Online gambling…the seedy side

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While online gambling can be fun, it can also be a disastrous way to get your kicks. Online not only comes with the usual risks/odds of winning and losing as regular gambling, but it often has hidden dangers because unlike gambling at your local hotel, club or casinos, there are NO RULES that these sites have to abide by.

Playing online casino, slot (pokie) and card games can be a fun way to pass a slow evening, but these forms of gambling can be just as addictive as gambling in person, and sometimes more dangerous…

Usually, we start playing online for fun. We play with “virtual money” and the wins seem to come thick and fast, fuelling our desire to play.

As we play more, our arousal or excitement levels go up, and soon we feel like we’re on a sure thing (sound familiar?)

As we keep winning our virtual games, we think our poker skills are improving, or we’re onto a good thing, and soon, we make the decision to play with real money – and here’s when disaster can strike!

Suddenly the pressure is on. Those big bets you were used to making with “virtual money” are now not only causing excitement but stress, and your winning streak? That seems to have gone.

And this is where it can get dangerous. “No”, you say to yourself, “I can beat this. I’m a good player!” and we keep playing, often increasing our bets.

But the truth is, once you switch to real cash and start playing with your hard-earned money, your win/loss ratio is dramatically changed. The wins just aren’t coming…. but the losses sure are!

Research into online gambling has proven that you do not win as much as when you play with “virtual cash” or “pretend money”.  So why?

Consider who you are playing against.

That guy across from you was holding the wrong cards every time you played him using “virtual money” but now, with real money at stake, your money, he is playing like a champion! What happened? Get the feeling you’ve just been sharked? That may well be the case! An electronic hustler!

No rules, no obligation to play fair, and not a leg to stand on.

Something else to think about is the legal compliance of the online site. What are the rules? NONE! All online gambling sites are run off shore, and currently, online gambling is not regulated by any Australian governance. So, unlike your local hotel, club or casino, where gambling is controlled and operators are bound by laws around the conduct of gambling, these sites do not have to abide by ANY of the restrictions and safety nets in place around gambling – and that includes giving you your winnings!

Some of these online gambling sites are fronts. You don’t know who they are, and if they don’t give you any winnings you may have, you have no authority to complain to.  Likewise, if suddenly more money starts disappearing from your bank account or credit card than you authorised.

No compliance means exactly that. They don’t have to play fair or give you your money and there is nowhere for you to turn. So before you think online is a get rich quick scheme, it’s not! It can be dangerous and unreliable.

If you enjoy a social gamble, stick with what you know is safe!  If you want to play online, play only with virtual money, then you can only virtually lose!

Counsellor Sam

2 thoughts on “Online gambling…the seedy side

  1. Hey Counsellor Sam! A great blog to read. I have used it in my personal blog as well crediting you with your work.
    I have created a blog myself on the presence of online gambling in Australia. An incredibly growing social issue that no one seems to be talking about.
    Feel free to have a read:
    Let me know if you have any suggestions or words of advice in going forward.

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