An online casino (virtual casino) is a casino accessible via telecommunication. Generally a virtual casino is accessible via the Internet.
Online casinos often offer higher payout rate than real casinos because their costs are much lower for functioning (less staff, no building to accommodate players, etc.).
Their international operating principle, however, poses many problems as it allows legislators to pass national limitations.
Online casinos are divided into two main categories:
- Download casino: The player must first download a program to install on his personal computer and this program communicates with the game server.
- No download casino: The display is managed directly by the game server, HTML, Java or Flash.
The download casinos typically offer better graphics and animations to the price of time to download and install.
The player makes his bets on his personal computer. Choices are transmitted to a game server. It uses a generator of pseudorandom numbers (PRNG) for determining the outcome of the game. Then, it calculates the losses or gains and returns the result to the computer to display to the player (usually with graphics and sound animations) .It is impossible to know if the software used is truly random and there are numerous testimonies software stories where players are losing to the exclusive benefit of the online casino.
Online casinos is a part of growing revenues from online gambling. There are no reliable estimates of the turnover generated by them but can easily be estimated at over $ 2 billion per year.
The laws of the countries on the virtual casinos are divided into 5 categories:
- No specific legislation.
- Legal prohibition: it is illegal to operate a virtual casino or to place bets.
- Local authorization: the country’s operators (generally monopolies) can exploit virtual casinos on which the bets are allowed only to residents of the country.
- Review in progress: a debate is underway on whether to legalize online gaming. Most often, when the debate is initiated it shows a willingness to go to legalization, usually under the principle of local authorization.
- General authorization: the countries that have authorized the operation of international virtual casinos on their soil.
It is almost impossible to countries prohibiting casino to perform any control, especially as game servers are located in jurisdictions where such activity is legal.