Land Based Casinos Vs Online Casinos

There is a growing debate between the popularity of land casinos versus online casinos. While the basic format of the casinos is the same, the debate comes when choosing a casino to suit you, the player. Choosing the type of casino is a difficult choice, but once the type of game has been decided, there are several points to note on the different casinos.

The slot machines are the key to deciding on the better type of casino, as they give a good indication of the level of game play in the casino itself. While the slot machines themselves are similar, in that you insert the coin and pull the handle, hoping to match the symbols to win the prize, the differences are many, and it’s important to understand these differences when making your decision.

The payout of the machines has a large impact on the decision. A land based casino has a considerably smaller payout percentage than an online casino. This is mostly due to the overheads that the land casinos have to pay out to run the casino. For example, they have mechanics, waiters, cleaners, and dealers, and these are paid through the house profits of the machines. An online casino usually only has a few workers that require payment. In this way, the payouts are generally higher, and will entice a larger customer base due to the increased rates.

The larger customer base of the online casinos largely attracts more customers. The more people playing the machines at one given times increases the popularity, thus making it seem as though there is an advantage to playing the slots at that particular casino. There are so many online casinos that each site has to offer the best service in order to keep your custom. Land based casinos have no real need to do this, because the chances of having another casino in the same city are quite small, and people rarely want to travel a long distance to find other slot machines.

If you do decide to travel to another land based casino, it is important to be aware that the casinos may have dress codes, or other rules to follow that may be different to the previous one you visited. An online casino is a great way to sit in the comfort of your own home without having to worry about what to wear, or what to eat. It is up to you to decide how you spend your time, and your credits whilst playing for the top prizes. It is also possible on many online sites to chat to other users via a chat function, so that you still have the interaction with other players.

It is easy to fall for the gimmicks that can be put up on certain casino sites, making it impossible for you to win any prizes. Sometimes, the lack of winnings could be down to the player not being used to that particular machine. In a land based casino, it is therefore wise to play at a number of different slot machines to find the right one for you. However, this could prove costly, and you could end up spending your money before you’ve found a machine that works for you. With an online casino, there is always a section where you can either download a trial version of their machines, or enter a java page. This enables you to play the slots for free, and implement any strategies you have before playing with real money.

There is a worry that using your own money is not safe with an online casino. Credit card fraud is a common crime, and it is wise to be wary about giving your details over the internet. To ease your mind, casinos use a secure server that transfers any money quickly and easily, and generally doesn’t store any personal information where it can be accessed by other users. Confidentiality is a major factor when creating an account with these sites, and the owners of the casinos understand that in order for you to keep playing their wide range of games, they must stick to their own rules.

When thinking about the wide range of games, a land based casino doesn’t offer the same variety. Mostly this is due to space in the room, and the cost of having many different machines. There is also the fact that only one person can be playing the same game, so there may be an empty machine in one area, and a queue in another. Because an online casino deals with the software for a certain machine, there is no limit to how many can play, and there is an unlimited amount of space to have a wider variety of machines.

To entice customers to play their games, many casinos offer many bonuses. A land based casino will typically offer bonuses such as luxury holidays in the form of hotel visits, cruises or plane tickets. These are offered with the requirement of obtaining a certain number of points or wins, or for being a member of their casino for a given length of time. It is sometimes difficult to obtain these points, as there is no guarantee of keeping the same machine for a long period of time to build up the points that you need for the prizes. The benefits to playing online are endless. Casinos offer similar rewards to their land based predecessor, and there are no limits to the length of time a player is allowed to use the machines. To help you with the ability to play these games, many casinos will give a player free credits, or free games to play the machines as a bonus for being on the site for a certain amount of time. Downloading software versions of the slots means that players have no time restriction, and is free to come and go as they please, and will always be able to play that particular game.

Online Casino Bonuses 101

You’ve probably seen that most online casinos advertisements usually offer some sort of bonus or FREE money to get you to start playing there. Like most things in the world, nothing really comes free, so before you start claiming this free money and then getting upset that you’ve been scammed, I suggest you keep reading and see how this all works.

