Online Casino Basics
Covering all the basics of online casinos
Types Of Online Casinos
Online casinos: Instant play based and download-only casinos. Some casinos offer both interfaces.
Instant Play Based Online Casinos
Web-based online casinos (also known as flash casinos) are websites for you to play casino games without downloading software to your local computer.
Games presented in the browser plug-ins Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Shockwave, or Java require browser support for these plug-ins.
Also, bandwidth is an essential requirement for graphics, sounds and animations loaded through the web via the plug-in. Some online casinos also allow game-play through a HTML interface.
Download Based Online Casinos
Download based online casinos require you to download the software client in order to play and wager on the casino games offered.
The online casino software connects to the casino service provider, and handles contact without browser support.
Download based online casinos run faster than web-based online casinos.
On the other hand, the initial download and installation of a download-based online casino client can take some time. As with any download from the Internet, casino software can contain viruses.
Virtual Casino Games
Virtual casino games use a random number generator. This determines order of the cards in card games, the outcome of a dice throw, or the results produced by spins of a slot machine or roulette wheel.
When implemented correctly, a PRNG algorithm such as the Mersenne Twister will ensure that the games are both fair and unpredictable.
However, usually you have to trust the software, that it is not rigged to increase the house edge.
Properly regulated online casinos are audited externally by independent regulators to ensure that their win percentages match stated odds, and this can provide a degree of assurance to you as a player that the games are fair.
Live Dealer Casino Games
In a live casino game, a human dealer runs the game in real time from a casino gaming table, which is seen via a live streaming video link.
You can make betting decisions via a console on your computer screen, and can communicate with the dealer using a text chat function.
Results of the physical transactions by the dealer, such as outcome of the roulette wheel spin or dealing of cards, translates into data that results in optical character recognition (OCR) technology.
This enables the player to interact with the game in much the same way as they would with a virtual casino game.
These games have a larger expenditure for websites to host than virtual games, as they involve a heavier investment in technology and staffing.
A live casino studio typically employs one or more cameramen, several croupiers running the various games, an information technology manager to ensure that any technical hitches be professionaly attended to, and a pit boss that acts as an adjudicator in case of disputes between players and croupiers.
Live Online Casino Structure
In most cases this requires at least a three-room setup, comprising a live studio, a server/software room, and an analyst’s room. The configuration of these rooms varies from casino to casino.
The high running costs involved with operating live dealer games give reason as to why online casinos only tend to offer a handful of the most popular games in this format, such as roulette, blackjack, sic BO, and baccarat.
In comparison, the running costs associated with virtual games are very low, and it is not uncommon for online casinos to offer you hundreds of different virtual casino games to play on their site.
Online casinos vary in their approach hosting live games, with some providing live games via their own television channel, and others offering the games exclusively via their website.
In the case of televised games, you can often use mobile phone or television remote controls to place bets instead of doing so via a computer connected to the internet. The most common live dealer games offered at online casinos are baccarat, blackjack and roulette.
A typical selection of games you are offered at online casinos include:
Baccarat, Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Sic BO, Slot machines, Poker, Keno & Bingo.
Non Cashable Bonuses
Non-cashable bonuses may be called “sticky” or “phantom” bonuses. See “sticky bonus” and “phantom bonus In both cases, the bonus forms a part of the player’s balance, but cannot be cashed out.
The difference between cash-able and phantom bonuses comes at cashout time. A phantom bonus is deducted from player’s balance at the moment he places his withdrawal request. For example: if you deposited $100, received a $100, played and finished the wagering with $150.
If the bonus is sticky, the player will be able to withdraw just $50. If bonus is cash-able, then the whole balance is available for withdrawal.
The amount of cash given per wager is usually very small and often varies with game selection. A casino might offer three comp points for each $10 wagered on slots and one comp point for each $10 wagered on blackjack. The casino might give $1 for each 100 comp points. This example is equivalent to returning 0.3% of wagers on slots and 0.1% of wagers on blackjack.
In addition online casinos may offer comps such as free tickets to online tournaments, free slots online, tickets to other special events, extra bonuses, souvenirs and pay back.
Bonus hunting (also known as bonus bagging or bonus whoring) is a type of advantage gambling where turning a profit from casino, sportsbook and poker room bonus situations is mathematically possible. For example, the house edge in blackjack is roughly 0.5%.
If a player is offered a $100 cashable bonus requiring $5000 in wagering on blackjack with a house edge of 0.5%, the expected loss is $25. Therefore, the player has an expected gain of $75 after claiming the $100 bonus.
A large portion of online casino disputes relate to bonuses. Casinos may label players who win using bonuses as “bonus abusers.” Both players and casinos may commit fraud.
