that.

There are good jurisdictions and bad ones. Any province of Canada (B.C., Ontario or Quebec) is good. Each hosts its own self-regulated iGaming website, but you must live in that province to access its home-grown gambling operation. Any US state that regulates iGaming is also good, but the same stipulation exists. Outside of these, you’re looking for any country in Europe.

If you come across a country name you don’t know, look it up on Google or Wikipedia to find out where it is. There are several small island nations off the coast of Europe that North Americans may not be familiar with, and several of them make good business out of licensing iGaming operations. So if you’re not sure, look it up! It only takes a couple of seconds.

Safe Licensing Jurisdictions

The UK is top of the line. UKGC sets the standard for bet practices, player protection, anti-fraud and anti-money laundering, the works. Malta and Isle of Man are right up there, too. Gibraltar, Alderney, Estonia, Cypress, Latvia – pretty much anywhere in Europe. France, Italy and Spain are also top-notch, but they are ring-fenced like Canada, so you can only access those sites if your physically located within their respective borders.

The same goes for any direct regulation by a US state. Acceptance of American players means nothing. If a US-facing operator isn’t regulated in the US, it can’t possibly be licensed and regulated by a responsible authority. Which brings us to…

Lax Regulatory Jurisdictions

Anything that doesn’t qualify under the description above is not a jurisdiction that you can put 100% trust in. Costa Rica, Curacao, Panama – places like these love to dole out licenses and collect fees for them, but they take no responsibility for the legitimacy of the companies they license. They offer little, if anything, in the way of a legal framework.

Costa Rica, for example, has only one rule – do not accept players from within Costa Rica. Anything else goes. Operators can appear one day, disappear the next, taking all player account balances with them. So long as they don’t violate that one rule, Costa Rica’s government won’t do a thing about it. There are absolutely no player protections in place; no one to turn to if the worst happens.

Similar licenses are sold in Panama. Curacao isn’t as bad, but it’s not much better, either. The fact that Curacao licensees can accept American players is very telling. Look at it this way. If it’s illegal for people in New York to gambling online, and a Curacao licensed site is accepting New Yorkers, it’s pretty clear the regulations aren’t all that tight.

Double Check the Credentials

Once you’ve scrolled to the bottom of the online casino’s homepage and determined where it is licensed, you can go one step further to make sure the license is genuine. The safest online casinos will provide a logo for the licensing jurisdiction, and link it back to their licensing info on the regulatory body’s website. Clicking this logo should prove the license is valid and active.

If there is no clickable link or logo, you can take a moment to look up the regulatory authority’s website. For instance, if it’s in Malta, search for “Malta Gaming Regulator”, or “Malta Gaming License”, etc. These searches will lead you directly to the Malta Gaming Authority, found at www.mga.org.mt.

Then, from the regulator’s website, you should be able to search for the casino name or the owner/operator company, generally listed in the copyright info (bottom of homepage).

Of course, if you’re not finding the information you’re looking for – no license info, no name of owner/operator, no valid license number – if any of this is difficult to find, you know it’s time to move on. Don’t waste your time on a website that isn’t making this search easy for you. Remember, it should be a quick, one step process. If the website seems like it has something to hide, it probably does. It’s not a safe online casino.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , ,

Sep 18

The palpable link between Canada casinos online and on land.

Does any Palpable Link Exist Between Canada Casinos Online and On Land?

In Canada, there are essentially three types of casinos for adult-aged residents to enjoy. First and most obvious are the land-based casinos that dot the map from Vancouver, BC to Halifax, Nova Scotia. Next up are provincially run and regulated online casinos, like Ontario’s PlayOLG, and Quebec’s Espacejeux. Last are internationally regulated online casinos – operations that have no connection to Canada aside from accepting players from this region of the world.

There are clear and perceptible differences between the online and on-land versions. At terrestrial gaming establishments, players must travel to get there, and play physical gaming machines or table games when they do. Internet-based casinos can be played anytime, from anywhere, via desktop or mobile.

While most casino enthusiasts understand these obvious differences, there are other, less perceptible links between them that are harder to distinguish. The most common question I hear is this…

Is there any relationship between Canada casinos online and on land?

