Can You Trust Online Casinos?

In the light of the recent move by the state of Nevada to legalise online poker many people are asking if they should trust poker sites and online casinos.

The short answer is a resounding "Yes," as long as you choose your gambling site with a little care. It doesn't matter if you're a poker player in Nevada looking for a convenient online table to virtually sit at or a European roulette lover looking for that perfect software based casino to place your virtual chips, as long as you stick to the recommended sites, you'll be fine.

Different countries have different rules regarding Internet gambling so you should first be aware of those rules governing your place of residence. For UK players, its pretty easy as the whole industry is properly regulated by the British government and only licensed operators are allowed to open their virtual doors to paying customers who meet the legal criteria (such as being 18 years of age or over).

In the USA

For US players, things are still in their relative infancy, as there is only one state where you can play online and it is so far only poker that is allowed, with only one poker room open for business:! But things are going to change, because if there's one thing you can safely place a bet on is that where one state has started allowing Internet gambling in one form or another, others will follow.

Regulation is the important word here. For years, the United States Federal laws prohibited online gambling in poker rooms and casinos. So the industry was not only unregulated, it was wide open for underground operators and shady sites to ply their dubious trade to eager players who didn't care if the sites they played at paid their taxes or not.

And of course they did not. Not a red cent went into the US Treasury coffers in tax from the billions of dollars that were generated through illegal gaming sites that were willing to risk heavy fines and even imprisonment to take the money and run.

In Europe

In Europe and particularly the UK, things have been very different. Internet gambling was swiftly seen as a big generator of taxation and by regulating the industry, the government was able to kill two birds with one stone.

Not only could their raise vast sums in taxes, but by regulating operators they were ensuring the safety of players and protecting the most vulnerable (underage gamblers) from exploitation.

So next time you need to ask if its safe to play in online casinos, look at your own country and ask is the industry regulated by legislation and do the operators need to have a current license to be open for business. If they do, then you can rest assured that you are playing in an establishment that is keen to ensure your rights as a customer and consumer are upheld, not just for your sake but also for their own credibility and trust factor.

If in any doubt, go with a brand you know, like William Hill, Betfred, Ladbrokes, Paddy Power or one of the other well known and long established bookmakers and gambling companies. There is greater perceived safety in choosing a well known name.