Online casinos are pretty much the same as traditional land-based casinos. They do, however, usually offer higher odds and payback percentages that are higher than those at traditional casinos. This makes them preferable to land-based casinos for many users. It’s also worth noting that you can enjoy online gambling from the comfort of your own home, which is another advantage that online casinos have. There are currently three main types of online casinos:
- Web-based Online Casinos
- Download-based Online Casinos
- Virtual Reality Online Casinos
Legality of Online Gambling
Web-based online casinos allow for players to gamble via their browser and require no software to be downloaded before playing. Download-based online casinos, on the other hand, require players to download and install specific software to access games. Both of these have their own pros and cons. VR-based online casinos require a virtual reality rig and headset to utilize. This makes them less popular than web-based or download-based online casinos, although they’re much more engaging and immersive.
Online gambling in the USA is strictly regulated and is only legal in a handful of states. While online sports betting is relatively accessible, the main states that allow online casinos are Delaware, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey. More states are beginning to relax their laws and plan to allow people to play online casinos games in the near future.
The legality of online gambling varies from state to state, so it’s worth paying attention to your local laws before signing up at an online casino. This is also true if you wish to engage in online gambling in general. Up until recently, online casinos in the USA were subject to the Federal Wire Act, preventing all forms of online gambling. In December of 2011, however, the US Department of Justice clarified their stance with a statement suggesting the Wire Act only applied to sports betting sites, allowing individual states to determine the legality of online casinos.
Online Casino Games
Online casinos offer a variety of online casino games that offer virtual casino games and even live dealer casino games. These two categories include all the standard games that are found at traditional casinos, such as roulette, poker, blackjack, craps, and slots. An online casino offers pretty much the exact same experience as a standard casino, but allows you to play from the comfort of your own home.
Virtual Casino Games
Virtual casino games are also called software-based online casino games and they use random number generator (RNG) software to ensure that any actions taken are unpredictable and sufficiently random. While it’s impossible to create an algorithm that’s 100% random, current algorithms are close enough that they check all the appropriate boxes. This ensures that nobody can game the system in any way and keeps everyone on a level playing field.
These types of games are popular at online casinos and you can choose between a wide variety of different games. These games are relatively cheap for an online casino to run, allowing them to offer hundreds of games to suit any preference. The most popular virtual casino games are:
- Sic bo
Live Dealer Casino Games
Live dealer casino games are live-streamed from a traditional land-based casino and shown in real-time online. This means that no RNG software needs to be used and players can be sure that their games are as random as possible. Live dealer casino games also offer a few additional advantages to virtual casino games. For one, you can interact with a live dealer by typing your message into chat and waiting for the dealer to verbally respond. You can also use live chat to converse with other players, offering a more immersive environment.
That being said, live dealer casino games are usually more expensive for an online casino to operate. These types of games involve a lot more moving parts and require real-world information to be translated into data that software can read and understand. High running costs can be attributed to the need for online casinos to employ a large team to ensure live dealer games go off without a hitch. As such, online casinos usually only offer their most popular games in this format.
Deposits & Withdrawals at Online Casinos
Many online casinos in the USA allow players to sign up and start gambling without depositing their own money. That being said, you can only get so far without depositing real-world money. The deposit and withdrawal process for online casinos is made as easy as possible for players. You can use credit cards or debit cards to make a deposit, along with utilizing e-wallet platforms like PayPal. Additionally, you can make a deposit via a bank transfer, a check, or a money transfer service like Western Union or MoneyGram.
*Some welcome bonuses require the bonus code to be entered before a deposit has been made, while others are added to your account automatically.
Online Casino Bonuses
Online casinos in the USA also incentivize players to join up by offering a range of bonuses. Most online casinos will offer sign-up bonuses in order to attract new players. Many online casinos also follow up by including bonuses that carry forward as well. Most online casinos require payers to wager a minimum amount before withdrawing to prevent players from taking advantage of these bonuses. Online casino bonuses include:
- Welcome bonuses
- Referral bonuses
- Cashback bonuses
- Insurance bonuses
- No deposit bonuses
- Non-cashable bonuses
These are all fairly self-explanatory and the most popular are the no deposit bonuses, which allow players to withdraw their bonus without depositing any of their own money. All bonuses help to attract players and maximize the number of players who stick around long-term.
Other types of bonuses that exist are comp points. These work the same in online casinos as they do at traditional land-based casinos. Comp points can usually be exchanged for a variety of prizes or traded in for their cash value. Players earn comp points by simply playing specific games, earning a small amount of points as they play.