The online gambling industry has grown significantly within the past two years; according to Statista, it is now worth $59 billion and expected to hit $93 billion by 2023. This increase in market share is mostly a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, which has forced many people to shift into digital ecosystems. Today, one does not have to go to a physical casino to place a wager, this can easily be done through online casinos.
While the emergence of these digital gambling sites can be viewed as a plus to the industry, we cannot ignore the fact that online casino fraud has increased in an equal measure. As per a recent report by TransUnion, online gambling fraud has surged by almost 55% since the onset of the pandemic. Malicious hackers are now targeting online casinos to defraud unsuspecting users through various ways.
That being the case, it is important for online gambling enthusiasts to understand some of the existing pitfalls and how to avoid them. The next section of this article dives into details, further narrowing down on the value proposition of upcoming tech like blockchain in the prevention of online casino fraud. So, what are the red flags to look out for?
Online casinos are built on the Web 2.0 ecosystem; in most cases, players have to download a software or application to interact with a particular gambling platform. This has created an opening for fraudsters to launch malicious websites whose sole purpose is to compromise a user’s device or personal data.
How does one avoid falling victim to such ransomware? While some of the malicious softwares are quite hard to detect, online gamblers are advised to only interact with verified platforms that are operating within a specific legal framework. One can also use more advanced firewalls and softwares to reduce the probability of being targeted.
Casino rigging is not only a problem in the traditional gambling industry but the digital realm as well; the house always wins. Today’s online casinos are taking the game a notch higher by collaborating with software companies to rig outcomes.
The process is pretty psychological, a player is duped to think they are winning, ultimately triggering them to place large bets. In the end, they end up losing almost all their money. To avoid such situations, it is prudent for gamblers to limit their greed and conduct proper due diligence before committing their funds on any platform.
Fake Online Casinos
Online casinos are also faking their identity to avoid being traced once they have scammed users. Normally, such casinos run fake advertisement campaigns that promise lucrative opportunities, making it simpler to capture a large audience. While this type of fraud has been prevalent in the digital and globalization age, prospective gamblers can reduce the risk of being exploited by verifying the license status and consulting with experts in the industry before making a debut.
Self-Exclusion; Blockchain’s Solution to Online Casino Fraud
Though a nascent area of innovation, blockchain technology has found its way into the gambling industry. Casinos are now building on the Web 3.0 infrastructure, whose principles include decentralization and transparency. How do these fundamentals help mitigate online fraud in the gambling industry?
Apart from automated smart contracts (middlemen), blockchain offers a good way for gambling addicts to self-exclude. Ideally, this is like enrolling in a program to prevent oneself from excessive gambling. While the idea beats the logic of permissionless ecosystems, blockchain infrastructures can be modified through pre-coded smart contracts to limit a particular wallet from engaging in on-chain gambling.
Even better, decentralized betting protocols such as LunaFi offer users an option to self-exclude or become the house. The platform’s pioneer betting DApp ‘Lunabets’ is powered by a decentralized native token $LFI. Besides locking $LFI in the house pool, this token can also be staked on the recently launched LFI-SX pool which features $50,000 Lunabet rewards and another $50,000 worth of SharkSwap rewards.
Despite the idea of self-exclusion being contradictory, it is noteworthy that permissionless economies also need some form of flexibility. Smart contracts are perfectly designed to integrate on-chain conditions that have the potential of solving the online casino fraud menace. Additionally, there is the possibility of becoming the house through emerging DApp betting platforms like Lunabets.
As highlighted in the introduction, the online gambling industry is set to grow bigger in the coming years. This is not to say that online casino fraud will reduce; in fact, it will likely follow a similar trend. Luckily, prospective gamblers can now leverage the information on the internet and modern-day technologies such as blockchain to avoid being scammed or becoming addicts.