Getting Started in Online Gambling

So you fancy a flutter online, but you have a few concerns right? That’s perfectly understandable, particularly with the huge choice of online casinos and gambling sites out there. You may also have a few concerns about the safety of your personal information and credit card details. Again that’s perfectly understandable, particularly with some of the scare stories in the press about internet fraudsters. Hopefully then, this article will help to allay some of your concerns and help you get started in this fun and profitable pastime.

Is it Safe?

This is probably the most common concern expressed by potential online gamblers. The answer is most definitely yes, provided you choose a reputable and established online gambling site. Look for software provided by one of the major casino software providers such as Microgaming, RTG (RealTimeGaming), Playtech, Boss Media, Cryptologic/Wagerlogic, Parlay Entertainment, iGlobal Media, Grand Virtual and Odds On. These software providers rigorously test their software to ensure that it is safe and hack proof, and ensure that your personal information is rigorously encrypted and safe. Any banking information is inputted over a secure connection, meaning a hacker will never be able to access your data. Because of the rigorous security measures in place, entering your banking information is just as safe as banking online with your normal bank. There are also several other excellent casinos who are not powered by the above software, but who are equally trustworthy. Look for a secure connection when entering personal information, this may be denoted by a little padlock icon in the corner of your screen, if you are in a normal browser window a secure connection url will show up as https: the s denotes that the connection is secure.

I don’t want a casino to know my credit card info, are there any other ways to make a deposit?

Yes there are many other ways other than credit card to make a deposit. One of the most popular is Neteller – http://www.neteller.com which is an online wallet specially designed for online gambling. When you sign up for a neteller account, you receive an account number, a secure Id and a password. The secure ID acts like a pin number, you will not be able to use your account without it. You can deposit funds in your neteller account by credit card, debit card or bank transfer and you can withdraw your funds via a special free debit card issued by neteller. Thus you can not only deposit at casinos but also withdraw your funds. There are many other ways to make deposits without using a credit card, Paypark, Click2Pay, Ecocard, Moneybookers, Ukash, to name a few. For more details on banking deposit methods see the extensive article at http://www.prizewin.co.uk/deposit.html which covers alternate depositing methods in detail.

How do I withdraw my winnings?

Your winnings can be paid via many methods depending on the particular casino – you can choose which you prefer. One of the fastest is via Neteller, which if you sign up for the free neteller debit card then you can withdraw your winnings instantly.

So Is It Necessary to have one of these Neteller accounts?

No not at all, there are many other ways to make deposits and receive your winnings.

I have Paypal can I use that?

Unfortunately, when eBay acquired Paypal, they banned all gambling transactions. However there are many other alternatives which work just like Paypal who do accept online gambling

How do I actually sign up at a casino?

There are two types of casino – browser based or flash, and download software. The downloadable versions tend to have the best graphics and variety of games, they are generally about a 5mb download, and then you download whichever games you wish to play. If disk space is limited or if you don’t want software permanently installed on your PC then you can choose an instant casino or flash version. Many casinos let you choose between downloadable and instant play versions.

But I’ve never played at a casino before; I don’t understand some of the games.

All casinos have a built in help file which show you the rules and how to play the game. In some casinos you can actually set the auto play button to play the game for you ensuring you play to perfect strategy. Also you can play the game for fun before you start to play for real money so you can learn how to play without risking your cash.

How do I know the games are fair?

If a casino has been around a while the chances are its games are fair – after all it wouldn’t stay in business very long otherwise!! All the big software manufacturers rigorously test their software for randomness and fairness and many publish their payout percentages on their sites. These are usually audited by external auditors, so you can be assured that these are accurate. In addition you can request play logs, these are provided for you automatically on Microgaming and Playtech casinos, so you can check your hand history and winnings/losses.

