Any successful businessman or woman will tell you that it is absolutely essential to be adaptable and prepared to move with the times, and we all know of famous businesses which could not or would not change and as a result ceased to exist. Fortunately for those of us who enjoy gambling, any accusation of failure to change with the times would be wide of the mark for most gambling companies. The leading bookmakers for instance were quick to recognise that the internet was becoming more and more accessible to the public, and that we were beginning to use it for a whole range of everyday activities from banking to shopping. As a result of that willingness to adapt to the changing world, they were happy to invest in the technology and software necessary to operate an internet site and provide their customers with the option to gamble online. The first online gambling sites were targeted specifically at their sports gambling customers, but once again the bookmakers operating those sites were prepared to try something new and we saw the beginnings of what we now refer to as the online casino sector of the gambling world. The decision to introduce a few gambling games onto their online sports gambling sites proved so successful that we saw a huge flurry of activity as all the online gambling site operators rushed to add more and more games to compete with their rivals. Included among the first games to appear online were many of the traditional casino games you would find in real casinos all over the world, but as more games were added so the term online casino games began to encompass any gambling game which was available online. Online bingo for instance would nowadays come under the heading of being a casino game, as do the huge array of slots games which form the major part of almost every online casino. This rush to make more and more casino games available online was also responsible for the growing influence of the online casino software companies within the online gambling market, because it was the casino software companies who were responsible for the design and supply of the majority of the online casino games. Clearly the software companies did not invent the traditional casino games such as roulette, blackjack and poker, but they are responsible for the graphics we see on our screens. It was a combination of one of those traditional casino games and the associated computer graphics which led to another example of the adaptability of the big bookmakers operating the online casino sites, namely what we now call the live online casino option. Most of the traditional casino games proved very easy to transfer to the online environment, but the game of roulette was not so readily moved online. The problem lay in the fact that in common with almost every online casino game the winning number or combination is determined by a Random Number Generator or RNG, which meant that if the roulette wheel was to form part of the computer graphics it had to illustrate the movement of the ball as it moved to the selected number. Making that movement look natural however proved to be impossible and it began to give rise to a few conspiracy theories regarding the fairness of online roulette and by implication all online casino games. The solution was to offer roulette in the live online casino mode, which meant that the game was controlled by real dealers with a real roulette wheel working in a remote studio and then streamed live to our screens. Clearly this was a massive step on the part of the online casino operators, because employing dealers and running a studio was obviously more expensive that running the game on an internet site. One of the big advantages of playing casino games online rather than in a real casino is that the low overheads associated with operating an internet site allows us to play for very much lower stakes. Although almost every online casino now offers a live online casino option, most of them have also increased the minimum table stakes for games played in this mode. Continuing to demonstrate their flexibility however, most online casinos also now offer blackjack and baccarat in the live online casino mode, and have even developed the technology to enable players to communicate with the dealers as they play. This is of course exactly what happens in most real casinos and usually adds to the enjoyment of playing casino games at a real casino.
At most online casinos the live online casino mode is still only offered as an option because they know that it is not popular with all their customers. We have already mentioned the potentially higher minimum table stakes, but that is not the only reason why some casino games players don’t like playing roulette in the live online casino mode. Because the game is operated remotely in a studio, the dealers cannot see the players and therefore have to run the games strictly according to a predetermined timetable. That means that players only have a set time to place their bets and many online roulette players prefer to take their time. Those of us who started playing roulette in the hustle and bustle of a real casino will know how hectic placing bets on a busy roulette table can be, so we can probably sympathise with those who consider it spoils their fun.
Since the introduction of small specialist online casinos we have seen a further development in the concept of the live online casino mode. The All Irish casino for example now offers roulette and baccarat actually streamed live from a real casino situated on the Mediterranean island of Malta. It would be difficult to think of a more realistic approach to resolving the problem of unsatisfactory computer graphics associated with online roulette. The disadvantages are still there of course but the atmosphere of a real casino can make up for those drawbacks.