Myth-busting the online gambling sector

14 September 2021
The online gambling sector has always been prone to myths and various claims. Some are true, others are not, and many are dependent on where you gamble. Customers should always look for licensed and well-respected gambling sites. Operators must always stick to their license rules and strive to be honest, fair, and transparent. After all, bad press in the industry can create problems for legitimate operators. Regulators end up over-regulating and if consumer confidence drops, so does revenue.
MYTH 1: The house always wins
Players should be sure they are gambling with a licensed and reputable provider.

Players should be sure they are gambling with a licensed and reputable provider. (photo by Pixabay)

Ok, so this is true to an extent, but it’s not always the case. In the world of online gambling, the odds are partially skewed in favor of the house. This is because gambling sites are businesses, and it’s not possible for a site just to pay out and not make anything. There are, however, rules and regulations that keep sites in line. This means odds must meet specific standards, and operators cannot take advantage of or cheat their players.
All licensed gambling sites are required to use random number generators or provably fair algorithms. This means that numbers generated in games of chance are done so fairly, as per obligations of the license. RNGs must be certified by a third party and are subject to ongoing monitoring. Probably fair algorithms are registered on the blockchain, meaning they are immutable and can’t be deleted.
Players should be sure they are gambling with a licensed and reputable provider. Providers should be honest in the way they deal with players and the odds for the games they play. But most importantly, if an operator is found to be cheating, they risk license revocation, reputational damage, and even criminal penalties.
MYTH 2: Gambling is not secure
Many potential gamblers say they are put off due to fears the site isn’t secure. Perhaps they think the site will be hacked, and criminals will steal their personal information. Others are worried about using their debit cards online or with sites they are not confident in. There have also been scandals whereby illegitimate sites have abused the trust put in them by players. Once a few bad experiences start circulating, it can have a devastating impact on trust levels.
There are a variety of ways to mitigate this situation. For example, integrating SSL encryption on the site should be a standard. Other measures can be taken, such as biometric or two-factor authentication at the time of login, withdrawal, deposit, and wager. Some operators are even using AI to authenticate users, including facial recognition software.
Operators must also secure any databases and networks and only work with trusted third parties. If security is taken seriously and considered an essential area for investment, operators can mitigate risks. It’s a smart move to share some of the preventative measures you take with customers to help reassure them.
MYTH 3: Gambling sites are unethical
If you talk about online gambling, there will always be someone who says it’s unethical. Of course, people have religious reasons for not engaging in gambling, but can an operator who follows the rules be considered unethical?
Reputable licensing authorities like Kahnawake insist that responsible gambling rules are upheld. This includes not targeting minors nor allowing them to gamble. Other standards aim to protect those who display problematic gambling behaviour. Alert systems, self-exclusion, and even site-initiated exclusion can all be used to stop problem gamblers from exacerbating their situation. Some sites even provide resources for consumers, including helplines and advice.
In short, operators must be responsible and follow all accountable gambling guidelines. Players should, in turn, only gamble with sites that take their well-being seriously and abide by the rules. Typically, good sites will display information on assistance and guidance, making their ethical stance no secret.
If you play with a licensed and reputable site you will have no problems getting your money.

If you play with a licensed and reputable site you will have no problems getting your money. (photo by Flickr)

MYTH 4: You won’t get paid
While there are sites out there that are less than willing to part with their money, this is not the norm. If you play with a licensed and reputable site, you’ll have no problems getting your money. If there are any issues, they should be resolved via communication or contacting the license issuer.
The rules of their license bind operators and any violations result in fines, suspensions, or other penalties. Most online gambling sites don’t want to get on the wrong side of their licensing authority and will seek to resolve the issue quickly.
Operators should have multiple communication channels such as social media, webchat, phone, and email. Issues should be acknowledged and dealt with swiftly, and fairness should be an integral part of the business model.
If you’re a gambling startup, the key to staying in line with your obligations is finding an excellent corporate service provider. Look for one that instills confidence, doesn’t advocate corner-cutting, and treats you well. They should be able to guide you through matters like ethics, compliance, and responsible gambling with ease. In online gambling, taking shortcuts isn’t advisable as the consequences can be significant. This is a booming sector, and providing tremendous and fair service will take you a long way!

Ron Mendelson

Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based business and financial consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With over two decades of experience in corporate services, iGaming, international business, finance, licensing and legal matters, he advises a number of international clients on their business needs in the Americas, Europe, and beyond.