Ways to stay safe while gambling online in pa

As an extension of its commitment to responsible gambling, the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) provides a blacklist of online gambling operators that have tried to defraud PA players.

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If you stick to our list of the , you won’t have to worry about running into any shady sites. However, there are other dangers associated with online gambling besides rogue casinos. In this guide, I’ll show you how to protect yourself from identity theft, addiction, and other hazards that could put your safety at risk.

Here’s everything you need to know about safe online gambling in PA.

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How to Gamble Safely Online From Home

Online gambling is incredibly convenient because you can play real money casino games from anywhere within Pennsylvania as long as you’re at least 21 years old. However, it’s very important that you take certain precautions before you start gambling on the internet.

First of all, you should only use licensed and regulated PA online gambling sites. The PGCB requires all licensed casinos to encrypt customer data with SSL technology. This ensures that your personal information and financial transactions are protected from hackers and identity thieves.

Independent audits are another guarantee provided by the PGCB. Audited online casinos are regularly tested to ensure that their games are fair and produce accurate payouts.

You can also enhance your safety by using these eight simple tips:

1. Use Secure WiFi Networks When Possible

It’s best to avoid public WiFi networks when you’re making deposits or withdrawals at an . Hackers often set up fake public WiFi hotspots just to steal people’s private information.

Even if you trust a particular public WiFi network, it may not be secure. Someone with a little bit of technical knowledge could intercept your internet connection and steal your sensitive info.

Therefore, you should always use a secure WiFi network, preferably one that requires a password. If password-protected WiFi is not available, then it’s best to just use your mobile device’s cellular connection instead.

2. Install Reputable Antivirus Software

Installing reputable antivirus software is one of the best ways to protect your home computer or laptop. This will help prevent malware from stealing your private information while you’re online.

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According to independent tests by AV-Test, some of the best antivirus software products are:

  • Bitdefender Avast
  • Norton
  • Trend Micro
  • McAfee
  • Kaspersky
  • ESET

These programs offer excellent protection against viruses, malware, ransomware, phishing schemes, and other online threats. Some of them even include a virtual private network (VPN) or a password manager, which further enhances your overall security and convenience.

You can find these antivirus tools for around $30 – $60 per year, depending on whether you cover one device or multiple devices. Avast offers a free version, but it does display some ads and may not provide the same level of protection as the paid versions.

Of course, you don’t necessarily need an antivirus on your mobile device, especially if you have the latest smartphone or tablet. Newer operating systems like iOS and Android automatically include firewalls, malware scanners, and other security features.

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3. Verify URL Authenticity

Before you enter any personal information or make a deposit, you should always verify that you’re on the official website for an . One easy way to do this is by looking for a lock icon in your browser’s address bar.

The lock icon verifies that you have a secure connection (SSL encryption), and all the data you input into the site will be kept private. Additionally, the site URL should begin with “https” rather than “http.” The “s” indicates a secure connection.

Moreover, you should bookmark the website homepage so you can quickly access it every time you want to gamble online. This will help ensure that you’re not mistakenly visiting a fake website set up by cybercriminals.

Cybercriminals sometimes purchase fake domain names that are very similar to legitimate ones. For instance, they might buy gambler.com instead of the real site gamblr.com. Therefore, it’s a good idea to carefully examine website URLs and double-check that you’re in the right place before you share any of your own info.

4. Check for Independent Audits

As I mentioned earlier, all legal online casinos in PA are required to undergo regular independent audits. These audits prove that the games are fair, the site operates legally, and your chances of winning aren’t being unfairly manipulated.

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The auditing companies that test online casinos include iTech Labs, eCOGRA, Technical Systems Testing (TST), and GLI (formerly known as Gaming Laboratories International). You can click on the audit seals, which are usually located at the bottom of the casino homepage, in order to view more details about the test results.

In addition to proving that the games are fair, independent audits also ensure that the casino payout rates are accurate. You can see this information listed under the casino seal. PayTech is the abbreviation for payout measurement and testing. The quarterly percentage represents the average payout rate for all games over a three-month span.

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For example, if a casino reports a 97% payout measurement for one quarter, that would mean players won an average of $97 for every $100 wagered during that period. Keep in mind this figure does not guarantee you will win or lose less/more than what you wagered. It simply shows that players win in excess of what they bet over a specific period of time.

