Are you looking to play real money casino games on your computer or your smartphone and win cash? Unfortunately, not all gambling apps let you win actual cash even though they are charging you money.
What exactly is real money gaming or gambling? This article defines the term to help you look for apps or websites where you can win cash.
Defining Real Money Gambling
In a technical definition, real money gambling refers to sites where actual money is wagered and where real money can be won, too. This is different from social casinos, where players only play and wager for fun since there is no real money at staked and no real money can be won.
However, real money online slots, gambling apps and sites are also different from those that let players buy in-game tokens with actual cash as an in-app purchase. This does not involve betting with usable money to win some. As real money online casinos profit from their bettors, you also have a chance to make actual money as well.
Thus, real money gambling refers to gambling online with authentic money or its digital equivalent. This is where card counters can make money playing blackjack or for lucky slot players to take home a small fortune from progressive jackpot games. This also includes playing slots for real money and winning actual cash.
Because actual cash is involved, UK casino sites and US gambling sites are open to criminal activities such as money laundering or identity theft. This is why government regulation offices set the standards among casinos, sportsbooks, poker cardrooms, horse race betting, and bingo sites. Licensed gambling site operators run safe operations; they have anti-money laundering (AML) and minors protection measures (KYC). Patrons are also given assurances that licensed online casinos, sportsbooks, and other gambling sites are equipped to protect everyone's private information.
Real money casinos are also viewed by certain individuals as investing. Gambling with high-stakes games is the same as buying risky stocks or investments. You can even say that low RTP slots are as low-risk as bonds. In some way, real money casinos can be considered investments for unique players.
Real Money Online Casinos Requirements
Real money online casinos require several factors to establish their legitimacy, both in the eyes of the law and from the players' perspective.
First, their games must be developed by any licensed online casino software developer. The developers, in turn, are responsible for ensuring that the software they sell and distribute to starting online casinos is fair, safe, and secure. Notable examples of these developers include Lightning Box, Microgaming, NetEnt, and IGT.
Next is the establishment of safe and secure payment systems. Usually, credit and debit cards - the biggest and most popular choices being Visa and MasterCard - are the most widely accepted methods of payments, along with direct wire transfer, e-money wallets like PayPal and Skrill, and for some, even cryptocurrency. If an online casino offers only shady, vague, and hard-to-track payment methods, such as Western Union, consider that a red flag.
Above all these, of course, are permits, registrations, and licensing. A real money casino needs to be licensed by a regulation office as proof that they are compliant with government rules and standards when it comes to fairness, security, and safety.
Defining Social Gambling
Not all casino games on websites and apps can be defined as real money gambling, even if players purchase something with real money to play.
Imagine getting a casino games app for your smartphone. This app features all the classic casino games - from slots to blackjack to poker to roulette and everything else in between - and you can play it with or without an internet connection.
To play games, you need to use in-game credits/currency. This "money" can be either won in games or earned by completing tasks or missions. If you run out of credits, you can always buy with real money. However, even using credits bought with real money, the rewards remain in-game credits only and cannot be cashed out or converted back to real money.
Another example is in-game "loot boxes," where players can buy "boxes" that contain a number of in-game items out of a pool of potential rewards. Whatever is obtained through this cannot be converted into real money and will also remain an in-game item.
Alternative Methods to Earn Money
So can players, even when playing non-real money games, still earn money from it? The answer is yes - but not directly, and not in a straightforward manner. This can be done through selling rare or hard-to-draw in-game items or straight-up selling an existing account with often highly desirable items included.
One such game is CounterStrike: Global Offensive, or CS:GO. In this game, players can buy and sell in-game skin for characters, weapons, and items. These CS:GO skins are worth real money since there is an active market for them. Skins and other in-game items are often obtained through loot boxes, and thus luck plays a huge role in getting an item, especially rare ones. A lucky player can spend $10 and immediately get a featured, rare item. Another player can spend $100 but still not get anything he wants.
A marketplace, or the place where players trade, buy and sell items, can solve this dilemma. Here, players can directly buy whatever they want from other players for a price agreed upon and usually set by the community.
What suits you better: real money gambling or play money gaming? Whatever your preference is, always play responsibly, and most importantly, don't forget to have fun!
This article was published on June 16, 2022, and last updated on October 20, 2022.