Live Television and Internet Hybrid Gaming
The beginning of the twenty-first century saw the United Kingdom move from a country with a conservative outlook towards internet gambling to one that has a liberalized stance on it. The UK government managed to properly legalize and regulate internet casinos and successfully turned it into the cash cow it is today.
Internet gambling sites are welcomed in the UK; land-based casinos open far more easily; membership and registration requirements have all but disappeared. In the centre of London you can simply walk into casinos without any ID and gamble for thousands of pounds.
As technology progresses licenses for mobile telephone gambling sites have been established, and television channels dedicated to encourage players to gamble are now flourishing. Is this a good thing? Not necessarily, since gambling has its worst effect on those from poor socio-economic backgrounds. Therefore it is absolutely imperative that internet casinos must be properly regulated, perpetuate fair gaming, and to make it a conscious decision for people to wager.
However, the fact remains that we know have casino channels broadcasting, all day and all night, predominantly Roulette games but also Blackjack variations, and Bingo-style casino games. More and more people are playing online with these games and the average bet is increasing as players become familiar with the method of gambling. In this section we’re going to briefly introduce you the various forms of hybrid internet gambling.
Live Television Hybrid Gambling
This mode of gambling combines live broadcast on a cable and satellite channel simulating a Roulette wheel. The actual result is defined by a Random Number Generator (RNG), with a jolly presenter announcing when the table is open for bets, when the betting must end, and announcing the big winners. The end of the betting period is marked, not by the statement “No more bets”, but rather weirdly, by the phrase “Table closed”. Strictly speaking if one sees a “tables closed” sign you tend to walk to another one, but this is the terminology used.
Each spin takes place at 90-second intervals. While bets being placed, the presenter will explain how to sign up with the associated website, how to place bets, and what the payoffs for each bet will be. Bets are placed via the website and the screen name you choose will appear onscreen with your bets and winnings. Occasionally, the presenter will mention your name; the overall idea is to make you feel part of a happy “gambling community”. However, as with all internet gaming, this activity is a solitary one, without the human back-up of a real community of friends, and the fail-safe advice than can sometimes prevent you from losing too much cash.
On the website for each of these channels is a fully-fledged internet casino persuading players to try their hand at other casino games, and not just those that are combined with the television broadcasters. The “wheels’ are at least single-zero models and there is no reason to believe that this style of gambling is any more likely to be “dishonest” than any other online operator. If anything, the fact that the games are broadcast should ensure that the RNG is licensed and up to date, and that the game is free from interference. Since a minimum of 2.7 per cent is being taken by the house for every GBP 1 bet made, the channel is probably doing very well. Since the casino game played is nearly always Roulette, and this is not necessarily always the best game for the player.
Live Dealer Internet Casinos
Online casino operators vary from the opportunists who set up a site, promote it successfully and then let off-the-shelf software run the entire operation, and those who genuinely attempt to innovate. Lately the latest innovation addresses the concerns of honesty and reliability of the in-built RNG, by replacing it with a live dealer. In case of Roulette bets are placed as usual online, by placing chips via your mouse on the Roulette layout. However, instead of you pressing an on-screen “Spin” button, when the betting has taken place the live dealer (appearing via webcam on your screen) announces that the betting is complete, and the spin will be made. The camera focuses on the live wheel, the ball is spun and the player waits for the outcome. The result is fed into the computer, the programs pays you in the correct manner and betting for the next spins start all over again.
No RNG is involved; players can see all the action of a Roulette game played out in front of them while having confidence that the result is truly random and not at the mercy of some secretive computer software. Already, the idea is proving to be very successful and popular. The downside is that internet casinos have to pay stuff to operate the tables instead of benefitting from negligible staffing overheads. To be honest players trust a real, live human being far more than a hidden RNG.
Game designers are already working on other human/online interactive casino games. It seems that the rise of internet gambling will be tempered by the need to see humans in charge of the sensitive stuff.
Mobile Internet Gambling
If internet gambling in your own home on your PC or Apple presents a threat of ever-present temptation, then the almost inevitable “progress” to mobile internet gambling takes this a couple of notches further. Casino owners would ideally like everyone gambling for every minute of the day and night. Truth be told, the advent of mobile internet gambling although very convenient cannot always be a good thing.
Even with improving graphics and expanding screen size, the whole experience might not be as entertaining as playing in front of your computer at an internet casino. This said there is no reason to suspect that internet gaming on your mobile telephone will be any more or less trustworthy than ordinary online gaming, after all the software is controlled by a Random Number Generator (RNG).
To us television should be a relaxing experience. We doubt that the increased stress levels of gambling on TV will be beneficial. Similarly, if passengers on the bus and train are gambling via their mobiles as they travel to and fro from work, not only do they stand a chance of losing their hard-earned cash, they might just irritate their fellow passengers.
Sadly, nowadays making money from gambling has become very easy for internet casinos. It’s important that prospective players must ensure they only choose internet gambling operators that offer the best customer service and that the most generous casino games are offered, in other words casino games that have a low house edge. Always ensure that you properly manage your bankroll and make sure you don’t fall into the trap of spending too much money than you should.