When it comes to gambling, online casinos have received a great deal of criticism on everything from player safety and security to predatory terms and conditions while land based casinos seem to go virtually unscathed. And while we will concede that there are some shady online casino operations out there, for the most part the majority are not.
In fact, online casinos are subject to more stringent rules and regulations than their brick and mortar counterparts are and are actively monitored by industry watchdogs and regulatory bodies like eCogra in addition to having to comply with policies and procedures dictated by software providers and payment processors.
So let’s take a look at how safe and secure you really are when playing online versus at a land based casino.
Money and Payments
At land based casinos you are responsible for you carrying your money with you, any winnings you receive are paid back to you in cash or occasionally via a cheque. This means that you can be a target for thieves before entering the casino or upon exit thereof. Online casinos on the other hand have highly sophisticated security systems and online encryption which keeps your money and financial transactions safe and secure, and winnings are transferred directly to your bank account or payment wallet, which means that you never have to worry about carrying cash, or falling victim to online fraud during your transactions. Yes, you still have to be vigilant but it is still a whole lot safer than carrying money around.
When it comes to responsible gambling, both land based and online casino are subject to so called “responsible gambling” regulations. The difference is however that compliance to these regulations at online casinos is monitored to ensure that it is taking place while land based casinos are not. Yes, they may have to feature responsible gambling information in their advertising, but that’s about all.
Online casinos on the other hand, have a number of practices to follow including:
- Monitoring player activity and identifying potential problem gambling patterns and taking appropriate measures to assist the player should he or she require help – this may even extend to locking the player out of his/her account should the problem persist.
- Offering players the option of limiting deposit amounts per day, week and month.
- Offering players a self-exclusion option whereby their account is closed for a minimum of 6 months. During this time no promotional offers may be sent to players.
- Adding a clock to the casino software interface so that players always know how long they have been playing for. Some casinos like Betsson, take it a step further and even have pop up screens to tell you that you have been playing for an hour, along with win and loss totals and a button to exit the casino – never will you see this in land based slots and casino games.
- Offering players access to their full player history from 60 days to 1 year upon request – land based casinos can’t do this because they simply don’t have the facilities.
As mentioned, all of the above are strictly monitored in eCogra certified online casinos, but when last did you see a clock in a casino, or any type of authority figure monitoring game play or addictive behaviour – the answer is never, because it simply doesn’t happen.
Bonuses, Promotions and Comps
Both online and land based casinos offer a variety of promotions, bonuses and comps but again online casinos offer you match deposit bonuses, which land based casinos generally don’t. They also cannot offer free alcohol and food to keep you playing like land based casinos do, which means that you won’t be tipsy and playing on their accord, which land based casinos actually hope for because the more tipsy you are the more you’re inclined to play and lose.
These are just a few of the reasons why online casinos are a safer bet when gambling. We’re definitely not against land based casinos, in fact, we find them rather fun, but it does go to show that the negativity directed at online casinos regarding their business practices is generally unfounded.