A decade ago, the majority of us were too wary to do anything over the internet that involved finances. Although security and identity safeguards were becoming much stronger at that time, feeling confident enough to trust any form of online banking was going to take time. And when it came to trusting legitimate Australian casino websites, faith was even harder to come by.
Times are a lot different today. We have incredibly advanced technology, and I’d be willing to bet you’ve done your fair share of shopping online in the past few years. We rely on major eCommerce sites like Amazon, eBay and Oriental Trading Company every day to keep our personal and financial information 110% protected.
Playing internet casino games like blackjack for money should be just as dependable as any other online banking service, and in many cases it is. But unfortunately, not every iGaming website is run by a legitimate operation.
The sad truth is that some websites are set up to look like an orthodox business, when in fact, they are only looking to take in as many new player deposits as they can, delaying any requests for withdrawals and then one day – seemingly out of the blue – disappearing into the chthonian nether.
My intent is not to dissuade my fellow Australians from participating in online gambling. Like most of you reading this, I enjoy a jovial spin on the reels or foray at a casino’s tables, but I don’t often have the time to go out to the local pub or casino to do it.
These are busy times, my friends, and if you want to whip out your smartphone at the train station or power up your laptop on the sofa to partake in a little gambling entertainment, you shouldn’t have to worry about whether your personal and financial information is going to be safe, or whether your withdrawal after a big win will be honored.
As you may know, the Australian government does not condone most forms of online gambling. You can place a wager on your favorite racing or sporting events at state-regulated websites like Ladbrokes, fully aware that consumer protections are in place to keep you and your money safe. But you cannot play the online slots, blackjack or poker with the same confidence, as casino gambling is not regulated in this country.
Online Gambling Laws of Australia
That doesn’t mean you can’t play at online casinos – don’t get me wrong. Australian law forbids offshore operators from accepting Australians, but that hasn’t stopped them from doing so because, frankly, since Australia’s Interactive Gambling Act was passed in 2001, not a single offshore website has been prosecuted for catering to Aussies.
Furthermore, the law specifically dictates that it is not a crime for Australians to gambling online, even at the same offshore websites that are (technically) illegal.
How does that work, and why isn’t our government going after these websites if they’ve taken steps to criminalize their actions? It’s fairly simple, when you get down to it.
Operators know they are at risk by accepting Australians. Thus, only operators who are confident in their ability to provide services that won’t draw the attention of the Australian government (i.e. no players will have a reason to complain to their government about the operator), are willing to accept those players.
To put it another way, if an online casino operator were to go rogue, refusing to pay withdrawals or failing to do so in a reasonably timely manner, Australians would begin complaining to their respective consumer protection agencies. And even though the operators aren’t located in Australia, therefore those agencies can’t really do anything to help the players, they can report the operator to the Australian government, who could be prosecuted for accepting Australians in the first place.
Legitimate Australian Blackjack for Money
When you put it all together, it doesn’t exactly mean that any operator willing to take your deposit is a legitimate Australian gambling site, but it does help narrow down the search for anyone willing to invest a bit of time. Finding a safe, trustworthy site on which to play slots or blackjack for money simply requires seeking out an operator with longevity and a great reputation.
All of the gambling websites you’ll find here on MacPokies.com.au meet that criteria. We are gamblers. We have been for many years, and it’s our mission to promote safe, responsible gambling for everyone who has a similar passion. That is, after all, why we started this website in the first place.
Editor’s Pick 2016
You are welcome to do your own research on internet gambling websites that have a long-standing reputation for integrity and accept Australian deposits. If you’d rather skip that process and get started playing your favorite games for real money right away, we strongly recommend Royal Vegas Casino, our Editor’s Pick for 2016.
Royal Vegas has been in business since the turn of the millennium, established in 2000, and has so many quality features it’s made our Editors Pick for the last three years running. From software and game selection, to swift payouts, reliable support services and extensive OS optimization (Mac, PC, Android, iOS, etc.), you really can’t go wrong with Royal Vegas.
And last but not least, we wouldn’t let you go without reading our editor’s advice. Do you really know how to Shop Around the Web for the Right Blackjack Tables ?
Virtual casinos on the Internet have zoomed past the land-based casinos upon which they were patterned, offering Blackjack players even more game variations than their bricks-and-mortar counterparts ever could. What’s more cyber gambling halls provide the convenience of 24/7 gaming with no need to travel, no dress codes, no crowds, smoke-free environments, and there is always seating available at one’s favorite table.
