Free online pokies have become so commonplace, some gamers have played for days on end without forking out a single cent! Free online slot games can be really good fun, but like any other casino-related activity, there are certain dangers associated with this popular pastime.
There are however concerns surrounding the accessibility and ease with which players can access the biggest range of free online pokies and casino slots. Now more than ever it seems we are on a precipice and need to decide whether playing pokies online is OK and what (if any) long term harm is being cause due to the playing of them.
Why all one needs to do is see the latest Australian gambling stats to realise the issue is well beyond just a slight problem that we can brush under the carpet
Here are five reasons you may want to avoid, or at least exercise caution regarding, free online pokies.
- “Gateway Drug” Potential
Some politicians justify making “soft drugs” like marijuana illegal because they say it acts as a “gateway drug” for users, who are more likely to upgrade to harder drugs like opiates. Well, free online pokies might have the same effect. Players who don’t watch themselves may find that they can’t resist the lure of paid games once they’ve gotten into the habit of playing free online pokies, and start themselves on a slippery slope towards problem gambling.
- Risk of Fraud
The Australian government has taken stringent steps to regulate the online gambling industry even though real-world gambling is arguably more problematic. This means that the vast majority of options for Australian gamers looking to play online will be illegal. This may divert the unsuspecting player towards black-market or unregulated online casinos which may often be less reliable, and which operate under the radar of law enforcement agencies. This increases the risk of fraud.
- Game Manipulation
Some unscrupulous online casinos will program free online pokies to generate higher more pokiewins rates and bigger payouts than their paid counterparts, the odds for which are stacked heavily in favour of the house. Free-to-play gamers therefore tend to overestimate their chances of winning at paid games, which may further increase their chances of getting into problem gambling with real money.
If you suspect you might be developing a gambling addiction to real-world pokies, one great way to nip this addiction in the bud is to stay away from casinos altogether. If necessary, you can even get family and friends to forcibly prevent you from going to casinos. However, if you’re addicted to free online pokies, it’s much harder to stay away. You can hardly ask your spouse to prevent you using the Internet. Breaking an online pokie addiction can thus be difficult.
- Less Scrutiny
Most casinos will cut off and even eject players who are clearly gambling under the influence, to prevent them disrupting the games or squandering their savings in their inebriated state. There’s nothing and no one to prevent you from gambling stone-drunk when you’re playing free online pokies, which may result in you inadvertently losing money on paid games.
As you can see, many of these dangers can be mitigated by reminding yourself that free to play pokies are designed to lure their audience into playing paid games. If you keep in mind the distinction between free online pokies and their riskier paid counterparts, and play responsibly, you’ll be able to indulge in this pastime with minimal worry.