In 1996 we saw an explosion of online casinos that swept through the whole world. The united states saw a huge increase in both online casinos and players 18.104.22.168. This huge increase of online players worried the land-based casino owners and they lobbied to have it stopped or at least slowed down. They knew if this pace continued they would see more of a decrease in profits. So they lobbied Congress hard and in 2006 the us passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (or UIGEA).
The UIGEA act prohibited all the banks and payment processors from processing any kind of transactions related to online gambling. This created a problem for players in loading and withdrawing money from their online accounts. While the companies continued to operate they had to use payment processors that could circumvent such restrictions. Despite all these laws related to online gambling, some online casinos continued to accept players from the US.
On the other hand, many of the bigger online brands left the us market, the choices for players became extremely limited. Many said it was very hard to find a good online casino. A lot of reviews sites started to pop up that directed players to the sites they so desperately looked for. Some of these sites were better than others, but they served the need that was created. Shortly after the market had started to stabilize and players were playing online again Black Friday hit the online gaming world.
Many casinos had found a way around the deposit and withdrawal problems and the online gambling world was growing once again. Many started to feel invincible to this new law. The government was not really enforcing it and it seemed like they had no intentions of doing so. This was certainly a false sense of security for both the players and online casinos. April 15, 2011, will go down in history as the day the online gambling industry was punished and punished hard. It was the start of a new era. The us Department of Justice charged the principals of the three largest poker sites Poker Stars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker with bank fraud, illegal gambling offenses, and laundering billions of dollars in illegal gambling proceeds. The DOJ seized their domain names and their funds. Suddenly many US players were not just left with nowhere to play, but no way to recover their funds.
Black Friday forced many more gambling brands to leave the us. Everyone was once again scrambling to find new places to play, worried if they would ever get their money back, and wondering if anybody was going to stay in the us market. A major blow was struck to online gambling and many wondered if it would survive. Again the review sites played a major role in finding places for players to play. Now the market was very limited and it was a struggle to find online sites. Once again the market slowly started to stabilize and things settled down a bit. The market was damaged but survived. Trying online gambling requires somewhat of a leap of faith. So before you choose an online casino in which to set up an account and deposit money, you want to check them out thoroughly and find out if their reputation and track record makes you comfortable enough to entrust them with your e-wallet or credit card number.
Fortunately for the beginning online gambler, you can find a lot of websites, portals, and discussion forums all about which sites are legitimate and which have had problems. You would be wise to read several of these before signing up. Learning from other people’s mistakes can be a lot cheaper than learning from your own when it comes to online gambling.
One thing you should find out for any casino online that you may want to sign up with is whether their payouts are independently audited. Casinos with independently audited payouts are highly preferable to those that are not, because at least you can have confidence that the payout percentages they advertise are real. You should also find out how well their customer service performs. Forums and bulletin boards are great places to find out about customer service problems. If someone has experienced poor customer service at a given casino, they’re sure to let everybody know about it online.
When you read through forums, reviews, and comments about web casinos, expect to see at least one or two thoroughly glowing reviews and at least one or two horrible reviews for most casinos. Forum posters sometimes have a personal axe to grind, and some posts are written by people employed by the casinos, so you know they’ll be very positive. You’re best off evaluating casinos based on the majority of the non-extreme reviews. Of course, if all the reviews of a casino are negative, you should stay away.
While you are still getting your feet wet in the world of online gambling, you can check out not only the many casino reviews, but also sites that offer free practice games that will give you an idea of the pace and feel of playing online. If you’re used to playing poker in person, you’ll find that the pace is different online, and the same is true of most casino games, including slots.
Gambling portals online offer reviews, tips, information on which software systems sites use, and helpful links to sites where you can read up on techniques, online gambling news, and what new games you can find online. Some of these sites even have reviews and articles about land casinos, which can be very informative if you’re planning a trip to Vegas or somewhere else you can gamble live.
Online gambling can be a lot of fun, and it can provide a bit of the thrill you get from going to a land-based casino from the convenience of your home. The best way to make sure you enjoy your online gambling experience to its full extent is to take the time up front to research web casinos, read reviews, and learn the road rules and best practices. Finding a good online gambling portal site is a terrific place to start.