If you’ve ever wondered if online casinos are legitimate, the answer is yes, for the most part. It’s probably not smart to hand over your credit card information to any website claiming to be a casino. However, there are trusted spots with a track record of verified jackpot winners.
Some of these trusted spots are online versions of real-world casinos. Others are online only but have registered for a license with the Gambling Commission.
What About the Software?
Gaming guru John May explains that a big concern people have with online casinos is the software. “Many gamblers believe certain casinos with the same software will never cheat you and that casinos which use other software brands are big trouble. The latter assumption is correct, the former isn’t,” he says. Slots at live casinos run on software, too. Any software can be manipulated, so it’s really up to the player to choose a reputable casino.
Online Casinos are Registered, but Do They Pay Out?
When you play at a live casino, you can see people around you winning and know that the machines do pay out. You can observe people hitting jackpots as the sirens go off, and you can watch them cash in their jackpots at the counter. Playing casino games online doesn’t afford you that same opportunity. Winners appear as text scrolling across a screen, and because online casinos add every win to that scrolling list, the payouts you see are small.
Despite their elusive nature, online jackpot winners do exist, and the big winners win millions. For instance, Jon Heywood won £13,209,300 ($20,062,600) playing Betway’s Mega Moolah slot online. He holds the current world record for the highest online jackpot ever won. Heywood beat the previous world record by winning just 13,000 more than a Finnish player who won the jackpot playing Mega Fortune. In 2008, the first Mega Moolah jackpot of $5.5 million was won by a player named Klaus E. from Finland.
How the Jackpot Amounts are Determined
Online progressive jackpots work the same way as progressive jackpots in a live casino. The jackpot continues to grow until someone hits that winning spin. Just like in a live casino, a jackpot might be anywhere from $1,000 to $1,000,000, depending on how long it’s been since the last payout. The more people play, the higher the jackpots will climb.
Jon Heywood’s jackpot was especially large because it had been a while since the jackpot was won.
Online Gambler Bets Pocket Change – Wins Millions
Another online player who goes by the nickname ‘Wellzyc’ turned a £1.25 bet into a £6.23 million win playing NetEnt’s Mega Fortune progressive slot. Officials from the BGO casino said, the previous year, another player won £3.6 million on the same game. While no details were released, the casino did say both winners were from the same town.
Stay Within Legal Boundaries for Gambling Online
As of 2006, online gambling became illegal in the U.S. However, these leading online casino sites in the UK are completely legal.
There are people out there who claim that online gambling in the U.S. is legal because there’s no Federal law against it; however, the FBI has a different opinion. The truth is, there are Federal laws against the transmission of wagering and betting by use of a wire communication and broadcasting lottery information. These laws make online gambling in the U.S. illegal.
Leslie Bryant, head of the Cyber Crime Fraud unit from the FBI says, “You can go to Vegas. You can go to Atlantic City. You can go to a racetrack. You can go to those places and gamble legally. But don’t do it online. It’s against the law.”
Always Play Responsibly
Whether playing online or in person, it can’t be stressed enough to play responsibly. Play with only the amount of money you’re okay with losing and leave your credit card at home.
There’s always the possibility of winning a jackpot, but you should never bet the house on it if you need somewhere to sleep at night.