In a world of legal gray areas and black markets, virtual card games, such as poker, blackjack, bingo, and slot machines have found their way into the realm of what is called gambling. While the use of video game systems for entertainment is widely accepted in North America, it remains illegal in many countries. What constitutes gambling in one country may not be illegal in another. For example, the U.S. states of Delaware and Nevada do not recognize online gambling as gambling in their states. Similarly, the European Commission prohibits the use of some gambling devices in other EU member states, but allows them in order to benefit operators of online betting systems.
Gambling can be broken down into two main types, and it is this second type that draws the line between what is allowed and what is considered illegal. In a traditional casino environment, the player will receive cash, play a certain number of hands (or rounds) with the casino’s bonus or wager, and eventually “cash out” to recoup the cost of the entire room rental. A player can lose money just as easily in a live casino as in a virtual environment. The difference lies in the fact that in a real casino, the casino has protection in the form of security personnel and casino staff, while in a virtual environment, the only protection available is that which can be afforded by the internet provider.
Free Spins One of the more popular forms of gambling on the internet is the use of free spins. In a traditional casino environment, free spins offered by a casino game company mimic the free-spinning action of slot machines found in brick and mortar casinos. When a player wins a spin, they will receive a certain amount of bonus points. The amount of bonus points that can be earned can vary by casino and game, but each casino game does have a maximum amount of free spins allowed. Some casinos also offer cumulative jackpots, which allow players to accumulate reward points and win additional bonuses over time and boost their winnings.
Free Slot Machines Casinos sometimes offers free spins in high-end live casinos in an effort to draw in new gamblers and create excitement for new customers. Players interested in trying out a casino with a bonus first visit a casino with slot machines, where they might win small prizes. This creates a sense of excitement and builds customer confidence, which can often translate into loyalty and referrals. After a player wins a spin and uses their bonus points to purchase tickets, these same customers may then visit a different casino offering bigger bonuses to encourage them to play more. A Barbados casino is a prime example of this kind of location.
Real Money Gambling Bonuses Although free spins and bonus awards are great ways to gamble, real money playing methods tend to differ from random chance. Many slot machines feature progressive jackpots that allow players to increase their chances of winning by use of a series of bets made with each spin. Real money playing methods depend on strategy, timing, and skill rather than luck.
Virtual Items or software are another way some casinos try to define gambling. For example, video poker machines in some casinos offer virtual versions of popular poker hands and card decks. While the game companies claim these virtual items provide a true casino experience, these items can also count as a gambling loss recovery. In this case, the game company makes a profit from the sale of downloadable upgrades that allow players to continue playing the same game.
Digital downloads Other types of downloadable content may be defined as gambling, depending on the type of content. For example, television shows can often be downloaded legally. However, illegal downloads from pirating sites carry significant copyright infringement risks. It is also illegal to redistribute video games illegally, even if one did not own the original copy. Also, certain internet applications, such as peer-to-peer file transfer applications, may be viewed as gambling when not operated for personal use. In these cases, the gambling laws in the country in which the application is offered are considered secondary.
In general, the laws regarding online gambling are quite different than the ones surrounding traditional land-based casinos. This is likely because the two types of gambling involve completely different concepts, including the concept of chance. Gambling laws can vary significantly between jurisdictions, so consulting a lawyer is a good idea regardless of whether an online gambling activity is legal in your jurisdiction.