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Online Gambling

Online gambling has seen a massive increase in popularity in recent years, and gamblers from the UK have a huge choice of sites to choose from. Some offer only specific types of gambling (such as bingo, poker or betting), whilst others offer users a wider choice. 

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  • Choose reputable gambling and betting sites.
  • Gamble responsibly.

Online gambling – as with many other online activities – carries the risk of criminal activity. However, there are also other specific associated risks, such as payouts not being fair and open, access by children and use by vulnerable people.  

 

The Risks

  • People gaining access to your online account, via:
    • Phishing emails which trick you into disclosing your password and details on fake websites. 
    • Inadvertently telling other people, or revealing details to family and friends.
  • Identity theft caused by viruses or spyware, giving criminals access to your account and other personal information stored on your computer.
  • Visiting fraudulent and fake websites.
  • Being lured into opening an account by the promise of large bonuses.
  • Being lured into playing real online games by the higher payouts in ‘play for fun’ versions.
  • Becoming addicted.
  • Some credit card companies categorise betting transactions as ‘cash’ and may levy a fixed and/or interest charge from the date of payment.
  • Downloading ‘cheats’ which claim to help you but which, in fact, may contain viruses/spyware.
  • The chat element of some gambling sites (such as bingo games) can lead to:
    • Inadvertently or recklessly giving away personal information, including password, email or home address or age.
    • All the dangers associated with online chatrooms. 

 

Safe Online Gambling

  • Ensure that any gambling site unfamiliar to you is reputable by researching them. Remember that the best way to find a reputable site is via recommendation from a trusted source.
  • Use only UK-based sites, as:
    • You will get access to local customer support.  
    • You have the possibility of recourse in the event of a dispute as the UK industry is subject to strict controls. 
    • Deposits and withdrawals are faster and more efficient.
  • Make sure you fully understand the workings and rules of the type of gambling or betting you are taking part in. 
  • Read and understand the site’s terms and conditions thoroughly before opening an account. 
  • Choose a user name that does not reveal any personal information. Similarly, if your game includes the ability to create a personal profile, make sure you don’t give away any personal information.
  • Use strong passwords, and never reveal your passwords to other people.
  • Try ‘play for fun’ games before gambling, but remember that the payouts are generally far larger than in real games.
  • Before entering payment card details on a website, ensure that the link is secure, in three ways:
    • There should be a padlock symbol in the browser window frame, which appears when you attempt to log in or register. Be sure that the padlock is not on the page itself ... this will probably indicate a fraudulent site.
    • The web address should begin with ‘https://’. The ‘s’ stands for ‘secure’.
    • If using the latest version of your browser, the address bar or the name of the site owner will turn green. 
  • Always log out of sites into which you have logged in or registered details. Simply closing your browser is not enough to ensure privacy.
  • Check credit card and bank statements carefully to ensure that the correct amount has been debited, and also that no fraud has taken place as a result of using the site. 
  • Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online. 
  • Do not reply to unsolicited emails from companies you don’t recognise. 
  • Ensure you have effective and updated antivirus/antispyware software and firewall running before you go online. 
  • Keep a regular check on how much you are spending.
  • If you feel that your gambling is getting out of control, refer to advisory websites or seek professional help. 

 

See also...

 

Viruses & Spyware
A basic understanding of computer viruses and spyware.

Firewalls
What a firewall is, and how it protects your computer.

Spam and Scam Emails
A few simple rules about dealing with spam and scam emails.

Safe Internet Use
Some valuable tips on using the internet safely.

 

Searching the Internet
Search the Internet safely with our simple advice.

QR Codes
How do you know that a QR code is safe? Find out here.