For that reason, online players should take full advantage of the abundant variety and shop around for tables most conducive to winning, from favorable rules and betting conditions to visual motifs suited to sessions of any duration. Following are eight points to consider when shopping the web for the optimum Blackjack experience.
8 Points for Blackjack Success
Security First – Online casinos today place great emphasis on making financial transactions secure and protecting personal privacy, so finding a reputable site for play is no longer an ordeal. The top locations are well established, with reputations for fairness and accuracy based upon operations spanning a decade or more. Also, renegade casinos can easily be avoided by searching their names on blacklists and in negative reviews. It should be easy to tell the legitimate operators from the fly-by-nights. Still, to be safe, always look for certification by a reputable third-party authority such as eCOGRA or Technical Systems Testing (TST).
Money Matters – Before committing any funds to an online casino, the player should know how to get money out. Can withdrawals be made with the same method used for deposits? The gaming site’s FAQ section should provide specific instructions for accessing funds, including transfer methods available, any minimums required, any associated fees, expected wait time, and what documentation is needed, if any. To avoid falling victim to compliance details, it pays to be well informed before risking a bet.
House Rules – Just as in land-based casinos, the House will vary its game rules to ensure an overall advantage versus the player. This edge can vary greatly depending on whether insurance and surrender are offered, blackjacks pay a full 3-to-2 or just 6-to-5, the dealer stands or draws on soft 17, and how liberal the rules are for splitting and doubling down. Look for tables where the House Rules deliver the very lowest edge.
Game Variants – Some online casinos offer as many as 40 different versions of the game, from Blackjack Switch and Double Exposure to European Blackjack, Spanish 21, Pontoon, and more. They may also offer side bets, such as Perfect Pairs, Royal Match, Hi/Lo and others. Always check the game rules before playing. Become absolutely familiar with the nuances of the variant before committing any wagers to play.
Risk-Free Samples – Most online casinos provide the opportunity to practice or sample games in “For Free” or “For Fun” mode before setting up an account for real money action. Look for Demo Cash or Play Credits to be issued, and then access the game software in Flash mode without any download. This allows potential players to become familiar with games and evaluate an online casino at no risk until confident of their ability to wager and win.
Multi-Hand Games – The earliest blackjack games online pitted a single player hand against the dealer’s hand, but in modern versions it is possible for the player to wager on two, three or more hands at a time, just like at land-based casinos. But be careful to study just how multi-hand games treat betting limits. Most will not allow a player’s total wagering to exceed the table maximum, whereas a few apply the maximum to each hand independently.
A Comfortable GUI – Anyone who spends hours at the table knows the importance of choosing a game with a user-friendly GUI (graphic user interface). The simplest ones are machine-like, with visuals showing only cards on a table, perhaps with numeric prompts for hand values and amounts bet. Some may display history data, and there may be toggles to control audio enhancements such as the dealer’s voice or background music. Some GUIs play well only on desktop or laptop computer screens, while others are suited to mobile devices like cell phones and iPads. There are so-called “live dealer” games, too, making use of video streaming so players can compete at tables staffed by professionals in front of cameras at remote sites. And 3-D casinos have sprung up on the Internet, offering realistic audio and visual effects as well as giving players controls to create avatars, adjust camera angles and engage with other players on the virtual casino floor. There’s no need to ever feel uncomfortable playing blackjack online.
Promotions – Cybercasinos have copied their bricks-and-mortar cousins, offering generous welcome bonuses upon sign-up, matching funds to complement initial deposits, rebates on losses, and loyalty programs giving players the opportunity for free play. But always read the fine print. Some bonuses subject winnings to “a forty times (40X) play-through requirement before funds can be withdrawn from the casino account.” Be familiar with all of the details before signing up for any “free cash” or similar offers.
Please read this great article listing legitimate blackjack systems for Australians. These are guaranteed to expand your bankroll and take your game to the next level.
Royal Vegas, the leading Australian pokies brand, has been our editor’s pick for the third consecutive year. Great software, game selection, the entire suite of traditional casino games, and quick and swift cashouts, plus friendly support. Highly recommended. PC, Mac and Mobile support – From the editors of MacPokies.com.au.