The American Gaming Association has estimated that there are currently well over 2,000 web sites on the Internet devoted to online gambling. They offer a full variety of wagering options, from sports betting and casino games to poker, lotteries and bingo.
In 1999 it was stated in a National Gambling Impact Study conducted in the United States that, “the high speed instant gratification of internet games and the high level of privacy they offer may exacerbate problem and pathological gambling”.
Another report has put annual online gambling revenues at $26.9 billion as of 2008. That is roughly four times the gross revenues of the entire Las Vegas Strip during that same year.
Clearly, online gambling has come of age—a phenomenon that shows no sign of slowing down as it delivers the thrill of playing and winning directly to computer users worldwide.
Although the explosion of online gambling may seem rather recent, it has in fact been building up to this crescendo for about 100 years. Current gaming sites can quite literally trace their roots all the way back to the poolrooms of the late 19th century.
In those days, “runners” stationed at various race tracks would monitor horses, jockeys, turf conditions, and the weather. Before post time, they would dash to the nearest telegraph office and send their findings to a central clearing house.
From there, the information was passed on via the “race wire” to pool halls far and wide, where off-track odds were set and bettors could place wagers when the numbers seemed right.
Online Gambling – Setting the Stage
By the 1920s, Western Union and the poolrooms still controlled the race wires, but newer inventions—the telephone and broadcast radio—eroded their monopoly over remote gambling.
In the 1930s, true race and sports books emerged, as live radio broadcasts of football match-ups and horse races were initiated. Then came television in the 1940s. Suddenly, it was possible to watch and bet on events taking place hundreds of miles away.
In 1947, the world’s first operational electronic digital computer, ENIAC, was patented. Half a dozen years later, International Business Machines (IBM) began shipping its first 700 series computers.
True personal computers would not be available until the introduction of the Alto in 1973, followed by the more affordable Apple II and Tandy’s TRS-80 in 1976.
But by then a network linking the mainframe computers of academic communities and governments would already be well established. ARPAnet (1967) soon led to the invention of e-mail (1971), Ethernet (1973) and Telenet (1973), the precursor of today’s Internet.
As personal computers quickly proliferated, less scrupulous innovations also began to appear. These included the appearance of SPAM (1978), hacking (1986), and the original PC virus, “Brain” (1986).
The term “cyberspace” was coined in 1984, followed by the “World Wide Web” in 1989. Mosaic, the first user-friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI) or “browser” became available in 1992.
Online Gambling – Conceived in the Caribbean
In the 1990s, U.S. state and federal laws still prohibited wagering across state lines and through the country’s communications networks, including telephone, telegraph, telex and computer.
Although a few “gaming websites” appeared briefly in the United States, none of them offered the opportunity to play for real money.
In 1994~1995, Warren B. Eugene, an enterprising 33-year-old Canadian, decided it was time to test a new “killer app.” He commissioned a team of programmers to design a full-service casino-software package and used it to launch Caribbean Casino.
He incorporated its parent company, Internet Casinos, Inc. (ICI), in Nassau, the Bahamas, well outside U.S. or Canadian legal jurisdiction.
In beta form—initially for fun, not cash—Caribbean Casino began operating from a base in the Turks and Caicos Islands, while Eugene traveled around North America, raising the $10 million he needed to take his dream to the next level.
By August 18, 1995, he had his financing in place and pulled out the stops. The Caribbean Casino began taking cash wagers on eighteen casino games and offering Internet access to the National Indian Lottery. The egg had been broken; the first true online casino was born.
Within a matter of months, new gambling web sites began popping up from Australia to St. Martin. One particularly welcoming location was Antigua-Barbuda, where “The Free Trade and Processing Zone Act of 1994” allowed online casinos and sports books to set up shop under official licence.
Intertops Casino and Sportsbook was among the early comers, established in St. James, Antigua in 1996. It became the first web site to accept sports bets online. Not to be outdone, European principalities began welcoming Internet gambling operations, notably Gibraltar (bookmaking) and Malta (e-gambling).
