Welcome to GambleOnline – one of the world’s leading guides to online casino gambling. Since 2008 we’ve been on mission to inform and help players who are new to online gambling learn how to safely gamble online for real money.
At GambleOnline.co we believe information is power. That’s why we’ve created comprehensive guides to cover all types of online gambling. Keep reading and you’ll learn:
- Which online casinos and betting sites are legitimate and trustworthy
- How to safely deposit and cash out winnings when you win big
- How bonuses and promotions work – which offers to take advantage of, and which to avoid
- Tips and strategies to make you a wiser and more informed gambler
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How to Gamble Online for Real Money – Getting Started
Gambling online can be overwhelming at first. Most newcomers to online gaming have concerns about finding trustworthy online casinos and how to safely deposit and cash out winnings. Our comprehensive real money casino guide will provide you with a realistic view of depositing and withdrawing money for the purposes of online gambling, plus an up-to-date list of the best online gambling sites for real money.
Types of Online Gambling
There are a variety of safe and legitimate ways to gamble online and win real money. You can play casino games, bet on sports, play poker against other real players, and even enjoy a game of bingo from the comfort of your home. But unlike your typical Las Vegas casino that has casino games, live poker games, and a sportsbook under one roof, online gambling sites tend to specialize in one form of gambling or another. The most popular ways people gamble on the Internet are at online casino games, online poker, and online sports betting.
Online Casino Games
Online poker has come close to becoming more popular than casino gambling. Since poker is played against other players there is no house edge. Since you are putting up money to win money, poker is considered by many to be gambling. Although, in the long run, the more skillful players will win the most money. Online poker sites offer all the popular games such as Texas Hold’em, Omaha, and 7-Card Stud, plus additional variations like Razz, H.O.R.S.E, and Badugi.
Online Sports Betting
Online sportsbooks and betting sites allow you to gamble real money on the outcome of sporting events such as football, baseball, NCAA college basketball, soccer, MMA, and even the 2014 World Cup. But that’s not all. These days you can not only bet on sports online, you can bet on just about anything else. You can bet on who will win reality shows like American Idol and Survivor, or choose from a number of other celebrity prop bets like “Who will the next celebrity divorce be?”
Recently, there have been a number of sites offering real money daily Fantasy Sports Tournaments. These fantasy sports sites are drawing a lot of players, mainly due to the fact that they are legal in most countries/regions.
Tips for Choosing an Online Gambling Website
- Choose an online casino or gambling site with a good reputation and positive reviews
- Make sure the site accepts players from your country
- Before you sign up, deposit, or accept free bonus money, read the site’s terms and conditions
- Look for trust signals such as licensing information, 3rd party software audit reports (which ensure fairness), and SSL data encryption
- Make sure the site is not on our list of gambling sites to avoid
There are a lot of reputable and safe gambling sites, but there are just as many bad ones that you should avoid at all costs. With all the various gambling laws and regulations, you need to select an online gambling site that accepts players from your country.
Setting up an Account
All legitimate gambling sites allow you to register for a free account before you deposit any money. This allows you to test out the site’s games and features before you make a deposit. When you sign up:
- Use a new (free) email address to sign up at gambling sites. Online gambling operators love to send promotional emails. If you decide to try a few different sites, you won’t have to worry about your primary email address getting clogged with online gambling offers. We recommend a free account at Google Mail or Yahoo Mail.
- If you’re even considering gambling for real money, make sure to use your actual information when you sign up. When you go to deposit money the personal information you provided needs to match your credit card, or other payment method.
- Some gambling sites, especially online casinos, require verification forms like scans of a driver’s license, credit card, and/or a utility bill. These are for your safety, so it’s a good idea to have them on file before you make a deposit.
Making a Real Money Deposit
Once you’ve found a gambling site you like and tested it out by signing up for a free account, you’re probably ready to gamble online for real money. Here is a breakdown of the most popular deposit methods. For a complete list with more information see our Online Gambling Deposits guide.
Recommended deposit methods:
- Debit/Credit Cards – Easiest way to deposit at an online gambling site (even in U.S.)
- E-wallets – Secure e-wallets (like Paypal) act as an intermediary between your bank and online gambling transactions. Unfortunately for US gamblers, there are no recommended e-wallets at this time. For non-US residents, the most popular gambling e-wallets are Neteller and Skrill.
- Prepaid Cards – As an alternative to using your personal credit or debit card, prepaid debit cards are a solid option. The downside is the transaction fee for loading funds onto the card.
Internet Gambling Laws and Banking by Region
Below you’ve find guides to banking and laws by region. As always you should follow the laws in your local jurisdiction. As laws change frequently, be sure to consult a legal professional if you have any questions about the legality of online gambling in your area.
- USA – American players have to deal with strict gambling regulations, which means they can’t use e-wallets for gambling related transactions. This means that the most reliable method of making a deposit is to use a credit / prepaid card or a money order at a trusted US-facing gambling site. Cashing out is usually available only via check by courier or a bank wire transfer, and while both methods are extremely reliable, they also take quite a bit of time.
- Canada – Canada isn’t as strict about gambling as the country’s southern neighbor, which means that Canadian players have access to e-wallet sites. Credit and debit cards can be used as well, though these are limited to deposits only in most online gambling venues.
