Online Casino Articles From February, 2013
Published: February 21, 2013
There is no question that there is a natural lure to online gambling. That's because it allows you to get involved with one of your favorite pastimes (at least we think it is) without ever having to leave your home. So obviously there is a convenience factor that is going to be a natural.
But that's not the only thing. When you look at an online casino as opposed to a land-based gaming enterprise, there is room for much more in the way of game variety when you go online. That means variations on many of the games that are the most popular, including blackjack, video poker, slots, even roulette. Nothing gets old or stale.
The way it has been set up, it is pretty easy to get started at an online casino, when it comes to the depositing process. That is also a great attraction to online gambling as well. If you can use a credit card or an electronic wallet, you can literally go from download to deposit to actual cash play within ten minutes. And with all of the casinos competing for customers, there is going to be some beneficial shopping for any player when it comes to bonuses and jackpots.
Okay, that gives you a very good idea about what makes online casinos popular. But they are also gaining in popularity, and prospects are good for them to continue gaining ground in popularity. For one thing, the improvement in technology, accessibility and innovation is going to put online gambling in front of people in a lot more efficient way. And regulatory progress is being made; obviously when there are more places a player can gamble and do so legally, the more players you're going to see.
Let's not disregard the trust factor as well. Players want to be able to trust the casinos they deal with. There was a time when people were largely afraid to give out credit card information over the internet, because it was judged to be risky to expose that information online. Those days are gone, for the most part. And with third-party auditing services, not to mention jurisdiction that really operate according to standards, the instances where customers have been cheated on games or cheated on their accounts have become much less frequent.
These, among others, are some of the reasons why industry forecasters feel that the volume of online gambling has nowhere to go but up. In the United States, there may or not be regulation, in states and on the federal level, in the coming years, but executives who were surveyed at the Global Gaming Expo believe that in the next several years, the U.S. market would increase to over $10 billion, whether there was legislation or not. PricewaterhouseCoopers conducted an analysis in which they determined that annual gaming revenue would eventually increase from $117.6 billion, which it was in 2010, to $182.8 billion in 2015. That is quite impressive!
Published: February 18, 2013
When we talk about "payouts" at an online casino we are not talking about the huge jackpots that are available at progressive slot games. We are not talking about how much a straight flush is going to pay at a video poker game. We are talking about whether the games themselves are fair. By "fair" we mean are they being dealt and conducted by standards that are just and equitable to the player. Most people who look at this from a reasonable point of view realize that the house is going to carry an edge into any of its games. But there are other questions to be asked. Are the game payouts the same as the percentage the casino claims they are? Is there any cheating? Is the random number generator (RNG) really random? These are obviously some considerations that players have to take into account. We would all agree that if you knew that an online casino's games were not "on the level" you would avoid that casino entirely.
Casinos know this, and that is why they take some measures to assure the public that they are operating with a high level of integrity. It is a positive, but often not enough, in and of itself, to be licensed and regulated in a jurisdiction that is very "familiar' to online gaming, such as Curacao or Gibraltar. So there are third-party monitoring services that are brought in to get the job done. One of those is eCOGRA, a non-profit organization which is an acronym for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. For about a decade, eCOGRA has been engaged in testing games in online casinos and measuring their fairness. This is an important part of the process of establishing integrity, and it will give the consumer comfort that the operation they have deposited their money with is "clean."
eCOGRA is not just a "shill" organization that has been established by the industry itself either. It genuinely takes the role as a sort of "consumer protection agency" for the gaming world, and this role has been recognized in the sense that it has been enlisted by several of the leading regulatory bodies, including Malta, the Isle of Man, Gibraltar and Kahnawake. It goes further than that; eCOGRA makes casinos accountable for the way they operate, to the degree that it will actually get involved in disputes between players and the casinos online, depending on what the dispute involves. It is safe to say that the seal of eCOGRA really means something!
Published: February 13, 2013
If you have reading these pages, you'll know that a continuous theme in terms of what we talk about involves the intense competition that takes place between online casinos. There are literally thousands of them out there competing for the customer's dollar, and they have to constantly innovate in order to out-perform each other. One component of that involves creating exciting games that people want to play, because without the games, they have nothing. What some people may not be aware of is the fact that the casino themselves are not the ones that come up with the games; they are a product of the online casino software companies with whom they have chosen to "partner."
Every casino, you see, engages with a software company to provide the games that are used on their site (in the case of no-download games) or in the downloadable suite. Whether they use the full collection or not is up to them, but that is what determines the quality of what they have to offer. What that means, in effect, is that it is an arms race of sorts between the software companies, all of them trying to come up with something new and different for the audience, so that both the client and end user are happy.
