There is one mistake you should never make as you play poker online – using an unlicensed poker room. But some players seem to think this aspect of online poker gameplay is something they can forget about and join whichever poker site they fancy.

I am here to tell you that this is not the case. There is a stark difference between a licensed and unlicensed poker site. It does not matter how sleek the website is, how enticing the bonus offers are, or how popular the poker room is in online gambling circles.

If a poker site is not licensed, it puts lots of risks your way, some of which you will learn about today. In this article, you will learn more about these dangers, and more importantly, why you have to avoid them.

The Problem with Unlicensed Poker Rooms

Although online poker is legal, some countries are yet to create laws to regulate this industry. In other cases, the situation is even worse because some countries have made laws illegalizing online gambling. But as long as you intend to play online poker using real money, this hardly makes a difference – you still have to use licensed online poker sites, even if your country does not legalize or regulate the industry.

The Poker Game Might Not Be Fair

To get licensing, a poker site has to prove to the regulator a number of things, including the fact that the games being offered are provably fair. Unlicensed casinos don’t have to offer fair poker games if they don’t feel like it.

Therefore, by using such establishments, you would be exposing yourself to playing odds that would be highly unfavorable to you as an aspiring poker winner. That makes playing using legal online poker sites your best, and indeed your only option.

They Have No Oversight, and Therefore Less Responsible

Unlicensed rooms are for most part not answerable to anyone but themselves. That’s the greatest danger to using their services because they can take your money, treat you badly, and do a host of other things to you without having to take any responsibility because they know you are not in a position to seek legal redress.

An online poker website can fail to have no physical location, especially if it is unlicensed, and that means no government would pursue it for exploiting it’s residents. So, even though you can run into problems as you use any online gambling establishment, your situation will be a lot more hopeless if you happened to be victimized by an unregulated poker site.

Their Operations are Always at Risk

Actually, with unlicensed poker sites, it’s not a matter of if or not things will go wrong, but when. Some of these casinos will seem to have the most honest of intentions, and clients will even speak to such a reassuring experience. But problems will always come up that will put such a poker room, and its clients, at risk.

For instance, the unregulated room could have too big of a footprint in a certain jurisdiction, and the relevant authority could shut it down, levy fines, and even blacklist it. If that was the casino’s main market, it’s bottom line would be severely weakened, and its clients would end up losing their funds after it shuts down.

Unlicensed Casinos Don’t Have to Follow Basic Security Measures

Many casinos, and some online gamblers as well, might see the laws that regulate this industry as an inconvenience. There is a case to be made for that, but in many cases, this law does more good than bad. So, even though an unlicensed site will not ask too much of you as you sign up and use their services, they could ruin your online gambling experience in other ways.

For instance, the poker site may not hold your funds in a separate account, which means that when it runs into financial problems, your money would be at risk as well. In other cases, the financial information you hand over to operators of unlicensed casinos may also be at risk of falling into the hands of identity thieves if such a room fails to have adequate security measures protecting confidential client information.

Poor Quality Poker

It is practically impossible to find a legal online poker site that will give you poor quality games. And for those who have stuck to using legal casinos, it can be hard to imagine that such a possibility even exists in this day and age. But with unlicensed casinos, gameplay quality usually takes a backseat as the casinos focus most of their efforts on enticing unwilling clients to use their services.

So, if you want to avoid poker software that is full of glitches and other annoying problems, you will have to use licensed online casinos. In some of these casinos, you may be excited about an upcoming tournament, or a particular promotional offer, only to see it retracted the last minute. You will not have to deal with all this drama when using a legal online poker site because it has to maintain certain ethical standards.

Final Thoughts

It’s hard to imagine why anyone would take the risk of joining an unregulated poker room when there are so many legal alternatives to pick from. But sometimes, looks can be deceiving – a poker site may look so good that you automatically assume it’s licensed, only to find out the truth after depositing your money.

As I have pointed out in this review, unlicensed casinos have many downsides; more than I could even cover in this article. The only way to play poker in peace is to avoid them entirely.

That is why you should confirm that the online poker site you are using is regulated before you make the decision to use its services. But then there are casinos that will fake their licensing status and claim to have the authority of some reputable gambling authority or another.

Fortunately, finding a licensed online poker site is not hard at all. Many licensing authorities will provide you with a list of all the online poker establishments they have licensed, and this should eliminate any doubts about a casino’s claims regarding its licensing.

About the Author

Sadonna Price
Author Sadonna is a mom of two and an avid poker player who also enjoys online casino games. She has been part of the online gambling industry for over a decade, working as a news and blog writer. Sadonna still plays Texas hold’em in her free time while her daily job revolves around providing insights into the online gambling world using her creativity and writing skills.