Photo illustration by John Lyman

The popularity of online betting and gambling has been increasing exponentially in recent years. More adults are opting to play online from the comfort of their own homes versus getting dressed, hoping in their cars, and driving to a physical casino or betting parlor. The industry is growing rapidly and attracting players from all walks of life.

Since new brands and websites enter the market almost every day, it would be helpful to know about a platform before signing up. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of betting at some recently launched online casinos. Additionally, here are some safety and security tips to help you along the way.

Online casinos are easily accessible through smartphones, tablet computers, and iPads. If you prefer the more traditional method of gambling, you can find brick-and-mortar establishments across the globe in many cities. The most significant difference users will encounter is that traditional brick-and-mortar establishments are limited with the type and number of games that they offer. Virtual websites will have variations of traditional casino games, making them ideal for all types of players.

Online platforms have a wide selection of games like slots, roulette, poker, blackjack, and others. The convenience for players is that you can play conceivably from anywhere in the world as long as you have a stable Internet connection and, if need be, a VPN.

Playing online is advantageous since it provides more opportunities for users. Numerous websites offer incentives for users to join and play on their platforms. These include cash bonuses on deposits and free spins on some games. The rewards enhance winning probability by giving players additional rounds without using their own money. Some platforms have loyalty points for premium clients and some offer prizes.

Before signing up, a potential user can learn about a platform from online review websites. And to help you as you get started, here are some pros of playing online versus at a brick-and-mortar shop.

Convenience is probably the biggest draw. You can play online using your smartphone. You will need a stable Internet connection to access any apps or websites.

Many platforms offer a wide selection of games. Some popular ones include table games, slots, poker, and live-dealer games. In addition, they will have variations of traditional casino games.

Many platforms offer bonuses to their users. Some online websites reward players depending on the frequency that they play. They also have healthy bonuses and free spins for new players. They also offer frequent promotions including prizes.

Playing at a legitimate online casino guarantees your security over the Internet. Trusted websites use encryption and other security features to ensure client safety. A reputable game developer uses the best technology to enhance a gaming site’s safety and security. Before visiting any website, ensure that they have a valid SSL certificate.

However, here are some disadvantages of online casinos.

Gambling can get out of control if not enjoyed responsibly. If you feel that your habit is getting out of control, seek help online.

Gambling carries risks but it doesn’t always have to. Unlicensed online casinos have been known to take advantage of new or existing users. Always ensure a platform operates under federal regulatory authority.

Some users have expressed displeasure with delayed payouts. Unlike brick-and-mortar establishments, some gambling websites have been known to delay transferring earnings to players. It all depends on the payment method one chooses.

Some websites have stringent rules on bonuses. Incentives from online casinos will have specific requirements to fulfill before withdrawing any earnings. Before signing up to any website be sure to read the terms and conditions.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing an online casino.

Research a casino website and read the customer reviews to determine if a platform is legitimate and a right fit for you.

Some users will inevitably run into technical problems so ensure that any website has 24-hour customer support. This ensures that you will get help whenever you have questions.

Importantly, here are some tips for gambling responsibly online.

Users should always set a budget and don’t exceed it. It helps to set a budget before playing and have a limit to what you are willing to spend. Always play in your free time. If you find yourself locked away in a utility closet during work you might want to seek help.

Importantly, do not expect to win every time. Consider it as a form of entertainment and not an investment.

Finally, seek help online if your online hobby gets out of control. There are organizations with professionals who can help you with a gambling addiction.

Playing at online casinos is fun and can be quite safe. But everything needs to be in moderation. If you feel that you are no longer in control of your gambling habits, you should stop playing and seek help. Most importantly, play responsibly and have fun.