There’s a common misconception that live and online gambling operations are two sides of the same coin. This type of direct-link relationship does exist between certain operations in some parts of the world, where an online casino website is an internet-based reflection of the land-based operator that runs it. But not in Canada.

In certain US states like New Jersey, an online casino cannot exist without the direct backing of a land-based operator. Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget casino resort, for instance, is the proud parent of New Jersey’s online casino of the same name (GoldenNugget.com). At the same time, New Jersey residents are not permitted to gamble online at any site that is not licensed and regulated – and directly linked to a land-based casino – within the state.

This is not necessarily the case in Canada, though. Each province has the right to authorize land-based and/or online casino gambling, and thus far, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec have chosen to compliment their land-based gambling establishments with an internet gambling market. However, it’s not the land-based casinos that operate them. It is the local gaming regulator within each province that’s responsible for it.

In this way, provincially run iGaming sites are linked to land-based casinos, but only by the thin thread of equality in regulatory oversight.

There is no link whatsoever to overseas online casinos.

As for offshore gambling websites, they have no connection to any land-based casino or jurisdiction within Canada. They are not regulated by any Canadian authority, but at the same time, are not expressly legal or illegal. It’s kind of a ‘play at your own risk‘ type of situation. Many Canadians do take that risk – particularly those who are educated in the ways of offshore iGaming.

Our government loves to condemn the lack of regulation at international gaming sites, but that’s not exactly true. They are not regulated in Canada, but most of them are regulated elsewhere – some in far more respected iGaming jurisdictions than Canada has to offer.

The UK, for example, is the world’s strictest regulator of online gambling. Player protection is of utmost importance, and compliance with the law is mandatory. The UK Gambling Commission accepts no excuses for violating the law, dropping an expensive hammer on any operator that fails to comply. Suffice it to say, if an online casino holds a current UK license and accepts Canadians, it’s already undergone extensive audits and fairness certification.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Jun 12

Prevalent Phone & Internet Scams: Detection and avoidance of Phishing, SMiShing and Vishing scams.

Prevalent Internet Scams – Phishing Scam, SMiShing Scam and Vishing Scam for Dummies

Security has been the most crucial and criticized aspect of the internet from day one. For every technological advancement in modern computers, hackers have been on their heels, capable of finding any and all cracks in the system. But it’s not just hackers we have to worry about.

We’ve been told time and time again to fabricate strong passwords and never, ever give out our login and password information to anyone, for any reason, no matter what. Yet time and again, individuals are doing just that; handing out that information to anyone or any website that manages to convince us they are worthy of it.

The Most Prevalent Phone & Internet Scams of 2019

Such scams have earned variable names over the years. Originally, they were called Phishing Scams. As schemers evolved, other forms came to be known as SMiShing Scams and Vishing Scams. If you don’t know what they are, you won’t know how to avoid them, so pay close attention to the next few segments as we teach you to recognize and stave off the internet’s worst scammers.

What is a Phishing Scam?

This is a common scam in which the culprits send out emails to millions if not billions of mostly-valid addresses. It’s called “phishing” because they idea is to drop a wide net in hopes of hooking just a few vulnerable victims. The goal is to obtain personal information from those who take the bait – name, address, date of birth, username, password, etc. Anything they can gather is a win in their books.

You can easily recognize phishing schemes by looking for the following indications:

  • Email warns of a consequence that will occur soon if action is not taken to fix an issue (i.e. account suspension, late fee, etc.). The email will contain a link to correct the problem, leading to a look-alike website.
  • Email promises a reward of some type, often in cash (prize, refund, etc.), for your quick response. Again, the email contains a link to a look-alike website.
  • Text is riddled with incorrect spelling of titles, bad grammar, poor choice of words, confusing terminology, etc.
  • Your personal account information is missing from the email. Your name, username, or any other identifying terms are notably lacking and/or generic in reference (i.e. they clearly don’t know who you are).
  • Link leads to a website URL that does not match that of the intended company that supposedly sent the email.

Do not click on any links provided in any emails that seem remotely suspicious! When in doubt, contact the company that supposedly sent the email directly to ask if the email is genuine.

What is a SMiShing Scam?

