If you are a technology 'fiend' and have played various casino games online, then you have probably asked yourself the question: 'how do online casinos work'? This article is for the less tech savvy individuals who are slightly intimadated by everything online.
How It All Started
The first online casinos opened in 1994, more than 20 years ago, paving the way for the hundreds that exist nowadays on the Internet. At the time, Antigua and Barbuda passed the Free Trade&Processing Act, allowing licenses to be granted to companies applying to open online gambling venues. Before that, the first fully functional casino software was created by Microsoft, an organisation from Isle of Man. CryptoLogic was the online security software company that provided such services. This safe environment and the globalization that followed marked the first steps to the successful industry we can see now.
There are hundreds of millions of players who gamble online in 2016. But does online gamling differ much from traditional casino gambling? What's the appeal of playing from the comfort of your home instead of in a land-based casino? This article is about what it is like to gamble online.
Online Gambling vs Land-Based Casino Gambling
Online gambling differ enormously from in-person land-based casino gambling in a couple of obvious ways. When playing from home, you don't interact that much with the dealer. In fact, it can be no dealer - you get one only if you play in a 'live casino'. Most classic online slots and even table games are operated by different computer programs.
Seasoned gamblers actually say that online games such as blackjack or poker go way faster than their real-life counterparts as there is no conversation between players - and this can slow things down.
Online casinos offer plenty of different games. Some websites have unique themes or slot machines based on comic book or movie characters, while others boast computerized versions of traditional casino games. Slots are usually dressed up with sound effects and fancy graphics, being very similar to land-based slot machines.
If we briefly check some of the top casino websites we will find more than 70 games, including baccarat, blackjack, keno, many versions of roulette, craps, and many video poker games. The rules are the same as in land-based gambling venues, but players can make decisions with the click of a button.
On the same note, there are websites which offer online sports betting services - another type of gambling. Such websites allow gamblers to place bets on sports competitions ranging from soccer to baseball, horse racing, water polo, and tennis to hockey. Sometimes odds are even better than in the case of their counterparts, as Las Vegas bookmakers struggle with higher overhead required to run an online gambling website.
Is Online Gambling Legal?
Online gambling falls into a grey area when it comes to legality. it is technically illegal in most of the U.S., but prosecution of individual players is too difficult because they are gambling from home. On the same note, gambling web sites cannot operate within the U.S., which is why the servers and offices are located in other countries. At the moment, there are about 90 countries that allow online gambling website to set up shop, including New Zealand, France, Denmark, Sweden, Australia (with an extremely large pool of gamblers), Finland, Romania, Germany, some provinces of Canada, Cyprus, and the U.K.
When registering for an online gambling venue, you need to agree to the website's terms and conditions. It is your responsability to find out whether or not gambling is legal where you live.
Paying to Play
It's tricky for players who want to gamble from countries that do not allow gambling. Even if you use a credit/debit card to deposit money in your account, most American credit card companies won't allow the transaction if they find out it's intended for a gambling site. This leaves players with few options, such as opening a bank account at an off-shore bank, but the process is quite difficult.
Where To Play Online
There are literally hundreds of well-regulated online casinos nowadays, and organisations such as the UK Gambling Comission or Malta Gaming Authority make sure all these gambling venues do what they say - play safe. There's no reason to worry about safety, as most websites have encrypted servers and state-of-the-art technology to prevent theft, but if you want to play free slots no deposit required to get to grips with such games, there are many places to choose from.