Online gambling is rapidly growing, especially as it’s becoming legal and regulated in more and more places, including the US, and shows no signs of slowing down. In fact, the online gambling industry is expected to grow by more than 11% within the next five years.
While Canada currently has the largest market, the US is catching up as more states are legalizing online casino games. Sports betting has been legal in the country since 2018, and states like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Michigan now legally allow online casinos. These changes to regulations are making online gambling even more accessible than ever before.
But, as with most things, there are pitfalls and things to be careful of as you take advantage of these new regulations and laws to try online gambling. Here, we’ve compiled a list of mistakes to avoid when gaming through online casinos. Avoiding these will help you stay focused on enjoying the game and avoid financial, personal information, and mental health risks.
Not Researching Reputable Online Casinos
The amazing thing about online gambling is that it’s so easy and accessible to find online casinos with a host of games you love, but this is also one of the drawbacks. Why? Because not every online casino is built the same.
When you’re looking to play online for real money, you want to find a casino that follows regulations and protects players and their personal information. For casino players, this means you need to do your homework before signing up with an online casino. You want to be sure you’re selecting a casino that will protect your personal information and help you use gambling best practices.
Look for security, licensing, customer support, player reviews, and payment and winning withdrawal options. Don’t forget to check with the regulatory bodies in your location to be sure the online casino you’re planning to register with meets their requirements and qualifications.
Not Reading the Terms and Conditions
Terms and conditions can have tricky clauses that make it hard for you to access your winnings. Plus, all those bonuses offered to you often have additional terms you need to know before you can take advantage of them or decide if they’re worth using. Sometimes, something as simple as your payment type can impact what you can withdraw or what bonuses will be available to you specifically.
Be sure to review these and understand what you’ll be able to collect from a win and everything you’ll lose from a loss.
Not Learning Game Rules
While casinos sound like fun and games, there are rules you should follow and strategies you should know for every game you play. Before placing any wagers or bets on a game, take the time to familiarize yourself with the game’s details.
Thankfully, rules and strategies are often easily found online, and often, you can find free versions of a game while you’re learning the ins and outs of it. This way, you can gain an understanding of a specific game without risking your hard-earned cash in the process.
When you’re gambling, whether online or in person, it’s a good idea to have a budget in place for how much you can spend on gaming. Otherwise, it can be easy to overspend. But just because you’re staying within a budget doesn’t mean you can’t play. Playing with a casino that gets you free Sweeps can help you stay on a budget with free gameplay.
Playing to Earn Money
When you’re trying out online casinos, your intention should be to enjoy the thrill of gambling and the fun of the game, not try to earn an income. This puts pressure on your game, which is always a risk, and sets you up for an unhealthy relationship with gambling and creating a stressful financial situation.
Trying to recoup losses is a slippery slope to putting yourself under financial stress. Casinos, while fun, are based on risks and odds. Even if you think you’re due for a big win, games don’t work out that way; they have a random outcome each time.
Playing Under the Influence
Casinos often draw to mind luxurious settings with a black-tie look, complete with a sophisticated cocktail or suave drink in hand. But the reality is you should avoid drinking and drug use while gambling.
Drinking alcohol can impact our decision-making abilities. It can cause you to take risks you wouldn’t usually take that you may regret later. This is why so many problem gambling support programs discourage people from drinking while gambling even if they aren’t experiencing problem gambling.
Not Taking Advantage of Bonuses
Most casinos offer bonuses to get players to sign up or continue playing. Quite often, these bonuses are something you can take advantage of to give you more playing time or free spins or bets, and you can use them towards potential winnings. Of course, as mentioned, the bonuses are subject to terms and conditions, so give those a read-through before using them.
Not Taking Advantage of Responsible Gambling Tools
Most legitimate casinos have responsible gambling tools in place that help you keep tabs on your gambling and prevent problem gambling. This can include features like setting a budget ahead of playing for bets, setting timers, and other self-exclusion options. This lets you enjoy the game without worrying about making the wrong moves for your wallet and mental health.
Avoid These Pitfalls & Enjoy Yourself
Now that you know the mistakes to avoid to protect your personal information and play responsibly, find a reputable online casino platform and have fun!