How the US Online Gambling Market Has Changed

PaymentsThe U.S. online gambling market has changed quite a bit within the last year or so due to recent events.

Namely, the Panama Papers incident was especially impactful and made operators’ lives difficult. Many operators have been forced to start pushing Bitcoin payments to their customers instead of doing it the old way via checks, bank transfers or money transfer services (such as Western Union and Moneygram).

In other words, while much of the gambling industry laughed at Bitcoin a year ago, many now consider it the preferred method, or at least the most viable option since U.S. operators struggle to process standard withdrawals in a timely manner.

It’s possible that operators are making standard withdrawal methods less-appealing on purpose. Think about it: if they truly want the industry to switch to Bitcoin, it may make sense for them to increase withdrawal times and processing fees for the other methods – at least momentarily – in order to force the customers to look for other options.

For customers, the alernative option to using standard deposit and withdrawal methods is therefore Bitcoin, and that’s when your transfers are processed for free and delivered within a few days instead of you paying tens of dollars per transaction and waiting for weeks or even months.

The more likely scenario, though, is that operators are struggling. They seem to have survived the Panama Papers fiasco but are increasingly worried about similar events in the future. They see virtual currency as a way of avoiding trouble or at least softening the blow – if it comes. And it probably will.

Transferring real money has not only been challenging but costly to online gambling operators that accept customers from the U.S – yet another reason for them to switch to Bitcoin. If they can successfully get rid of those costs, it will not only make their lives easier but improve their bottom-line as well.

Ironically, considering Bitcoin’s volatility and the possibility of being hacked, the virtual currency indeed seems to be the safest option for gambling operators.

10 Tips for Gambling Online Safely

SafeThe majority of players who access online gambling platforms won’t experience any issues in terms of their safety. For the most part, the most widely recognized online casinos have measures in place to help protect players in terms of their deposits and general online safety. However, how can players maximize this? Let’s take a look at ten of the leading tips for gambling online safely:

1. Use an Up To Date Antivirus Suite

One of the most important things players can do at this very moment is to use an up to date security suite. This should include anti virus as a bare minimum, but should also include firewalls, anti-malware, and identity protection where it’s available for players. There are many free to use options for this including Avast, AVG, and Avira. However, some players regard paid suites as offering a greater level of protection. While these claims aren’t necessarily substantiated, those who are in the market for paid-for security software should seek the advice of reputable review websites and other trusted sources. For the most part, though, players won’t find themselves poorly protected by using free software and it’s certainly better than nothing!

2. Keep Cash Protected

This is usually covered by the platform itself, but players should always keep their cash protected as much as possible. Encryption standards will be in place that provide the highest standards of data protection against potential fraud, but players should also go out of their way to ensure their systems remain protected. This includes performing regular anti virus scans along with making a conscious effort to protect passwords.

3. Avoid “Cheat” Software

Players might be enticed by fraudsters advertising free “cheat” software that will allow them to generate free cash for themselves on online casino platforms. These are often viruses in disguise and will steal account information without providing any sort of edge over the house. They can also lead to accounts being banned if caught. It’s just not worth the risk.

4. Use Separate Cards

Something players should do for themselves is to only use a dedicated bank account for the sole purpose of online gambling. This will ensure that, should the worst happen, players won’t have their personal finances disrupted by hackers or fraudsters. It will also help players put a cap on their own spending when it comes to online gaming: something that problem gamblers cannot do.

5. Don’t Use Borrowed Money

Borrowed money used for the purposes of online gaming won’t provide an adequate means of funding. While it will release cash immediately to players, the interest incurred as a result of using borrowed money often exceeds any potential return. Again, this is something that just isn’t worth it!

6. Expect Losses

Online gambling by its very nature is a game of chance. Players shouldn’t go onto online gambling platforms with some sort of “winning strategy” in mind. While it might pay dividends in the long run, players should always expect to be defeated along the way and incur a few losses. This is just the nature of the beast and players can’t avoid it!

7. Set Time Limits

Something that problem gamblers often have issues with is the amount of time they’re playing on gambling platforms. This is why it’s important to set time limits and stick to them. Players shouldn’t feel the need to cram in an extra SNG tournament or a few more spins at the roulette wheel either. Once that time limit is up, then it’s up and players ought to sign off for the night.

8. Choose Safe Withdrawal Methods

Players shouldn’t be inclined to choose an experimental withdrawal method just because it offers the fastest transfer speeds according to any promotion that might be running at that particular point. Instead, players should stick with tried and trusted methods of withdrawing: like PayPal, credit card crediting, or bank transfers.

9. Use Reputable Platforms

The Internet is a realm where there are new online casinos opening up on daily basis. Thanks to the ease of software programming in modern times and the several available cash withdrawal and deposit methods, players can jump into a casino within a matter of seconds. However, this doesn’t mean players should blindly throw themselves at a newly emerging platform for the sake of it. Reputable, established platforms provide a safer experience overall. Additionally, make sure to only take advice from informational websites with honest listings of gambling sites.

10. Enjoy It

There’s no reason to play games because they’re a drag or a chore. Online gaming is meant to be a pleasant experience. Enjoy it!

How to Deal With A Gambling Problem

Gambling AddictionWhile the pursuit of online casino games is a pleasure for many and a chore for some, it can be a crippling addiction for others who have lost the ability to control their time spent within the virtual floors. Many governments in Europe that allow online gaming also require those platforms to provide community outreach programs or, at the very least, information leading to reputable gambling addiction help services. This isn’t the case in North America, but is becoming increasingly common partly due to the amount of players who are recognized as problem gamblers. Let’s take a look at some tips for how to deal with gambling issues when people don’t know where to turn.

