you're new to gambling on the internet then I bet you have a
bunch of questions about the online gambling industry.
Hope the discussion below is helpful.
many casinos/sports books
are there on the Internet?
Are all Internet
casinos/sports books licensed?
Are all casinos/sports books
honest and trustworthy?
What do I need to do to
do I set up an account and play with real money?
safe to deposit money
with an Internet casino or sports book?
How are game outcomes
How do I know the software
is not cheating me?
How can I be sure that
winnings will be paid out and how long will this take?
What games can I play at
Are returns similar across
do I receive my winnings?
Who supplies the internet casinos with their
where do you recommend I gamble?
it legal to gamble online?
to know more?
mainstream awareness of the online gambling industry is relatively new,
rest assured, it is not a new industry. In fact in internet
terms it is quite old. A handful of casinos and sports books have
been operating since 1996.
A number of the pioneer operators are still on-line today, and are among
the industries bigger and more reputable names.
While nobody knows the exact size of the industry, analysts such as Christian
Capital Advisors and Datamonitor estimate that it was worth around US$1 billion
in player losses in 2001. It is expected that this figure will almost
treble by 2003. That equates to a lot of people gambling on-line.
Results of a survey published in PRNewswire (22 March 2001) claimed that
approximately 8 million people have already gambled with real money online.
And estimates of future growth suggest that more and more punters are becoming
comfortable with the Internet as a safe and convenient gambling medium.
at September 1999, Christian Capital Advisors estimated that there were
approximately 700 casinos taking money bets over the Internet. The number
today is probably closer to 1000. Add to this 250 or so Internet sports
books, and you begin to get an idea of the vast number of operators out there.
study released in March 2001 by analysts Bear Sterns suggested that there were
between 1,200 and 1,400 sites accepting real money wagers online - which is
probably a pretty fair estimate.
to operate online casinos or sports books are issued by the Governments of a
number countries, mainly in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands. Antigua Barbuda,
St Kitts, Vanuatu, and the Dominican Republic are notable licensing
jurisdictions for Internet gambling operators. Other countries such
as South Africa and certain EU countries are investigating licensing options. Australia
recently legislated to allow the operation of Australian based casinos and
sports books subject to restrictions regarding the acceptance of bets from
Australian residents. The US government continues to grapple with the
issue of whether to regulate or ban online gambling.
all current operators are licensed however. Fly by night renegade
operators launch weekly. It has been estimated that up to 20% of all
Internet casinos currently accepting bets are not licensed to do so.
not. In addition to operators that are not licensed, a good proportion of
licensed operators are less than scrupulous. Many licensing jurisdictions
do not have stringent probity requirements and regulation of licensees not
strict. As a consequence, even the licensed portion of the online gambling
industry is largely self regulated, with operating practises dictated to a large
extent by the operator itself (or its software provider).
is probably fair to say that almost 40% of the industry as it currently stands,
is best left untouched. Common complaints from customers who have had the
misfortune to play with dishonest operators include:
to pay out winnings
delays before winnings are paid out
of rigged proprietary software, with outcomes not randomly generated
with no warning, without refunding deposited funds
the bad news. Now for the good news. There are a number of operators
out there who are striving to establish themselves as legitimate, trustworthy
casinos that now have satisfied player bases numbering in the tens of thousands.
They license software from large, respected suppliers such as Microgaming or
Cryptologic whose products have been tested to the nth degree and now satisfy
even the most ardent skeptics as to their fairness (in fact Cyptologic's latest
software has actually satisfied the very strict probity requirements of at least
one Australian state government gaming regulator).
chances of winning money at these casinos is every bit as good as your chances
of winning at your local terrestrial casino, and any winnings are sure to be
sent out to you within a few days of your withdrawal request.
are 2 broad categories of casino game – those that must be downloaded on to
your computer before you can play, and those that can be played directly from
the case of download casinos, it will generally take around 20 minutes to
download the casino software onto your computer. The downloaded software
enables you to play games that are faster and graphically more appealing than
the browser based games.
the downloaded software is invariably a quick and simple task that you shouldn't
have too many problems with. And that's it! All you need to do now
is play the games for free to get a good feel for game play commands (how do I
bet/hit/stand/limits etc), before trying your luck for real.
order to play casino games for real money, or place a bet on your favourite team
for real money, you will need to establish an account by depositing money with
your chosen casino or sports book. Once money is deposited you simply bet
from your account, with losses deducted and winnings added.
operators allow a wide range of deposit options, including major credit cards (ie
the same way you buy most other things on the net), wire transfer, personal
check or bank draft, as well as via a range of well known e-commerce
casinos listed on Absolutely Gambling use 128 bit encryption security to
transfer information and funds confidentially and securely. What this
basically means is that transacting with these casinos is every bit as safe as
transacting with major banks and financial institutions on-line.
