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Online casinos are all the rage. This major form of online gambling has become massive over the last two decades, but just what are online casinos, and why might you consider playing at them? In this article, we’ll take a look at all of that and more.
About online casinos
An online casino is a website, just like another other. Every website is designed to offer you something. In the case of these particular domains, what you are being offered are casino games, recreated in a digital format. You can create an account, and then pay to play these games, with the potential there to win real money, too.
The history of online casinos
Online casinos first appeared back in the mid-90s. The internet was only just beginning to reveal its true potential back then, and the games they had to offer you were laughable by today’s standards. There was only a few, and they didn’t offer you much, but online casinos and online gambling was born nonetheless.
Initially, internet casinos and online gambling was hugely popular in the United States, but all of that ended with the UIGEA act in the early two-thousands. This affectively closed down the online casino market for US-based players. Now they mostly play at offshore casino sites, based out of Panama, Kahnawake, or Curacao.
European online casino revellers are still enjoying the high-life, though, with relatively few restrictions on their online gambling fun. Over the decades, the face of online casino gambling has changed, and today, three main formats are widely available for players to choose from.
How can I play?
Originally, the downloadable casino suite was the only way to play. This is because browsers simple couldn’t handle the games back in the early 90s. Downloadable casinos can still be played at today, and the process involves downloading a small package and installing it on your PC. Downloadable casinos are favoured by players with older PCS and software, or those seeking a larger selection of games.
As web browsers could handle a larger load, instant play casinos became more popular. This is still the case today. Instant play casinos are played in your web browser, and are most popular due to the quicker level of gameplay they offer, and the lack of a need to download software.
Mobile casinos are the most recent step in the evolution of the online casino. They offer fast, on the go gaming, and there are virtually no waiting times, since most people keep their phone on around the clock. Mobile casinos could very well be the future for all online casino sites further down the line.
What will you get?
What you get out of your online casino greatly depends on which software providers runs the domain. Microgaming and Playtech are the two big powerhouses. They have both created a wealth of games, both progressive and non-progressive, with a large selection of table games, but mostly slots. Casinos run by these rivals’ software feature plenty of payment methods, big bonuses, and lots of currency and language options.
BetSoft and RTG (Real Time Gaming) powered casinos tend to be more popular across the pond with US players. None of the other developers offer their games to players based in the USA. Both providers only have a handful of payment methods to choose from, and most casinos are only playable in English. Nonetheless, BetSoft Gaming are the leading providers of 3D slot machine games.
By contrast, Net Entertainment really only caters to players based in Northern Europe. They have some stunning looking games, original content, and offer a good selection of payment methods. This Scandinavian casino software providers games often be found mixed in with other developers titles at casinos.
IGT and WMS Gaming are both developers of online, and land-based slots. If you’ve seen a great slot in Las Vegas, it is probably available online as one of IGT, or WMS Gaming’s titles. Their casinos feature creative and original games, which can be costly. They aren’t the most flexible casinos when it comes to bonuses but they do have some incredibly big hits.
Of course, there are many other casino software providers out there, too. Each one brings its own unique perks to an online casino site.
Paying to play
Different software providers mean that casinos can offer different payment methods. It is imperative that you find a casino which has a payment method which works for you. The main options are credit card, bank card, e-wallet, or prepaid voucher payment methods.
Credit card and bank card deposits like VISA and Master Card are completely instantly, may incur a charge, but are generally accepted everywhere. E-wallet transactions such as Neteller, Skrill and PayPal are usually free for both deposits and withdrawals, but mostly available for European users.
Prepaid vouchers (Ukash, and Paysafecard are prime examples) are swell for depositing at online casinos, but you cannot withdraw funds with them. You’ll need to find another payment method for withdrawals then. All the same, these represent the safest deposit options on the net.
Failing that, wire transfers, and cheques are also possible, and common especially amongst US online casinos. These often come with heavy charges, though.
The advantages of playing at online casinos
So, what’s are the perks of playing at online casinos over land-based ones? Well, for starters, you will save an absolute fortunate in travel costs and accommodation. With no hotel and no flights, all of that money saved could be better used on games.
Online players also don’t have to worry about getting a seat at a table. All of an online casino games are available around the clock, without exceptions. Players will find that selection of games they have on offer at home is slightly larger than a land-based, brick and mortar casino, too. You can also quit whenever you want. Since you are playing from home, you don’t have to worry about signing out of the casino and calling it a day whenever you want. Your information and balance will remain there until you next play.
Finally, very few land-based casinos can offer you continual bonuses and promotions. These are great deals which you can wrap up all of the time when playing at online casinos. Welcome bonuses, no deposit bonuses, redeposit deals, refer-a-friend bonuses, loyalty programs, anniversary bonuses, VIP clubs, free spins, birthday bonuses, prize draws, daily, weekly, and monthly promotions, and slot tournaments, are all just part and parcel of the great set up which you can find in today’s online casinos.