First of all, you may ask; why do online casinos even offer this “free” money?

It’s part of their marketing and differentiation strategy. In a nutshell, online casinos are generally “skins” of a specific software provider, so actually behind the different owner, graphics, licensing etc under the bonnet there’s not much difference between let’s say all Playtech powered casinos, or all Microgaming powered ones.

So, if they are mostly the same below the hood, there needs to be some sort of difference which will convince you to play at “X” online casino and not “Y”. Besides the graphics, licensing, support and reputation, another way to pitch to potential players is by giving them something, in this case, a bonus.

Having put that out of the way, the next question you might ask yourself is: OK, so Casino X is offering $5,000 free, maybe I’ll sign up, take my $5,000, play them out and go on to Casino Y.

The answer here is pretty simple as well. In order to claim bonuses at at an online casino, you will usually need to make a deposit, unless it’s specifically stated that you don’t, but we’ll get to that later.

Before we sink into the beef of the different types of bonuses offered at online casinos, here are a few extra terms and points you should be aware of, so you can clarify them with a support representative before claiming a bonus, just so you know where you stand and what you’re claiming.

1. Wagering requirements: Most bonuses have wagering or playthrough requirements, meaning that you need to play a certain amount before you can withdraw winning from your account. On average wagering requirements are usually between 15 to 40 times, however pay attention to what you are required to wager. In some cases it will be just the bonus times X and in others you will need to wager the bonus + your deposit amount X times. The latter by the way is more common.

Another tidbit you should pay attention to with regards to wagering requirements is, that at most online casinos, if you request a withdrawal before you have completed the wagering requirements, all your winnings to date will be void. Not really fair, but this is reality.

2. Games played: Make sure you read the T&Cs in this case. Because slots games are generally the most profitable games for online casinos, many bonuses tend to be valid only for slots games. Usually scratch cards and keno will comply with this rule.

In other cases, you will be allowed to play your bonus on all games; however not all games will count 100% towards the playthrough requirements. For example play on slots will count 100% but roulette will only count 30%, meaning that you will actually need to wager over three times more in order to clear the wagering requirements and withdraw your winnings.

3. Minimum deposit requirement: In most cases, in order to claim a bonus you will be required to make a minimum deposit, which again can vary. It’s generally a small amount which you will probably deposit anyway. It’s usually not over $50.

Now that we’re all on the same page and speaking the same language, it’s time we went through the main types of bonuses available at most online casinos.

1. A Match bonus is the most common type of bonus. For every $ you deposit, you will be credited X% of what you deposited by the casino. So, if, for example, casino Z is offering a 100% match bonus, deposit $100 and the casino will give you an extra $100 in bonus money. This means that actually start playing at the casino with $200. Match bonuses are almost always limited to a certain maximum bonus amount you can claim. A match bonus can be a standalone bonus as part of a promotion (more common at US friendly online casinos) and/or as part of the welcome bonus

2. A welcome bonus is generally offered by most, if not all, online casinos to new players who sign up and make their first deposit at the casino. The welcome bonus is the sum of all the possible match bonuses you can accumulate as a new player at the casino over a specific period of time, or within your first X deposits, or a mix of the two; so if a casino advertises a $3000 welcome bonus, it’s actually the maximum you can get with the 1st deposit bonus, second deposit bonus, monthly bonus etc, where if you deposit the maximum amount of each match bonus, you can reach the advertised welcome bonus. If you deposit less than needed for the maximum bonus in each stage, you won’t reach the amount advertised in the welcome bonus. So, in fact, the welcome bonus advertised is the MAXIMIUM amount you can claim in bonus money during your first period of playing at the casino.

3. A No deposit bonus is pretty self-explanatory. It’s a bonus you receive from an online casino which will enable you to play real money games without having to make a deposit. This is a great tool for online casinos to acquire new players as it lets them try out the casino without having to make a deposit. In some countries it helps solve the “trust” issue casino players have with online casinos. Many players who feel comfortable depositing and playing at one online casino will be wary when trying out another one they’ve never played at. Other players don’t want to make a deposit without trying out the software and games so a no deposit bonus can definitely help here. Some online casinos give no deposit bonuses as part of their standard offering and others steer well away from such bonuses as they claim that they tend to attract the wrong type of players, i.e. players who have no intention of playing for real money in the first place and that it just puts a strain on the support team with no actual outcome. I think that the truth is probably somewhere in the middle and that people claim no deposit bonuses for different reasons.

