Common Myths About Online Gambling in Europe Debunked
The emergence of online gambling websites gave players a chance to bet on their favourite teams or casino games without ever having to leave the comforts of home. Due to the industry’s controversial past, online gambling tends to have a bad reputation. That’s why online gambling regulation has become such a popular topic across Europe and beyond.
Today, the industry has grown to be one of the biggest in the online world, but some misconceptions are embedded in the popular belief. In this article, we will try to dispel the most common myths about online gambling.
Myth 1: All Online Gambling is Illegal
While some countries may have more restrictions than others, gambling online is not illegal.
EU countries are independent in the way they regulate their gambling services. Most EU countries allow at least some games of chance to be offered online. Some countries allow all types of online gambling, while others only allow certain types such as betting, poker or casino games.
The European Commission supports all EU countries in their efforts to modernise national online gambling legal frameworks, especially with regard to cooperation between gambling regulatory authorities. The Commission also provides support to ensure the protection of consumers and vulnerable people, including minors.
Myth 2: Online Gambling isn’t Regulated
Through an effort to dispel deep-rooted notions that gambling is a precarious industry to be in, those involved have created a highly regulated economy. Seeing as online gambling has become a $51 billion industry, establishing regulatory standards has become a high priority for governments and industry operators over the last two decades.
Countries around the world have implemented their own licensing systems and codes of conduct. If you visit a modern gaming website, you’ll now see several regulatory seals of approval at the bottom of the page. For example, In the UK, the Gambling Commission provides various gambling licences to operators who want to offer remote betting, casino games and lotteries.
For players visiting from France, a certificate from the French Regulatory Authority for Online Games (ARJEL) is on display. For any modern online casinos to operate legally, they need to obtain a licence relevant to the country/s they’re actively targeting.
Myth 3: Online Gambling Promotes Addictive Behaviours
Most reputable gambling websites take the problem of addiction very seriously and provide education and resources that promote safe and responsible gambling practices. After all, their players are their source of business, and their health and wellbeing must be made a priority.
The misconception that online casinos are looking to exploit players by luring them into addictive behaviour patterns is false.
Myth 4: It’s Easy for Minors to Gamble Online
Online casinos only accept players who are of legal age, and they check each player’s personal details when they sign up for a gambling account.
Players are also required to use credit cards or other means to deposit into their accounts, and in many cases, ID needs to be verified to make a deposit in the first place. The KYC departments of many online casinos can seem frustrating given the amount of documentation they require from players, but in the long run, this is to protect both the user and the operator from fraudulent behaviour and to prevent underage gambling.
Myth 5: Gambling Websites are not Safe
Online gambling is a form of entertainment. However, whenever personal and financial information exchanges hands, safeguards need to be in place to protect everyone involved.
Long before the GDPR was enforced in Europe, gambling websites were required to uphold rigorous standards when they processed and stored data. To help facilitate this, the leading gambling operators use advanced security technology and encryption techniques that protect players’ sensitive information and their funds.
As with all online businesses, it’s important that online casinos use PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant payment gateways to process all online transactions securely. Affiliations with trusted brands like Visa or Mastercard also serve as trust signals to players and make them feel more comfortable when making payments online.
Myth 6: Online Casinos are Rigged
Every licenced online gambling operator must prove that its gaming software is secure and fair. This typically requires a third party to assess and certify the relevant software.
Legally licensed online casinos are regularly audited with respect to their gaming software and pay-out percentage in order to certify that their games don’t contain any bugs, conceptual errors or dishonest procedures. Procedures associated with receiving deposits from customers, keeping track of the movements in their deposits and withdrawal procedures are closely regulated.
Myth 7: Online Casinos Don’t Pay Out
The idea that online casinos don’t pay out is one of the most damaging misconceptions about online gambling. As with online shopping and other internet-based practices, fraudulent online gambling sites do exist. However, if you perform your due diligence and find a reputable online casino, you will find that they do and will pay out player’s winnings.
The online casino industry is governed by a set of strict rules and regulations just like any other online business. Financial protection is a top priority across all jurisdictions. For instance, the rule to keep player balances separate from operating funds is designed to ensure that players get their money back if the casino goes bankrupt.
Credible websites will be diligent about making players feel safe and secure.
Forcing operators to take gambling regulation seriously and to refine their practices has meant that players are getting an improved, more secure overall experience.
With all the myths out in cyberspace, it’s easy to see why some may be hesitant to step into the world of online gambling. However, just like an old wives’ tale, it’s time to put these misconceptions of online gambling to rest.