Modern technology brought many changes since it invaded the human’s life. Advanced electronics, the internet, innovated home appliances, robots, as well as modern tools are widely consumed these days. Online gambling is one of these surprises. Who would have thought that you can play casino or poker inside the comfort of your home?
What is Online Gambling?
Online gambling or sometimes called Internet gaming includes casino, bingo, lottery-style games, poker or sports betting. It is legal in the UK and regulated by the Gambling Commission, which was formulated by the Gambling Act in 2005. It is also legal in most US states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, except for sports betting that crosses state borders. Whereas, it is also permitted in most nations in Asia, the Caribbean, and Europe.
Not many people know that it started back in the mid-90s. It was the small island of Barbuda and Antigua in the Caribbean, which opened the doors for one of the most entertaining leisure on the internet that we enjoy these days. The island’s government granted licenses to organizations or individuals who want to operate online gaming in 1994. This signaled other countries across the seas to legalize it, too.
Also called virtual casino or online casino, it is the online version of the traditional casino. It enables users to bet and play through the use of smartphones or computers connected to the internet. They can even wager many times at a time.
Many online casinos offer a higher payback percentage than land-based casinos, particularly the slot machines. In fact, some operators are transparent to publish payout audits on their websites. These internet casinos are established by the rules of the game. There are a few types of online casino as follows:
Web-based online casino: Also known as Flash casinos, these are websites that enable users to play even without downloading software to their computer. Any browser that supports plugins such as Macromedia Flash, Java, or Macromedia Shockwave is used. Bandwidth is also needed since graphics, animations, and sounds are loaded through these plugins. Unfortunately, Apple devices such as iPod, iPad, and iPhones don’t support Flash games on popular browsers, but instead can be used on other browsers like Photon and Puffin. And some online casinos allow plays through an HTML interface, too.
Virtual casino games: Your luck depends on the number produced by a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG). It uses a set of mathematical instructions called algorithms to generate numbers. Numbers might not be random all the time since it’s also possible that there is an external input source that the computer itself is incapable of, it provides results that satisfy players.
A PRNG algorithm called Mersenne twister is used to ensure that the games are fair and unpredictable if implemented correctly. Independent regulators audit legal online casinos externally to guarantee a fair win percentage according to their regulations. It also assures players that the games are fair.
Download-based online casinos: Clients are required to download the software to be able to play the games. The online casino software can be launched without the support of browsers. It generally runs faster since graphics and sound programs rely on the client’s computer software, rather the internet. However, downloading this software takes time to complete. And like any other program, the risk of malware exists.
Live dealer casino games: It is no doubt the internet has come so far. Gone are those days when you need to avoid heavy traffic jams to get to a land-based casino. This type of casino features a real human who you see through live streaming. She/He runs the game real-time from a gaming table. Players then can bet on a panel on their computer’s screens, as well as communicate through chatting on a chat box.
Unlike the other kinds of casino, the results are determined by real-life actions rather than automated processes. For operators, this tends to be the most expensive type of online casino game. Because they need to hire more than one person and a studio to make it happen. Some broadcast their games on televisions but others prefer it on their websites.
For novice pokers, the overwhelming atmosphere in the playing rooms may be intimidating. Plus the fact that most are located in isolated areas. So when online poker was introduced as early as the late 90s, beginners, as well as old-timers began switching to it. The first real money offered in an online card room was in 1998. Since then, players have changed their attitude towards online gambling. Who would want to trust their money on something or somebody they never saw?
As of February 2010, there are 545 online poker websites worldwide.
ONLINE SPORTS BETTING
Sports betting online is prohibited in some countries. It is the activity of placing a bet on a certain team of sports like football, basketball, hockey, boxing, martial arts, and others. Sometimes it extends to non-sports events like reality shows, beauty contests, and entertainment shows like Grammy, Oscar or Emmy Awards.
Bettors place their bets on sportsbooks, which can be found online. Some operate illegally to avoid rules governed by the policies of the games. This is the reason why sports betting online is being put into bad limelight. Fortunately, some legit bookies give a fair game.
Online Gambling and Gaming: Legalities, Ethical and Social Issues
One of the crucial issues in online gambling is its potential to become addictive to users. According to a study, excessive gambling is considered a Gambling Disorder, which is a serious mental disability. One of the symptoms is when the gambler loses, he never stops betting believing he will recover his losses until it becomes worse and unstoppable. He continues playing despite awareness that doing so will harm his family, property, and dignity. Why? Because he can have problems with the law, like loaning money and not able to pay back. In most cases, gambling addicts have become dependent on gambling, like drug addicts are of substance.
In the UK, The Gambling Act of 2005 is a bill that processes licenses to online gambling operators and ensures the protection of clients. The act states that:
- Gambling should not be a source of crime or disorder, as well as an accessory to a crime.
- Gambling should be a fair game for both clients and operators.
- It protects minors and vulnerable people from being exploited or harmed by gambling.
While every society is different, some countries view online gambling as unethical because it is morally wrong. Gambling can be a root of evil and temptation. Some fruits of addiction to gambling are neglect of family, murder, prostitution, stealing, fraud, lying, and even suicide.
What does the Future Hold for Online Gambling?
While other countries quickly accepted online gambling as a part of life’s leisure, some see it as a form of illegal vice that causes addiction. Fifteen years ago, nobody imagined that online gambling can be a big thing today. Let’s look at the tendencies and the biggest trends to watch out for as far as online gambling is concerned.
Do you remember the time when smartphones were first introduced? Where did the time go? Cellular phones used to be a luxurious thing only rich people could afford. We only called and texted on it. Nowadays, even children in primary school own a smartphone. We watch, play, listen, and read on it. And now, we can make money out of it while being entertained anywhere and anytime.
In 2018, 51% of mobile traffic caused by the gaming industry. Because it is more convenient than the wider screened-computers. You can carry it anywhere you go, and play anytime. This reflects one of the trends these days that millennials call “on-the-go”. Most popular and reputable online gaming operators have their mobile versions. Even live dealer casinos can be accessed via smartphones. Not only it brings thrill and mood of real casinos into your home but it is also becoming more flexible.
CRYPTOCURRENCIES AS A MODE OF PAYMENT
Cryptocurrencies are another product of technology. It is probably one of the greatest innovations up to these days. Initially, it was intended to replace paper money and coins, as well as the traditional banking for convenience and security. Although this never happened at this time, it has been widely used in many fields and platforms, including gambling.
Online casinos accept crypto as another form of payment because it’s safer, cheaper and faster than any others. It is probably safe to say that one day, more and more areas accept it as payment.
ONLINE GAMING’S SHARE IN THE ECONOMY
In 2017, the world’s online gaming was valued at $108.9 billion and still growing at a fast pace of 7.8%. The Asian Pacific regions contribute 47% of this staggering amount at more than $51 billion.
With online gaming being more flexible and accessible, it’s no wonder if this whopping sum will be doubled in the next few years.
EXTENDED REALITY TECHNOLOGY
Have you ever heard of Extended Reality Technology yet? Imagine what it would be like to experience living in 2050. Thanks to this technology, which is also called XR. It is a term to combine physical and virtual worlds with the use of wearables and computer technology.
Nowadays, online casinos use XR for more fun and entertainment. For the past few years, gambling-related exhibitions were mainly focused on AR/VR. Now is a different story. More and more software developers are using XR to be used by online casinos.