Gambling:  Online Versus Off


Certain rules apply whether you’re gambling online or off.  For instance, you’re wagering money on a game of chance hoping you’ll beat the house edge.  Whether you’re playing the slots, poker, bingo or any of a number of other games, if you don’t win their money, you lose yours.


When you go to a brick and mortar casino, there is a festive atmosphere.  The casino is usually in a tourist spot, especially Las Vegas.  Every day is a party and everywhere you go is exciting.  The moment you enter any casino you can hear the sing-song of the slots and the roar at the tables.  There’s nothing else like it.


Online gambling however isn’t nearly as exciting.  It’s still fun to win of course, and when you do, it can really get your blood pumping.  But unless you are engaging in the chat feature and conversing with another gambler, you’re all on your own.  This, incidentally, isn’t always a bad thing.  Although online gaming is not nearly as exciting as its brick and mortar counterpart, it is relaxing.  As long as you’re not wagering your life savings or the grocery money, there’s nothing like sitting up in bed in your jammies waiting to see what number comes up next.


Unfortunately, online gambling is illegal in the United States, and laws are being enacted to make it tougher and tougher to engage in the practice.  It is legal in the United Kingdom and other parts of the world.  The UK regulates online gambling, and because of that regulation, not only does the government get their cut, but the players can feel more protected knowing someone is watching.


It is difficult to play when you know you have no recourse if there is a problem.  You can’t exactly file a complaint against a business when you are engaging in an illegal activity.  Because of the lack of regulation and virtually no oversight, some players in the United States feel especially vulnerable when playing online.


On the other hand, online poker sites have sent poker players to the World Series of Poker after they won online after laying out only a small investment.  Some have gone on to win the WSOP after winning online.  Poker is the fastest growing wagering game in and out of the casinos.  It’s both relaxing and fun after a hard day of work to relax with a few hands of poker online. 


There’s no way online gambling can compare to the excitement of a lavish casino hotel.  Although most online gambling sites give you a chance to earn a bonus amount upon deposit, even that can’t compare to the “comps” you can rack up in Las Vegas and other casinos.  Comps, of course are “complimentaries”, like free food or free rooms based on the amount of money you spend gambling.


Every land-based casino has a player’s club.  You sign up for free and you are issued a player’s club card which you then insert into the slot machine or present at the table game upon the start of your play.  You then earn points based on your play and you can trade these points in for “free play”, buffets, dining at other restaurants, and free rooms.


Online gambling does add a little spice when you start to pull up the old solitaire, then decide you’ll go ahead and test your luck at the online casinos.


Since online horse wagering does not fall into the same legal categories as other types of online gambling, perhaps the fine citizens of the United States can get their gambling fix that way.  At least until we catch up with the British, which by the looks of things, could be a while.


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