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An Introduction to Online Casinos | A Beginner’s Guide

Online gambling is something you’ve probably heard of before, but it can seem somewhat daunting and almost intimidating if you’re new to the concept. The truth is, it is very easy to get started with casino gambling online, but sometimes you just need a little push in the right direction. Check out our complete beginner’s guide to online gambling, with everything you need to know to get started and to thrive in a virtual casino environment.

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Introduction

About Gambling & What is an Online Casino

Have you ever visited a land-based casino, or perhaps seen a casino in a movie with its blinking lights, characteristic sounds and that intriguing and tense atmosphere? If so, then you already know what to expect, as an online casino channels all this with the exception that you can access it digitally from the comfort of your living room.

It is a virtual casino experience with endless opportunities to win real money, and if you play your cards right, you might even win big. The online casino industry has exploded in popularity in recent years, and there are now hundreds of gambling sites out there for you to explore. What are you waiting for?

Brief Online Gambling History

It was in the early 2000s that online gambling started attracting attention from the public, and it was around then that online casinos came to be what we know them as today. The concept, however, has been around for much longer. Gambling and casino play has been a thing for decades, and it was only a question of time before it would hit the net.

With the rapid advances in technology, and as smartphones began to take over, it came as no surprise that the casino industry adapted to its new circumstances. Suddenly, online casinos could be found everywhere, with downloadable apps and easy access to all the best casino games in the world, and today it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to get started.

Fun Fact!

Gambling is far from a new concept in Asia, and an interesting fact is that one of the most popular games—Keno—was actually invented in China. It spread to the rest of the world and has now been a popular gambling option for players all over the world for many years.

At this point, gambling unfortunately remains illegal in some Asian countries, and other countries may have certain restrictions, and it is recommended that you look up the gambling rules where you reside before you start to play. That said, rules and restrictions may not apply to online gambling as the casinos are usually located off-shore.

Online Casinos: Legal or Not?

Are Online Casinos Illegal or Not?

You might be sitting in an Asian country right now reading this guide and wondering: isn’t gambling illegal in my country? How can I play online then? Well, fret not, for we have the answer!

You see, there are many countries forming the beautiful Asian continent, and this translates to an equally numerous amount of rules and regulations. As you can imagine, not every jurisdiction is the same, and there is no blanket law across the entirety of Asia.

Some countries like India, for example, do not allow gambling – however, there are a couple of areas within where it actually is legal to make bets! Moreover, online casinos have the advantage of not usually being operated within Asia but in a different continent such as Europe. This means that gamblers can make use of this handy loophole and play online.

We discuss more in detail about the legalities of online betting in our comprehensive Are Online Casinos Illegal? guide.

Licensing and Regulation

Licensing and Regulation of Online Casinos in Asia

Gambling sites should be licensed by a third-party licensing agency, as this indicates that they have been properly reviewed as well as comply with business standards for fair gaming and payments.

To obtain a licence from top licensing agencies, online casinos need to live up to their promises in terms of bonuses and special offers, work actively to combat illegal activity like money laundering and fraud, as well as have proper encryption and measures in place to protect players and their personal information.

Licensing also shows that a casino uses Random Number Generators where applicable, so that the outcome of slot games and more is fair and random—not possible to manipulate by player nor casino.

7 Examples of Casino Licensing Agencies

  1. Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  2. U.K. Gambling Commission (UKGC)
  3. Swedish Gambling Authority
  4. Gibraltar Licencing and Regulatory Authority
  5. Kahnawake Gaming Authority
  6. Alderney Gaming Control Commission
  7. Curacao E-Gaming Authority

Licensing information should be readily available on the website, as online casinos are usually very proud of their licences as these work as seals of approval from respected third-party agencies. Have a look at the bottom of the page or check out the casino in question’s terms and conditions for more information.

Avoid gambling at casino sites that fail to disclose licensing information, as this generally indicates that you’re dealing with a sketchy site or even a potential scam.

Scams and Rigging

Online Casinos and Scams: Can They Swindle You?

Speaking of scams, let’s settle the debate once and for all on whether online casinos are scamming people out of their money or not.