you choose to play at a casino not listed on our site, make sure that all
information and funds transfer take place from a secure site. Your browser
will indicate whether or not you are at a secure site - Internet Explorer users
will see a small padlock symbol at the bottom right of their browser window
status bar, Netscape users should see a similar padlock on their browser.
varies from casino to casino. Skeptics will tell you that game outcomes
are rigged to give the casino a bigger house edge than they would otherwise
have. I have also read player claims that at certain casinos outcomes
appear random until the ante is upped, then all of a sudden the dealer wins all
the high value bets. And to be fair, I would not be surprised if some
casinos utilising proprietary software did cheat players in this way - remember
there are over 1000 out there and a significant percentage of operators are not
honest and/or licensed.
if we leave aside the less than scrupulous operators and address the legitimate
casinos, then the answer to this question is that outcomes of the games
are determined by various random number generation systems. Casinos
using Boss Media software, for example, employ a Geiger-Müller Tube Detector to
guarantee random number generation. Therefore, the number that the
roulette ball lands on, the number that the die add to in craps, or the value of
the next card that is dealt for all card games is totally random.
With respect to card games, it is worth noting that at all online casinos, each
deal is from a full shuffled deck (so that card counting is not possible).
number of casinos (and almost all listed at Absolutely Gambling) are taking that
extra step to prove that all game outcomes are dictated by random number
generation. Third party audit of return to player rates across all games
has been sought to prove that, in aggregate, these casinos return similar
amounts to players as terrestrial casinos. Gold Club Casino for example,
had its return to player rate across all games audited and verified by
PriceWaterouseCoopers to be a very healthy 98.07% for the month of April 2001.
you consider that returns for games such as slots and keno are typically below
95%, then this means that these guys must be returning close to 100% on games
such as blackjack.
you take your chances with any casino you find online, then you cannot be sure
that winnings will be paid out at all, let alone within a reasonable time.
Before adding casinos to our list we test their payout reliability to ensure
that you won’t have this problem. These guys will pay reasonably fast.
game that you have ever seen or played in a normal casino can be found on the
casinos listed at Absolutely Gambling. Black Jack, Roulette, Craps, Slots,
Baccarat, Sic Bo, Pai Gow, Keno, all types of Poker, the list goes on. In
most cases you can also chat with other customers while you play, adding to the
realism of the experience.
As for terrestrial gambling, returns differ substantially from game to game.
To give you some idea of where the good money is, returns by game type, as paid
by The Sands for the month of January 2001, were as follows:
a general rule, no skill games tend to return less than games requiring skill
and player judgement. If possible avoid games such as slots, bingo
(or keno) etc and stick to the table games and your dollar will go a lot
more details on game rules, strategies and payouts, read our rules
& strategies page.
order to receive your winnings, you simply make a withdrawal
from your casino or sports book account. As for
deposits, most operators offer a number of withdrawal
check (offered by almost all operators)
- wire transfer (offered by few operators)
- debit to credit card to the value of original credit
amount (offered by few
are a number of software providers out there licensing software to online casino
operators. Some casinos employ their own proprietary software, but the
vast majority license software from one of the many software providers now
peddling their wares to the industry. The industries principle
software licensors are Cryptologic,
Media, and Starnet
Systems . Other well known gambling software vendors
Interactive Gaming and Wagering
Gaming Tech Corporation
Real Time Gaming
For a comprehensive list of software
vendors, as well as details on most licensing jurisdictions, visit GamblingLicenses.com
- begin by playing at the casinos or sports books which we have played at, and
which we believe satisfy our selection criteria, ie:
are well regarded in the industry as a reputable player, by both
organizations and players alike;
they have their
return to player rates reviewed by a 'Big 5 accounting firm';
account set up is easy;
they have good
they have great
game/betting line range; and
Check them out, and good luck.
are few laws specifically dealing with gambling online so
the legality is a
grey area. Some governments (eg Australia) have moved
to ban online gambling specifically, and this is an area
where change could happen very quickly. In the US, in any event, online gambling
is so common that it's unlikely that U.S. or state
governments can do much to stop individuals from doing it. The only
prosecutions we've ever heard of involved
operators who were running their sites in the U.S. instead of offshore.
There was also the recent conviction of Joel Cohen, the
president of the online sports book World Sports Exchange, when a jury found
him guilty for accepting a bet from a resident of New York - a state where
gambling is illegal. However, and not surprisingly, none of his
New York customers who placed bets with his service were prosecuted. There has never been a
prosecution (or even an attempted prosecution) of a US patron of an online casino/sportsbook,
so you have very little to worry about there.
a more in depth discussion of online gambling legal issues.
If you have any more questions that you would like answered,
please feel free to contact
us, and we will be happy to answer them as best we can and as soon as
In the mean time, gamble safe, and good luck!