How Online Casino Works
Online gambling greatly differs from in-person casino gambling in a few obvious ways. There is little to no interaction between the players and the giver. In fact, there is no dealer – all games are operated by computer programs.
Online casinos can offer dozens of different games. One website has slot machine games based on licensed cartoon characters, while others have computerized versions of more traditional casino games. Most games are disguised with fancy graphics and sound effects, much like real slot machines. Players can review the rules of each game and view a chart that displays payouts with a click of a button.
The specific rules of the games reflect their real counterparts. In Video Poker or Blackjack, players make decisions about the cards that can influence the outcome of the game.
There are also websites that offer online sports betting, which is another form of gambling. These pages allow users to place bets on sports competitions of any kind, as well as other events such as political races or the results of reality television shows. The sites offer their own odds, which in some cases are better than the odds offered by the traditional Las Vegas bookmakers (partly because of the lower overhead required to run an online betting site). Many online casinos offer “instant play” versions of their games, which are typically run in a web browser using Java. Players can also download the casino software and play the games in a separate application. Some websites only offer a download-to-play option. Players can try the games for free with a game account filled with a few thousand dollars. Of course, these games do not pay real money.
Although it can not be confirmed, trying out the “Play for Fun” versions in several online casinos often leads to hefty imaginary bank accounts. If the real money games paid off so big, the casinos would quickly go bankrupt. Success in the Games of Fun game does not equal success when real money is at stake.
The Legality of Online Gambling
Online gambling falls into a legal gray area. While technically illegal in most of the United States, persecuting and convicting individual players is very difficult because they play from home. It is also illegal for a gambling website to operate within the United States, which is why the offices and servers of most online casinos are located in other countries. There are about 70 countries that allow online gambling sites to start shop, including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, and some provinces of Canada.
When you register for an online casino, you must agree to the terms and conditions of the website. Whether gambling is legal, where you live is your responsibility. You must also comply with all age limits set for gambling in your location. If online gambling is illegal in your area and the authorities find that you have made money, your winnings could be forfeited.
Issues of jurisdiction and sovereignty make the gambling laws even grumpier. U.S. Pat. The Wire Wager Act makes it illegal to use an electronic wire method (the courts generally agree to use the Internet) to transfer betting to places where gambling is not allowed. So, a casino set up in the Netherlands breaks the US law when a player plays his games in the US. However, the US does not really have the legal power to pursue anyone in another country. Since players are almost never prosecuted, we have an illegal act that usually goes unpunished. Of course, if an off-shore casino chooses to cheat a player out of winnings, and online gambling is illegal in the locality of that player, the player will have a hard time sueing the casino.
This brings us to the topic of regulation. Some of the countries that operate online casinos have strict policies and regulations that ensure that casinos operate legally. They ensure that the casino pays off when the players win, and they ensure that the published odds match the actual odds programmed into each game. Australian and Finnish online casinos are known to adhere to national standards. Some countries are not so strict on regulation and may be more interested in taxing casinos than making sure they play fair. There are many online casinos to choose from, and it is worth doing some research in the rules that they must follow when choosing one.