Newbies Guide to Safe Internet Gambling

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Welcome to the Exciting World of Online Gambling!

Welcome to the most vibrant, exhilarating “play station” in cyberspace – virtual gambling.  You’ll find the online gaming community bursting with action, information, friendly players and a wider array of games than those offered on any street of dreams out in the actual world. With today’s technology empowering games that play as quickly and smoothly over the Internet as they do at the tables, online gambling establishments such as PartyCasinoMiami Bingo Casino provide all the excitement and realism of “live” gambling. And here’s the bonus: With virtual gaming, you’re eliminating the costs of travel expenses such as airfare, hotels, meals, beverages, childcare, etc. That makes you a winner before you’ve put down your first bet.

Upon entering an unfamiliar casino, online or off, it’s in your best interests to familiarize yourself with the house rules. Consider this article your roadmap to online gambling, a repository of tips and strategies that will help you optimize your profits, maximize your fun, and minimize your risk. For a head start on becoming successful, we strongly recommend you read these guidelines in their entirety before placing your first bet in any online casino, sports book, or other real-money wagering site.

What about the Law?

Internet wagering is a worldwide pastime. However, players may be subject to restrictions particular to their country or region. Check with your local authorities before registering with any online gaming or sports book operator.

How do I make a bet?

Since credit cards cannot be used at the majority of Internet casinos, most wagering is made via an account at a major online bank. Services such as NETeller, FirePay,PrePaidATM and others offer players a full-range of excellent online banking services. Not only will your online account allow you to wager at Trusted Casinos, you will also be able to purchase items from thousands of Internet stores. Additionally, many online casinos and sports books offer special bonuses to players using major online bank accounts.

Which Casino and Sports book Operators can you Trust?

Pay attention to the domain name (aka URL) of the casino you’re thinking of visiting. Avoid domain names linked to free Web hosts or mass-market Internet service providers. You can identify these by looking for a slash (/) followed by a name at the end of their URL. (For example, “geocities.com/casino” or “members.aol.com/gaming.”) All reputable online wagering operators use unique domain names, such as , , or . Other reputable operators with “real” domain names are , , and .  Also, if the operator does not disclose contact information or a 1800 support number, it’s best to avoid it entirely.

How do I find a safe Gambling Portal?

A gaming portal is a kind of Internet “yellow pages,” a directory site that gives you information and links to online wagering locations that the portal operators believe to be reliable. A trustworthy gaming portal will have a published policy indicating what kind of help you can expect if you run into a problem with a casino operator listed on their site. If a gaming portal does not have a published dispute-resolution policy, don’t give them your business.

This site prides itself on linking to only reputable casino,  sports book, and bingo operators. All operators to which we link have been manually reviewed for quality by our staff members. If, despite this screening, we receive complaints about an operator, we will contact the operator and attempt to verify and resolve the problem. If it is not corrected and we feel the operator represents a threat to the public, we will remove the operator from our directory. Play it safe — visit online gambling sites only through established quality gaming portals.

What is an accredited casino?

An accredited online gaming site is one which adheres to the Code of Conduct established by the Interactive Gaming Council (IGC) such as these reputable operators: and .  IGC’s CoC encompasses guidelines and standards of good practice intended to ensure online gamblers a level playing field and enhance consumer confidence and participation in online gaming and related activities.

Be it playing the stock market, participating in an office football pool, or wagering online, there is always some risk inherent in gambling. That risk is greatly reduced when you patronize operators who belong to the IGC.

What is a Partner Program?

Reaching an online wagering site by clicking a “partner” link is not a good bet. Many online wagering operators offer partner programs to virtually anyone who will put up a link to the gaming site on his Web page. In return, the operator pays a percentage of the house win to the “partner” who “referred” you. These partner programs work for the operators because they get free, and almost always unaudited, traffic. They’re bad for players because traffic that isn’t audited for accuracy by a third party allows unscrupulous operators to claim they’re paying a much higher percentage to winning players than they actually do.

Not all partner programs are corrupt, of course, but we know of quite a few that are, to put it mildly, rigorously unfair. We do not knowingly link to operators with corrupt partner programs.

There is also a potential accountability problem with Web sites that link you to gaming operators through partner programs. Many of these partner sites are run by people looking for fast money — not the sort very likely to assist you if you have a problem collecting your rightful winnings. Simplest rule of the game: Don’t enter new casinos and sports books through partner programs. That said, we admit it’s not always easy to tell whether or not you’re being steered to a casino through one of these programs.  Therefore, our best advice is to explore new gaming options only through trustworthy gambling portals and search engines of unquestionable integrity.  A great way to judge the integrity of a gambling portal is to look at the site’s big picture.. do you see more advertising than original and useful content?  If so, consider looking elsewhere.  Sites that serve primarily more advertising than content are almost always linking to partner programs.

And in case you are wondering, Trusted Casinos and Sports books will always link you to trustworthy operators that we have checked out first hand.  This site, pspcentral.org, never participated in a partner or affiliate program.  Our advertisers buy advertising on a traditional prepay CPM model and we never link to a casino or sports book until we have reviewed the property ourselves.


What if I need to contact a human?

Does the operator have a toll-free support number?  If so, test it before signing up. First, is the number truly in service? (Oh, yes, you’d be surprised.)  Were you put on hold?  Was it for just a minute or more like forever?  Were the representatives friendly?  Conversant in your native tongue?