Familiarity is a very strong weapon to use, and with that in mind there are at least three software providers who are hitting on themes to give their slot games a little more push. One of them is Cryptologic, which has a number of slots carrying a theme based on characters from Marvel Comics, such as King Kong and Spider Man. Another company that has gone great guns with themes is Playtech, which attaches itself to another area of Marvel Entertainment - the movie division, with brands like the Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Iron Man, Daredevil and X-Men. And Net Entertainment (otherwise known as NetEnt) is very solidly in the act, having found great success with its Scarface release, which actually contains video with scenes from the icon movie starring Al Pacino. An Elvis slot, featuring some of the King's tunes, has been one of the highlights of WagerWorks' releases over the last twelve months.
Microgaming is the world's largest company when it comes to online casino software, and they are into the branding game as well, with titles like The Dark Knight, which is based on an installment of the Batman series. But this may be the most innovative group in the bunch in the respect that they probably have more options for players to discover when they play the slot games, including the AutoPlay option and methods for players to keep track of what their results are. Microgaming also allows customers to use options to put close controls on the size, sound and speed of the game. And they continue to improve all the time, in the spirit of innovation.
Published: February 11, 2013
When we talk about "general tips" in terms of online casinos, that involves some of the most fundamental things people need to know. And this includes those who are very new to the activity. As a result, it has to start when you are shopping around for a casino to sign up with. The best tip along those lines is to utilize reputation and past performance as an important factor in choosing a casino to play with.
That doesn't necessarily mean they have to be in business forever, because that might disqualify a number of sites that are very worthy. But avail yourself of sources like casino forums, affiliate forums and this site as well, in the process of finding out that an online casino is reliable. What you are concerned about primarily in this regard is whether they pay out when the time comes, and how quickly they do this. Also, you want to make sure the games you're playing are fair. Look for the eCOGRA sign, because this is a third-party independent organization that audits those games. That's one of the best tips we can give you.
A great tip involves how you are going to approach your actual play. You may have a lot of experience when it comes to playing in a land-based casino atmosphere, and therefore you may be familiar with many of the games. There will be one or two of those that are favorites, and those are the ones you should be concentrating on. When you first go online to gamble, it is not necessarily the time to discover something new. It is true that there are some intriguing possibilities online; more than are available in the physical setting. If you wish to jump into something new, our suggestion is that you do this is "Play For Fun" mode, so that you can get accustomed to the rules and the process, before risking money. You'll enjoy it more.
Of course, a very wise gambling tip is to keep very close controls on your bankroll. You should never deposit more than you can afford to lose. You should never wager at too high a level in relation to your bankroll. You should never have to think twice about making a casino deposit, because it could be allocated for something else. Gambling bankroll is gambling bankroll. And there are plenty of low-minimum games you can get involved with, so that the pain of losing would never get too severe.
Published: February 7, 2013
While online casino gambling is legal, licensed and regulate din a lot of different places in the world, such is not the case in the one jurisdiction where it might actually be the most important - the United States of America. Of course, the U.S. has the most people who could possibly constitute an online gambling audience, and therefore it has become a very important battleground for discussion about the status of online gambling and where it should stand in the general landscape.
The fact is, there is no law in the United States that provides for a clear regulatory structure for online gambling. Rather, there is a law that prohibits it from happening. It is called the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act, also referred to as the UIGEA, and it puts many restrictions on banks from being able to engage in transactions related to gaming. It also holds operators liable if they get involved with these kinds of transactions with players in the United States. Of course, it gets a tad more complicated than that; there is nothing in the law that makes it a crime for a consumer to play in an internet casino or an online sportsbook, for example, and the operators who are called into question are all licensed elsewhere, so their position is that they are not doing anything illegal from where they are doing it.
There has been other news; the Interstate Wire Act of 1961, was thought to make internet gambling illegal, even though no one had visualized anything like the internet at the time of the bill's passage, but an opinion rendered by the U.S. Department of Justice in December 2012 determined that it really didn't apply to anything but wagering on a sporting event. This was very encouraging to online poker enthusiasts, because they saw it as an eventual path to legalization. A federal bill along those lines sponsored by Senator Harry Reid, however, failed to gain any traction. However, some of the states have seen the opportunity to explore online gambling within their state boundaries as a way of generating revenues. One of those states is Nevada, which already has a regulatory infrastructure. Another is New Jersey, where the legislature has passed. California sees it as a great opportunity. There are other states as well, which will then make competition tight. The general consensus is that U.S. gambling laws may loosen up, but it may just take a little time.