The world of online gambling has taken both sports betting and casino games into the 21st century. Though most would agree that having access to the sportsbook and casino from the comfort of their own home is a good thing, there are also some downsides that shouldn’t be ignored.
The good news? Most of the drawbacks to online gambling can be eliminated if you know what to look for and how to avoid them.
In this article, I’ll go over the four most common mistakes online gamblers make and explain how you can avoid becoming a victim.
1 – Not Checking Payout Protocols
Simply put, the payout process for many online casinos is still complicated at best and intentionally misleading at worst. This is especially true if you live in a state where gambling online has not been fully legalized. As of this writing, that still applies to a good percentage of the US.
Now, it should be noted that I’m not necessarily blaming the sportsbooks for this issue. However, if they purposefully obfuscate the process in order to get you to deposit more money, that’s certainly something that can be held against them.
When an online gambling platform is hosting a user from a state where gambling is illegal, they must use an offshore bank account to process the transactions (it’s not as sketchy as it sounds). Because of this reality, there are extra costs incurred that must be paid for with things like “transaction fees” or something of that nature.
Don’t worry, just by utilizing the recommended online gambling sites, you aren’t doing anything that is going to have the law knocking at your door. But you’re trying to win money, and it could cause some problems in that regard.
All betting websites are required to explain their payout process. With that being said, bettors aren’t required to read it. It’s almost never going to be as smooth as you want it to be, but it’s better to at least know what you’re getting into before you make your initial deposit.
Sometimes, it’s as simple as having to wait a week to 10 days in order to get your money. Other sites offer immediate withdrawal but only if you accept your payout in a cryptocurrency (if you’re not already in this world, don’t try this option). Additionally, some sites will have withdrawal minimums and even then may still charge you a small fee to initiate the payout.
The bottom line is that until online gambling is federally legal, a significant percentage of the betting community is going to run into problems. If you at least do your research before making a deposit, you can rest assured there won’t be any surprises when you’re trying to withdraw your cash.
2 – You Don’t Know When to Take a Break
One of the best features of online gambling is the convenience. You can play anywhere and at any time, just so long as you have a connection to the internet. With that being said, the convenience factor can also be a problem for those who aren’t able to take a step back every so often.
I’ll spare you the speech about the addictive nature of gambling. In all likelihood, you’ve heard some version of that before and have decided you’re not at risk for developing this habit—at least to the point where it becomes a problem. I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but nobody expects to fall into the gambling hole until they realize their bank account—not just their bankroll—is struggling.
It’s interesting that you never hear about anyone having a problem with gambling when they’re winning. If you fall into this category, remember that it’s nearly impossible to sustain winning when the odds are literally tipped in the house’s favor in nearly every way.
I don’t have a hard-and-fast rule to follow when it comes to knowing when to take a break from betting. It’s something that you need to figure out on your own. My suggestion would be to simply not bet every single day. Take a week off once a month.
Another way to measure if you’re gambling too much has to do with your financial situation. Each time you make a new deposit, there’s a very real chance you aren’t going to see that money back in your bank account. If you ever get to the point where you “need” to win, that’s the best indicator that you need to close out some of your online gambling accounts.
3 – You Don’t Take Advantage of Bonuses
As the online gambling industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, the competition to earn your deposit has been heating up for years. Betting platforms have such an interest in getting you to utilize their service that they’re actually willing to pay for it (kind of) in the form of real money online bonuses.
I say “kind of” because you can’t actually just cash out bonus money; however, you can use it to bet as if it was your own. Although everyone is familiar with the saying, “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is,” this isn’t one of those times.
If you’re signing up for an online betting platform and have not yet reviewed the bonus offerings, you’re making a huge mistake that could cost you big time. In this case, it’s more of an “opportunity cost” rather than a straight-up loss, but a cost nonetheless.
As I mentioned previously, online betting platforms want you to use their site. Generally speaking, from their perspective, they’re making money off of the vast majority of users. Meaning the more sign-ups, the more earnings for the house.
Online bonuses can be presented in an endless number of ways, but the most common are usually “free plays,” which allow you to make a bet using house money. For example, if you get a $20 house credit and bet it on a game and win, you’ll see your winnings in your account, not necessarily the initial $20. But if you lose, nothing is coming out of your own pocket.
Other ways bonuses can be used include free entry into tournaments, altered odds in sports betting that help set you up for success, and plenty more that you’ll just have to find out for yourself. Regardless of what the bonus offering is, just remember that this is one of the rare times that something which seems too good to be true is actually just good.
4 – Not Picking the Right Site for Your Needs
With the number of options available today, there’s no excuse for not finding the right site that fits your goals. It’s true that there are plenty of sites which offer both casino gambling and sports betting options, but if you want to only focus on one and not the other, I’d recommend finding a more specialized platform.
In regards to sports betting, the biggest difference you’ll find from site to site doesn’t necessarily have to do with the odds, but with the actual bet offerings themselves. Some websites, such as Bovada for example, have amazing prop bet options for just about every game.
When it comes to casino gambling, the importance of finding the right site is even more critical. Popular games like blackjack and roulette often have variations that give you, the player, much better odds to win than the standard American versions which you might be used to.
The point I’m really trying to make is that you shouldn’t just sign up for the first platform that pops up in your Google search. Look around on different web forums to see what real people are saying about the options you’re considering. Occasionally, these reviews can give you very valuable information that you otherwise could not have known until you signed up and made your first deposit.
Once you start using a betting site, it’s inconvenient to switch. If you choose the right one at first, you’ll never feel like you’re missing out on something better.
Online gambling isn’t the Wild West it was a decade ago, but there are still some quirks about the entire industry. Do your research, read through reviews, look at the bonus offerings, and you can make the most out of your experience. Good luck!