Online gaming is a recent trend that is catching up with most gaming freaks worldwide. Not only does it offer the fun and excitement associated with gambling, but also the opportunity to make some quick bucks. And if it is your lucky day, you could become a millionaire overnight. Security threats are no longer a pressing issue as people have access to information that help them take wise decisions while opening online accounts. However, opening an online casino account may not be as easy as people think it is.

The most important thing you need to know is that online gambling, or gambling of any sort, is illegal in many countries. If you are a resident of any of these countries, you need to be very careful before deciding to open an account with a gambling site. In case you are caught, you could land in some serious trouble.

It is very essential that you understand the legalities of opening an online account. Most online sites have a license that might be applicable only in the country that issues it. In such sites, the games are open for participation only for residents of the particular jurisdiction. The legal age for gambling in most countries has been set at 18. This might vary in some countries, though. The games are then restricted only to individuals who have attained the legal age specified by the jurisdiction of their country of residence. A few of the online casino sites are available only to people older than 21. So before you sign-up, read the terms listed in the site. In case you do not abide by these rules and happen to win any money, all your games would be considered void and you cannot withdraw the winnings from your account. The site might also cancel your account or bar you from playing in future. Since online casinos do not offer you any guarantee of the legal right to participate in the site, it is your responsibility to understand what is legally acceptable and what is not.

There have been numerous instances when people have opened an account in an online casino and won prize money only to realize later that they cannot withdraw the winnings. This has been attributed primarily to cases where people provided misleading or false information to the site. Casinos cannot be held liable for any claims that you raise, if the fault lies with you. Therefore, remember to offer genuine information and make sure you do not lose your account details. The decision to register in a site is entirely yours. In case you have been cheated by a dodgy site, there is no way you can raise a claim. The rules of fraud for virtual organizations are very different. You must ensure that the site is genuine before you sign-up or offer your financial details.

Debbie Graham – Section Editor 2007-08-28