Pennsylvanians joined the world of online real-money gambling in the summer of 2019.
Playing wherever Wi-Fi (or your data plan) allows offers comfort and convenience. However, it’s not without risks.
It is vital to stay safe when gambling online for real money.
Here are some security measures to keep in mind when gambling on your phone or computer.
Play on reputable websites
As of September 2019, there are three Pennsylvania online casinos:
Before gambling on a website, it is essential to determine if it’s licensed and regulated by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB). The PGCB “protects the interest of the public by ensuring the integrity of legalized gaming through the strict enforcement of the law and regulations.”
By playing at PA online casinos that are licensed and regulated by the PGCB, players eliminate many risks. They thoroughly test each game to ensure fairness. You are also able to log complaints with them.
At the bottom of a casinos website check for this seal:
Protect your personal info
Pay attention when registering for each online casino. Here are some essential tips to keep in mind when registering at a PA online casino:
- Consider confidentiality and privacy. Your username is visible to other players on the website.
- Choose a unique username and password.
- Do not autosave passwords.
- Never share login information.
- If you tend to forget passwords, think about using a service like LastPass or Keeper.
- Log off at the end of each session.
Enable two-factor authentication
Two-factor authentication is something many of us do every day. Using a debit card and passcode is considered a form of two-factor authentication.
The most common form of two-factor authentication while logging into your PA online casino account is to enter your password and then enter a security code that you receive via text message.
There are three types of authentication. It consists of something you:
- Know: A password, PIN, ZIP code, or answer to a question (mother’s maiden name, name of pet, and so on).
- Have: A phone, credit card, or fob.
- Are: A biometric such as a fingerprint, retina, face, or voice.
Reputable payment and withdraw methods
Regulated and licensed PA online casinos offer trusted banking methods. Most accept trusted names like Visa, Mastercard, and PayPal for users to be able to play real-money games.
Keep computer protected from viruses
Perhaps even before you registered to play at a PA online casino, your computer contained a wealth of information about you. Information that hackers would love to obtain.
The simplest way to keep your computer safe is to download recommended system updates. If you want to add extra layers of security, consider antivirus software, antispyware software, and firewalls.
Set limits if needed
Many PA online casinos offer the option of self-imposed restrictions:
- Deposit Limits: You can control how much you deposit on the site per day, week, or month.
- Spending Limits: Based off of your net losses, this allows you to control how much you spend on the site per day, week, or month.
- Time Limits: This allows you to restrict the number of hours you spend on the site each day.
- Wagering Limits: You can control the amount you wager on the site per day, week, or month. It also allows you to limit the wager amount on a single bet per game type.
- Timeout: Should you need a cooling-off period from online gambling, you can choose to self-suspend action.
Be aware of problem gambling
Problem gambling, or gambling addiction, includes all gambling behavior patterns that compromise, disrupt or damage personal, family, or vocational pursuits.
Signs of problem gambling include:
- Increasing preoccupation with gambling.
- A need to bet more money more frequently.
- Restlessness or irritability when attempting to stop.
To find out more about problem gambling, visit the National Council on Problem Gaming or call 1-800-GAMBLER.
Be mindful of cellphone safety
The number of people who gamble on their phones continues to rise. If you choose to play this way, it is important to take cautionary measures, including:
- Lock your phone.
- Enable password or fingerprint protection.
- Make the password strong/unique (i.e., not 1-2-3-4).
- Keep your operating systems updated.
- Consider installing anti-theft tracking software.