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.
1. Choosing a Real Money Casino / Gambling Site
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. We’ve reviewed over 100 gambling sites and have narrowed the list down to the top sites based on country/region, type of gambling, and deposit/payment option.
Best Gambling Sites by Country/Region
Due to the differences in gambling laws and regulations around the world, we recommend that you first try selecting online casinos based on your jurisdiction. We’ve created regional guides for some of the most popular countries in the world.
Top Sites by Type of 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, most online gambling sites tend to specialize in one form of gambling or another.
More 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
2. 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.
- 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.
3. 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 or Credit Card – Visa and Mastercard are the easiest ways 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.
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.