But I’m worried I will get addicted

The vast majority of people who play online play recreationally and never develop a problem, but for a few people gambling may become an addiction. This has often spurred vehemous attempts by anti gambling campaigners to ban online casinos. However to put things into perspective, more people abuse alcohol than gambling yet no-one is campaigned to get alcohol banned. Like anything, if you play sensibly, know your limits and never spend more than you can afford, then gambling shouldn’t become a problem. If you or someone you know has a problem, please seek help from agencies such as gamblers anonymous

I see a lot of casinos offering bonuses and special offers – how do I know if im getting a good deal?

Like any industry, the casino industry is competitive and in order to compete, many casinos offer special offers and bonuses. It can be confusing for the new player to navigate their way around these offers – and of course there is no obligation on the part of the player to accept these bonuses – if there are added automatically when you make a deposit you can always request that any bonus is removed from your account before you begin to play. However many players like bonuses as they give them a bit extra value for their money, although you should be aware that there are always terms and conditions attached to bonus monies. Always check the rules regarding the bonus on the casino website before you play, if necessary take a screen shot by pressing CTRL + PRTSC, so you can refer to them later. There are two different types of bonuses – no deposit bonuses which require no purchase to be made and deposit bonuses which are depending on your making a purchase at the casino. These may be in the form of a percentage of your deposit, or a fixed sum, and may be sticky or not – a sticky bonus stays in your account and cannot be withdrawn although you can withdraw your winnings from it. No deposit bonuses are the casinos way of giving out free samples – kind of like a try before you buy, but because these are costly for the casinos you will find many restrictions regarding games you can play and how much you can cashout from them.

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Gambling And The 20th Century Rulers Part 1

The history of the 20th century is inseparably connected with wars, revolutions, forcible change of governments and other political cataclysms in which the leading role was often played by bright, extraordinary personalities – leaders, chiefs. Impetuous was also the history of legislative regulation of gambling games and bets. They were allowed, then prohibited, then allowed again…
A lot of these bans and legalizations were directly connected with the principle political acting personalities of the 20th century. How venturesome were the most famous totalitarian rulers of the previous century and what was their role in regulation of activities on organizing and playing games and bets?

Vladimir Lenin
(1870-1924)
When in a small town of Simbirsk little Volodya Ulyanov was born nobody of the people around, including his parents, could ever guess that one of the main heroes of the 20th century came into the world. After many years it is already difficult to unambiguously evaluate the activities of Vladimir Lenin in the office of the chairman of the Soviet of National Commissars, but there is no doubt that he has gone down in history as the main ideologist of the bright ideas of communism which the Russian poor strived for so much and never achieved despite the long 70-year way.
It is not known for sure whether Vladimir Lenin was fond of gambling, in his public speeches he never mentioned the words “gambling-house” and “casino”. However, in his boyhood the future Ilyich played chess and russian bowling (gorodki) with passion. Having grown up, he played cards as well, alas, the history does not give a single answer as to the games the chief of revolutionists played and whether the bets were made

It is interesting to know that even when Vladimir Ilyich was still alive there were anecdotes and tales concerning his love of card games. But still the most favourite game of Ilyich was politics. But with regard to regulation of gambling industry, of course, Vladimir Ulyanov succeeded in the way so typical of him.

Having become the statesman, firstly, he started to fight against bourgeois heritage, established censorship. And he decided to establish order in gambling in addition to this. In provisions of the Petrograd (St. Petersburg)military-revolutionary committee as of the 24th of November of 1917 the task was set to “close all the clubs and gambling-dens where card games were played”. Despite this, in spring of 1918 the commissar of municipal economy of Petrograd the future “all-union head” M.I.Kalinin taking into account the interests of reimbursement of state treasury proposed legalization of gambling. This proposal was rejected though “on revolutionary grounds” and all the gambling establishments were found illegal.

In 1921 Vladimir Lenin introduced NEP – so to say new economic politics of the state at which the priority was no longer general equality and fraternity but earning money by the young Soviet state for its own budget for realization of revolutionary ideas. It was at that time that gambling business was founded in the Republic of Soviets. On the 9th of November, 1921, The Soviet of labour and defence of the RSFSR issued a decree according to which sale of playing cards was allowed on the territory of the country. Also in 1921 when there happened to be the worst drought in Russia, the first All-Russian lottery to help the starving people took place.
In the course of two years local authorities allowed activities of gambling-houses, following financial principles and collecting rather large amounts of taxes from organizers of gambling games. In spite of this fact, at the end of 1923 there was created a commission on struggle against “moonshine, cocaine and gambling” in the USSR.

