All forms of gambling were made illegal almost a decade ago in the South American nation of Ecuador. The change in law was based on a referendum with close results, leading to around 50 casino closures and the loss of an estimated 20,000 jobs. The ban mainly addressed land-based casinos and other gambling organizations, however, the online sector was left in a relative gray-zone. A big trend of the industry in recent years has been to expand operations towards the Latin American world. This means that while there are no regulations for operating in Ecuador, many sites still work towards providing their services to residents, as there are technically no laws to stop it.
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Residing in a country that does not have any fixed online gambling legislation means that you will need to be extra cautious when choosing an establishment to play at. It is always best to ask yourself several questions before registering, as gray-zones tend to have an increased risk in attracting black-market operations. Illegitimate sites can be very sophisticated and will therefore be hard to spot with the untrained eye. Taking the extra time to do some research can often save you in the long run. Try starting with asking yourself the following questions next time you see a casino you like the look of.
Now it is understandable that going through a verification routine for every casino you find can be very taxing. It is not unusual to find information that is out of date or simply false. It is also very easy to get swamped in all of the facts and figures out there. Instead, we recommend you stick with us here at GoodLuckMate. We do all of the fact-checking, sorting and summarizing, meaning that all of the hard work is already done for you. Why not check out some of our casino reviews to see for yourself.
For all intents and purposes, Ecuador has no gambling regulation or authority. After the blanket wide ban on all forms of gambling within the nation itself, not much has changed. This ban did not take online sites into account though, most of which are based in Europe or Curaçao. This means that these sites are not doing anything illegal by operating from those areas and most are it is actually the government’s responsibility to block access to them. This essentially allows casinos to operate in numerous countries around the world, therefore being generally accessible to countries that do not outright specify any stance towards online gambling. That means that players from Ecuador will still be able to access a wide variety of online establishments, some of which may contain special campaigns and offers that are available for Ecuadorian residents.
Finding an online casino that supports US dollars is a relatively easy task. Sites that offer their services in Spanish are less common, unfortunately. As Spain is not considered a main European market, most casinos did not pay much attention to the Spanish language in the past. This is however changing with the Latin American wave that the industry is currently riding on. Many organizations are trying to crack the market in South America, which means better and more widely available Spanish language options. Additionally, casinos are also taking a bigger interest in Southern American cultural and sporting events.
Your best bet would therefore be to find a licensed casino that already has a foothold in South America, as this will increase the chances of finding a site that is already well localized with the possibility of further enhancements down the line. It also increases the chances of having more tailor-made promotions come your way.
Residing in a country that uses a highly popular currency such as US dollars is definitely a great benefit when wanting to gamble online. The vast majority of online casinos tend to offer US dollars and euros by default. Therefore, having either of these currencies as your preferred type opens up a lot of possibilities when it comes to your options in casinos and payment methods, along with the benefit of avoiding annoying currency conversion fees.
Another possibility would be looking into online casinos that support cryptocurrency payment methods. Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoins provide an alternative to traditional currencies and is becoming an increasingly popular method for players online. This is especially useful, should a casino not support US dollars, as you will be able to purchase an amount with your dollars and then use the cryptocurrency to fund your player balance.
It is sad to say that the Ecuadorian gambling scene is a shadow of its former self, since the 2011 ban. The complete closure of all land-based operations was definitely a heavy blow. While the vote was cast based on player protection and social responsibilities, this came at a huge cost of jobs, revenue streams and tax benefits. This didn’t stop people wanting to play though, which is why the online scene has become a go-to place for any sort of gambling activities for Ecuadorian players. With plenty of options and a marked trend towards opening up the Southern American market, Ecuadorians are in a solid position to take advantage of all the benefits that healthy and regulated competition brings.
A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.
Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.
If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.
The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.
The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.
Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.
The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.
The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.