Online Casino & Gambling Industry
Online casinos, also known as virtual casinos or Internet casinos, are online versions of traditional (“brick and mortar”) casinos. Online casinos enable gamblers to play and wager on casino games through the Internet. It is a prolific form of online gambling.
Online casinos generally offer odds and payback percentages that are comparable to land-based casinos. Some online casinos claim higher payback percentages for slot machine games, and some publish payout percentage audits on their websites. Assuming that the online casino is using an appropriately programmed random number generator, table games like blackjack have an established house edge. The payout percentage for these games are established by the rules of the game.
Many online casinos rent or buy their software from companies like CryptoLogic Inc (now Amaya), International Game Technology, Microgaming, Playtech, and Realtime Gaming.
Online casinos can be divided into two groups based on their interface: web-based and download-only casinos. Some casinos offer both interfaces.
Web-based online casinos
Web-based online casinos (also known as flash casinos) are websites where users may play casino games without downloading software to their local computer. Games are mainly represented in the browser plugins Macromedia Flash, Macromedia Shockwave, or Java and require browser support for these plugins. Also, bandwidth is needed since all graphics, sounds and animations are loaded through the web via the plugin. Some online casinos also allow gameplay through a HTML interface. Apple devices such as iPod, iPad and iPhone cannot play Flash games as the technology is not supported.
Download-based online casinos
Download-based online casinos require the download of the software client in order to play and wager on the casino games offered. The online casino software connects to the casino service provider and handles contact without browser support. Download-based online casinos generally run faster than web-based online casinos since the graphics and sound programs are cached by the software client, rather than having to be loaded from the Internet. On the other hand, the initial download and installation of a download-based online casino client does take time. As with any download from the Internet, the risk of the program containing malware exists.
Virtual casino games
In a virtual casino game, the outcome of each game is dependent on the data produced by a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG). This determines the order of the cards in card games, the outcome of a dice throw, or the results produced by the spinning of a slot machine or roulette wheel. PRNGs use a set of mathematical instructions known as an algorithm to generate a long stream of numbers that give the impression of true randomness. While this is not the same as true random number generation (computers are incapable of this without an external input source), it provides results that satisfy all but the most stringent requirements for true randomness.
When implemented correctly, a PRNG algorithm such as the Mersenne Twister will ensure that the games are both fair and unpredictable. However, usually the player has to trust that the software has not been rigged to increase the house edge, as its inner workings are invisible to the user. Properly regulated online casinos are audited externally by independent regulators such as eCOGRA to ensure that their win percentages are in line with the stated odds, and this can provide a degree of assurance to the player that the games are fair, assuming the player trusts the regulator.
Instead of trusting the software, with the provably fair concept the player can verify that the casino plays fair and that the software has not been rigged. The idea is that the server creates a secret random seed and shows the hash (like SHA256) to the player. The player provides a random seed as well. Then the server combines the secret seed and the player seed to calculate the random number result. With the result the player can see the secret server seed, too. The algorithm to calculate the result is known, so the player can verify that the server didn’t cheat. It is often used for cryptocurrency casinos. The technical details are hidden in an easy to use web interface, but the user can verify it with external or local tools. The concept works very well for single player games, but is more complicated for multi-player games like poker, because the house could plant a player that has full knowledge of the cards and could cheat the player.
Live dealer casino games
In a live online casino game, a human dealer runs the game in real time from a casino gaming table, which can be seen via a live streaming video link. Players can make betting decisions via a console on their computer screen, and can communicate with the dealer using a text chat function.
The results of the physical transactions by the dealer, such as the outcome of the roulette wheel spin or the dealing of cards, are translated into data that can be utilized by the software by means of optical character recognition (OCR) technology. This enables the player to interact with the game in much the same way as they would with a virtual casino game, except for the fact that the results are determined by real-life actions rather than automated processes.
These games are a lot more expensive for websites to host than virtual games, as they involve a heavier investment in technology and staffing. A live casino studio typically employs one or more cameramen, several croupiers running the various games, an information technology manager to ensure that any technical hitches are dealt with swiftly, and a pit boss that acts as an adjudicator in case of disputes between players and croupiers.
In most cases this requires at least a three room setup, comprising a live studio, a server/software room, and an analyst’s room. The configuration of these rooms varies from casino to casino, with some having several gaming tables in one room, and some having a single table in each room.
The high running costs involved with operating live dealer games is the reason why online casinos only tend to offer a handful of the most popular games in this format, such as roulette, blackjack, sic bo, and baccarat. In comparison, the running costs associated with virtual games are very low, and it is not uncommon for online casino’s to offer hundreds of different virtual casino games to players on their site.
Online casino’s vary in their approach to the hosting of live games, with some providing live games via their own television channel, and others offering the games exclusively via their website. In the case of televised games, players can often use their mobile phone or television remote controls to place bets instead of doing so via a computer connected to the internet. The most common live dealer games offered at online casinos are baccarat, blackjack and roulette.
Information taken from Wikipedia.
The Online Casino sector has become a very powerful industry in the entertainment sector recently. More than $41.4 billion US dollars in transactions were made in 2014 according to official reports. If you check out the list of top online casino gambling countries, you will see Australia in No. 1 position in the gambling sector. Reports state that, on average Australian people lose $1288 in gambling per year. This is the highest amount per person when compared with other countries, not back considering there are only 25 million Australians. If you look at the statistics of other countries for gambling than you will find that Canada is in no. 4 position. Gambling in Canada has become a major industry with a turnover more than $16.7 billion Canadian dollar a year according to the official report of 2015. There are 75+ casino houses, 120,000+ Slot Machines and 26,000+ bingo halls and similar establishments.
Ontario, a Canadian province, is famous for gambling. According to government report on average one slot machine is allotted per 340 citizens and the progression rate equals 16% per year approximately. On average each Canadian over 18 years (without counting tourists) spends from $650 to $1000 Canadian dollars on gambling or online casino’s annually. Gambling, crudely speaking, regulated by the state government, like an authorization where license is acquired by the Commission of gambling and alcohol. Provincial administrations control the type of games allowed in their land. Example, British Columbia and Ontario allow casinos, slot machines and horse racing while video lottery stations and related gaming machines are forbidden there. Approximately, the cost of building and furnishing a permanent casino is estimated at 45-55 million Canadian dollars. To set an impermanent casino (including hotel rooms and ships) is cheaper (45 – 65%). If you like to operate a legal Canadian casino in proper agreement with the provincial rules, it will start from $80 million Canadian dollars.
The Regulation Point
In Canada the gambling business is totally illegal until you have the permission to run your casino business from all the provincial government of Canada. The authorizing responsibilities have been delegated to provinces. Considered to be the main investors when it comes to casino or poker room authorization. The full controls have been allowed to local powers in 1985, and from that time the range of influence remains safe and sound. Only the province government have the power to approve a gambling establishment. The Criminal Code covers two units that represent core appropriations that regulate the country’s gambling trade. Despite the very fact that everyone the provinces participate within the national lottery program, the provincial or regional authorities are entitled to allow or compel the activity. Therefore, the senior officers of Canadian province could ban the actual game of regain the territory of the province, whereas a similar activity will perform in Ontario at a similar time.