Struggle against gambling started to follow its regular soviet course, however, Vladimir Lenin could not witness its end. On the 21st of January, 1924, Lenin died. It happened just at the time of flourishing of soviet gambling industry, but after half a year after his death CEC of the USSR and SNC of the USSR issued a Decree dated the 1st of August, 1924, “about state monopoly on production of playing cards”. And afterwards still four years later gambling industry was finally prohibited in the USSR as a remnant of the old times which was to be done away with.

Iosif Stalin
(1879-1953)
Iosif Stalin (Djugashvili) was born on the 21st of December 1879 in a small Georgian town of Gori. A friend and adviser of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin, his great successor, he took the reins of government in his hands after Lenin and kept them till his death. The time of Iosif Stalin’s rule is still reflected with joy and pain in the hearts of those Soviet citizens living at the time of his being in power. Industrialization, the victory in the war and continuation of communistic construction, on the one hand, and concentration camps and mass repressions – on the other hand. Without taking into account personal characteristics of the second chief of proletariat and without estimating the deeds of his in the course of almost 30 years of his being in power, we’ll point out only one thing – Iosif Stalin was not a venturesome person and except for games in politics, where stakes were sometimes hundreds of thousands of human lives, he acknowledged only billiards and races on the race track.

Let’s point out that totalizator on the race track under Iosif Stalin the only legal pastime for venturesome Soviet citizens. The most famous race tracks were situated in Moscow, Tbilisi, Tallinn, Odessa, Gorky (Nizhny Novgorod) and other cities. The son of Iosif Vissarionovich – Vasiliy was also a great admirer of race tracks.

The death of Iosif Stalin did not have any impact on the existence of legal gambling in the Soviet country. They did not exist when Stalin came to power and did not appear after his death. The exclusion were horse races and races on the race tracks which attracted rather large cash means with the help of the totalizator for development of the Soviet horse breeding.

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It’s a Gamble! Gambling – Great? Gruesome? Gambling – Essential, Addictive, Destructive

Love gamble, love tangle
I’ve got all that I can handle

Love

I’m used to thinking of gambling as horrible. Every day I hear stories of people destroying their lives, and the well-being of their families, because they can’t stop gambling. Everything goes. A woman speaks from her prison cell: she turned to robbing banks to pay for her addiction. She doesn’t excuse herself. But she couldn’t help herself. She wanted to be arrested. Despair.

I’ve been thinking about gambling differently this past while. Not “pure gambling” (lottery tickets, casinos, online gambling). But gambling as an essential feature of healthy, hopeful living that takes us beyond the routine.

My partner and I are building a business. Now, that’s a gamble – with our time, our lives. I’m also building this site – Elsa’s Creativity Emporium. Another huge gamble with time, energy, creativity. Columbus sailed for America. His gamble: that he would end up in the Far East. He didn’t get was he was aiming for – but the gamble paid off for the Europeans.

Farmers plant seeds. The gamble: that the season will be good. Designers design The gamble: that the design will find a market.

People fall in love, and decide to try to make a live with that person – one of the biggest gambles in life.

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On the other hand, many people want a predictable salary. No gambling, please. So and so much an hour. Anything else feels wrong, out of control, dangerous. How can anyone live like that, they shudder and recoil.

An observation. Many people don’t want to gamble with work time. They want steady dependable pay. At the same time, they have a hugely developed urge, even an overwhelming urge, to gamble.

In other words, quite a number of the same people who want a steady paycheck spend a huge chunk of their everyday earnings on gambling!

“It’s just for fun.” “It’s my right.” “I have every right to do what I want with my money. I earned it, after all. It’s mine.” “Everyone’s entitled to have a good time every now and then. All those hours I work. I deserve something.”

