Any online casino player knows that the typically lively social atmosphere of gambling is nothing but pure window-dressing, a pleasure secondary to the thrill of winning real, actual *money* itself – money that you might otherwise never have had, money that you can “invest” foolishly if you choose. However, like so many other entertainment choices, playing at real money casinos (online or off-) has its share of potential pitfalls alongside the Bacchanalia. Here are some brief tips on getting started.
In terms of actual gameplay, very little difference exists between the online and offline casinos of today’s world and, as you’d expect, on electronic games virtually no difference exists.
Seriously, think about how easy converting cash to casino money (assuming the ol’ credit cards arne’t maxed out and let’s sincerely hope it doesn’t ever get to that point), using chips or cards in the games and cashing out simply by turnig in those chips and/or cards. It’s been damn tough to find an *illegal* gambling outlet in most of the US since 1960 or so; thus, any casino has been quality-tested and approved for safe and fair gambling.
Online, things are completely different. Individual countries (and, in the case of Canada, provinces) have different regulations in place regarding gambling online. Canadian national law piggybacks on prevailing US law, which disallows (in theory) transactions between a financial institution and gambling websites. In practice, however, most Canada-based credit unions will in fact allow such transactions and thus can the Canadian citizen legally play online.
However, some real money casinos online, apparenlty not wishing to bother with various national laws, simply reject Canadian players straightaway. No matter; all casinos listed on the pages of Casino Canada are accepting Canadian players.
Bad news and good news here. Because of individual nations’ differing laws on gambling online, no single international regulatory body exists. On the plus side, in 20 years of business, the online casino industry has done a remarkable job in self-policing. Unethical casino game software providers, poker websites and daily fantasy sports hosts have been taken to court and/or been closed up thanks to efforts for within an international industry dominated by small players.
Several internationally-recognized auditors, assessors and other authorities check real money casino operators regularly for fairness of play and general business practices. Over 99% of casino websites are reputable and fair today, but if you are concerned, check the casino’s landing page. Near the bottom, check for logos from eCOGRA, TST or the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, to name a few.
Three words: Free. Money. Bonuses. Unless you’re blowing 100s of Ks at a Vegas casino, you’re not getting anything free. But at the online casino, nearly every player gets (or should get) bonus playing money. Just make sure you check the playthrough requirements before attempting to cash any in.