Unfortunately, there are always people with ill intentions out there that are just waiting for a poor soul to take the bait and wager their hard-earned money just so they can line their pockets.

This does not happen at licensed casinos.

Casino licences are only awarded to those operators that have passed strict tests by regulating bodies found in diverse jurisdictions. Thoroughly vetted from all angles, online casinos that provide evidence of their transparency and fairness don’t have time to catch their breath: they need to maintain the high quality standards that are set from the get-go throughout their operational time.

Moreover, third parties such as independent testing labs will also come in and test the legitimacy of the online casino with thorough checks on the RTP, RNG, and more.

If you want to learn more about just how all this works, you can check out our guide Is Online Casino a Scam? that will run you through everything you need to know about the legalities of an online casino.

And remember: every single online casino you see on our website we have made sure is legitimate and operates in a fair manner. No scammers here!

How Online Casino Games Work

How Online Casino Games Work

Before we wrap this up, let’s go over a few key terms you are inevitably going to come across sooner or later when you gamble online. These can be confusing if you don’t know what they are, but don’t worry, we’ve got you.

Random Number Generators (RNG)

A random number generator generates a random outcome of a casino game. It is used for, for example, slots, jackpot slot games, video table games and more, and it makes sure no one can cheat or predict the outcome. It protects both the player and the casino from unethical behavior and every reputable casino uses random number generators.

Check to see if a casino is licensed by a legit licensing agency, as these require casinos to use Random Number Generator software and to only offer games that give players a fair chance to win. You will find this information both at online casinos in the desktop version and on the mobile casino version.

Return to Player (RTP)

You’ll notice that games often have “RTP” and a percentage written somewhere, and perhaps you’re already wondering what this is? RTP stands for ‘return to player’, and it is the percentage of all bets that is given back to the player under the slot machine’s lifetime.

To make this easier to understand, check out this example. Let’s say players have bet a total of $100 USD since a slot game was first installed, and the total winnings the slot has given out is $93 USD. That means the RTP of the game is 93%. The higher the RTP, the better for the player as it indicates how easy it is to win.

House Edge

Believe it or not, but online casinos aren’t necessarily profiting from your losses, as they also need to pay out when other players win. Instead, it is the house edge that goes to the casino and stays with the casino, and the house edge also gives you an idea of how much of your bets they’ll actually keep.

If the RTP of a game is 93%, then the house edge is 7% (together, they make 100%). The lower the house edge, the more money will—theoretically—go back to you. As a beginner, this isn’t something you need to worry about, but it’s an interesting fact and especially if you want to start increasing your chances to win.

Sports Betting

How Sports Betting Works

Right, now that we have cleared up everything on the casino side of things, let’s get into sports betting.

Sports betting is just as popular as casino games, if not more! It can be legal even in countries that prohibit casinos, funnily enough – but let’s not get into that quite yet. Let’s talk more about sport betting itself.

You may have come across the term ‘sportsbook’ before. It may even appear at online casinos you frequent. It’s basically a platform where punters can make bets based on many different factors, all relating to sports, of course.

Bets can be put on pretty much anything you can think of: final results, which horse will finish first, which player will score and by how much… the possibilities are many. However, one thing you must know is this: working out the odds here are extremely complex because of so many different factors that can influence the final result.

We have compiled a guide to sports betting and betting conditions which you can read up on to fully understand how betting on sports can take place.

Taxes on Winnings

Taxes on Casino Winnings in Asia

Wouldn’t it be lovely if we could just win a bet and take home all of the winnings as simple pocket money? You might be able to!

Just like there are dozens of laws on gambling, rules on how much winnings are taxed will vary from one country to another; and there are in fact some that don’t tax casino winnings at all!

It all depends on where you are playing from, you see. There could also be only a threshold that delineates if taxes are to be applied to your winnings.

Now, we know it can all sound very up in the air with no actual explanation to whether or not you can take the jackpot home intact or not, which is why we did the homework for you and compiled a guide to taxes applied to casino winnings in Asia for you to consult.

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