Last week, we looked at five common misconceptions about online gambling and set the record straight. This week, we look at six more, and it seems that there are a lot more gray areas.
- Online gambling is illegal. – True (and False). It’s illegal to run an online casino in the U.S. and Canada. There are also a few states, including Nevada, which have passed special laws making it a crime to make or accept a bet on the Internet.
As of last week, it was also illegal for Australians to bet at an Australian Internet casino. But they can still bet at overseas casino sites.
That said, the majority of states and provinces do not have laws that prohibit online wagering so most players don’t have much to worry about.
- I can go to jail for playing online. – (Probably) False. Online gambling exists in a bit of a gray area right now, whether the authorities are willing to admit it or not. The Canadian and American governments consider online gambling illegal, but there is no current legislation that would send a player to jail. That’s good to know when you consider that more than two-thirds of online gamblers are from Canada and the U.S.
California recently introduced legislation that prohibits residents of the state from Togel gambling online. Violators will be subject to fines ranging from $25 to $100, assuming they get caught and convicted. We’ll just have to wait and see whether federal politicians introduce other online gambling laws.
- I have to pay taxes even though my winnings are from an offshore casino. – (Probably) True. But then you put yourself in a position of admitting to illegal activities. A player named Moosed from Hawaii found himself in exactly that boat when InterCasino announced that he had won their progressive jackpot. Now the cops in Hawaii want to talk to him.
Casinos are not required to, and do not, report their players’ winnings to any government body. But you run the risk of income tax evasion charges if you ever get audited and can’t explain your winnings. The best thing to do is declare your online winnings as regular gambling winnings, and leave it at that. Better safe than sorry when it comes to the IRS.
- The odds are worse at online casinos, compared to brick-and-mortar casinos. – (Probably) False. That’s a tough one to answer so we asked Michael Shackleford, The Wizard of Odds, for his expert opinion.
According to The Wizard, the only thing that really makes a difference between online and brick-and-mortar casinos is the rules. “If an online casino and a b+m casino have the same rules, then the odds of winning would be the same. You could also look at the issue of who has the better rules. In general the real casinos are better but there are many exceptions.” So there you go.
- I will get paid right away when I win. – False. You will likely have to wait for a PIN (personal identification number) to arrive by snail mail before you can cash out. That can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, depending on the casino you’re playing at and where you live. Give the PIN at least two weeks to arrive, and then start making enquiries to Customer Service.
- All online casinos are crooked. – (Definitely) False. In fact, there are very few rip-off joints. Casino operators know they can make good cash without cheating. Profit is built in to the house edge on casino games, so there’s no need to cheat. That said, there are some crooked casinos out there.
The best way to ensure a positive gaming experience is to talk to other players, read our reviews, and play at well-known sites (like our sponsors).