A SMiShing scam – a combination of the terms SMS and Phishing – is a message sent via text that requests the receiver visit a certain website or call a phone number to resolve an issue or receive a reward. Visiting the website may result in malware being downloaded on your computer. Call the phone number, and you’ll be asked to provide sensitive information to confirm your identity.

Be especially wary of such suspicious text messages. While today’s internet users are usually smart enough to avoid email scams, text messages tend to appear less threatening. Be careful out there! If the message seems to come from your bank, for example, don’t call the number provided. Call them back at a number you know and trust.

What is a Vishing Scam?

Vishing schemes are also similar to phishing scams except that that take place over the telephone. We’ve all gotten them. If you’re like me, you get them multiple times a day. They come from masked phone numbers that appear to be legitimate, but they’re not. They are scammers trying to convince you to give them your personal information, a credit card number, or transfer them money. Sadly, many of them take on the deceptive roll of a worthy charitable service, so keep your guard up!

The caller could be a real person or a recorded message that tells you to press a button to be connected, or call them back at a certain number. Don’t press that button. Don’t call that number. If you want to confirm the (il)legitimacy of the call, find the appropriate number for the company that claims to be contacting you and call them directly.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , ,

Mar 15

Two decades later, legitimate online casinos firing up a win for all involved.

It’s truly amazing what time can do. It heals wounds, turns playful children into responsible adults, and in the business world, separates the successful from the unfortunate. Without question, time has looked favorably upon the online gambling industry and all who partake in its pleasures. Not just the players, mind you, but the countless people working in the background to provide this seductive form of potentially profitable entertainment.

Twenty years ago, internet casinos struck trepidation in the hearts of many. Were they secure? Honest? Safe? Trustworthy? Would a withdraw of winnings be honored? There were so many uncertainties, and no authorities to turn to if a player’s worst fears were realized.

Did that stop people from playing online slot machines and table games? Absolutely not.

If you build it, they will come…

And come they did! They came in droves, so fast and furious that more and more gambling websites were born. They provided casino games, poker games, bingo games, sports betting, race betting, lottery ticket sales – anything and everything that could be wagered on began appearing on the world wide web.

With the good always comes the bad, and the evil side of the industry did rear its ugly head. For every legitimate online gambling website, ten more rogue operators would appear to capture players and abscond with their deposits. This led to watchdog websites and player-managed review sites, all aimed at pointing new players towards the reputable online gambling options, while exposing the rogues for what they were.

This, of course, wasn’t good enough for the multitude of governments who had stood by idly, watching it all happen. Some lawmakers argued that players needed protection., but they largely went unheard. More argued that prohibition was the only way; criminalize it and it will go away. That didn’t work at all. It wasn’t until legislators began pointing out just how much money their respective tax coffers might hold that more and more governments began listening. And with that, the iGaming industry finally began to blossom into a respectable business.

Legitimate online casinos were a game changer for everyone.

The UK and Canada were among the first adopters of internet gambling regulation. As word of their success spread, others hopped aboard regulatory bandwagon. Now, most jurisdictions either regulate the activity, or are debating legislative action to do so.

The end result is an industry that people can trust. One that began growing at a much more rapid rate, and benefiting absolutely everyone with a hand in it.

For players, it means a readily available source of entertainment, whether from home or in the palm of their hands. Not just entertainment, but a pastime that begets life-changing rewards for the luckiest among them.

Online gambling operators benefit just as land-based casinos do, ensuring their profits through a built-in house edge. But that’s not the end of the line. It goes so much further, literally circling the globe. Online casinos benefit the website developers who bring each operation together. They benefit the multitude of software companies that produce countless, HD-quality games. And what about the IT staff; the customer support reps; the live stdio dealers and developers of superior video and audio equipment that supply web streaming capabilities to them; right down to the custodians that work a thankless night shift to keep all of these offices clean?

When you look at the big picture, the rise of legitimate online casinos has truly been a blessing for so many people. Far more than the big winners who’ve made headlines over the years, like the 71 instant millionaires that have been fortunate enough to strike the progressive jackpot of Microgaming’s Mega Moolah online slot machine since 2006. Those big winners may be the most famous, but all beneficiaries are worthy of praise for making this one of the most successful online industries in existence.

written by Grameister777 \\ tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,