No deposit bonuses are generally for a pretty small amount, usually $10-$15 and they are either offered to potential clients directly by the casino or by websites affiliated with them. No deposit bonuses also have wagering requirements you need to complete before you are able to withdraw your winnings if you’ve been lucky.

4. Sticky/Play only bonuses are bonuses which you cannot withdraw from your account. If you get lucky and win and request a withdrawal, the bonus amount you received will be deducted off your winnings. Let’s say you claimed a $50 sticky bonus and got lucky bringing your account balance to $500. Now you would like to withdraw your winnings and go celebrate with friends. The online casino will only allow you to withdraw $550 from your players account and $50, which is the sticky bonus amount, will be void. Play only bonuses are usually larger than match bonuses and the wagering requirements lower.

5. Payment method bonus: This is something that was initially common at Playtech powered casinos and has spread to many others as well over the years. Besides depositing at an online casino with your credit or debit card, there are many electronic options most of which offer instant fund transfers without the associated hassle and high fees. Many of these alternative payment methods, as they are widely called, offer their services to people without a credit check and you can transfer money from your bank account discreetly. Some are even pre-paid cards you can buy at a kiosk. Just for using these alternative payment methods you can receive an extra 10-15% bonus on every deposit you make in addition to any other bonus you claim. Be sure to check the cashier section before you sign up to an online casino you’ve never played at as this can definitely be to your advantage.

6. Most online casinos have a Loyalty/VIP Club scheme where you can redeem bonuses in return for points you accumulated while playing. The more you play, the more points you earn and the better the point-bonus conversion rate becomes.

It is always important to check the specific T&Cs at the online casino you’re playing or plan to play at because often you will not be allowed to withdraw the bonus amount or the bonus amount can be docked off your winnings.

OK, so I’m pretty sure you’re now thinking how to take advantage of all this good, so here’s the flip side of the card. Online casinos are extremely sensitive to bonus abuse, also known as bonus whoring, by players. Just like you can get expelled from a land based casino for counting cards for example, you can also get your players account locked at an online casino at the first suspicion they have of bonus abuse. You need to remember that at the end of the day gambling is entertainment and is supposed to be fun and exciting. It’s not a day job and you can’t really earn money at the casino. Bonuses add to the fun and excitements and at the end of the day, are only a marketing tool. Claim them, have fun with them, increase your excitement but don’t expect log out richer.

Quality Over Quantity – Why USA Online Casinos Are Superior

Back in 1996, the explosion of online casino gambling swept the world. The United States had been a large part of this, and many gamblers had turned to online casinos for all of their gaming. For many years, these casinos continued to be played unabated. Unfortunately, back in 2006, legislation was passed that made it slightly difficult for online casinos to continue to operate. This legislation, sneaked in by piggyback through the Safe Port Act, would be named the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, and it became a thorn in the side of the online gambler, the online casino, and all payment processors there in.

The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, or the UIGEA, had, in a nutshell, prohibited banks and payment processors from processing transactions that would correlate to online gambling. This has not only complicated loading accounts, but also withdrawing. While USA online casinos have continued to operate, they have had to use payment processors that would circumvent these restrictions. Sadly, the UIGEA was not even set to go into effect until December of 2009, thought the implications of the legislation had fall out that would be nothing short of catastrophic for many online gambling companies, especially those that relied heavily on the United States market.

