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Our Guide to Gambling Online

Online gambling is fast becoming the only way to place your bets. According to figures from Statista, online gambling was worth $20.51bn in 2009, and it’s set to more than double to $59.79bn by 2020. This ballooning growth is largely down to the rise of mobile gambling, which many industry experts expect to be the primary method of online gambling in the near future.

Whether you do your gambling on your mobile, laptop, or tablet, there are several things you need to bear in mind when taking your chances online. Our guide to online gambling should help you on your way.

Keep your options open by gambling without borders

Unlike entering the lottery at your local corner shop, or racking up chips at your favourite casino, online gambling is not restricted by physical location. This opens up your options, and, as a betting man knows, more options means more chances of winning.

Gamblers in the UK can enter the German lotto, for example, to take home their winnings in euros—a currency now almost equally valuable as the pound. International betting websites also allow you to try the odds for international sporting events of your choosing.

Scanning the odds for lotteries in other European countries, and following international sporting developments closely, will allow you to improve your chances of winning big online.

Be careful to gamble on the right side of the law

For gamblers’ own benefit, online gambling is subject to various laws and legal regulations. It’s important to make sure you are abiding by them at all times, and that any online casinos you use are fully and appropriately licensed.

You can check for licenses by examining the website you’re using. If it’s a site based in the UK, there may be a logo from the Gambling Commission, Gamble Aware, or eCongra. eCongra regulations make sure the website is transparently monitored and protects players.

If the website you are using isn’t properly licensed, it may be illicit, which means you can’t trust that the site will payout your winnings, and you may even be prosecuted for using it (though it is unlikely).

If you’re gambling online on the move—a likely scenario if you win enough online to take a well-deserved holiday—it’s possible you might pass through a country where gambling is actually illegal. This website has a breakdown of gambling’s legality in certain territories worldwide to help you make sure you’re playing by the rules.

Make sure you gamble safe

With online banking, online shopping, and online crowdfunding, we trust the web with our money more than we ever have before. But with gambling, things can be different. Unlike banks and trusted shopping sites like eBay or Amazon, gambling websites may have security issues or even be a sham.

As we’ve mentioned, checking for a license can be one way to assess a gambling site’s legality. To make sure it won’t get hacked, look for the “secure” https:// at the start of its URL address. Never trust your bank details to a website that doesn’t have this, gambling or otherwise.

Aside from security and legality, there is another major area of of concern when it comes to gambling safely. There’s a reason there are so many tight laws surrounding gambling online: it’s easy to get carried away. Unlike other forms of gambling, where you have to spend physical money, online gambling gives you almost no moments to reflect on your decision to spend more, to keep going.

To help tackle this, it’s best to gamble on a website that lets you keep track of how much you are spending, and even blocks you from spending more than you can afford. Betfair, for example, offers a budget calculator, an account blocking service, and a calendar that shows you your spend and winnings at a glance. 888casino does not offer tools like these, but the site’s Responsible Gambling page says staff have been trained to recognise compulsive gambling behaviour.

They say the house always wins, and that’s no less true online than it is offline. Gamble responsibly to make sure you win too.