Residents of Pakistan are still able to access online casinos, despite the current prohibition. These sites operate from abroad and are generally licensed to provide their services in only specific regions. The responsibility of blocking access to these sites remains squarely on the government and as is the case with most governments, Pakistan’s is simply not equipped or focused on finding and blocking all of these sites. As such, residents can still play online, but without official oversight by an industry authority or the option of taking legal recourse should anything go wrong. The lack of oversight also makes it attractive for black market operations to set up shop, as they are less likely to face legal scrutiny. That is why you need to ensure that you remain extra vigilant if you are adamant about playing online despite the added risk.
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Gambling has remained illegal in Pakistan since it became independent from the British Raj back in 1947. The legal status was then cemented in the 1977 Gambling Prevention Act. This is owed to the fact that Pakistan is predominantly Muslim, whose beliefs go against gambling and the law, has therefore not been changed in over 40 years. The government is able to hand out rather severe punishments for breaching this law, especially in the case of an operator who could easily face jail time. It must however be said that the laws of Pakistan only extend to the nation’s borders and establishments based overseas are therefore not subject to it. This ironically makes it much safer for players to stick with online venues rather than finding local black market operations.
The only legal activity coming close to gambling in the country is price bonds that are instead considered an investment with quarterly draws and therefore not gambling.
Even though players might still be able to access online casinos from a restricted territory, those sites will generally not reciprocate with dedicated localization options. The fact that you can already access the site is enough of a gray zone without having to consider the implications of targeting marketing and other strategies towards a clearly positioned nation’s citizens. You should therefore not expect much in the way of promotional eligibility and it will therefore be best to look for a site that provides a strong and valuable loyalty program that all players can benefit from instead. That isn’t to say that there isn’t something for Pakistani players though. English is the default language of the majority of sites and those that offer sports betting will generally also be happy to include Pakistani events like cricket and football matches.
Due to the legal restrictions in place, it is very unlikely for an online casino to allow players to deposit with Pakistani Rupees. There just simply isn’t much incentive for a site to set up the infrastructure to provide a currency used by the residents of a restricted territory. You will therefore most likely be asked to choose to use either US dollars or euros to play with, which naturally will incur some currency conversion fees. Casinos will generally offer a variety of payment cards, e-wallets and bank transfer options to make payments with. Cryptocurrencies have been a recent hit in the industry as well, especially for those whose local currency is not usually supported. Pakistani banks are currently banned from dealing in cryptocurrencies, which gives a clear indication of the government’s stance on the currency, but that hasn’t stopped players from adopting it anyway.
Pakistan has been really notable for its population growth over recent years with no sign of stopping. This population size is not only very attractive for any intrepid entrepreneurs but also represents a growth of lost potential tax revenues. As people continue to play online, despite what the law tells them, more and more revenues are given to overseas operations who will instead be paying taxes in the country they are headquartered in. This is the unfortunate consequence that any country with restricted gambling laws must face, which only becomes more apparent as the size of potential players grows. This does provide mounting pressure on lawmakers to come up with a more fitting compromise to ensure that people who want to play have the option to do so, while providing direct benefits back to the country through taxable revenues and employment opportunities.
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.