How online lottos can be smart, safe and fun

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Lotteries go back a long, long time. The concept of people pooling their money together to try their luck goes back beyond the Roman Empire. In recent history, lotteries became more institutionalized and until the internet came along in the early ‘90s, the only reliable and accessible way to play was by buying a physical ticket in person.

Online lotteries have since evolved over decades to provide people with access to international jackpots that span geographical borders. Studies have shown that a large number of Canadians – approximately 2.3 per cent of the population, according to a 2006 study out of the University of Lethbridge – are turning to online gaming sites whose international audiences potentially increase payouts for winners.

According to theLotter, an online lottery messenger service with a global audience, Toronto players make up 10 per cent of its total users, the majority of which are men between the ages of 25 and 34. Many of these players are trying their luck in US-based lotteries like Powerball and US Mega Millions, although they also play Canadian lotteries too.

Increasingly sophisticated technology and widespread Wi-Fi connectivity have made it easier than ever to buy a ticket in your local lottery or one from the other side of the world. But that greater ease-of-access has also placed more importance on players to maintain a safe, healthy attitude towards gambling of all kinds.

Tips for Smart & Safe Online Gambling

1. Know your limit. Gambling should be fun – it shouldn’t take up all of your time and money. Treat it with moderation like you would any other entertainment expense.

2. New vs. known. For players looking to change their luck, a new game or lottery can offer the allure of better opportunities to win, but gambling always comes with risks. Don’t expect windfalls. 

3. Avoid downloading ‘cheats’. Unless you’re an expert in web security, online gambling requires an act of trust that the sites you’re using are safe. Attempting to use cheat codes or extra software can compromise that security.

4. No such thing as free money. The money in the pot needs to come from somewhere, right? Free apps and websites have a low barrier to entry but keep your expectations in check.

5. Be savvy about privacy. In addition to using strong passwords to secure the information you choose to share online, explore your options for securing your browser from unwanted tracking codes.

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