The UIGEA had hamstrung many of the operations around the world that utilized the American market in order to stay ahead in profits, all the while keeping losses to a low. The implications ran deep, damaging many companies operating these casinos. Not only had some of the larger, publicly traded online casinos taken a major hit to the price per share, which in turn hurt the shareholders of those companies, but also cost the companies profits from the United States Market. PartyGaming comes to mind specifically, though other large gambling firms had taken a hit. Additionally, many executives in charge of several of the online casinos, including Anurag Dikshit, one of the early founders of PartyGaming, had been indicted and fined for their involvement in online gambling – despite the fact that these companies had been based outside of the United States. Payment processors had also been significantly impacted, as many of these financial companies had taken a blow from federal persecution, which, in some cases, amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars in seizures. Sadly, the UIGEA had not even been invoked in many of these seizures. Rather, the Wire Act of 1961, a law that had been passed years before the Internet was even beginning to develop into what we see today.

Despite the laws that had begun to inhibit online casino gambling, many online casinos continued to accept USA players. While several of the larger brands of online casino had been stripped from the United States market, many others had remained steadfast in their dedication to delivering casino gaming to the American market. Though there are online casinos still operating in the USA, the choice has become limited. In order to focus on a marginal market, online casinos accepting American players had to provide a service of higher quality. That having been said, those online casinos have had to outclass the older forms of casino software that had removed themselves from the American market.

There are currently three major brands of casino software that have yet to cease operating within the United States. These brands have no intention on leaving the American market, and still out perform those that have already left USA players high and dry. Real Time Gaming, or RTG, Rival Gaming, or simply Rival, and Odds On, also known as Vegas Technology, are the three types of casino software still accepting Americans. Each carries its own unique features, though they universally out perform those who have left the United states behind, including Microgaming, Playtech, and others. While some of the individual casinos operating under these brands have decided not to content with the contention of the United States government, nearly all of them continue to supply USA players with high quality casino gaming.

Casinos powered by RTG are one of the superior three. Real Time gaming has brought high quality gaming to players throughout the United States. Their superiority comes through the digital eloquence of their games. Rather than delivering tired, bland tables games and slots, they have taken steps to ensure that each player will enjoy the smooth graphics and game play of their casino. Real Time Gaming casinos supply their players with enough diversity to remain entertaining, as well as huge bonuses for their players. Casinos outside of the United States, particularly Microgaming casinos, will almost always fall short in terms of bonuses. Through integrated security, these casinos under the RTG brand also remain the most secure.

The second brand of casino gaming comes through Rival Gaming. Rival Gaming has created and subsequently distributed a unique series of games. These games, the Interactive Slots, have brought a whole new level of entertainment to slot games. Rather than the standard spinning of the reels, Rival has raised the bar to the pinnacle of casino gaming. Their table games have also been a huge hit, bringing in players who seek simply to play cards, dice, or other table based casino games. Though players outside of the United States may enjoy the Interactive Slot, there is no international online casino that blocks American IP addresses that offers anything remotely similar to the power and variety of the I-Slot.

Finally we come to Odds On. With Odds On Casinos, players are entitled to use one of the original types of online casino software. Odds On has revolutionized the way games are played, particularly slots. The Odds On bonus slots have brought hundreds of thousands of dollars to their winners. Additionally, these bonus slots are backed by the large, multiplayer slot tournaments that have become a staple for many gamers around the world. The size and popularity of these tournaments are almost exclusive to Odds On. Slot tournaments provide players with the ability to enjoy slot gaming without an overwhelming financial risk, while providing easier access to large winnings. Though other types of casino software will periodically provide players with the chance to enjoy slot tournaments, none will be as versatile or commonplace as those found through Odds On – proving once again online casinos accepting USA players are superior to those found open only to European players.

Though casinos accepting Americans have had a bumpy road, particularly in 2009, hope lies on the horizon. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, which held a deadline of December of 2009, has been delayed. This delay bought time, six months to be exact, that would enable legislators to reconsider the law’s passing. Several legislators, particularly Congressman Barney Frank, have been pushing for a change in legislation. In order to aid in the push for regulated Internet casino gambling, any individual may contact their senators and representatives in order to express their opinion. There are also political action committees, such as the Poker Player’s Alliance, that are trying to bring casino gaming into the homes of players throughout the United States. Despite these laws, the casinos still operating for American players are ranked far above those who have decided against continued operation Stateside.