- Australia – Australia is yet another lenient country when it comes to online gambling. I’d advise using e-wallets or credit/debit cards for deposits and e-wallets for cashing out. Other methods are obviously also available, but why would you pay for a Western Union or Moneygram money order when you can have the same service for free? Finally, Australians can use the POLi service, which basically allows you to use your bank account for instant internet banking.
- New Zealand – Much like in the case of Australia, players in New Zealand should use a credit card or an e-wallet service for making their deposits, and an e-wallet service for processing withdrawals. What’s more, and again just like Australians, New Zealanders can take advantage of the POLi service if they don’t want to use their credit card.
- South Africa – Most South African gambling sites prefer their customers to use Visa or MasterCard for making a deposit and traditional bank wire transfers for withdrawals, though some sites do allow South African residents to deposit and withdraw using e-wallets.
- India – Indian players should usually stick to Skrill (Moneybookers) when depositing at India-accepted gambling sites, but credit cards and bank wire transfers should also be reliable with most India-facing sites. Just keep in mind that some Indian banks and credit cards don’t like their customers engaging in gambling-related transactions.
- UK – The United Kingdom is a very gambling-friendly country, so most options listed in a casino or poker rooms cashier should be available there. In fact, some venues go as far as to support micro payments via your phone bill, as long as you are a resident of the UK. Nevertheless, I’d recommend using an e-wallet or a credit card for making deposits, and e-wallets for withdrawals due to low costs and high speed.
- Best Gambling Sites – Rankings of Top Rated Online Gambling Websites | Lists of gambling sites ranked by trust, game selection, and other popular features such as high limits or Mac-compatibility.
- Online Gambling Deposits – How to Deposit at Online Gambling Sites | Learn about various methods of funding an online casino account with our updated deposit guides.
- Online Gambling Promotions & Bonus Offers | Learn how to understand and maximize the value of online gambling bonuses.
Online Gambling Risks – Things to Watch For
Anyone interested in gambling online should first have a solid understanding of the downside, risks, and frustrations of online gambling before depositing any money.
A few of the major fears associated with gambling online are cheating by the house, hackers gaining access to your account, and not getting paid your winnings. These are all legitimate concerns, but are not nearly as common as problems such as, slow payments, cash out restrictions, and the outrageous requirements of many promotional offers.
Another issue that plagues the online gaming world is slow payments. A common complaint is that online gambling sites are quick to approve your deposit, but slow to pay your winnings.
Much of the problem of slow payments has to do with what country you live. If you live in a country that considers online gambling illegal, it’s going take longer to get paid.
That’s because the gaming site has to find a company to process your payment in a way that will be accepted by your local bank. They try their best to disguise the fact that the check or bank wire is coming from an offshore gambling website.
If you live in a country with legal online gambling, there’s little excuse for slow payments. Whenever possible, you should play at gambling sites with a reputation for fast payments.
Cash Out Restrictions
Another frustrating issue facing players is when a gambling site limits the amount of winnings you can cash out at one time. For instance, many online casinos limit the amount you can cash out at $3,000 per week. So, if you hit a $15,000 jackpot you’re going to have to wait a minimum of 5 weeks to cash out all your winnings.
I’m not saying you shouldn’t play at a site because of cash out restrictions. But you should be aware of them beforehand. Just make sure to read the gambling site’s terms and conditions in advance so you know exactly what to expect.
Outrageous Bonus Requirements
Online gambling bonuses used to be highly competitive and even lucrative for players. But these days, many bonuses are simply too-good-to-be-true. That’s especially true when it comes to casino bonuses that promise things like “200% up to $5000” in free money.
On such a bonus you could deposit $2,500 and get another $5,000 free, for a total bankroll of $7,500. Sounds great. But what they don’t tell you is that you have to wager the deposit + bonus 20 times ($7,500 x 20 = $150,000 in wagers).
Oh, and if you use the bonus money to play blackjack, craps, roulette, or just about anything else besides slot machines, the casino can take your bonus and any winnings away from you.
And to top it off, the bonus is just to play with. The casino is going to deduct it from your balance when you cash out.
Sound outrageous? Well, that’s just the type of terms and conditions many bonuses have nowadays.
So before you accept a bonus make sure to read and understand the bonus terms and conditions fully. To learn more about different types of bonus offers and which ones are best to accept, check out the article How Gambling Bonuses Work.
- The main risk of gambling online in a country where it’s illegal is not criminal prosecution, but losing money when the gambling site or payment service is shut down unexpectedly.
- Slow payments are usually a frustrating part of gambling online from a country where it is not legalized. Players with legal online gambling shouldn’t tolerate slow payments.
- Always read the gambling site’s terms and conditions to find information about payout restrictions and other frustrating things. If you’re uncomfortable with the terms, find another site with more player-friendly ones.
- Never accept a bonus without first understanding the terms and conditions.
More About GambleOnline.co
Opportunities to make money bring out the best worst in people. As a billion-dollar-a-year industry, online gaming is no exception. The fact that there are hundreds of online casinos, poker rooms, sports books, and bingo halls operating makes it incredibly difficult to separate the good guys from the bad guys. That’s why we started GambleOnline.co – to give players the online gambling guide we wished we would have had.
The team at GambleOnline.co has well over 10 years experience with online gambling. Here you’ll learn specific steps to protect yourself when gambling money online for the first time. The advice presented here is meant to educate you on the all of the legitimate ways to gamble online, the legality of online gambling, and tips for keeping your personal information secure. GambleOnline.co is written and maintained by gambling expert Kevin King and his team of professional writers.