Can online gambling be compared to smoking?

After a recent EU recommendation, it is reported that gambling ads may soon carry the same health warnings as cigarette packets in the UK. Whilst gambling can be an addictive issue, can it really be compared to smoking?

The message from the European Commission doesn’t only apply to the UK, as they are encouraging countries across the continent to demand that all online gambling adverts carry health warnings and messages similar to those displayed on cigarette packets.

The idea behind it is to prevent or reduce the number of compulsive gamblers. It’s not a new proposal either, as in countries such as France, this process has already been adopted, with messages displayed on all igaming websites and advertising.

Despite the recommendation not being legally binding, the hope is that it will prompt EU countries to tighten advertising rules and increase controls on the multi-billion Euro online gambling industry.

Some of the things being urged to feature on advertisements include assistance for compulsive gambling problems, the odds of winning vs losing and the risks of becoming a gambling addict.

But can gambling really be seen as something comparable to smoking?

On the one hand there are quite a few similarities, such as both being perfectly legal things that people can become highly addicted to. As with any addictions, there are programmes in place to help people overcome their habits.

Another way in which gambling and smoking are similar is that it is a costly hobby or habit. Cigarettes can be around £10 a packet whereas there is often no reasonable limit to how much an addict will spend on gambling. Of course although a costly habit, there are vast differences in the way and amount that’s spent via gambling as opposed to cigarettes.

Once you have purchased your cigarettes, you have your temporary fix, until you run out and need to buy another fix. This isn’t how gambling addiction works, as once the first bet is made, there is no guarantee how many more wagers will be made in that one go. Often, when gamblers are down on their luck, they will keep spending inappropriate amounts until they reach some sort of win.

Another difference is the constant access to online gambling to feed addiction, which isn’t necessarily true of smoking. If you run out of cigarettes and have no access to any more, you won’t be able to get your fix. Similarly if you find yourself in a no-smoking area, especially for a prolonged period like a train journey, you can’t get your fix, whereas online gambling is accessible from our pockets virtually any time of the day thanks to advances in mobile technology. In a way this makes it arguable that online gambling is actually a more threatening and dangerous addiction than smoking.

Of course most will argue the opposite and will say that the two can’t be comparable, as smoking has much more detrimental effects in terms of health of not only the person addicted, but those around them too. Health warnings on cigarette packets warn about the effects on your lungs, risk of cancer and statistics about the damage you can do to yourself and others.

In this sense, warnings on gambling sites and advertisements can’t really be compared. Although it’s a serious issue and can affect you mentally, you won’t need an organ transplant or suffer from cancer due to gambling. Nor will you be damaging the health of others around you.

So in the sense that gambling and smoking are both legal addictions which must be treated and tackled, then yes the two can be compared. But in the terms of damage done either to health or to finances, the two addictions are very different and must be treated so.

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Casinos like 888

888 is becoming a benchmark in the online casino industry. For players, it is becoming a household name in homes with casino buffs. A fair question for those wishing to branch out a bit is, are there casinos like 888?

Well, first of all, what’s superb enough about 888 that others will copy it? The games, for one, are custom made in-house. Next, there is a robust community of players (that one is impossible to fake or to create overnight).

Bonuses at 888 are also fair and attractive, not the run-of-mill offers. Mobile capabilities are top-notch. Lastly, since 888 is an industry-leader it has superior customer support and banking.

Let’s take a look at some examples in each of the main areas where 888 is awesome.

Similar Games

When it comes to high quality games that are custom made for a particular community of players by their house, mFortune comes to mind. PocketFruity, too, makes its own games, which means it comes in for two comparable qualities (see below).

Although mFortune does not offer the range and scope of the 888 portfolio, it scores higher in an unrelated benefit: bonus. The mFortune free £5 and cash match up to £100 have no strings attached (if you win, you take home your cash).

Mobile Compatibility

When it comes to helping all people play regardless of what kind of device they’re using, the situation is improving rapidly. The WWW itself has been upgraded to serve mobile users faster and more securely (not as a 2nd class community).

