Should You Play Slots Online or at Land Based Casinos?

There’s been a great deal of discussion about online gambling recently with legislators, operators and the global community of gamblers trying to fathom complex matters such as Internet “locality”. In the midst of these deliberations, many players have been wanting to assess the relative merits of gambling online or at land-based casinos.

Through all of this there has been a lack of focus on the experience of the person who actually plays money at a casino. How about the gamblers who are central to any issues concerning casinos? We pose the sensible opening question – which are better, online or land-based slot machines?

Land-based slots are the world’s most popular casino game. They pay more winnings to gamblers than all of the other casino games together. But how well does this cherished form of land-based gambling adapt to online play? The vast majority of slots enthusiasts believe it has made the transition splendidly. The online versions of slots have become the most-played form of online casino games, owing in part to the ease of finding slots on the Internet (they’re also easy enough to find and play at land-based casinos) and in part to the fact that the game play is so simple.

Slot machines at land-based casinos have been controlled by computers for many years, so it’s relatively easy to adapt the game to play online. Some players are puzzled when you tell them a land-based slot machine is no more than a computer in a fancy case, but this is exactly what it is. These slots are driven by a microprocessor with a built-in random number generator. They work just like the online versions because the operating software is hard-coded in the microprocessor.
This means there is not much of a difference between the way the game works and how the odds compute for online or land-based slot machines. But there are some differences.

The most obvious difference, the one that will forever separate the two forms, is that you can’t physically put your hands on an online slot. Similarly, land-based machines have much bigger and more spectacular light and sound displays, although the graphics on the online slots are sophisticated enough these days to emulate reality pretty well.

There are numerous less evident advantages of playing online slots. For a start, you choose the time, place and the most comfortable seat in the house. You can play with your own refrigerator, DVD music system and other personal comforts close to hand. This is one of the great appeals of online casinos – you can visit them and experience all of their excitement without stepping outside your own home! And you can interrupt play whenever you like without worrying that some other gambler is going to annex your place at the machine.

Possibly the most telling difference between playing slots at an online compared with a land-based casino is the nature of the comps you receive. At a land-based establishment, the keen slots player may receive a coupon or some similar small comp as a reward for slaving away at a machine for several hours. It’s quite different online because the competition among casinos is so intense.

With the Internet it doesn’t matter where in the world you live, every online casino would love to lure your custom. As a result you can get a comp simply for deciding to play at a given casino regardless of how much you’ve gambled there. The sign-up bonus is a common online attraction. It gives you a substantial value in real credits at the casino and you can exploit this bonus to swell your bankroll, spend more time playing the slots and experience more opportunities to be a winner.

Many slots players find it genuinely gratifying to receive a comp in advance rather than after having to earn it by achieving a certain level of play. If you add the comps to the other advantages of online slots, it should be easy to see which version best meets the needs of the players.

Slot Machine Addiction

With modern slot machines there’s a greatest potential for a dangerous side effect; gambling addiction as more people are addicted to slots than any other form of gambling. The modern slots are like hightech video games that play music and scenes from TV shows. You can play hundreds of lines at once and instead of pulling a handle you bet by pushing buttons which means each bet can be completed in as little as 3.5 seconds.

It looks like great fun but it can be dangerously addictive. Whether or not it’s their intention the gambling industry is designing machines that can addict people.

One MIT Anthropology Professor had studied gambling addiction for over 15 years. She’s interviewed gamblers, casino owners and slot machine designers.

One question we put to her was – Do you think that most people would even think that a machine could addict you, that a machine can do the same thing that a drug could?

Answer: What addiction really has to do is with the speed of the rewards and these machines they’re packing 1200 hands per hour into play. You’re being exposed as you can see that being exposed to a higher dose because all that speed means more bets and that means more excitement.

Another core aspect of their addictiveness is their continuous nature. You’re not interrupted by anything. You’re not waiting for the horses to run. You’re not waiting for the guy next to you to choose his card to put down. There’s no one in that wheel spinning it’s just you and the machine. It’s a continuous flow without interruption.

