BetAid guide to online casino sites.
Popular casino games such as roulette, blackjack and poker have been around since the 16th century; pastimes that are well and truly ingrained within our gaming culture.
Renowned for offering fun, adrenaline-pinching experiences, such games are enjoyed globally. However, there is a hugely addictive side to the world of casino, with its ability to turn a few pence into large sums of cash drawing in many. But, this ability to make money quickly is also paired with the risk to lose money just as fast and form an addiction while doing so; something all of us should aim to avoid.
While casino games have been around for centuries, with the launch of the internet came an influx of casino sites; websites that digitised the process of spinning a roulette wheel and placing stakes on a blackjack table.
Making casino products more attainable than ever before, the bombardment of casino sites and casino-based promotions now promoted to us online is rather dangerous, encouraging us to gamble more often and part with more money when doing so.
There are close to 100,000 online casino sites in operation at any one given time in the UK. And, this number is climbing, with the process of setting up a casino site, adding some offers and taking people’s money being rather simple.
This is a huge contrast to the number of physical land-based casinos in the UK, with just 150 odd casinos now coming in the form of bricks and mortar.
The sophistication of new technology has encouraged a new wave of casino game variations. When logging onto a casino site, you will not simply be offered the chance to play standard games of roulette, blackjack, poker or baccarat, with those terms now being categories with hundreds of game variations underneath them. From live roulette and European roulette to speed roulette, live football roulette and French roulette, the options really are endless.
This doesn’t just go for roulette either. The selection of poker, baccarat, blackjack and other types of table games is also vast.
What’s more is that most of the big name casino sites will work with a number of different gaming developers and suppliers, providing a place for punters to indulge in hundreds of types of games all at once.
Over the course of the last 5 years, we have seen the emergence and fine-tuning of live casino technology. This is a technology that bridges the gap between online casino and physical casino setups. Linking up players with each other and dealers via webcam technology, live casino offers a more immersive, real experience. However, there are many downsides to this side of the casino market, exposing bettors to active games and players across the globe without the need to leave their sofa.
Live casino variations come in the form of roulette, blackjack, poker, baccarat, hi-lo and more.
We have seen a shift in betting behaviours when it comes to slots, again seeing online variations reign supreme over physical fruit machines.
Seeing many blinded by the bold colours, bright lights and promise of big wins, online slots are the route of many gambling addictions being formed. This is due to their fast-paced nature, with the average slot game completed in a matter of seconds.
And, when thinking they the average casino site session surpasses the 15 minute mark, you can see how people can get carried away.
Back in the late 80s, we saw a rise in spend on scratch cards, with a huge percentage of Brits finding it hard to not pick up a scratch card when doing the weekly shop. Where there is still a scratch card station at most shops, supermarkets and petrol stations, this is bolstered by the huge selection of digital scratch cards now accessible on online casino sites.
Some games start from as little as 1p. However, with such a low entry price, they are known for encouraging more regular players, seeing the pennies add up rather quickly.
As well as a vast selection of games enticing more people to spend their money on online casinos, we also have the constant promotion of deals and free bonuses to contend with.
Because the online casino industry is such a competitive market, each site is competing with the next to win your business. This is why over the last few years, the value of free casino promotions and welcome bonuses has spiked. But, these ‘free’ deals are not always as lucrative as you may first think.
This is especially the case when it comes to ‘matched deposit’ bonuses; a type of welcome offer that over 95% of casino sites promote.
This type of deal sees the casino match the amount you deposit when registering with them. This is however only up to a certain amount which is determined by them.
So, if you open an account and deposit £10, the site will give you an additional £10, leaving you with £20 to play with.
There is more to matched casino deposits than meets the eye though. They are in fact a great way for casinos to ensure customers are spending a certain amount with them. These bonuses are often limited to certain games, most of which you could deem as ‘high-risk’.
It is also common for casino sites to reward customers with freebies on their first loss or win. While this may sound generous, it makes sure you return to their site and gamble no matter what the outcome of your previous game.
So, where there are some advantages to the digitalisation of casino games, there are also a huge set of disadvantages, many of which have had a direct correlation with the rising number of problem gamblers in the UK.