16 Mar

FAQ: Online Gambling with Credit Cards

Responsibility in iGaming: Stop using a credit card in casino cashiers!

Responsible iGaming: Stop using a Credit Card in Casino CashiersIt’s been nearly twenty five years since the online gambling industry debuted its first real-money slot machines and table games. From day one, internet players have been encouraged to deposit money with a credit card. This is a practice that needs to stop.

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Some jurisdictions have taken the initiative to pass laws, ensuring that credit cards cannot be used to gamble – not just online, but at all. Other jurisdictions are considering passing such laws. It’s a matter of responsibility, and one that – if not legally mandated – should be individually understood and accepted.

Stop Using a Credit Card at Casino Cashiers!

Credit cards are extremely handy in every day life. When a major appliance suddenly breaks down, it could incur a major cost to repair or replace it. Refrigerators and water heaters are among the worst. They are things we cannot live without; not for any length of time. But at least a third of the population does not have enough loose cash on hand to go out and replace such an item at the drop of a hat.

It is situations like these that make us appreciate credit card companies to the fullest. I myself purchased a brand new gas range last November, and was beyond pleased to have the option of a 12-month payment plan. Those cards come in handy, as do their long-term pay off structures. But when it comes to gambling, they are the last thing you should ever consider to fund your wagering habits.

I don’t think it should be necessary to explain why gambling in credit is such a bad idea, but just in case you’re having trouble comprehending the problematic nature of it, I’ll expound on the topic.

The Problem with Gambling on Credit

Gambling is not like making a purchase. Gambling is an activity in which the person placing the bet is hoping to make more money than they wagered. However, by definition, the outcome of any gambling activity is based predominantly on chance. This means there’s a chance that you won’t win your money, or more, back. There’s every chance you’re going to lose your bet.

When a person pulls cash from their wallet or purse and hands it to the casino cashier, they are distinctly aware that they are handing over that amount of money and that they may never see it again. When a person gambles on credit, there is no money changing hands. There is a disconnection between the bettor and the money. Therein lies the danger. That disconnection from the money results in a disconnection from responsibility for it. It becomes something we can worry about later. And this eventually leads so many players to fall victim to the Gambler’s Fallacy.

True Stories of The Gambler’s Fallacy

Here’s a perfect example, and I promise you this is a 100% true story. About 15 years ago, I worked at a retail store where scratch off lottery tickets were sold. One of my co-workers loved playing these cards. She sold them to people all day long, and at some point came to believe that she could predict the winners and losers. If one roll of cards hadn’t had a winner all day, she believed it was “due for a win”.

Every day when she got off work, she would buy a stack of tickets she was sure were winners. What we (I and the rest of the staff) didn’t realize at the time was that, when she was working alone, she would scratch off ticket after ticket without paying for them. She assumed that if she just kept playing, she would eventually win her money back, and would then use it to pay for all the tickets she had scratched.

It worked a couple of times, until one night she found herself more than $3,000 behind when her shift ended. There was more than enough video evidence to notify the authorities, but our boss was kind enough to fire her with a very stern warning.

Gambling on Credit is Just as Bad

Using a credit card in casino cashiers is the exact same thing. It gives gamblers the confidence that they can keep gambling more and more because, eventually, they have to win. Once they do, they can just use the winnings to pay off the credit card.

The problem is, gambling doesn’t work that way. You are never guaranteed to win. People play under this presumption all the time. In the beginning, probabilities might lean their way, but eventually luck will not be there to save them. Which leads us to the moral of the story… only gamble with money you have on hand, and can afford to lose.

                                        The End

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