Among those domiciled in the latter is InterCasino, established in 1996 and managed by Ryan Hartley, the “il Padrino” or “Godfather” of online gaming. InterCasino is not only one of the first but also remains one of the foremost casinos on the Internet to this day.
Technology Takes the Lead in Online Gambling
Another early entrant to the field on online gambling was a company called Microgaming. It was founded in 1994 and introduced its own casino application from the Isle of Man, another location that created the regulatory infrastructure for legal wagering via the Internet.
But in 1996, the company sold off all of its casino operations in order to concentrate on something less risky and potentially even more lucrative: creating Internet casino technologies.
Microgaming realised early on that the ability to offer gambling online was dependent upon the development of reliable software. Under the leadership of CEO Roger Raatgever, the privately owned company set out to become one of the world’s foremost providers of gaming software.
Today, Microgaming powers more than 120 online casinos, 40 poker rooms and numerous bingo sites, with over 400 games, in some 20 languages on land-based, mobile-based and online platforms.
The company also manages the world’s largest Progressive Jackpot Network. Over the past decade, it has reportedly paid out some $280 million to 7,200+ winners, creating no fewer than 13 millionaires.
While Microgaming was discovering its core competency in 1995, two brothers were working on an application in the basement of their parents’ house in Toronto, Canada. It was something that would be just as important to the development of online gambling as games: a secure online financial transaction system.
Andrew and Mark Rivkin pioneered the creation of ECash, software that can securely and effectively process online monetary transactions.
Their first client was InterCasino in 1996, and today their publically traded company, Cryptologic, ranks along with Microgaming among the top five application service providers in the world.
The other top providers include Boss Media, which introduced multiplayer gaming to the Internet in 1999, and PlayTech, who brought “Live Gaming” to the world in 2003, coupling live dealers with real-time video-streaming so that players can bet and chat one-on-one.
The remaining top-tier software provider is Realtime Gaming (1999), whose success has derived largely from a gamble that others have been unwilling to take—betting against the United States government—as shall be seen shortly.
A World Divided By Online Gambling
In 1997 and 1998, online gambling erupted, and the burgeoning industry’s estimated annual revenue rose to $835 million. North American players contributed a large portion of this, which began to draw the attention of U.S. and Canadian lawmakers.
Several attempts were made to outlaw Internet gambling without success, although the Royal Police did raid the Vancouver offices of Starnet Communications, resulting in a $100,000 fine for “an illegal extension of betting activities, which the Canadian Criminal Code does not allow.”
By the close of 1999, the world was deeply divided over what to do about Internet gambling. While governments as diverse as South Africa, Argentina and Alderney embraced online gaming, along with the jobs and income it could produce, others sought outright prohibition.
For example, the Australian Government made operations illegal for any Australia-based online casino or sportsbook firm not already licensed and operating prior to May 2000. This left Lasseters Online as the only Australian Internet casino to this day.
By contrast, there was little opposition to Internet gambling in the United Kingdom. The British Channel Islands passed a bill in 2001 to legalize online betting, establishing protocols, standards, and licensing processes. By April 2005, the U.K. Gambling Act was passed, going into full force in the fall of 2007.
The Act created the U.K. Gambling Commission to enforce regulation in the areas of “licensing online casinos, preventing underage/problem gambling and organized crime, and ensuring gaming fairness through software fairness accreditations and monthly payout percentage reports.”
By issuing codes of practice, investigating and prosecuting illegal offences, and advising the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, the Commission serves as a global leader in comprehensive online gambling regulation.
Indeed, England has become a model for other countries wishing to regulate the gambling industry online.
Meanwhile, U.S. authorities chose an opposite course. In 2000, they arrested Jay Cohen, an American whose Antigua-based World Sports Exchange was said to be taking in $100~200 million in bets per year.
He was charged with violation of the 1961 Wire Act, which outlawed betting on sporting events via telephone and, according to their interpretation, via the Internet. A federal court sentenced Cohen to 21 months in prison for accepting sports bets from Americans, even though his operations were overseas.
This event sent a chill through the online gambling community, but it did not dissuade online operators from accepting American wagers—at least not initially. Then, the U.S. government turned up the heat.
