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World of online gambling

Industry overview

Online casinos

Forms of online gambling

Since gambling spread to the internet, it has found numerous ways to form online. Over the years gambling has evolved and companies have adapted gambling into different cultures from all over the world. Players can now relax in the comfort of their own homes, whilst gambling in its many forms.

As technology has improved, so have the different forms of gambling. Gambling facilitates many services to suit every gambler’s needs, and depending on the game and initial stakes it can make gambling very addictive, no matter which game you choose to play. Some games are, of course, more addictive than others, such as slot machines. As they heavily rely on the game of chance, these kind of casino games require no skill whatsoever and the outcome of the slot spins are extremely unpredictable, therefore the odds for these kind of games are usually stacked in the casino’s favour.

Forms of online gambling

The early 20th century changed the betting habits, just like Video Lottery Terminal, scratchcards and keno have also made an impact on the industry. There is currently a massive variety of ways a player can gamble online.

Sports betting sites and horse racing betting sites

Online sports betting is a very popular form of gambling all over the world, and players can potentially earn a lot of money when it comes to placing their bets online. Sports betting sites allow you to engage in fixed odds gambling and players predict sports results by placing a wager on the outcome. Sports betting includes a variety of ways a player can place bets and players can choose to place these bets online or at a bookmaker’s, also known as a bookies. Players can place bets on horses, dogs, and even individual sportsmen. Many of these kind of bets will include a 'favourite', but this certainly does not mean that this bet is guaranteed to win. 

As with most forms of online gambling, chance still plays a big part in sports bets and horse racing bets. Players wanting to place a bet on the horses will usually find they can do so by visiting a sports betting site. A player could place a bet on a horse that is a very strong runner, but just as with any other horse in a race, this horse could fall and it could have been given high odds meaning more bets have been placed on it. Alternatively, a horse that has been given low odds may in fact have a lot more energy and stamina than other horses in the race and outruns all the other horses to finally win the race. All this, of course, is just speculation and anything could happen.

Odds for these kind of gambling sites may differ depending on the country you reside in. Therefore, they may be represented in European Format, UK Format, and American Format and more often than not players will be able to find online tools to help them figure out how much they can win per bet. An example of the kind of odds you could come across is 2/1. This simply means that, if you place a £1 bet, and that bet wins, you will get back your stake of £1 plus an additional £2 winnings, meaning you will receive a total of £3 back.

As these kinds of bets are a game of chance, it is important to gamble responsibly.

Online casinos

Online casinos are also a very popular form of online gambling and rank in the top ten of the best gambling sites. Players can bet real money on games such as video slots, table games, video poker games and many, many more. The odds for these kinds of games are generally in the casino’s favour. With so many online casinos out there, and with them growing by the day, players are spoiled for choice on where to bet their money. Competition is at its highest when it comes to bonuses, promotions, and rewards offered by these individual casinos.

A very popular game that is found at online casinos are slot machines, which also used to be known as fruit machines. They were invented in San Francisco at the end of the 19th century by a German immigrant, Charles Fey. Even though these kind of games can be found at amusement parks and pubs, more and more players are seeking to play these games in the comfort of their own home via an online casino. A slot machine consists of a number of reels and rows with a combination of symbols and pictures. The reels spin and, depending on the outcome of a spin, a play wins or it doesn’t. Slot machines usually involve some kind of bonus game and Free Spin feature, maximizing the chances of a win. The entire game of slots is based on a Random Number Generator, which means no one can ever guess the outcome of a spin.

Poker sites

There are many variants of the popular poker game which can be found online. Players of the game can choose to play poker at an online casino that offers the game or they can play it at a poker site that solely allows poker games. Different variants include Texas Hold'em, Seven-Card Stud, Omaha and Five-Card Draw. Such poker games are usually played in tournaments and players bet on the face value of a card combination. The game can usually involve two or more players who are given a random number of cards. The cards a player receives can be called their ‘hand’ and all bets placed are put into something called a ‘pot’. The winner will win all money in the pot at the end of a game.

