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Online casinos; the gamerís convenience stores

With the possible exception of Runner, Runner (2013), filmmakers have not found many compelling story lines that are set in the world of online casinos - but maybe itís only a matter of time. A thriller about a young online gambler who stumbles onto a hacking syndicate trying to rob an online casino of its fortune ... Oceanís Virtual 11, perhaps?

OnIine casinos, like for example NetBet, could be described as the convenience stores of gambling. They fill the needs of players who are geographically distant from bricks and mortar casinos or other places of gambling, and also for those who are permanently or 5emporarily immobile, and of course for those who prefer the privacy of gambling at home, or simply prefer this form of gaming ... perhaps while watching movies online or on DVD, etc. After all, the range of games available at online casinos is as broad and varied as any casino offers.

The game menu includes baccarat, blackjack, craps, roulette, slot (poker) machines, poker, keno, bingo ... Many online casinos offer sign-up bonuses to new players making their first deposit, and often on subsequent play as well. These bonuses are a form of marketing that may incur a cost (potentially justifiable in order to attract a new player who may return and deposit many more times), since the casino is essentially giving away money in return for a commitment from the player to wager a certain minimum amount before they are allowed to withdraw.

Since all casino games have a house edge, the wagering requirements ensure that the player cannot simply walk away with the casino's money immediately after claiming the bonus.

Also available in many online casinos is the game of chance of ancient Chinese origin known as, Sic bo or big and small, or hi-lo, played with three dice. Gameplay involves betting that a certain condition (e.g. that all three dice will roll the same) will be satisfied by a roll of the dice.

In a live casino game (a bit like in Runner, Runner), 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 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.

Microgaming developed the first gambling software in 1994, the very year that Antigua and Barbuda was the first country to pass a law making it legal to offer online gambling to offshore residents around the world.

Published March 10, 2018

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