Who’s not seen an advertisement promoting an online casino? In England, as in Canada, Europe and the US, online casino gaming seems to be everywhere. But are these digital platforms related to real casinos? And most importantly, are they legal and trustworthy? We’ve investigated to find out more.
Online gambling is an industry in itself
Online gambling sites represent an industry so large, it can almost be compared to GAFA. The annual business volumes related to internet casino games equal tens of billions of pounds on a global scale. Game providers, such as Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech, are making casino games non-stop for their online casinos. These online casinos are called operators. Suppliers create and maintain large collections of slot machines and table games that work on web browsers. Moreover, these same games can be downloaded as applications on PC or mobile devices too. The figures related to all these games is enough to make you dizzy! Billions is put down every year. In the United Kingdom alone, Online Gambling is worth more than $10 billion a year (source: Statista.com). It’s probably safe to assume that the figures are similar in North America and Europe too.
Who’s likely to own future casinos?
It depends. After analysing the most popular casino sites on the web, it’s clear that the majority aren’t related to physical casinos. However, if the law allows it, some casino chains do offer their customers online platforms too.
Certain laws in many countries or regions don’t 100% authorize the operation of casino websites. In the US, for example, most states forbid betting real money on casino sites. On the other hand, in Canada, provinces have legalized the operation of online casinos by private operators. If you look at Europe, almost every country has legislation that allows their land casinos to develop on the web. It may seem hard to follow, but each country (or region) has its own specificities. Overall, we can see that online casinos aren’t related to gambling houses. In fact, casino groups in the USA, UK and Europe aren’t very active on the internet. It seems that land-based casinos failed to jump on the wave at the right time, leaving private operators to take over the World Wide Web.
International online casinos
In recent years, casino operators have grown extremely fast on the internet. Groups such as Bet365, Unibet, 888 and William Hill have spread all over the world. These big names in the online gambling industry have, in some ways, replaced classic gambling houses. There are also other groups with a huge online presence. On the OCP Web Guide page, the list of Canada’s top online casinos shows us the most active virtual casinos on the internet. These online casinos are run by groups who’ve become international leaders in virtual casinos.
The expansion of virtual casinos
Just like other online industries, casino gaming followed internet user trends. Smartphone development also contributed to the casino sector’s transformation. As mentioned on the OCP guide (Online Casino Partners), any popular online casino is now mobile-compatible. Once you learn that more than 65% of users play on iPhone and Android, you can understand why smartphones have influenced change in certain sectors.
Which are the safest online gambling sites?
It depends which country or region you’re in. On the American continent, the Canadian-registered gambling halls have the best reputation. However, in Europe, as in Scandinavia, the most reliable virtual casinos are all linked to the Malta Gaming Authority. The UK also has its own Online Gambling Commission (UKGC).
If you want to know which virtual casinos are authorized by these Commissions, simply visit their official websites. The contact details and links of these authorities are listed below. Through their websites, you can see the full list of certified online casinos. There are of course other reference points around the world, but these are currently the best known:
Canada’s Gaming Commission
Name and address:
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
PO Box 1799, Old Malone Highway,
Kahnawake Mohawk Territory,
Quebec, J0L 1B0
The UK’s Gaming Commission
Name and address:
Victoria Square House
Birmingham B2 4BP
European Gaming Commission
Name and address:
Malta Gaming Authority
Building SCM 02-03
To conclude, we can conclusively say that almost all online casinos are run by private companies with no connection to land-based casinos. Depending on which country you live in, online casinos may be permitted, tolerated or prohibited. If you’re tempted by an online casino, it’s best to confirm its reliability by checking specialized online guides like the OCP guide cited earlier. Alternatively, you can contact the Gambling Commission in your region or country to ensure you’ve made a safe choice. Each gaming commission is obliged to inform the public on this matter, so you might as well make the most of it.