Researchers at the University of Waterloo in Canada measured how players respond physiologically while they gamble and show that the new machines can make them think they’re winning even when they’re not. The gamblers almost always get some many back. If he puts in a dollar he might get back 50 cents but the sounds and flickering lights trick his brain into thinking he came out ahead. “The constant feeling of winning creates so much pleasure”. The regular players can slip in a trance like state, a place she calls the zone.

So if you want to play the slots or the electronic roulette machines please take precautions by limiting the amount of time spent playing also the amount of money you risk. Play moderately for enjoyment rather that the financial gain.

Slot Machine Gambling – Facts You May Want to Know

The slot machine was invented in 1887 by Charles Frey of San Fransisco. The name “slot machine” is used for American gaming machines. In Great Britain, these machines are called “fruit machines”. In Australia, the machines are known as “poker machines” or “pokies”.

The slots were used for many years as an activity to keep the wives of gamblers in Las Vegas busy. At the time, the machines only took coins, and usually not for very large denominations. Women stayed busy, usually not spending too much money, while their husbands played black jack, roulette, and the crap table.

At the time, most of this gambling was done in Las Vegas, Monaco, or small islands that allowed casino gambling. Slots gambling was not a big part of public life in most parts of the country except for Las Vegas. Most of the people with gambling problems were confined to the Las Vegas and surrounding areas and not many people really heard about gambling addiction and its’ true dangers.

In 1979, gambling was passed in New Jersey, and Atlantic City became the Las Vegas of the east coast. In the mid to late eighties, video style poker games were developed and addiction to slots were becoming a bit more pervasive.

o As of this article, there are casinos in all states except two. Most of these states have allowed just slot machine gambling and no access to table games.

o Statistics have shown that slots gambling is the most popular form of gambling and is responsible for approximately 70 percent of all casino revenue.

o Statistics from studies done in Canada have shown that 58-62 percent of slots revenues come from gambling addicts.

o 98 percent of all gambling addicts who live in South Dakota are addicted to slots.

o The military puts slots on their bases, and according to the New York Times, the government has taken in more than 120 million dollars in slot machine revenue.

o One study shows that there are 1.2 million slot machine addicts in the state of California.

o Great Britain allows fruit machine gambling for children. These children and adolescents are involved in crime, truancy, and drugs and alcohol.

o In Asia, casinos in Macau are responsible for a huge surge in slot machine gambling addiction. Vietnam and Singapore are planning to open casinos in 2009.

o Asians have a strong propensity toward gambling due to their history of not seeing gambling as being a bad thing, but a way to make money.

These are certainly very scary statistics, and it can only get worse as slot machine gambling addiction continues to permeate our society both in the U.S and the rest of the world.

The public is very ignorant about the inner workings of a slot machine. People are unaware of the true odds in an electronic gaming machine and they do not realize that the odds are truly stacked against them.

Many addicted slot machine gamblers also believe in certain myths regarding slot machines. Some of these debunked myths are as follows:

o Contrary to beliefs, slot machines do not stop on winning or losing stops with equal probability.

o Slot machines are not “due to pay” because the machine was cold for a while, and it should be ready soon to pay a jackpot.

o Every slot machine spin is random, and goes through a random number generator. There are much less random numbers for jackpots than more common hands. Therefore, winning a jackpot is highly, highly difficult.

o Contrary to myth, it does not matter if someone uses a players card or not. It does not effect the outcome of the game.

o Although some machines may have a 90 percent payout, it may be weeks before it actually pays a jackpot.

o Just because the person before you pumped a lot of money into the slot machine, it does not mean that “you” will hit the jackpot.

These are just some of the debunked myths about slot machine gambling, and there are many more. Slot machine gambling is not just a harmless past-time anymore. Addiction is a serious social problem, and the consequences of this type of addiction is still yet to be seen.