On the Internet : Part One
I receive a lot of inquiries about Internet gambling. Today I am
going to begin a 3-part series on what this burgeoning industry
is all about in an effort to answer some of your questions.
a relatively short period of time, our access to personal computers
and the Internet has revolutionized our lives. We communicate with
one another via e-mail, we make purchases, gather information, and
on the Internet is one form of entertainment that is popping up
with ever increasing frequency on the information superhighway.
are hundreds of Internet gambling sites out there. Anybody with
a personal computer, access to the Internet, and a credit card can
play. But do you really want to? It all boils down to convenience
and having the world at your fingertips with your keypad and mouse.
there are dangers inherent with playing casino games for real money
in the privacy of our homes. Going to a brick and mortar casino
requires an investment of time and effort. There are restraints
on our behavior. We are reminded we are playing with real money.
can play casino games on the Internet in the middle of the night
in your pajamas. After all, an Internet casino is always available,
just a few foot steps away. You must exercise a great deal of restraint
and self-control and learn to budget your playing time accordingly.
you are sitting in front of a computer screen playing with virtual
chips, it is easy to get caught up with the games and wager beyond
one's means. You are in the sanctity and privacy of your home. There
is the temptation to play more often. And as we all know, the longer
you play the more you subject yourself to the house edge and the
greater your chances of losing.
yes, that house edge will hit you hard in Internet casinos just
as it does in mortar and brick establishments. Maybe even more so.
Do you have the assurances that the Internet casino games you are
playing are on the level? In a majority of cases the answer is yes.
you decide that gambling on the Internet is for you, what site do
you select? There are some very elaborate ones out there, and some
very bare bones operations. You have to take on the task seriously
and not just open up an account with the first one you find. They'll
all tell you they're the best and safest. They all aren't. Take
the time to shop around and see for yourself what the differences
you want to play blackjack, for example, check out the sites that
offer the best rules. If you won't accept certain rules or playing
conditions in real casinos, don't accept them in a virtual casino.
It's that simple. If you wouldn't go to a casino that had only one
or two slot machines, don't go to a virtual casino that has a meager
selection of games.
time I'll continue my Internet gambling survey by discussing in
greater detail what is expected of you and what personal risks you
subject yourself to if you decide to play.
on the Internet Part Two
Last time I began a discussion about gambling online. Today I continue
the 3-part series by explaining why learning everything you can
about Internet casinos is the best way to prepare yourself for venturing
into this uncharted and unregulated region of cyberspace.
the literally hundreds of Internet gambling sites that are available,
they're all going to tell you they are the best, the safest, that
they offer the best games with the best odds and the best rules,
and that they offer the most lucrative 'sign up' bonuses. The truth
of the matter is they all don't.
best way to get started is to go to a search engine and type in
online casinos or Internet gambling. You'll be directed to a variety
of addresses that will allow you to explore exactly what's out there.
Don't make any hasty decisions. Take the time to shop around. If
possible, take advantage of any opportunities that will allow you
to play for free just to get a little experience and to get a feel
for what virtual gambling is all about.
you have found a site that you like and you are ready to play for
real money, you'll click on a form that will require a certain amount
of information from you, including your credit card number if that's
the method of payment that you choose. Credit card accounts usually
take only minutes to set up. Always start out with the minimum amount.
Once the account is activated you are ready to play.
addition to whatever accounting methods the online casino will supply,
always keep your own records of the amount you have wagered, the
amount you win and lose, and the amount of money in your account
accurate to the dollar. Be on the lookout for hidden fees and other
charges. The casino expects you to make good on your losses. Expect
the casino to make good on your winnings.
that online casinos want to stay in business because they make money.
The only way for them to stay in business is to attract players.
And the only way for them to attract players is to operate a legitimate
and honest site. Chances are you are not going to be hoodwinked.
The fly-by-night operations don't last long.
possible, find out how long the site has been running. The longer
the better. Short of being out and out corrupt, online casinos can
get away with offering bad games and bad rules that often escape
the notice of unwary players. Next time I'll fill you in on how
to be on guard.
on the Internet Part Three
I conclude my 3-part series on Internet gambling today by giving
some pointers on what to look for and what to avoid when playing
casino games in cyberspace.
MACHINES: My first question is this. Are slots something you really
want to play online? No online casino will offer the selection and
variety that a real life casino can offer. If you're a devotee of
slot machines, consider the ramifications of playing a one-dimensional
game online when you can go out and play the interactive games that
have become so popular.
The unregulated nature of online gaming also makes it impossible
to verify that the advertised payback percentage is accurate and
that the random nature of play is assured. There is no such fear
when it comes to state regulated and licensed brick-and-mortar casinos.
it is the speed of play that makes the house edge hit slot players
particularly hard. Time can slip away when you are playing a slot
game on your personal computer in the comfort of your own home.
If you play too fast and too often it doesn't make any difference
what you win. If you don't quit you'll wind up betting it all back.
John Brokopp is a Chicago-based public relations professional, freelance
gambling columnist and published author, he possesses 29 years of
professional experience in gambling and has written two successful
books,'The Insiders Guide to Gambling' and 'Thrifty Gambling'