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Casinos have attracted customers with their flashy interiors, ever since they became popular. Sin dens, as they are popularly known, due to their addictive nature, have always been the places where you find some of the latest trends and some rare-to-find items.
It is of little surprise, then, that casinos have been quick to adopt the technological trend of doing things online. The very themes that were once only found in bricks and mortar casinos can now be seen on the screens of personal computers, tablets, and mobile devices. And they are not just virtual playing platforms; they are places where you can win actual money on conventional casino games, and mega jackpots, that could turn you into a millionaire.
This article explores the phenomenon of casino gaming in detail, zeroing in with a specific interest in how the practice has taken root in New Zealand, a popular gaming destination. Read on…
Online Casino vs Land-Based Casinos
Online casinos are built on the same model that birthed and bred land-based casinos. They make an attempt to accord gambling lovers the same experience they would find in a brick-and-mortar casino in Las Vegas, or elsewhere, without having ever to leave the comfort of their living rooms.
- Similarities: There really is so much similarity between online and physical casinos, that it makes more sense to just look at what they are. Both platforms offer the same kind of games, jackpot models, playing rules, playing strategies and chances of winning.
- Differences: The significant difference, is that while players have to be physically present in a land-based casino to play, online casinos allow players to engage virtually over a network. Where players receive most of their gaming winnings in cash in brick casinos, the modern online form uses wire transfer, and e-payments, to complete transactions.
The two casino models may also have slight differences in legal regulations from one country to another. A land-based establishment may, for example, only be allowed to use one license in a specific country, while an online casino may operate in several countries with just one license.
Top Online Casinos Across the World
Although online casinos operate in a free market, there definitely are some players that have made a name for themselves across the world. The popularity of an online casino depends on many factors, such as the type of games they offer, their jackpots, the speed of depositing and receiving payments, free spins and, most importantly, the ease of using their web interface.
The most popular industry players across the world include Betfair, 888 Casino, Royal Panda, Leo Vegas, William Hill, 32 Red, Ladbrokes, and Inter Casino. There is undoubtedly a lot of competition at the top, and new players keep gaining popularity as others fall off. Some online casinos are most popular in specific regions; the UK, Asia or Australia etc. This is mostly dictated by the variety of games they offer.
Legal Regulations on Online Gambling
This is a real grey area for many players. People might assume that the gambling laws in their countries apply blanketly on all forms of betting in their jurisdiction. This is not the case, especially where online casinos are involved.
In most countries, for example, online casinos are not required to have a physical address, in that country, for them to be allowed to operate. Countries like New Zealand have a restriction for online gaming in them, but there are still ways by which punters can bet online, without breaking the law.
The legal regime is pretty relaxed for online gaming in most countries. Almost anything goes in countries where online gambling is allowed. Some countries have reported widespread use of Virtual Private Networks (VPNs) by punters, to access directly unavailable casinos. Reputable sites, however, prohibit VPN access to their platforms.
Live Online Casinos
The online gaming platforms keep evolving and birthing new arms each day. The most current online gaming aspect is live gaming, a model that allows people to have an experience on their devices, as though they were playing in the actual casino.
This model uses a live stream method, that allows players to see the dealer or croupier in real time, as the chosen game is played. They will enable a degree of engagement through chat, making the experience even more real. Casinos compete in including as many aspects of the physical house as possible, (sounds and lights etc.), in the live dealership, without sacrificing the simplicity required to connect over the internet.
Mobile Casino is the thing
Mobile devices are the single most revolutionary factor in the realm of online casino gaming. The world over, mobile devices have become the most popular platform, by which people access the internet. Online casinos have thus taken it upon themselves to adapt their sites to mobile devices so that people can access them on the small screens, and relatively weaker mobile signal.
As a result, punters can now access their favorite casino games anywhere, and at any time. Some houses even have dedicated downloadable mobile applications that make the experience even more accessible. The mobile access website emphasizes simplicity, meaning most game interfaces incorporate just the basic features required to play.
Popular Online Casino Games
So you have gotten in on the online casino craze, but then, what games to play? The list is virtually endless. There are thousands of games you can delve into, which can be classified into three broad categories; card games, slots, and virtual sports.
The popularity of games depends on the thrill they bring, the ability to apply a strategy, and, obviously, the possible winnings. It is safe to say, that slot games are by far the most popular, and offer the most substantial winnings. In an online casino catalog of, say, one thousand games, it is no surprise to have 800 slot games.
The games you are not likely to miss on any platform include poker, Sic Bo, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, Texas Hold ‘Em, virtual football, volleyball, basketball, racing, and numerous slots.
Online Casino Bonuses
Bonuses are casinos’ way of keeping players hooked. They are lucrative offerings of free money that encourage punters to play. Just like physical casinos, online platforms offer a variety of bonuses, which include:
- Welcome bonuses: These are mainly given as a token for signing up on an online casino. They mostly involve multiplication of the first or several deposits up to a certain amount. For example, the first deposit is boosted by 100% up to £200, the second receives a 75% boost and so on. Welcome bonuses are usually not withdrawable directly, without placing a stake.
- Free spins: These are bonuses that are popular in slot games. They are earned as rewards as the play progresses, and players achieve particular milestones. Free spins can win players real money.
- Progressive jackpots: Jackpots are not bonuses per se, but they offer a chance for increased earnings. Progressive jackpots are those that grow, every time a stake is not won.
Safety and Privacy in Online Casinos
This is undoubtedly one of the critical factors to consider when choosing an online casino to play in. A good casino should assure users of the safety of both their personal details and money. The first indicator punters should look for, is the presence of a security certificate in the site address. Simply put, sites whose addresses begin with ‘https’ are safe, and those with a simple ‘HTTP’ address are not safe.
Behind-The-Scenes Drivers of Online Casinos
The wonderful experience that punters enjoy on online casinos is not just brought out by chance. It is the result of the skilful and dedicated work by website and game developers. Many companies have carved their niche in this field, and partner with several gaming houses to make playing safe, secure and enjoyable.
888 is one of the casinos that is involved in both development and games. Most other houses get their gaming software from third parties. Popular developers include NextGen, 2x2Gaming, Casino Casumo, NetEnt, Microgaming, and Playtech. Some developers have adopted software as an innovation after numerous years in the gaming industry; others have come into existence in the internet age.
Online Casino in New Zealand
New Zealand is a popular online gaming hub. The country has enjoyed casino gaming in its physical sense for a long time and was glad to embrace the introduction of online casinos. The legal regime plays a significant role in this gaming practice.
For starters, betting wins are not taxed in New Zealand. This is because the activity is considered a pastime, rather than an income-generation practice. If a player is deemed to be making a living from gambling, however, they are classified as professional and taxes may apply.
Another interesting twist is the loophole that allows online gaming. While the law does not allow New Zealand based casinos to interact with punters through communication devices, it is pretty relaxed about foreign-based casinos. This makes it legal to place stakes and draw winnings from casinos that offer online odds, and are based overseas.