If you've ever played at an online casino, chances are that you're a fan of online gambling. For many who have never experienced it for themselves, though, there can be some trepidation due to the common negative and often incorrect stereotypes propagated by the media.
Here we look at some of the most common incorrect beliefs that people encounter and the actual truth behind each of them.
Any form of gaming may be addictive to certain personalities and we've all heard stories about people who gambled everything they owned away. This, however, is not as common as the media, anti-gambling groups and certain government departments would like you to believe.
An independent study commissioned by Harvard Medical School's Division on Addiction showed that only 1.1% of the US population are considered pathological gamblers who exhibit consistently addictive, problem gambling behaviour. It is this minority that creates the illusion that online gambling causes extreme addiction behaviours. The truth of the matter is that the majority of people are able to enjoy online gaming as a recreational hobby without becoming addicted.
Most gamblers are suspicious of online casinos and often experience misguided fears about casinos rigging their games so that players lose. Unlike land-based casinos, online casinos are subject to regulation by various licensing jurisdictions as well as auditing by independent bodies like eCogra so they are not just free to do as they please when it comes to their payouts. In addition, reputable casinos would not risk their good reputations by cheating players when online casino games actually have an edge already.
This is a common misperception. While some governments frown on online gambling because they are not getting their due in the form of taxes from online casino revenue, online gambling is not illegal in spite of the various restrictions imposed on it by some governments. In many countries like the United Kingdom however, online gambling is regulated and licenses are offered to various reputable operators. Even in the US where UIGEA previously prohibited banks from processing internet gaming transactions, there is no law stating that online gambling is illegal and in fact the US has seen states like Nevada and New Jersey openly allowing online gambling once again in recent months.
The majority of people believe that online gambling is an anti-social pursuit where players play solely in isolation. This couldn't be further from the truth. Many online casinos offer chat rooms and even live dealer casinos where you can interact with other players and even the dealers as you play your favourite online casino games in live dealer casino settings. So while you're not physically sitting across from other players like you would in a land based venue, you can still interact and make new friends across the world when playing online.
There is nothing more realistic than walking into your favourite land based casino and playing real casino games, and many people who have never played at an online casino think that it can't be very realistic. This may have been true of the earlier online casinos but technological advancements have meant that online casino software developers have invested considerable time and resources into producing near life like casino experiences online. Many of the same slot machines titles are available online and there are 3D table games complete with life like casino audio that make it feel as if you are playing at a real venue. The advent of Live Dealer Casino games has taken online gambling to the next level and so there is no longer a great divide between brick and mortar and land based casinos.
These are just a few negative stereotypes that we encounter on the subject of online gambling but as more and more people experience online casinos for themselves these stereotypes are diminishing and we're sure that in time they will disappear completely.