How to Register with an Online Casino
Registering for a new casino can seem a bit daunting, but it's actually quite an easy process. It's also one that we recommend you get familiar with, because you'll need to register for every new casino where you play. The primary way that casinos acquire new customers is by giving you special bonuses for first-time clients.
While you can only play legal online casinos while you're within a state where gambling is legal, you can register from anywhere in the U.S. This means you can register in one state, then play as long as you like during a layover, road trip, or brief jump across the state border.
Registering is easy, and doesn't even involve giving your financial information. Still, some information must be provided so that the process is legal. On this page, we'll tell you what to expect, and also let you in on why online casinos need to know what they do.
Legally Required Information
Casinos are required to know a few things about you to 1) satisfy legal requirements and 2) protect the interest of the casino and other customers. So this requires them getting proof that you are who you say you are.
U.S. law requires that any gambling taking place within a state does not involve bets laid from other states, even if gambling is legal in that other state. Individual states decide the age of legality for gambling. So it is crucial for casinos to know where you are at the time of laying a bet, which involves geolocation software, and that you are 21 or older, which involves some form of identification.
Let's look at the process of how this information is attained, and examine why it is important.
Confirmation of Identity for online casinos
First, casinos need to confirm your identity. This is to protect themselves, and also other customers. Unlike off-shore casinos, legal online casinos take confirming personal identity quite seriously. This is first to avoid the heavy fines they'd face for allowing someone to play who cannot legally play (such as minors or someone who has self-excluded).
But this confirmation also protects other clients. If there is someone who has been found guilty of abusing a casino or its clients, that person can be blacklisted. It's important that it is the person, not just an email address, that is identified as the troublemaker, so casinos need to tie each account to an actual, breathing person. This practice is in everyone's best interest.
Relatedly, casinos must be able to provide proof that everyone playing in their casinos is at least 21 years old. This is why most casinos will ask for the last 4 digits of your social security number: i.e., so they can provide proof that you are - in the flesh - who you're saying you are - online.
Online casinos will require to know your:
Name (first and last)
Date of Birth
Email address (Most, but not all require this for a confirmation message and, if you opt-in, promotional material)
Usually, the last 4 digits of your Social Security number (for identification purposes)
Guarantee of Physical Location to Bet Online
As federal laws only allow that you bet money in a casino while you are physically located in the state, online casinos have to have a way of knowing where you are while betting. In order to do this, they use geolocation devices.
If you are playing an online game from a smartphone or tablet (such as iPad), the casino will use the GPS technology in your phone or tablet to confirm your location. This is the same technology that allows map apps to give you directions. Your location must be detectable during the entire time of play. So if go underground or inside a lead vault, your game is disrupted.
With computers, casinos use your IP address to confirm your location. While IP addresses may not give as precise a location as GPS devices, they do allow casinos to know whether your computer is located within the state or not, and that is adequate enough.
Can't I just use a VPN for an online casino?
VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are hubs that set up a remote location for your internet use. You may, for example, be in Italy and have a VPN giving you an IP address in Mexico. But while you have an IP address in Mexico, it can still be marked as a VPN IP address. This address is tainted, so to speak, by its being a VPN.
So the question arises, can't I just be in New Mexico and use VPN in New Jersey to play there?
It depends on whether you want to be banned for life from a casino. As mentioned above, you have to provide proof of your identity. And if you are found to be playing while outside the state, a casino will kick you out quickly. Casinos face very heavy fines for allowing illegal play - including bettors not within the state, underage players, and allowing individuals who have self-excluded to gamble. They do not take kindly to this trick and will not give winnings. It's a bad bet.
Do I have to Provide my Financial Information for Online Casinos?
It might surprise you to hear that you don't have to provide any financial information to register for a legal online casino. In fact, many players never provide credit card or bank information. If you're old school, you can even handle all your financial transactions - both deposits and withdrawals - at the physical casino's cage for your online betting.
To find out all you need to know about financial information and payment methods, read our article here.
How to Find the Best Online Casino
Now that you know how to register, the question remains, "Where should I sign up?" We've got you covered there! See our 2019 Guide to New Jersey's Online Casinos to learn what to watch for, and what to avoid. Then read our online casino list, where you'll find a comprehensive overview of the online casinos in New Jersey. If you're unfamiliar with the online casinos, we have regularly updated, unbiased reviews where you can find out all you need to know.
After that, you'll want to decide which casino has the best offer for you. Every legal online casino in New Jersey has offers for new customers - including no deposit dollars to get you started, matching deposit offers, free slots spins, and/or risk-free bet coverage. You'll definitely want to read our article about special bonuses for first-time clients to be sure you're getting the best deal for the way you like to bet.