Addiction Helplines

The first port of call for many and sometimes the only source of help available for some is found through addiction helplines. These are manned by similar crisis intervention specialists who are trained to deal with the most vulnerable, such as those found manning suicide telephone lines, and will provide immediate addiction counselling to those who are in their most desperate state. These helplines are widely available in most areas where gambling is an established norm and can often be accessed at any time of day, but are especially populated at night when problem gamblers are likely to reach out.

Community Outreach Programs

It’s also not unusual for there to be community outreaches where gambling is a norm. These are often held within community centres, churches, or other recognized public areas where counselling can be offered. These often provide a vital link between problem gamblers and their ability to move away from the source of their issues: namely, online gambling platforms and their computers. By getting out of the house or their chosen place of play and getting to an outreach building, players afford themselves a much better chance of full recovery as they’re openly identifying themselves as vulnerable and will be in the presence of others in their situation. This creates a sort of accountability web whereby players can keep tabs on one another and offer mutual support.

This doesn’t suit every type of problem gambler though. Some may not want the physical identification amongst their peers in the outside world. Where possible, some problem gamblers may choose to travel elsewhere to another established outreach program that’s away from their place of residence. This will give them a sort of anonymity amongst others in a similar situation. However, when this isn’t possible, problem gamblers can still access hotlines and find excellent levels of support to meet their needs.

Internet Support Lines

There’s a sense of comfort in what’s familiar and this isn’t most obvious than the volume of Internet support lines that are available on the web today. Some of the leading names in this include GamCare, which is officially recognized by public bodies in the United Kingdom as a leading provider of gambling addiction support over the Internet, and Smart Recovery. The majority of Internet support lines are available free of charge and don’t require any telephone calls if players find this uncomfortable. These tend to be regarded as the least helpful of the available support lines since they don’t remove the player from the situation, but should nevertheless be considered when other options aren’t proving themselves useful or aren’t accessible by players in their current situation.

Formal Therapy

Problem gamblers can also find support through formal therapy sessions through a recognized therapist, counsellor, or psychiatrist when there are other underlying issues requiring additional support and/or medical intervention. These are usually used when players have a considerable amount of funds available to them, since formal therapy often comes as a private medical cost. However, the one-to-one support offered from a recognized and trained face is often enough to treat problem gambling and address any other issues where necessary. Of course, it’s a luxury that should only be considered by those with quite a bit of cash available to them, which doesn’t tend to include many problem gamblers on the Internet today. When this is the case, free to use options like helplines and outreach programs should be found.

Secure Deposit and Withdrawal Methods

Method for Depositing MoneyIt’s unfortunate that in today’s day and age, there are still several problems related to financial security on the Internet today. That’s not to say that the Internet is inherently insecure and shouldn’t be trusted with financial details, but rather online gamblers still need to make a more concerned effort to keep their financial data protected along with using secure methods of getting funds to and from online casinos. So, what are some secure deposit and withdrawal methods? Let’s take a look at some options and things to keep in mind.

Encryption Standards

One of the most important things players need to keep in mind is the encryption standard that’s being used to facilitate the transfers. The higher the bit level, the more secure it will be for players and the harder it will be for fraudsters to intercept the data for themselves. Players should avoid transfers that do not include any sort of encryption standard as these will be completely exposed to the Internet. While few incidents are likely to arise because of this, online casinos are a haven for potential fraudsters due to the sheer volume of cash transactions occurring on a daily basis. When it comes to money, it’s always best to be secure and in the know!

Credit Cards

Credit cards are usually the standard choice for those playing in real money casinos and for good reason: they’ve become increasingly safe to use on the Internet today. They’re also one of the most convenient means of transferring funds to and from a casino since the transactions are instant. This isn’t the case with other secure deposit methods, like PayPal, which can take several days to complete a transfer as they must be manually approved in most cases.

Players are also often provided with buyer’s protection when completing a credit card transaction. In the event of a fraudulent transaction, players can appeal to the issuer for a refund, but this will be subject to investigation by the issuer and repeat reversals might be declined. It’s therefore important to be in the know when it comes to where funds are being transferred to. This is often why most online gamers recommend sticking with well-known, reputable platforms. This helps avoid much of what players experience in terms of transaction fraud.


For those without access to credit cards or those who prefer an additional layer of security in a transaction, PayPal is the leading name in payment processing on the Internet today. Made popular by eBay auctions, PayPal allows players to associate their bank accounts with their e-mail addresses to complete online transactions by e-mail. This allows the majority of players to have some form of secure payment transfers, but it tends to be at the cost of time. Since transfers are being made by e-mail through the PayPal system, they often must be manually verified before players can get involved in the goings-on around the virtual felts. Players might therefore prefer a more speedier transaction.

Bank Transfers

For those who don’t want to involve themselves with e-systems like PayPal, then direct bank transfers are often accommodated for larger deposits and withdrawals. However, these are the longest of the available options and can take quite a bit in order to reach a casino’s platform. They do tend to be inherently secure though, which is thanks to the amount of security that banks implement into their transfers and the manual involvement of bank tellers between the player and casino’s accounts. It shouldn’t be the only method that players rely on though since it’s usually only made available for the largest of transactions (often exceeding $1,000 USD).

Staying Safe

Players often receive all of what they need in terms of security directly from the platform thanks to their own built-in safety measures. However, players can also go the extra mile by ensuring their anti virus programs are up to date and perform regular scans. This will help prevent the infection of malware or spyware, which can lead to the distribution of sensitive financial information to fraudulent parties. Players can also seek protection through firewalls and identity protection software, which are becoming increasingly common in today’s online gambling world.