The development and success of online casinos is a remarkable story, and one that we have followed with considerable interest here at onlinecasino.ie. Even the concept of an online casino came about as a by-product from the continuing development of online sports gambling by the leading bookmakers. Having invested heavily in the technology and software needed to enable their customers to place bets on sports and sporting events online, the bookmakers decided to try to maximise the returns on that investment by adding a few casino games to their sports gambling sites in the hope that their customers would spend more time online and therefore perhaps spend more money. That decision was what kick started the online casino sector as we know it today. Although the original idea of being able to play casino games online was initially aimed at providing sports gambling fans with a variety of other gambling options, it quickly began to attract a totally different audience made up of existing casino games fans who played at a real casino, and to many peoples’ surprise a large number of bingo fans enticed by the numbers games which were now available online. The development of the online casino sector we know today was not all plain sailing of course, and the site operators and their casino software suppliers needed to be quite innovative in response to certain problems. The live online casino feature for example was widely regarded as one of the most important elements in the early development of online casinos, and some would argue even now that without that innovation the successful growth of online casinos may well have stalled. As we have already pointed out many of the first people to be attracted to the idea of playing casino games at an online casino were actually already regular visitors to a real casino where they would have enjoyed playing roulette and probably blackjack in a very different environment to that when playing online. As with many new experiences, particularly when it involves financial transactions on the internet there is also a question of trust, and this is where the problems began to arise. Almost every one of the casino games featured by the online casinos relies on a Random Number Generator or RNG to determine the winning number, the next card drawn or any winning combination. Twenty years ago when online casinos were only just becoming available, the only RNG that most people would have recognised was probably ‘Ernie’ which was used to select winning Premium Bonds, so establishing trust in this method of determining who would be a winner was of primary importance to the online casino site operators. Unfortunately although the use of an RNG was generally accepted for most of the online casino games, the traditional casino games of roulette proved to be more of a problem for the casino software developers. Try as they might the software designers could not satisfactorily simulate the movement of the ball on a roulette wheel as it was moved towards the pre-selected winning number, raising questions in some peoples’ minds as to the fairness of the game.
Nowadays of course we are very used to the idea of using an RNG to determine winning numbers, but during the early years it is easy to understand why some people had doubts. Clearly those doubts had to be resolved and the live online casino option now available at almost every online casino was the solution the software developers came up with. Most versions of the live online casino option still involve streaming the games from a remote studio using a real roulette wheel and real dealers, although there is now another approach which we will discuss later. The use of a real roulette wheel clearly resolves all the issues regarding the computer graphics associated with the game of roulette, but using real dealers to manage the game from a remote studio does raise other concerns for some online casino games players. For many people one of the most important attractions of playing casino games at an online casino is the fact that almost all of the games can be played for very small stakes. Unfortunately setting up and maintaining a studio is a far more expensive proposition than managing a web site, so many online casino operators have therefore increased the minimum table stake for some casino games when played in the live online casino mode to compensate for the increased costs. It is also important to point out another potential downside to playing roulette in particular when streamed from a remote studio, and that is the time limit players have to place their bets. Anyone who has played roulette at a real casino will be familiar with the mayhem which often accompanies placing bets on a busy roulette table, but many online players enjoy having the time to consider where they wish to place their bets. The problem is that the dealers in the studio can’t see the players and therefore have to manage each spin according to a set time sequence. In spite of these drawbacks the live online casino option is a very welcome improvement in the online casino experience for many people, and for those who do not like playing in the live mode every online casino still offers all the games in the normal way.
We commented earlier in this article that there is now an alternative approach to the live online casino feature, and this was first introduced at the All Irish casino. The popular casino games of roulette, blackjack and baccarat can now all be played in the live casino mode at the All Irish casino with the games actually streamed live from a real casino based in Malta. There is no doubt that playing these casino games in the company of the customers of a real casino is as close as we are ever going to get to the real atmosphere and excitement of a real casino while still playing online.