Modern digital life is incredibly convenient and fast-paced, so playing online casino games can be done in the comfort of someone’s own home or office, in secrecy, without anyone noticing, and can match and recreate much of the excitement associated with playing in a traditional casino. With the recent challenges imposed by COVID-19, online gambling can create a particularly harmful loop for those with gambling problems.
The trend of people staying close to home and practising ‘social distance’ has increased the risk of those with compulsive gambling disorders resorting to online platforms. It is just as important to understand that online gambling comes with many risks, some of which could cause serious problems for those who gamble on the internet. There can even be some unique risks associated with online gambling that do not exist in traditional gambling. For online casino gamblers who don’t want to lose everything, but still want to enjoy the excitement and thrills of gambling, they must watch out for the following risks itemized in this article.
Playtime: Online gambling sites give people the chance to play 24 hours a day, giving them unlimited playtime. Players should also set a specific playing time limit and not exceed it for any reason. It is also recommended that they take regular breaks so that they do not give in to the temptation of continuously betting and endless playing, which is extremely easy on an online gambling website.
Cybersecurity Issues: The unregulated nature of these sites means that personal data such as credit card numbers and banking account numbers can be susceptible to hackers or scammers. Also, contact information could be shared with third-party partners to promote gambling sites and offers. In addition, gambling sites collect your browser history, your spending habits, and demographic data about you to gain a better understanding of what sports or games you like to gamble on. These sites also cannot enforce a legal age because minors can easily lie about their age to gain access to the games.
Easier to Wager Unlimited Amounts of Money: Using a credit card enables fast deposits and withdrawals. If an individual wants to fund an online gambling account, he/she just logs into the bank or PayPal account and moves the funds over to the gambling account. It is important for gamblers to determine their risk tolerance and not exceed it. It is also vital for them to determine a win amount at which they are prepared to stop gambling. This will ensure that they do not lose the winnings they have gained if they continue to gamble.
Easy Access: Due to the advancement in technology, the convenience of having access to games and betting opportunities is just a click or tap away for gamblers. Since online gambling sites are so easy to find, online gambling tends to be more addictive than going to a brick and mortar casino. For instance, if a habitual gambler is trying to quit, they could avoid casinos or any gaming venues. However, online gambling requires only a device with an Internet connection. This unique addictive feature is derived from the fact that the device with an internet connection also can be used for other activities, such as doing work, conducting research, and communicating with friends and family.
In today’s connected world, it is virtually impossible to do daily tasks without either a PC/laptop, smartphone/tablet, or both. Thus, addicted gamblers cannot avoid online casinos as they can with traditional ones.
Unregulated Websites: In some countries, online casinos are banned due to alot of legal issues. However, Some countries do allow operation of online casinos and the ratio of countries who properly regulate them are few. Thus, it is hard to predict who operates the actual business, whether the stated odds of winning are true, or whether the gambler is cheated out of their money (whether while betting or while making a winning bet). Gambling sites that are unregulated or fraudulent can exploit players, and if problems occur, it may be difficult for authorities to track down and take action against fraudulent or unregulated gambling sites.
Isolated Playing: Unlike gambling in casinos where you can socialize, online gambling is often done alone, and for those with a gambling problem, it may be easier to hide how much and where they gamble. Sometimes online gamblers aren’t aware of their problem since their gambling isn’t disrupting their lives in terms of work and social activities. Friends and family members may not even be aware that their loved one gambles, and therefore are unequipped to help them stop.
Offer of Free Play: Players can often find a free version of the games offered by online casinos at WeGamble. In the free version, the odds are in the player’s favor; this builds confidence so they can start gambling with real money once they have had some success with the free version. If you play online poker, for example, you may think you’re playing against a real person when, in fact, you’re playing against a computer program designed to be optimally competitive and often impossible to beat.
With the tips listed above, a gambler is more likely to handle the risks of online gaming better, enjoy the experience more, or be better equipped to completely avoid the risks associated with online gaming sites. Also, in recent days, due to the newfound isolation and uncertainty in the world due to Covid-19, online gambling makes players feel as if they have escaped the real world, like zoning out, being distracted, and in their world. Finally, you should only access gambling sites if you’re over the legal age of gambling, make certain you’re only gambling for a certain amount of time per day, set and stick to a spending limit, and tell someone your limits so that they can help hold you accountable. If you feel that you’re gambling has become an issue, talk to a professional gambling counselor.