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10 THINGS TO DO BEFORE GAMBLING ONLINE

As this multibillion dollar industry grows at a rapid pace, it is still a self-regulated affair with limited formal regulation. Sensible Gambler is operated by a collection of former casino owners, forum managers, and online players. We work to ensure that the industry stays "clean" by assisting mutual parties in earning total trust and, most importantly, establishing integrity for us all.

So before you reach for your wallet, or even your ewallet, there are several potential problems you need to look out for. Our advice is, do your homework before you gamble. If you leave it until after you've started, you've left it too late.

Here are ten of the most important points to help you on your way:

  1. A more reputable casino will be licensed by a sovereign government. No license? Move on.
  2. Expect the casino to offer a 24/7, toll-free customer helpline, live chat or email support. If not, move on.
  3. Can you play for free? This is a crucial question. If you can't, then you won't be able to check out the software before committing your hard earned cash, so move on.
  4. Look at the choice of denominations you can bet on poker and slots. Ideally, there should be a wide variety. From nickels, quarters and dollars to five dollar games.
  5. You should expect the casino to have no less than three different versions of video poker games. Three or more shows that they have invested heavily in software so you can be confident that they should still be in business by this time next week. Be extremely suspicious of those casinos offering just one.
  6. Look at the betting values for craps and blackjack. What's the minimum you can wager? What's the maximum? You need to know.
  7. Does the casino keep track of your purchases and payouts? Can you access this information? It's vital you have a record of your transactions.
  8. Check out the casino's customer service. Send them an email and test their response. How long do you have to wait for a reply? Do they answer your question? It's important.
  9. Find out about the software designer. What's their reputation? It's senseless to gamble without knowing how you can collect your winnings.
  10. Last but not least, read every rule about bonuses and cashing out procedures. Don't part with a penny until you're one hundred percent sure.

Okay, so now you've checked everything out and you're satisfied with your choice.

But wait. There's one more thing to do before you start. Call the casino's customer service department and pose the question, "If I buy in with my credit card or ewallet for $100 and cash out $300, how will I get paid?" If they say they'll send you a cheque, be cautious, and ask how long it will take.

If you're told you'll have to wait up to four weeks, reject it. This practice is totally unwarranted, unless it applies equally to the time it takes for them to receive your cash. Only use casinos that refund your original purchase amount directly back to your credit card or ewallet within three days, and offer to forward an overnight cheque or wire transfer to your account.

Following these basic rules should set you on the path to a trouble free online gambling experience, (as well as cutting down on the number of daily complaints we receive!). Remember, happy sensible gamblers always do their homework.

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