Use caution when choosing your online casino

For the most part, players generally get caught up in choosing an online casino based on bonuses or promotions, or maybe the casino theme plays a part in the decision. But there are much more important things to consider and verify after you have chosen at which casino you want to gamble. There are many legal and tax implications when gambling online, which can come back to bite you either when you go to cash-out, or when your government finds out about your winnings. The most obvious example is the recent crack-down in South Africa, where the bank accounts of players were confiscated by the government and the players were essentially taxed at 100% of their winnings if they had played in unapproved casinos.

We are long past the days where online gambling was like the Wild West where everything goes. Governments, Banks, and even the casinos themselves have all gotten much better at regulating what is happening. The South Africa incident illustrates a serious point, Governments can now force banks to monitor transactions going to online casinos. In effect, your bank may be serving as the police against gambling at casinos that you are not lawfully allowed to gamble at. There are also rumblings about the casinos accepting money from individuals, but then not doing payouts to people if that payout would be illegal for the customer.

Beyond that, the internet is full of scams and less than honest people trying to cheat people. A casino can offer the best bonuses and have generous free offers and prizes if it has no plans on fulfilling their payouts. For this reason, it is vital to only play at casinos that have been licensed by one of the ´big 5´ organizations, those being Malta, Gibraltar, Alderney, Kahnawake, and Antigua. In most cases, the casinos will proudly display their licensing information at the bottom of each page of their website.

Another security measure you can take is to ensure that the casinos are using games created by major companies like Microgaming or Realtime Gaming. These large game-makers have a lot invested in their brand and will not allow their games to be used at unsavory casinos. Furthermore, these game-makers have the ability to monitor payout rates to make sure players are winning at the predicted levels.

But even more important is to know the laws regarding online gambling based on where you live. In many cases, the worst thing that can happen to you is you lose your deposit or winnings, but when it comes to laws, there are worse things that can happen to you and governments are getting more invasive in their techniques to catch people. Online gambling is fun and sometimes profitable, but avoid problems by making sure you are doing it legally.