Best Online Casinos
Top casino sites with exclusive bonuses
Online casinos were first introduced to the gambling public in or around 1995. In the beginning, these casinos were merely an offshoot from online sports books. That all changed in late 1995 when the first relevant online casino (Internet Casinos Inc.) was introduced by Microgaming. In 1996, Microgaming saw a great opportunity to dominate the industry and sold all of its casinos interests in order to focus on developing a top-flight gaming software platform.
For the first 2-3 years, online casinos ran with minimal regulatory oversight. The first jurisdiction to offer any kind of licensing was Costa Rica. Unfortunately, it was only a business license and didn't offer players much in the way of rules and regulations for their protection. By the beginning of the 21st century, a group of smaller republics and countries saw an opportunity to step in and regulate the industry. Jurisdictions such as Curacao, Malta and Gibraltar assigned government agencies to developed standards of operation.
As it turned out, online gaming operators that were looking for legitimacy, were more than willing to comply with gaming rules if it meant offering players peace of mind. Today, there are dozens of regulatory agencies that license online casinos. Players should look for names like the UK Gambling Commission, Isle of Man, Alderney and Kahnawake as well as the aforementioned Curacao, Gibraltar and Malta.
As mentioned above, Microgaming was the first company to focus on developing a software platform that worked well over the Internet. The company's initial software product was simple and offered approximately 50 different games. By the early 2000s, several other gaming software companies added divisions that focused on gambling games. As the competition increased, developers were challenged to develop more and better games. Today, there are as many as fifty different companies developing platforms and games. Major industry players include Betsoft, Playtech, RealTime Gaming, TopGame and Rival Gaming.
"Safe and Fair" Casinos
In order to assure players they are playing games that are "safe and fair," software platform developers have created random number generators (RNG) to produce random results when spinning a reel, throwing dice or drawing cards. Most regulatory agencies now require that each online casino's RNG be tested and certified by an independent body in order to protect players from manipulation and cheating. Today, the three primary testing companies used by a majority of the developers and casinos are iTech Labs, eCOGRA and GLI, doing business as TST. Players should look for RNG certification prior to joining an online casino site.
During the early years, players were required to download a number of files in order to play casino games over the Internet. The downloads were voluminous and took a long time to complete. Unfortunately, there were no other alternatives. Further complicating the process was the fact that earlier versions only worked with PC, leaving MAC and Linux users out in the cold. As technology improved into the late 2000s, companies like Microgaming and Playtech began developing a separate platform that worked directly from a player's web-browser (flash mode).
This gave players access to online casino games regardless of what type of personal computer they were using. In recent years, further advancements have brought Internet gambling right to the players through their mobile devices. Owners of smartphones and tablets can now play casino games while on the go. Since mobile apps are still in its infancy, games tend to be limited, but more games are being added every day.
It goes without saying that online gaming casinos are only as good as the games they offer. Modern technology has allowed game developers to innovate beyond imagination. Today, players have access to hundreds of games, depending on which casinos they employ. While most software developers offer rather generic table games (blackjack, roulette, baccarat, poker, craps Sic Bo, Red Dog), video poker and scratch cards, it is 3D video slots that drive the industry.
Advancements in gaming technology and competition have inspired game developers to push the envelop and come up with amazing graphics and video/audio features. They also innovate fun and exciting bonus games, which offer players more chances to win big money. For players who enjoy being in a live casino, game developers are now developing gaming simulations where a live dealer initiates the gaming action in an interactive forum.
Where and Which to Choose?
There are literally hundreds if not thousands of casinos from which to choose. It's up to the player to confirm that a site is properly licensed and certified before joining. Aside from that, players are typically "recruited" by casinos with some amazing bonus promotions. Hundreds of dollars are offered for doing nothing more than signing up and making deposits. Of course, the player is required to fulfill certain requirements in order to actually get money, but it's fun trying. Our site here provides a list of a lot of good casinos that are worth trying out.