So, though many people are entirely unable to consider working “on a gamble,” (building a business, doing creative projects that may well never pay), they gamble over and over in ways that are set up to make the huge majority of people lose.

But most of the world does live “on a gamble” – or combining the gamble with as much certainty as possible. Traditional gatherer-hunting societies for instance have the relative dependability of gathering (which brings in about 90% of food) and the gamble on what is brought in through hunting (10% of the average food supply, according to my reading). Even with the gathering part, no year is like any other year. The steady dependable pay-off (salary, berries, etc.) is not the norm.

And with that, back to gambling. I’m going to call the kind of gambling I’m used to recoiling from “pure gambling” – in other words, one isn’t gambling that the weather will cooperate with one’s efforts, one isn’t trying to make a sale, one isn’t trying to build a site or a business, one isn’t courting and hoping another will respond to us. “Pure gambling” – bingo, casinos, lotteries, slot machines, computer games like minesweeper and so on. The goal is winning in a game stacked against us, and the win builds nothing except the win. No book is written, no grain is harvested, nothing is built.

In everyday gambling – which I’ll call “part-of-life gambling”, the pleasure of winning is part of so many other things. It’s part of building a life – gambling that our reaching out to someone will pay off, gambling that our design will find a market, gambling that the move to another city where there are supposed to be better jobs will lead to a better job.

****

In “pure gambling,” all that other stuff has been taken out. The goal: the win. The goal: the payoff. In some forms of “pure gambling”, one does build some skills – one learns to play bingo well, to know the ins and outs of computer games. One becomes fast, the moves automatic. In other forms of pure gambling, people just, say, pull the arm of a one-armed bandit – and the craving to keep doing this that be so strong that people have resorted (or so I’ve heard) to wearing diapers so they don’t need to leave to go to the bathroom.

I’ve felt the pull of pure gambling, as well as part-of-life gambling. The time: about ten years ago. Too much stress. One day, I opened minesweeper, a computer game, and played a few games. The stress disappeared. I ended up playing minesweeper for several days, getting better and better. Wonderful and relaxing. At some point, I couldn’t get better at minesweeper. From that point on, winning or losing (most often losing), became a matter of luck. And yet I still wanted to play. Very much so.

I did what was easiest for me to do: I asked my partner to take the game off my computer (at the time I didn’t have the skill to know how to delete it myself). I don’t think, though, that I could have used the computer and not played. The pull felt irresistible. I felt deprived when the game was gone. I wanted it back. I didn’t ask for it back, though. I was able to have that much power over the pull of the game.

I did, for a number of years, turn to solitaire – not on the computer. Too dangerous. The old-fashioned way, with cards. If I played more than I thought was okay, I would put the cards in a place where it was inconvenient for me to get them – in a corner of the basement, for instance. Sometimes I would go and get them. More often I wouldn’t.

The last several years have been so busy that there hasn’t been time to reach for the cards. And I’ve noticed that the urge is gone. I want, if I have a few minutes, to take a walk, to make supper, to do nothing. I like life better that way.

I’ve been gambling enormously, these past few years, but the healthy way – doing things, hoping and planning that the projects will make it in the world.

****

I’m back to gambling: the good, the bad, the ugly.

The good. This is when we take gambles in life, gambles that come from as much knowledge and experience as possible. Even then, it’s important that we check out the risks as well as possible – because in everyday life just as in a casino, one can gamble away one’s savings, one’s home, and so on. I took a gamble fifteen years ago: I had work (flight attendant) that was dependable but didn’t satisfy me. I was finishing my Ph.D. when the airline hit hard times and offered a golden handshake to people willing to leave. I didn’t have full-time college or university teaching lined up. Worse, there was hardly any teaching of any kind available where I lived. Still, I took a gamble. After all, I had an almost completed Ph.D. in hand, and had been doing university teaching part-time for years.

