Gambling has been with us since ancient times. Gambling online is a relatively new phenomenon and one that seems to be growing in popularity on a daily basis. Take a look at these facts:
* The first online gambling site was launched in August 1995. It is currently estimated that there are well over 2,000 Internet gambling Web sites offering various wagering options, including sports betting, casino games, lotteries and bingo.
* Internet gambling revenue in 2005 was estimated at $11.9 billion and is projected to double by 2010, according to Christiansen Capital Advisors (CCA).
So what is it about the online casino phenomenon that has so enticed gamblers? Perhaps it is the virtue of it simply being online. There are so many attractions to not having to attend a casino to gamble. The most prominent of these is the intimidation. Online gambling opens up a whole host of games to players who previously never had the courage or interest in observing tables in a land based casino.
Then it is the choice of games. The number of games and their varieties online are astounding. Poker, blackjack, roulette or sports gambling, online casinos offer them all. Lets take a look at a few of them:
Online poker has been partly responsible for a dramatic increase in the number of poker players worldwide. For the year of 2005, revenues from online poker were Symbols of Egypt estimated at US$200 million per month.
Blackjack, also known as twenty-one or Pontoon, is one of the most popular casino card games in the world. Much of blackjack's popularity is due to the mix of chance with elements of skill, and the publicity that surrounds card counting The slot machine typically pays off based on patterns of symbols visible on the front of the machine when it stops. Modern computer technology has resulted in many variations on the slot machine concept.
The freedom of time and money are added attractions. The online casinos are relatively inexpensive to operate in terms of staff being paid, so they are able to offer players free games. Entering a blackjack room in an online casino is very different to approaching a blackjack table in a land based casino. The speed and intimidation can be high when playing in a ritzy casino. Crucial decisions are made quickly and on the spot. At home, the player is able to slow down and play only when they are ready.
Sadly, with such a growth in popularity has come many online gambling hoaxes. Illegitimate and cheating websites are present on the net and can be deceiving. The most important things to remember when gambling online are the three elements of consideration, prize and chance. All three should be present.
The problem with online gambling is that it is far harder to control. The industry that has to protect itself from the dangers of compulsive gamblers. In the virtual world, this is hard to enforce. A customer is able to sit in their own living room, in whatever state they choose to be in and at whatever age and gamble as much as they desire.
Caution seems to be the only key. Gambling has always been a controversial subject; gambling on the internet is simply an extension of this controversy.