In July 2006, a non-American online casino operator, the British CEO of BetOnSports, David Carruthers, was arrested by federal agents while changing planes in Dallas. BetOnSports at that time was taking in roughly $1.8 billion in wagers a year, mostly from Americans.
Yankee Stay Home
The timing of Carruthers’ arrest was not at all random. In mid-2006, a new law was making its way through the U.S. legislature that would effectively prohibit Americans from gambling online.
Arresting Carruthers helped gain the support needed to push the bill through the Senate in September. The very next month, on Friday the 13th, President George W. Bush signed the “Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act” (UIGEA) into law.
The UIGEA banned American financial institutions from processing any transaction with an online gambling operator. There were special exceptions for horse racing, state-run lotteries, and fantasy sports, but it forced many publicly traded online casinos, sportsbooks and poker sites to stop taking bets from American players.
Immediately hit hard were Party Poker (Party Gaming), Paradise Poker (Sporting Bet), Pacific Poker (888), and Poker Room (BWIN).
Then, NETeller, the online gambling industry’s most successful wire-transfer service, all but went out of business when its founders, Stephen Lawrence and John Lefebvre, were arrested in New York and charged with money laundering.
Antigua-Barbuda claimed it was being bullied by the U.S. and filed a $3.4 billion lawsuit with the World Trade Organization (WTO), citing unfair trade practices. The European Union (EU) filed a similar suit for $100 billion. U.S. President George W.
Bush reacted by withdrawing the U.S. gambling sector from the WTO, which in time sided with the complainants. Antigua-Barbuda would eventually receive $21 million in reparations, although the EU has had no such satisfaction.
By 2007, more than eighty international jurisdictions were regulating online gambling in one form or another. While some countries embraced all sectors of the industry, others allowed only certain types of Internet betting. A few went so far as to license offshore online casinos, without allowing their own citizens to gamble online.
Turkey, China and Canada joined the anti-online gambling club. Germany banned outside operators, but not gaming. The vast majority of nations, however, decided to allow gambling online, and at least one industry leader—Realtime Gaming—signaled that it would defy the UIGEA ban.
A Matter of Freedom (and Money)
Originally based in Atlanta, Georgia, Realtime Gaming is a developer of online gaming applications that operates out of Costa Rica. Its products are among the most popular on the Internet, including the “Real Series” of slot machine-type games.
Of the top five software providers, Realtime Gaming alone allows its online casino operators to accept business from players in the USA.
Whether or not Realtime Gaming is a champion of Internet freedom may be open to debate, but there can be little doubt that the company has a shrewd instinct for business. They are willing to gamble that the UIGEA is an unenforceable law.
No single country alone—not even the mighty United States—can stop offshore transfers of money via bank wires, checks, Western Union, Money Gram, and prepaid credit cards.
Realtime Gaming’s reward for taking a risk with American players has been a disproportionate share of the U.S. online gambling market, still estimated at $5.9 billion per annum despite the UIGEA.
In fact, many believe that the United States’ attempts to outlaw online gambling have actually resulted in a windfall for non-U.S. operators. Competition would be much more fierce if American poker, sports and casino sites were legal.
And the industry has not been as greatly hurt by the loss of American players as was originally predicted. The development of new mobile telephone applications and a broader range of games, especially multiplayer poker and live-chat bingo, have broadened the market and filled the void created by loss of U.S. revenue sources.
As an example of how little influence U.S. sanctions have on online gambling growth, consider the Philippines. The country’s casino monopoly known as PAGCOR got into virtual gaming initially by setting up 312 betting stations that would allow Filipinos to wager via the Internet.
Then, in March 2005, PAGCOR announced it would use this network to launch the Internet’s first cockfighting system—TeleSabong—to enable betting on bouts held in 1,700 cockpits throughout the archipelago.
The monopoly’s revenues have steadily increased since then, from P23 billion in 2005 to P25.4 billion in 2006, P27.8 billion in 2007 and P29.61 billion in 2008, largely on the growth of its Internet-based wagering.
