When I was young, so many years ago I can hardly remember, gambling was so much easier. You either got in your car or on an airplane, and went where people were playing casino games for real money, or you asked around and found out where the floating games were for that night. I guess when I was starting out, the illegal kind was always more exciting until you got to know everyone • ” then it was down to a routine. After that, going to a real casino had the edge. But everything loses its shine eventually.

Then along came the internet with a whole lot more freedom. Although when you look around today there is a whole new bunch of casinos opening up, nothing really beats the convenience of sitting at home and playing your way through games in comfort. Yet, there is a “crackdown”. The US has been legislating. This has produced international litigation with Antigua taking action against the US. This is more action than you see in some casinos.

I suppose some of the motivation for regulation is the sense that online gaming is not regulated. Go into any real world casino, and you should always be “safe” • ” except from your own gambling habit, of course. There are security cameras everywhere making sure no-one is going to cheat you. Regulators check the slots to make sure they are all working properly. Once you are online, there are no external eyes looking after you. You have to protect yourself. Except you do not know who the company is behind the online casino.

Another explanation for the US Government’s action is protectionism • ” that too many online dollars means less profit for the real world gaming establishments in the US.

So why should anyone want to play online? All you have are a few animated versions of the casino games that lack any sense of physical involvement. Worse, some of the games just are not the same. For example, thanks to the random number generator, counting the cards in online blackjack is a waste of time.

But because the overheads for running an online casino are significantly less than the real world equivalents (paying salaries to all those countless people is not required), the online payout schedules are more generous. Online operators can afford to return more of the stake money to the players and still make a good profit. This means you get better odds on the slots and at the roulette table than you would in the real world. But even more importantly, once you are online, you can switch games at the click of a mouse. You no longer have to wait on other players or croupiers. There is always another game ready to play. Because you do not have people looking over your shoulder (and judging you), you have more freedom to learn new games or try out different strategies without people getting impatient with you. And finally, you can get free money. In the real world, you can get drinks, food and, sometimes, accommodation comped. Online, the only thing the casino can give you is a credit of money.

So does that mean online gaming is a “good thing”? The only thing wrong with it is that it is too easy to play. There you are at home or sitting in a hot spot with your wifi laptop and there is no-one to tap you on the shoulder to warn you that you are riding a losing streak into bankruptcy. But, so long as you have your gambling under control, you say when, where and how long you play. What can be better than that?

By Elizabeth Tudor
Elizabeth Tudor is a contributor to http://www.greatgameslive.com and has been an experienced gambler for years, providing assistance wherever casino games help is needed. Learn more tips here: http://www.greatgameslive.com/