The Advantages of Regulated Online Gaming Sites

Steve Ruddock - November 18, 2013

Regulated Online Poker SitesAre you wondering what advantages the new regulated online gambling markets in the United States will offer? Then you’ve come to the perfect place.

Below you will find four key advantages the new regulated iGaming markets will have over unregulated markets.

Above the board depositing and withdrawal options

One of the biggest problems in the US online poker world over the past five-plus years has been the shrinking options to deposit and withdraw from online poker rooms and even worse, the woefully inadequate withdrawal times.

The good news is that one of the first things US poker players will notice when they play at a regulated online poker room is the ease and speed with which they can deposit and more importantly withdraw their funds from the licensed online poker room.

This has been the bane of US poker players since UIGEA legislation passed in 2006, and over the years the situation has become increasingly dire, as players saw their deposit and withdrawal options dwindle, while at the same time, withdrawal times stretched from what at first took mere minutes, to days, to weeks, to now sometimes months.

Fortunately for us, regulated online gambling sites are not faced with the same difficulties that unregulated sites face. They do not need to illegally code credit card payments, or deal with unscrupulous payment processors, and well-respected companies are more than willing to work with them.

All deposit and withdrawal options in regulated markets will be performed by legitimate companies (many of which will need to licensed in the state as Internet Gaming service providers) who are conducting business completely above the board.

Oversight and clear regulations

One of the major things lacking in the unregulated online poker markets --a market US players have been participating in since Planet Poker launched in 1999-- was any type of universal guidelines when it came to regulations.

In the past, terms and conditions were for the most part left up to the sites and each offshore regulatory body (be it in Alderney, Antigua, Curacao, the Isle of Man, tribal lands in Canada, Costa Rica, or Gibraltar) had different parameters in place, so players never had any clear indication of:

  • What (if any) percentage of their player account was kept in segregated accounts
  • What the penalties for breaking the terms and conditions of the site were (banned, confiscated funds, suspensions)
  • What recourse a player who feels they have been cheated

In regulated markets there is now a master plan, laid out by the state regulators and lawmakers, which the sites must abide by. Some smaller issues may still vary from site to site (“local rules” if you will), but for the most part the regulatory bodies set the rules.

A place to file a dispute

In addition to having a clear set of rules to reference, players also have an entity to turn to when they have a problem with an online casino.

For far too long online poker players have found themselves at the mercy of the online gaming sites. Internet forums are chock full of stories describing the closing of accounts or the seizing of a player’s funds over some unproven misdeed, and for far too long the only recourse a player who felt they were treated unjustly had was to take their grievance to the poker forums and hope for enough community backlash to force the site to “do the right thing.”

In the new regulated markets this is no longer the case. For instance, in New Jersey, the Division of Gaming Enforcement has posted their guidelines for filing a dispute against an online gaming provider. And online gaming providers can no longer just give into peer pressure after being criticized and make things right; now they will face possible fines and potentially the loss of their iGaming license.

Finally, now that we have regulated online gaming markets the risks outweigh the rewards for online gambling sites, and any unscrupulous actions will have real-world consequences for them.

Peace of mind

Perhaps the most important advantage of a regulated market is the peace of mind that goes along with it.

Much like putting your money in a bank where it is protected by FDIC insurance, having state regulators not only monitoring the online poker rooms, but insuring your deposits are being handled properly and that they are available to you at any time will put many minds at ease.

There will no longer be the forum trolls screaming how “the sites are just stealing your money,” and how “your money isn’t safe with these sites.” These people will no longer have a voice. Now we will KNOW precisely how our money is being handled.