Today, the state-owned firm is the Philippines’ third largest source of government funds, right behind income and customs taxes. Its profits help fund development projects and community services.
In conjunction with PhilWeb, the first and largest listed Internet company in the Philippines, PAGCOR is now seeking to extend its reach beyond the country’s shores to the World Wide Web.
The Philippines’ leaders understand that “the gaming market is changing and the biggest area of growth is in Europe and Asia.”
A Sporting Chance
Of course, cockfighting may not be the best way to grow online gambling in Europe, but other opportunities to play and win online have certainly attracted increasing attention and wagers. Among these, sport betting was one of the very first and is still extremely popular.
The earliest online “sportsbooks” were simply an extension of off-track betting shops. New York’s Capital OTB, for example, began using a “virtual tote board” to post race track odds on in 1996.
In the beginning, bettors still had to use telephones to place their wagers, but the Internet did make it possible to disseminate betting information and to broadcast races far beyond state borders.
Led by Jay Cohen’s World Sports Exchange, no fewer than two dozen web sites were taking bets in Antigua as fully operational online sportsbooks by early 1998.
Promotional efforts soon followed, as operators began advertising in sports magazines and offering bonus cash for newly registered players and to those who referred them, a practice still common today.
Aggressive marketing may have been partly responsible for the backlash in the United States, where bricks and mortar sportsbooks were experiencing a loss of business.
By 2000, Cryptologic reported that more than 680,000 customers had used its electronic payment system for online betting. In early 2001, a survey published in PRNewswire claimed that 8 million people had already gambled online with real money.
From horse racing, online sports betting spread to cover every type of event wager imaginable. The Big Three—American football, baseball and basketball—were quickly joined by individual sports, such as tennis and golf, and team sports that ran the gamut from ice hockey to cricket and rugby.
Exotic wagers, including bets on the outcomes of political elections and the winners of reality television shows, were introduced, too.
Sportsbooks are especially well suited to online gambling. The method of placing a bet—whether in person or via telephone, telegraph or the Internet—has no influence on the odds offered or the results.
In recent years, the entry of major betting shops, such as Ladbrokes and Littlewoods, to the mix of online services has made Internet sportsbooks even more competitive, while adding to the integrity of the medium.
The Games People Play
The introduction of casino-type games online required a skip and a jump, compared to the world’s quick hop into Internet sports betting. Dealers had to be replaced by reliable software.
Secure random-number generators had to be adopted from slot machine technology to enable virtual cards to be shuffled. And graphic interfaces had to be designed to make play enjoyable.
From the relative safety and anonymity of offshore locations, some operators decided to bypass these necessary steps and create games rigged to cheat players out of their bets.
In 1996, only 15 web sites were accepting real money for virtual roulette, blackjack and other table games. One year later, more than 200 such sites appeared, many of which were fly-by-night operations seeking easy prey. Their “business model” was to strike fast, close up quickly and disappear before authorities could be alerted to find them.
The fledgling industry’s turmoil lasted only briefly, however. Strict government regulation in licensing countries, such as Antigua-Barbuda, made it increasingly difficult for cheats to set up shop.
By conducting extensive background checks and requiring bonds as high as $100,000 per web site, the wheat was separated from the chaff. Independent reviews began to appear online, too, helping players identify which sites were frauds and which were legitimate. In due course, only the trustworthy survived.
By 1999, the number of online casinos reached 650. By 2002, the total topped 1,800. To help players identify the best of these and report on the trade’s latest happenings, Gambling Online Magazine was founded in 2001.
Each year it asks its readers to select the best of the best places to play. Winning one of Gambling Online Magazine’s “Readers Choice Awards” is a significant stamp of approval.
Other credentials have been created since 2000 to help identify reliable operators, too.
Among these are the Internet Content Rating Association (ICRA), an international, non-profit organization of Internet leaders working to develop a safer Internet; the non-profit Interactive Gaming Council (IGC), which sets fair and responsible trade guidelines and practices; and eCommerce and Online Gambling Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA).
The latter, in particular, awards its “Seal of Approval” only to web sites whose games have been found to be fair, whose operations are honest and conducted responsibly, and whose monetary deposits are safe.