It wasn’t an instant win. But I finally got college teaching, and eventually even steady college teaching. And that again isn’t an instant fix, like a casino win. It means having to work at making the teaching successful, learning how to make the more difficult classes work (when one can), etc. There are ongoing challenges.

I think of Crick and Watson, who worked on figuring out the structure of DNA – and only after 10 years came to the realization (through a dream) that there was a double helix. They gambled with 10 years of their life.

I think of Banting, who figured out how diabetes can be controlled through insulin. So much time and effort, done despite the lack of success of others.

The dangerous good. I am thinking of people my parents knew. Not gamblers of any sort. They had built a financially successful life through steady paid-by-the-hour work. Then their 20-year-old son saw a “golden business opportunity”. A local successful business was for sale. The parents mortgaged their house to the max to buy it. In a year, the successful business was destroyed through a serious of stupid choices made by their inexperienced son who had all kinds of ideas for “improving” it. The parents lost everything.

The bad. Pure gambling, when it’s more than an occasional pleasure. My mother would buy an Irish Sweepstakes ticket at a time when gambling was illegal in Canada. She got a thrill out of doing something illegal. Also the ticket was a kind of miracle hope for an instant fix to all the everyday financial struggles. But it was a small cost.

For all too many people, the cost is high – financially, and in time and focus. Apparently over 15% of Canadian teenagers have at least a moderate addiction to what I call bad gambling.

Of course it can also give some kind of gratification to people leading small boring lives. Bingo halls enthrall thousands of people week after week.

The gruesome. This is when the pure gambling urge takes over someone’s life, and often destroys everything else in that life. Couple life, parenting, other interests.

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What to do? One, recognize the intense power of the “gambling pay-off pull.” There it is, the jackpot – like a carrot to a donkey. Not easy to resist.

Societies and countries which outlaw gambling – like both Canada and the States used to – recognize the destructive power of “the pay-off pull” central to pure gambling.

Personally, I find it insane to take away the laws that prohibit gambling without at least, at the same time, mandating huge public education – from earliest childhood on – on the destructive power of “the gambling pay-off pull.”

It’s like no longer ensuring that water is drinkable, but not doing anything so that people each take care of their own water supply. Can you imagine a huge campaign against providing drinkable water on the basis that this tampers with individual liberty? that each person has the right to drink the water of one’s choice?

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And yet to go back to good gambling. I will now call it “integrated gambling” – gambling as part of other activities. The same intense pay-off pull may help us through tough times. We practice and practice a difficult guitar piece – we know there will be a pay-off and the high of getting there (at least for a moment, before we move on to the next challenge). We put in long hours working with a child with learning difficulties – and we exult when learning happens. Pay-off.

Good gambling. I’d say that’s a core part of human development. It keeps us going – we’re not only doing whatever it is (trying to keep the corps alive in a hard season), but longing for the pay-off. And when it does happen, euphoria, a natural high. Yeah!!!

Good gambling combines with creativity. It helps us move out of ruts, into the unknown. Something in us knows this is a good direction. There is a pull from deep inside ourselves.

****

As with so much about us, it’s easy to mess things up.

Gambling – well. Gambling combined with a project, a goal, an end that does not have to do with gambling, a goal in itself that usually leads to further development.

Gambling – bad. Gambling for the lure of the win, the pay-off – usually unrelated to the efforts we put in. (There was nothing my mother did, that would make her more likely to win the Irish Sweepstakes than what anyone else did – it was just luck. And she never won.)

Gambling – gruesome – when “pure gambling” has taken over someone’s life.

All it takes is a tiny change inside ourselves to go from the good to the bad to the gruesome – a disconnection of the pay-off pull from something constructive.

****

I started with words from a song I wrote years ago, on a gamble Western society gives huge value to: love. Young people are expected to find a partner to live with, taking a huge gamble with their lives. I would call it a central healthy gamble. And again here, it’s been found that, time after time, learning is important. People who have been around healthy love relationships are way more likely to have the love gamble pay off.

I think we need to learn to gamble well – to do the right kind, and do it well.

I’ll end with lines from that song – when can be about the best of a good gamble:

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