Casinos on the Internet
The first online gambling site was launched ten years ago and paved the way for hundreds of others that have since appeared on the Internet. In 2001, the Australian government estimated that there were just under five million online gamblers worldwide and more than $11 billion spent in online casinos. [reference].
Are there differences between online gambling and traditional casino gambling, and what is the appeal of playing at home rather than at a casino? Our goal in this article is to give you an overview of what it is like to gamble online, as well as information about paying to gamble and the legality of gambling on the Internet.
Gambling on the Internet
At first glance, online gambling differs from traditional casino games in a number of important ways. There is no interaction between the players and the dealer during the game. In fact, there is no dealer because all games are controlled computer programs rather than humans. Participants in both types of games agree that online games, such as poker or blackjack, are faster than their live counterparts because there is no conversation between the players to slow the game down.
Online casinos can offer players numerous options. One site has slot machine games based on cartoon characters, while others offer computerized versions of more traditional casino games. Just as real slot machines are dressed up with beautiful graphics and sound effects, so are most games. With the click of a button, players can view the rules of each game, as well as a payout table.
More than 60 games can be seen at a glance at one of the best casino sites, including blackjack, baccarat and craps, as well as several roulette variants. There are also at least two dozen slots, keno and a variety of video poker games. In many ways, the specific rules of the games are modeled after their real-life counterparts. When playing video poker or blackjack, players make decisions about the cards dealt that can affect the overall outcome of the game.
Sites that offer online betting, another form of gambling, can be found on the Internet. These types of sites allow users to place bets on a wide range of sporting events, as well as other events such as political elections or the outcome of reality TV shows. These types of sites offer their own odds, which in some cases are better than the odds of traditional bookmakers in Las Vegas (in part because of the lower overhead costs of an online betting shop). Instant play versions of their games are available at many online casinos, and are usually played in a browser that supports the Java browser. The casino software can also be downloaded players, who access the games through a separate application. On some websites, only the “download play” option is available. Players can try the games for free if they have a player account with a balance of a few thousand dollars. Of course, none of these games are meant to be played for real money.
Online games with “play for fun” options, and those with real money options, have different odds of winning than “play for money” games. Although it is impossible to confirm, trying out the “play for fun” versions of different online casinos often results in large fictitious bank accounts. If games for real money cost so much money, the casinos would be forced to close their doors immediately. Achieving success in “for fun” games does not necessarily mean success when real money is involved.