Today, playing baccarat or craps at a reputable online casino is as safe as placing a bet at the tables of Monte Carlo. What’s more, players can enjoy gaming action right from their own homes, without the distractions that often accompany real casino play.
A Reel Money Maker
Whether gambling online or off, the most important question players must ask themselves before placing a bet is “Can I win?” Assuming the operation is legitimate, as most are nowadays, the next question is “How much can I win?”
Most casino table games have caps on their payouts. Even the most rewarding slot machines limit their top combinations to a few thousand times the initial wager.
In the early days of online gambling, the biggest prizes anyone could win over the Internet were state sponsored lotteries. Essentially, the web sites that sold entries were just clearing houses for existing terrestrial sweepstakes.
But in 1998, that situation changed as Microgaming introduced the Internet’s first “progressive jackpot slot.” It was called “Cash Splash,” and it featured three reels with a single payline.
Unlike most games of chance, which have fixed odds and payouts, a progressive jackpot keeps growing larger and larger until someone eventually wins it. A tiny percentage of each bet made on the game is set aside to fund the jackpot. Over time, these small sums can easily add up to six figures or higher.
In 2001, an online casino player hit the first truly huge jackpot online, winning $414,119 while playing a progressive jackpot slot game at a Caribbean online casino’s version of “The Sands.”
Then, in May 2002, the first ever multimillion-dollar online casino jackpot was awarded when a lucky player at Captain Cook’s Internet Casino hit a Microgaming progressive slot game called “Major Millions” for a massive $1.59 million payout.
Today’s online casinos include slots and progressives as a major part of their operations. The cost of playing is low and the potential rewards are enormous. The very latest online slots have themes, patterned after movies, television shows and comic book characters.
The number of spinning reels has increased from three to five or seven, while the number of paylines has leapt from just one to 15, 20, or even more. And the audio/video components are so realistic that it is easy to forget the computer screen is not an actual slot machine.
The Real Moneymaker
Oddly enough, perhaps the Internet’s most famous “big win,” and the one that propelled a new segment of the online gaming industry forward, had nothing to do with slots or progressive jackpots. In fact, it didn’t even involve betting against the house.
In May 2003, a 27-year-old amateur card player, Christopher Bryan Moneymaker, upended poker champion Sam Farha to win the main table of the World Series of Poker (WSOP) at Binion’s Casino in Las Vegas. A novice beating a top professional was interesting news, but two things made this triumph exceptional.
First, the availability and spread of Boss Media’s multiplayer platform for online gambling in 1999 had allowed virtual poker rooms to be established, so that players in remote locations could vie directly against one another in real time. As more and more online casinos set up poker sites, people became more familiar with the game.
An accountant by trade, Moneymaker enjoyed playing poker online in his spare time. Just for fun, he entered a $39 satellite tournament on PokerStars.com and won.
That earned him a seat at a larger satellite, which he also won, giving him admission to the WSOP Main Event, where he would face 839 entrants. Each seat there cost $10,000, making it the largest poker tournament ever played in a casino at the time. It was Moneymaker’s first ever live tournament.
Second, ESPN had started televising poker matches on its cable TV sports network in 2002. Being able to see how the pros played on the World Poker Tour and watching celebrities go against each other in specially organized events helped the average party player understand and appreciate the game more than ever before.
When Moneymaker beat the odds, made it to the final table and claimed his $2.5 million grand prize, millions of poker fans were able to see it, live, all over the world. He had achieved every online gambler’s dream, turning less that $40 into a small fortune.
What followed has often been described as the “Moneymaker Effect”—a tidal wave of interest in poker and the creation of online card rooms everywhere.
By 2006, revenues from Internet poker rooms rivaled those of online sportsbooks, and the card game leapt to the third most-watched sport on American television, right behind NFL football and NASCAR auto racing.
Trends of Tomorrow
As previously mentioned, the passage of the UIGEA in the United States was a terrible blow to online poker web sites. Many have argued that the law “hurt the freedoms of American Poker players who feel they have earned the right…to play online poker in their own free time.