Poker has seen a huge increase in the number of players worldwide and, even though chance again plays a large part in the game, poker players also require some degree of skill, too. Online poker may be so popular due to the fact that players are able to play for low stakes. Additionally, online poker often involves freeroll tournaments, which means there is no entrance fee. This can be a great advantage for players, especially beginners. Free poker online dates all the way back to the late 1990s and Planet Poker offered the first money poker games in 1998.

Online lotteries

Lotteries can now also be played online and most sites are actually run by the government. As government agencies run the sites, they are protected from competition due to their ability to produce extremely large taxes. There are, however, some privately run lottery sites, too. Even though there are many different variants of online lotteries, they all work in pretty much the same manner. Whilst some players of the game have the potential to win life changing sums of money, the majority of people who enter into an online lottery will win nothing.

Lotteries will usually consist of players picking from a selection of numbers which will be randomly drawn at a designated time. The object of the game is for the player to match the numbers they have chosen with the numbers that are drawn at random. Matching all your numbers with the numbers drawn at random will win you the highest prize, but lotteries usually involve smaller prizes for those who match lesser numbers. There is no skill required for this form of online gambling, the luck is in the draw and pick of the numbers. As there are so many people that use this form of online gambling worldwide, the chances of winning the big prize may be very small, but someone does indeed win.

Online bingo

Bingo is another very popular form of online gambling. Most online bingo sites allow multiplayer chat facilities and also offer a selection of casino games within the bingo sites. Generally bingo rooms will stay open 24 hours a day with a range of different prices and amounts to be won. Individual bingo rooms will usually have a chat moderator to answer any questions a player has and to clarify winners of the games, but more often than not these chat moderators offer additional chat room games. Within these game players can compete against each other to win additional bingo credits or points. Online bingo sites use a Random Number Generator, as opposed to regular bingo balls. The earliest known bingo game online was back in 1996, which was in fact a free bingo game called 'Bingo Zone' and in 1998 Bingo Blitz was launched.

Online bingo allows players to buy cards which have random numbers on them. These numbers usually vary from 1 to 90 or 1 to 75. However, the games offered to players depend on the type of the bingo site. Bingo numbers are called out and subsequently marked off a player’s card, each individual game will involve a certain amount of numbers to be marked off or even a pattern, the first person who succeeds in meeting this is the winner. Quite often you may find that multiple players reach the targets at the same time and will equally share the prize fund.

Online bingo is a game of chance, as bingo sites use random number generators. This means all numbers drawn are 100% random and, as it is with various other forms of gambling, there is no skill required to play online bingo.

Scratch card sites

Scratch cards are more commonly known to be bought in certain shops or supermarkets, but in fact, with recent technology, scratch cards have now become a form of online gambling with sites being opened solely for players to gamble on scratch cards.

Scratch cards are known as a small piece of card that can be scratched using a coin. This same concept can be seen on online scratch card sites, only instead of using a coin to scratch the card’s surface, players can use their mouse to scratch the surface on their screens.

Online sites provide a range of different scratch cards which can be bought for different values, generally starting at a minimum of £1. Usually the more amount you pay for the card, the higher the prize you could win. Some scratch card sites will allow much lower coin denominations to be placed for the purchase of their cards, but generally the prizes will also be lower. In order for a player to win, they must usually match three or more amounts to win that amount.

There is a large chance that a player will win nothing at all, but there is a higher chance of winning on a scratch card, as opposed to an online lottery draw. Again, this form of online gambling requires no skill at all and it is all down to the game of chance.

Mobile gaming

This is the most recent form of online gambling. Technology has become so advanced that players can now place bets at casinos, poker sites and even sports betting sites via a smartphone or tablet device.

Players can access a selection of games for a specific casino through their mobile phone as mobile casinos do not require the use of a flash plug-in. When mobile casinos first launched, very few games were offered. Nowadays, with the advancement of technology, there are myriads of mobile casino games at players’ disposal. 

Whichever form of online gambling you choose to play, it is important to remember that online gambling can become very addictive, so players must use their discretion and know when it is time to call it a day.

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