Many Believe These Myths To Be Factual About Online Casinos – But None Are True

Written By Matt Boecker on June 15, 2023
red truth in middle of myths

Online casinos could be legalized in New York in 2024. But before that happens there are some important things to clear up.

There are many preconceived notions regarding NY online casinos. This is mainly because they’re not yet accessible in the Empire State. So rumors have spread about how mobile casinos will operate, and the impact they’ll have.

Those rumors will be proven to be just that once online casinos enter New York in 2024 at the earliest. Once users start playing the games for themselves, they’ll get to see if everything they’ve heard about online casinos is true or not.

But before that happens, we’d like to clear up the most common online casino myths.

Myth 1: Online casinos are already legal in New York

There are already sites offering real-money online casino wagering in New York, but they’re not regulated. Therefore, NY online casinos are still illegal.

The sites currently offering mobile casino gaming are offshore platforms. Since they’re not based in the US, they don’t face the same regulations.

An offshore sportsbook user could have their balance completely wiped out with no repercussions because there’s no regulating body stopping that from happening.

Something like that would never happen with a licensed New York operator, such as NY sportsbooks, because they’re overseen by the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC). Once regulated online casinos come to the Empire State, they’ll be overseen by the NYSGC.

Along those lines consider this next quick-and-easy tell: the seal of the regulating body. In New Jersey, for example, each licensed online casino features the logo of the Division of Gaming Enforcement. Once live in the Empire State, NY online casinos will carry the seal of the NYSGC.

It’s easy to confuse an offshore sportsbook or online casino with a licensed one because the websites look very similar. But if you ever see cryptocurrency like bitcoin offered as a deposit option, you should steer clear. Licensed online casinos only do real-money transactions.

Or if an operator’s URL ends in anything other than .com, that’s another sign you’re looking at an offshore site. When the URL ends with something like .lv or .ag, that represents that country of operation – regulated US based sites always end with .com.

Myth 2: Online casinos don’t emphasize responsible gaming

Some people think online casinos are like the wild west. The thinking goes that they face no regulation or oversight. That’s a great way to describe offshore platforms, but not licensed online casinos.

When online casino gaming enters NY, it will likely face more regulations than sportsbooks currently do. The risk of problem gambling skyrocketing is one of the reasons online casinos haven’t been legalized yet. So it’s certainly something lawmakers take seriously.

There will be many NY responsible gaming measures implemented once online casinos in New York are legalized. For example, gaming operators will track how much time you’ve spent online casino gaming. And after a while, you’ll get notifications saying it may be time to walk away.

Users will also have the option to add safeguards to prevent problem gambling at online casinos. Some protective measures include limiting the amount of time you can spend logged in, as well as restricting the amount you can deposit and wager in a day or week.

Myth 3: Underage gambling will rise with legal online casinos

This goes back to the concerns about problem gambling spiking when NY online casinos launch. But when it comes to underage players, there’s no reason to believe it would be any different than sports betting.

When creating a sportsbook account, the NYSGC requires users to submit personal information such as your birthday and social security number. This is done to prove you’re 21 or older, which is the minimum age for NY sports bettors.

The same requirements will go into effect when creating an online casino account. Of course, it’s possible for an adult to create an account and then give the log-in information to an underage bettor. But that’s already a risk with sports betting. And the NYSGC has safeguards in place to snuff out that kind of activity.

Myth 4: NY online casinos will cannibalize retail casinos

At first thought, this one makes some sense. Why would someone travel to a brick-and-mortar casino when they can play the same games from the comfort of their homes, or anywhere else they’d like?

In reality, online casinos complement retail locations. Physical casinos offer a trip with friends or family to enjoy table games, slot machines, sportsbooks as well as resort-like amenities from going in-person.

An online casino will never be able to replicate that. But what it does offer is the convenience of virtual casino gaming if you’re not up for a trip to a retail casino.

In fact, when online poker became wildly popular from 2004 to 2011, traffic at retail poker rooms also grew. The World Series of Poker Main Event saw 8,000 more entrants following the online poker boom.

Here’s what Sen. Joe Addabbo told PlayNY about online casinos cannibalizing retailers:

“Online gaming, as we’ve seen in (New) Jersey, it coexists. My point of view is there should be no cannibalization at all when we talk about iGaming in New York. So therefore, those that have a license will be apt to get a license to iGaming. Now the conversation will not only include the seven licensed casinos in New York State, but also the racinos and VLT operators and whether they are to partake, the Native Americans to opt in.”

Myth 5: Online casinos are rigged against players to prevent too much winning

With sports betting, there’s no risk of a gaming operator altering the odds of you winning because the outcome is not controlled by a sportsbook. But with online casinos, there’s a distrust that operators can alter how much money you win since the games are hosted on their site.

Some people believe that if you do start winning, the online casino will start freezing which forces you to stop playing. There’s even rumors that if you get lucky and win big, you won’t receive the cash.

These are all risks with offshore operators, but not regulated online casinos. The NYSGC will be tasked with ensuring no foul play is happening by gaming operators. And if something fishy was detected, major fines and removal of gaming licenses could take place.

Online casino software is audited for accuracy and reliability to ensure the games aren’t rigged. When a mobile casino gets passing grades on their software, it’s often publicized to show they’re a trustworthy place to wager.

Of course, online casinos allow you to play more games in a shorter amount of time. So if your account balance dwindles quickly, it may seem like the house is in control. But in reality, the NYSGC will assure no online casino games are rigged.

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Matt Boecker

Born in Oak Lawn, Illinois, Matt graduated from Northern Illinois University, where he covered NIU hockey for the Northern Star. Since then, Matt has specialized in NFL and NBA coverage for various websites and podcasts before shifting gears to casino and sports betting coverage.

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