An example of player fraud is creating multiple accounts and using the accounts to claim a sign-up bonus several times. An example of casino fraud is changing terms of a bonus after a player has completed the wagering requirements, then requiring the player to meet the new bonus terms.
Fraudulent Online Casino Operator Behaviour
Fraudulent behaviour on the part of online casinos has been documented, almost exclusively by player advocacy websites and forums. The most commonly reported behaviour is a refusal to pay withdrawals to legitimate winners. An online casino with multiple confirmed cases of fraudulent behavior is often called a rogue casino by the online casino player community.
Many casino gambling portals and player forums maintain blacklists of rogue casinos. While some carry more authority than others, all blacklists constitute individual webmaster and player opinions rather than an official list from any type of regulating body.
Often, casinos use buffer sites that offer free play of their casino games but in reality use different means of deceptive strategies to redirect or lure the visitors into signing up to their services via appealing bonus offers or exclusive reward programs. Majority of these deceptive “free” sites lead to equally deceptive casinos.
Since almost all existing online casinos offer free play of their casino games, recognising whether a casino is deceptive based on whether they offer free gameplay is no longer viable.
Online gambling legislation often has loopholes that result from the rapid development of the technology underpinning the development of the industry.
Some countries, including Belgium, Canada, Finland and Sweden have state gambling monopolies and do not grant licenses to foreign casino operators. According to their law, operators licensed on the territory of these countries can only be considered legal.
At the same time, they can’t prosecute foreign casino operators and only block their sites. Players in these countries can’t be punished and can gamble at any site they can access.
The Australian Interactive Gambling Act 2001 (IGA) criminalises the supply of online casino games by an operator anywhere in the world to persons located in Australia. It only targets operators of online gambling sites, resulting in the curious situation that it is not illegal for a player in Australia to access and gamble at an online casino. No operator has even been charged with an offence under the IGA and many online casinos accept Australian customers.
In June 2016, the South Australian Government became the first state or territory in the world to introduce a 15% Place Of Consumption Tax (POCT) modelled on the 2014 UK POCT.
The Belgian Gaming Act went into effect in January 2011 and allows online gambling, but only under very strict conditions and surveillance.
The Canadian criminal code states that only provincial governments and charitable organizations licensed by provincial governments may operate a casino in Canada. It also prohibits residents from participating in any lottery scheme, game of chance, or gambling activity not licensed or operated by a provincial government.
In 2010, the British Columbia Lottery Corporation launched Canada’s first legal online casino, PlayNow, which is available to residents of British Columbia. The province of Quebec also operates a legal online casino through Loto-Québec.
Despite this legislation, the Kahnawake First Nation in Quebec has taken the position that it is a sovereign nation, able to enact its own gambling legislation, and has licensed and hosted nearly 350 gambling websites, without ever being prosecuted.
The German Online Casino Legislative 2012 (EU) many will often describes as very complex matter.The European Commission via the “EU Pilot” scheme recently questioned Germany about what steps it plans to take to eliminate the current sports-betting monopoly operated by state-owned Oddset and to also reconsider its stance on prohibiting online casino and poker games due to the huge gray market currently existing — and prospering — in the country.
Latest strike to the German Legislative was from Court of Justice for the European Union (CJEU) recently ruled against the country’s restrictive online gaming laws where is clearly stated”Further to a judgment of the Court from which it can be inferred that a national law is not compatible with EU law, all organs of a Member State concerned are under an obligation to remedy that situation,” Judge Advocate General Szpunar stated in 2015 year.
In the United Kingdom, the Gambling Bill that was passed into law in 2005 tends to all matters of online gambling, permitting online betting sites to have a Remote Gambling Licence in order to offer online betting to UK citizens. In 2014, the UK government put into law the Gambling Act of 2014 which in addition to the original 2005 law, required offshore online gambling operators catering to UK players to obtain a UK license.
The new regulation required operators to pay a 15% Place of Consumption Tax (POCT), something that triggered an exodus of sorts of some operators from the British Isles. However, this exodus did not last long in most cases as the benefits outweighed the stumbling blocks, due to the UK being a major market for online gambling.
In the United States, the legality of online gambling is debated and can vary from state to state. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) limits the ability of banks and payment processors to transact with internet gambling sites that are unlawful under any federal or state law.
However it does not define the legality or otherwise of an internet based gambling site. It was commonly assumed that the Federal Wire Act prohibited all forms of online gambling.
However, in December 2011, the United States Department of Justice released a statement clarifying that the Wire Act applied only to sports betting sites and not to online casinos, poker, or lottery sites, leaving the definition of legality up to individual states. Certain states such as Nevada, Delaware, and New Jersey have started the process of legalising and regulating online gambling and it is expected that regulation will continue on a state by state basis.