One of the Net’s more popular gaming establishments, .

If e-mail is the operator’s given customer-service option, check that out just as you would a phone number.  Before wagering real money, e-mail a couple of questions and see how long it takes to get a response.  If you receive a response, analyze it for certain crucial factors such as courtesy and on-topic directness.  Specifically, were your inquiries clearly and completely answered?  Or were you left with more questions than you had initially?

All reputable online casinos and sports books should offer customer support via e-mail. If you encounter one that doesn’t, take your play elsewhere. You can view a list of secure casinos that offer e-mail customer service.  Prompt, courteous and knowledgeable support by toll-free phone and/or e-mail is a hallmark of quality online gaming operations.  Conversely, a lack of good service never indicates a business worth patronizing.  Look for a commitment to superior customer relations by any operator you wish to patronize.

What is My Transaction Log?

Your online casino transaction log is like your bank statement, a record of funds that have been credited to and debited from your gaming account.  Many casinos and sports books like and now offer transaction logs.

Just as there is no standard form for bank statements, there is no standard transaction log.  How the log – the actual list of transactions – will look on your screen will depend on what accounting software and gaming software application the operator is using.  Make sure you understand your transaction log and know how to access all its features. Test it periodically by making a wager, then going to your log and checking to make sure that wager has registered.  If it hasn’t, STOP betting with that operator and contact their customer-service department to get the problem resolved.

Transaction logs allow both you and the casino operator to know exactly who’s winning and who’s losing, and by how much. If a gaming operator doesn’t give you real-time transaction-log access, he’s actually inviting you to wager elsewhere.  And it’s one invitation you should be sure to accept.

Once you have access to your transaction log, monitor it closely to avoid surprises. You should also keep an updated copy of it by either printing it out or by copying and pasting it into a word-processing program. Another option is to save a digital image of your transaction record by taking a “screenshot.” For more information on this procedure, please see below.


How do I document my winnings?

Always take a screenshot of your winnings.  Always.  No matter how anxious you are to “return to the table,” take a screenshot of the winning screen and your current transaction record first.  Think of the screenshot as a winning bingo card or parimutual ticket. You can’t prove you’ve won without it.  Unlike a bingo parlor or race track, you don’t normally have to prove you’ve won at an online casino.  Ninety-nine point nine percent of the time your winnings will be correctly credited to your account by the casino’s computer.  But computers are, as is said, only human and there’s always the possibility of a rare glitch.  A screenshot is evidence that you are right and the computer isn’t.  Any operator who ignores it risks losing substantial business in a virtual world where charges of underhanded dealing travel at many times the speed of sound.

So How Do I Take A Screenshot?

A screenshot is simply a digital picture of what’s showing on your screen at any given moment. How you take the picture depends on what type of computer and operating system you’re using, but it is, in all cases, easy to do.

In Windows, a simple screenshot can be obtained by using the PrtScn (PrintScreen) button on your keyboard, which is usually located at the end of the row of Function Keys. Pressing this button puts an image of the screen on the Windows clipboard, allowing you to paste (Ctrl+V) it into virtually any graphics or photo-editing program (Photoshop, PaintShop Pro, Microsoft Paint, etc.) or a word-processing program, such as MS Word, with graphics capability. Just be sure to paste the screenshot into one of these programs immediately after taking it. If you inadvertently copy or cut anything else before this step, the screenshot will be deleted from the clipboard.

How do I Cash Out?

Now for the fun part, collecting your winnings. Since different casinos — say, or — have their own procedures for cashing winners out, it is imperative you understand and follow the house rules. Virtually all cases of payment delays that we investigate turn out to have been caused by easily avoidable “winner errors”.

Having an account at an online bank like NETeller, FirePay, or PrePaidATM is the most efficient, user-friendly way for you to collect your winnings.  Most of the time, a casino can quickly, almost automatically deposit your winnings into your account at these banks.  Since the transaction is 100% digital, there’s little room for error and a transaction log or receipt is usually available.

Depending on local laws and in-house security policies, the casino or sportsbook operator may need to verify your identity to initiate a payout. You may be asked to FAX them release forms, identification, copies of your credit card, or other documents before you are paid.  This is a legitimate request and not substantially different from government-mandated winner-identification requirements in actual real-estate casinos located in the U.S.A. and other countries.

If you have concerns about providing personal documents to casino operators, check on their cash out policies before you wager.

What else should I do?

Problems between reputable operators and players are rare and usually have the same cause as those at in-person casinos, misunderstandings about house rules and betting procedures.  In dealing with a problem, use the same common sense you’d employ if you had a billing dispute with the phone company.  If you talk to a representative, write down and retain the name of the person with whom you talked, and the date and time of your conversation.  If the rep refuses to provide a surname, request their extension or employee number.  In many cases, e-mail is better for dispute-resolution than the telephone because it establishes a clear and complete paper trail.

Will I Have Fun Wagering Online?

You (pardon the pun) bet!  Online gaming gives you the opportunity to wager on sporting events around the world and try your hand at both traditional and exotic games of chance and calculation.  If you’ve followed the advice given above, you’ll almost certainly enjoy yourself. Will you win lots of money?  That’s up to you and Lady Luck.  Many people have.  Will security toss you out for appearing at the casino in your underwear?  Not a chance.

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