For that reason, compatibility is not as big an issue as it was before, unless you use an outlying or up-and-coming brand such as Blackberry or the new Windows 8 RT. Apple and Android, you can bet, are fully serviced by the majority of casinos.

An example of just how accessible a mainstream casino is, we can look at the newbie, Thrills. It has a wild new layout and approach to a casino site — much more spacious and a bit creative. Its gaming is handled by another hot new brand, Net|Ent, with cinema-like slots. Up to £200 in deposit bonus and 50 free spins as a no-deposit draw.

Customer Focus with Similar Bonuses

PocketFruity, as we said above, scores highly in comparison with 888 on two fronts. In addition to great support for players (mobile players, predominantly), PocketFruity also makes its own games especially for its own community.

888 offers a cool £200 welcome package and exciting promotions. You’ll get £8 every time the Roulette ball lands on 8, by the way! PocketFruity, on the other hand, has the very competitive £10 free and 100% deposit matches up to £20.

Basically, folks, 888 is a world-famous online casino brand with over 20 million registered players. Very few casinos are in that league. You may find some of its graces at other great casinos, like the ones we suggested, but only 888 gives you all of it.

3 Trusted e-Certifications for Online Casinos, Briefly Explained

When it comes to our safety whilst playing online casinos it is important not to get lulled into a sense of security by big bonuses or a lucky win. We are basically never safe online.

Not even the best hackers are themselves safe from other hackers or rogue governments or organized crime; nor is anyone safe even from a previously trusted casino website.

You heard about Full Tilt, right? Did you hear about what happened to PokerStars? — Those were two highly trusted, very popular, quite successful poker sites operating world-wide, each of which fell prey to the greed of owners skimming off the top and cutting out players who were left owed money. The US Federal Government had to step in to straighten out Full Tilt and PokerStars, fine them and even arrest a few embezzlers.

If we just accept that the Internet is a jungle, then we can proceed to have fun online more safely — all the more fun because we have taken steps to keep ourselves clear of the e-criminals.

Stepping Up To Be Counted

The online casinos know we’re into safety. The good ones are more than willing to prove their trustworthiness through independent, outside authorities. We are about to explain three ways this is done today. But keep in mind that even a certified house like Full Tilt Poker can go bad. The best and only way to vet casinos is by simply their polling players somehow.

To tap into the buzz about a particular site, simply (1) sign up, (2) receive the free bonus money to enter the game rooms and (3) just open up some quick chat with other players. You will soon find whether a particular site may be dubious or trusty.

Here are the main checks that these independent auditors promise to ensure:

• Casino operators must prove their good track records.

• Owners and managers pass through identity checks.

• Accountability and transparency are tested.

• Unexpected audits and checks.

• Yearly reports are mandatory.

What is eCogra’s ‘Safe and Fair’ seal?

eCogra is really the main flag to fly for casinos. First of all, the acronym-name stands for: eCommerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. Importantly, eCogra works to regulate both e-commerce and online gaming. If you see its seal at the bottom of a casino you are considering joining, then what it means is serious checks of the casino under review (checks like the ones listed above) for its seal.

Interactive Gaming Council

The IGC (and its globe-with-red-swoosh logo) serves as a ‘collective voice’ for online gaming interests and providers. Inclusion in the IGC (like Virgin’s casino) shows that a particular site is well-networked with its business environment, which makes things safer for you.

‘GamCare Certified’ Means What?

GamCare works on the most basic level, with game makers, to ensure that the code itself is up to snuff for protecting you as you play. There are relatively few game makers compared to casinos who license them, so GamCare certification is pretty much a given if you’re playing at sites running the big systems like Microgaming and Playtech.

We hope this helps to show you that there are ways through the Internet jungle, as long as you take a moment to make sure that your casino has good ratings like these.

Important! Before choosing a new online casino, you must make sure you read reviews and that the online casino you choose is safe and trusted. Consider visiting the following list of recommended online casinos provided by in their online casinos directory. This site will help you find the best casino for you and most importantly – a safe one!