When the big bookmakers decided to start adding a few casino games to their online sports gambling sites no one really knew whether the public would take to the idea of playing casino games online. At the time the only places where we could easily access any gambling games were the few real casinos, the town centre bingo clubs and the slot machine arcades which were beginning to appear on our high streets. Of these opportunities only the bingo clubs had what could be described as popular public support, with the rest really only attracting minority support among the general public. The power of the internet however, coupled with the rapidly developing access devices such as our tablets and sophisticated mobile phones quickly ensured that our love affair with online activities such as shopping and communication through email and sites such as facebook, transferred easily and quickly to online gambling. In terms of the popularity of online casinos there were a few teething problems, but the site operators and the casino software companies responded very quickly and introduced several new innovations, including what turned out to be the most important new feature, the live online casino option. Any new idea is almost guaranteed to attract some critics and doubters, particularly when it involves gambling and paying money to an internet site both of which need absolute trust to be successful, and even though the first online casinos were almost all operated by the major bookmakers who we knew and trusted there was one particular casino game which raised doubts in some people’s minds and that was the traditional game of roulette. Almost every online casino game relies on a Random Number Generator or RNG to determine the winning number or combination, but before the introduction of online casinos most of us had never heard of an RNG let alone had reason to trust such a device. In fact the only major activity which may have drawn our attention to the use of an RNG at the time was the one used to determine the winning numbers for the UK Government’s Premium Bonds, nicknamed ERNIE. Using an RNG to determine winning combinations for online casino games would have been accepted without question for the vast majority of the casino games featured on the online casino sites, but the popular traditional casino game of roulette was the one exception because the casino software developers were unable to replicate the usual movement of the ball on a roulette wheel as it moved towards the pre-determined winning number. At the time that problem was all it took to raise doubts about the fairness of the casino games being offered online.
Nowadays of course we have become so accustomed to making financial transactions on the internet that those doubts would be insignificant, but twenty years ago they needed to be addressed urgently and a solution found. The answer was what we now call the live online casino option which is offered by almost every online casino site for the game of roulette and is now also offered on a few other games such as baccarat and blackjack on many sites. The live online casino option allows players to play roulette with real dealers using a real roulette wheel in a remote studio, with the game then being streamed live to our screens. Clearly using a real roulette wheel resolves the perceived problems associated with the use of an RNG, and brings online roulette closer to the way it is played in a real casino. Whilst the live online casino option is clearly a good way to resolve the issue of trust, it also has its own problems and is therefore not universally popular among online casino games players. The first of these problems is that some online casino operators have felt it necessary to increase the minimum table stakes for casino games played in the live online casino mode. To a certain extent this is understandable because the costs of employing real dealers and maintaining a studio obviously exceed those necessary to operate an internet site, but one of the big selling points of playing casino games online is that most of the games can be played for very small stakes and can therefore be enjoyed by a wider range of the population. Many of us began to play roulette in a real casino and are therefore accustomed to the idea of there being a time limit on how long we have to place our bets, but for those new players whose only experience of playing the game is at an online casino the idea of having a set time in which to place their bets is very unpopular, particularly for a game such as roulette where placing multiple bets is a major part of the game. Unfortunately the dealers managing the games from a remote studio are isolated from the players and therefore have to run the games according to a strict timetable which therefore clearly limits the time we have to place our bets. For many people this is more of a turn-off than the increased minimum table stakes, and is another reason why the live online casino option is not universally accepted as the best way to play the game of roulette.
As we have already said the original reasons for introducing the live online casino option are no longer as relevant as they were twenty years ago, so those of us who choose to play casino games such as roulette in the live casino mode are probably doing so because it is closer to the experience of playing casino games in a real casino. Being able to play casino games from the comfort of our own homes does have a number of benefits, but there is nothing like the hustle and bustle of a real casino to create excitement, and many of us who have experienced that buzz almost certainly miss it and are therefore the most likely to use the live online casino option where it is available.