It’s almost certain to say that gambling is a pastime which has been around for centuries; wherever groups of people gathered together in the course of history, some form of gambling was sure to have taken place. By definition, gambling involves risking something of value on an uncertain event in the hopes of winning something of greater worth. More importantly, it’s a great form of entertainment.
Evidence of the earliest form of gambling dates back as far as 2300BC in the form of tiles unearthed in Ancient China; tiles used for a basic game of chance. It is believed that in 200bc a lottery-type game which we call Keno, helped fund the construction of the Great Wall of China. In 500bc, it’s common knowledge that the Ancient Greeks and Romans loved to gamble on anything and everything at any given moment, mainly using a pair of dice. As a matter of fact, all dice games were forbidden in the city of Rome and anyone caught was fined four times the stake being bet. Playing cards first appeared in China in c.800ad and eventually table games like Baccarat and Blackjack were born, with the first ever casinos appearing in Italy in the 17th century. But why do people gamble and what’s the allure of this ancient sport?
Pros of Online Gambling
I can list plenty of reasons why gambling has become so popular. The most obvious reason is that it’s fun! Think of it this way; people wouldn’t be doing it for so long if it wasn’t. The fact is that people get a buzz from not knowing whether they’re going to win or lose; they also enjoy and feed off the challenge and competition. Furthermore, what’s even more appealing is the thought that you can get money – significant sums of money nowadays – without working for it.
Once upon a time, people who indulged in gambling were frowned upon, presently it’s become the norm with the availability of casino games, sports betting, bingo, lotteries, and fantasy sports. One of the main reasons for gambling’s fashionableness is that it’s so convenient. You no longer have to travel from one place to the other when you can pretty much find your favourite games from any device with an internet connection. Much of the focus today is on the mobile gaming market, with online casinos racing to make more content compatible with the latest handheld gadgets and devices. Online gaming is definitely favourable because it’s hassle-free – you don’t even need to get out of bed to play your favourite slot!
Cost plays a major role in why online casinos are favoured over their land-based cousins. Since the cost of running games for online casinos is so little, you will find a much larger selection of games, and a wider range of betting limits online. Not to mention that offline casinos are restricted by floor space and a ceiling. Undeniably, land-based casinos offer lots of variety; however, online, floor space and ceilings are inexistent, so these casinos will always have more diversity. Furthermore, you don’t have to fight off the annoying guy hogging your machine, as through a gambling site it will always be available. It even works out cheaper for players to play online seeing as you don’t even need to leave the house. Thus, enormous travel costs are avoided.
Another advantage of online casinos is the number of bonuses and perks dished out every day. You wouldn’t find a 100% match bonus at your local casino, would you? Online casinos are trying to fend each other off to compete for the business you, the customer, brings them. The competition in the industry is fierce; therefore, players can take advantage of the regular bonuses, promotions, prize draws, and competitions which casinos use to entice players to join. These include deposit bonuses for new players, reload bonuses for existing customers, free cash and cash back offers.
Moreover, playing online brings with it anonymity, privacy and a sense of freedom. Players don’t need to fear being seen or scrutinised in an online casino. A common occurrence with multiplayer games like Texas Hold’em Poker is that many players love the game but are intimidated by the casino version. Therefore, playing online allows you to play the games you like without the other players eating you up with their eyes for your stack.
Finally, if you’re a fan of slot machines and huge jackpots, you’ll love this one, as the odds for playing slots online are generally better than in a brick and mortar casino. Furthermore, big software providers like Microgaming and Playtech are renowned for their system of online progressive jackpots, which features games with prizes in the millions waiting to be scooped up by a lucky winner.
Cons of Online Gambling
Now, not everything that glitters is in fact gold, as there are a couple of disadvantages when it comes to gambling online. The main drawback is that your winnings or any withdrawals you’d like to make are not instantaneous. In an offline casino, your winnings are given to you cash in hand (however, there’s the fear of losing the money or getting mugged on your way out). In online casinos, money never exchanges hands as deposits and withdrawals are conducted securely via several payment methods including credit/debit cards, e-wallets, prepaid cards, direct transfer, and so on. Presently, online casinos are working on ways to up the efficiency of the cashing out process.
The ease of online gambling is one of its major pitfalls as it’s very easy to get carried away and caught up in the moment. It can result in players betting way more than they initially intended or for more time than they had originally planned. That’s why it’s crucial to budget your bankroll accordingly, by calculating how much you can afford to lose and how long you want to play for. At the end of the day, gambling can be addictive and having such easy access to gambling sites can worsen the problem for some people.
Many online gambling sites are operated ethically and justly by reputable companies, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any thieves around trying to take advantage of people by ripping them off or stealing their money. This is a common fear among novice players who wish to deposit into an online casino. The optimal solution to this problem is to stick to trustworthy sites and popular software such as Microgaming, Playtech, iSoftBet and so on. Informing yourself by reading casino reviews will also help you kerb the crooks.
Earlier, I praised online casinos for giving players the privacy to go about their gambling ways. However, this lack of personal and social interaction is one of the negative points surrounding online casinos, as there are plenty of people who enjoy the social aspect of visiting a casino or playing multiplayer games like Poker.
Finally, you may incur transaction fees, not from the gambling sites themselves – they don’t usually charge anything – but from your bank or credit card. Although they are minimal, they can add up over time when depositing frequently.
Is online gambling legal?
Unfortunately, there is no straight answer to this question as the laws pertaining to online gambling vary depending on where you live. To put it plainly, it’s not illegal to make use of a gaming site, as these laws are not aimed at players from around the world but are meant for the operators of gambling sites who need to attain licenses before they can allow certain clients to play at their casinos. There are about 70 countries that allow online gambling sites to set up shop, including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, and some provinces of Canada. Reading up on the casino you wish to play at (via casino reviews) will help clarify this type of information.
How old must I be to gamble online?
The answer to this question also depends on local laws in the country in which you reside. The most common age requirement is 18, but some online casinos don’t accept adults under the age of 21. It’s important to check the T’s and C’s of the casino in question before you get started. Furthermore, most gambling sites demand ID verification before authorising deposits and withdrawals, so if you try to lie about your age, you will undoubtedly get caught.
How much money do I need to start gambling online?
Most gambling sites have a minimum deposit amount (as well as a minimum withdrawal). The minimum number is generally pretty small, approximately ten credits. In this way, you don’t have to risk too much money to get yourself started. Ultimately, how much you spend is of your own accord. As aforementioned, it’s wise to try and budget your bankroll by calculating how much you can afford to lose and how long you’d like to play for.
Will I become addicted to gambling?
There are plenty of people who play online and control their habit by gambling responsibly. However, there are a few individuals who do get addicted. It becomes a problem when you start risking money you cannot afford to lose. If you feel like your habit is spiralling out of control, it’s important to stop immediately and seek help from friends, family members and professionals.