When you’re considering signing up for a new PA online gambling site, you should definitely check out the payout measurement to see if players have been winning more frequently at that particular casino.

5. Secure Your Mobile Device

Most accept both iPhone / iPad and Android mobile devices, giving you the freedom to play wherever you are in PA. Of course, before you get started, there are several things you can do to enhance your mobile security.

First and foremost, you should set a passcode or passphrase on your device. This helps prevent unauthorized people from accessing your personal info or making unapproved purchases.

Additionally, you should only download mobile apps from reputable sources. The App Store and Google Play are good options for smartphones and tablets. Just be sure to verify that the app was developed by the online casino itself, not a third-party developer.

Fortunately, all reputable online casinos offer mobile web access in addition to mobile apps. This simply means that you can visit the casino website directly through your mobile internet browser without having to download an app first. Mobile web access is a good option if you’re worried about installing software on your device or if your device doesn’t have enough storage space.

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Another way to protect yourself when playing at the best online casinos in PA is to only use shared wireless networks that require a password. Also, you should avoid saving your passwords on public computers or devices, such as library PCs or borrowed friends’ phones.

6. Manage Your Bankroll Responsibly

Bankroll management is an important part of staying safe while online gambling in PA. After all, there’s always a chance you could lose money, and it’s important that you can afford those losses. Here are some tips for managing your bankroll:

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  • Set a budget – Before you start playing real money casino games online, you should decide how much money you can comfortably afford to spend each month/week/day on gambling. Stick to your predetermined budget no matter what.
  • Don’t chase your losses – If you find yourself down $100, don’t bet $500 in hope of getting back to even. There’s a good chance you’ll lose even more money in that scenario.
  • Quit while you’re ahead – It’s always a good idea to walk away while you still feel like you’re winning. Don’t try to boost your winnings too much, or you may end up leaving empty-handed.
  • Gambling should be entertainment – Online casinos offer exciting games that are meant to entertain you and pass the time. Don’t start gambling with the expectation that you’ll become a millionaire; that’s not realistic.
  • Don’t gamble when you’re drunk or high – Alcohol and drugs impair your judgment, increasing your likelihood of developing a gambling problem. Thus, you should refrain from gambling under the influence.
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If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, you can seek help from the following resources:

7. Learn Game Strategy

Casino games combine elements of luck and skill together. While the outcome of each spin, roll, or deal contains an element of chance, you can improve your odds of winning by employing the proper strategy and tactics.

Casino game strategy differs from one game to the next, and each individual game features many different strategies. The most important thing is that you do some research before you start playing with real money.

Fortunately, you can practice for free at most online casinos in PA. All new customers are welcomed with a no deposit bonus, which gives you free play funds just for signing up. This allows you to test out various strategies and game plans before you deposit any of your own money.

Here are some beginners’ guides to get you started with the most popular types of online casino games:

8. Look Out for Other Players

Poker is the one exception to the single-player format of most online casino games. Poker is a game where you can not only compete against the house, but also against other players.

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Here are few things to watch out for when competing against others in online poker games:

  • Don’t get tilt – Tilt refers to a poker player losing his or her cool after taking a bad beat or making a couple of losing bets. Some players will become overly aggressive in an attempt to recoup their losses, which can lead to even more losses. The key is to stay calm and composed at all times.
  • Watch out for sharks – As you play more online poker, you’ll come across a few experienced players who know every nuance of the game. These players are sometimes referred to as sharks because they are looking to prey on the weaker players (also known as fish). The best way to avoid these piranhas is to stick with beginner tables, which are only open to newbies for the first few days after they sign up for the online casino.
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You can also protect yourself by keeping some of these poker basics in mind.

Now that you know how to stay safe while gambling online, you’re probably ready to sign up for an Internet gambling site. Before you do that though, you might be interested in learning the difference between online gambling vs. land-based gambling in the state.

Alternatively, if you’re already aware of the differences and would like to jump right into the action, then visit this page for our list of the today.


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J.W. Paine is one of the most experienced writers at GamblingSites.com. He's written for television and the printed media, and has a passion for casino games.

Paine loves writing about Las Vegas nearly as much he likes living here, and his knowledge of gambling games gives readers a unique advantage.