It should not be the thoughts and controls of a few (politicians) who do not understand the game of online poker to decide what freedoms Americans should enjoy.”
What differentiates poker from most forms of online gambling is the skill level required to be successful. Winning is by no means a random occurrence.
Also, players wager against each other, not the poker room operator, who takes a “rake” (commission) from each pot for hosting the games. In this sense, there is no “house advantage” whatsoever, so good players really do have the opportunity to win consistently, and win big.
In 2007, a countermeasure was launched in the U.S. House of Representatives to undo the harm that was done. Congressman Barney Franks, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, brought forth a new bill, the Internet Gambling Regulation and Enforcement Act (IGREA), which would reverse the ban on Internet gambling.
Franks has called the UIGEA “the stupidest law ever passed,” and he has gained support from dozens of other lawmakers, including Nevada Congresswoman Shelley Berkley, who has been a powerful voice for legalised and regulated gambling.
Under the Obama Administration, there is every likelihood that the IGREA can be passed and signed into law. Should that happen, American-directed poker rooms will flourish once again.
But even if the IGREA fails to become law, poker, casino table games, slots and sports betting can be expected to grow online. Technology continues to be a driving factor, making play more fun and convenient.
For example, new three-dimensional concepts have already cropped up to make Internet gaming even more interactive. They take they lead from role-playing games. These include 3D casinos with customizable avatars and 3D games, like “Cubis,” that bring a new level of entertainment value to online play.
Meanwhile, Java-based applications are bringing gambling applications from the Internet to mobile telephones. As handheld devices become more like computers, the software will become even more sophisticated, allowing multiplayer real-time gaming in addition to the current blackjack, roulette and slot applications already available.
Cries of “House!” are heard in supermarket aisles, as shoppers play bingo on their iphones while they load their carts.
Taking the First Step
For those who have never wagered in a casino, bet on a horse race or taken a seat at a poker table, the tremendous variety and advanced technology of online gambling may seem a bit daunting. The best web site operators understand this and make it as easy as possible for new players to join in the action.
Of course, it is always advisable to play at a well-established site. Ones that have been around for five years or more have withstood the test of time and fickle markets. By doing a bit of research before signing up, a new player can rest assured of finding a trustworthy place to begin.
For ease of access, top casinos offer players a choice of “Instant Play” or “Downloadable Games.” Before 2000, almost all Internet casinos were download-based. Their special software had to be installed on the user’s computer in order to play online.
Now, the Flash software platform allows streaming of images and audio, rather like watching television. There is no need to download anything, other than the software plug-in that allows instant play. And with Java-enabled games, not even plug-ins are required. Users simply click and play.
Once a venue and a format have been selected, it is time to enjoy the games. Again, the most reputable gaming sites understand that new players are concerned about risks. That’s why most of them allow gaming in “for fun” or “for free” mode, with no money wagered and nothing to lose.
It is possible to play the most popular games for hours, days or even weeks and months, without risking a penny. Then, when levels of familiarity, proficiency and confidence have been established, it is a simple matter to set up a cash account for real play.
A major credit card is the easiest way to fund an online account. Wire transfers, special e-cash wallets, and even personal cheques can also be used. Again, the best operators offer numerous options to make getting started easy and convenient.
In fact, as part of their welcome promotions, many operators will match a player’s initial deposit with an equal amount of “bonus cash.” They know it is a lot easier to make that first bet when it has already been backed by an equal amount of free play.
When it comes time to cash out, winnings are typically transferred back to players via the same route the initial deposits were made. A reverse charge on a debit card, for example, shows up as a credit. Most online gaming sites use a generic name for the transfer so that entries on the card ledger do not shout, “Look who’s been gambling online!”
Privacy and security are utmost concerns, and safeguards are put in place to protect both personal data and funds. Transactions conducted over the Internet should always be via a secure connection.
Most gaming sites post their security credentials clearly for everyone to see, along with the specific terms and conditions of play. It is a good practice to read such information carefully before starting out, just to be sure no unwelcome surprises occur later on.
For the Fun of It
The possibility of winning a fortune for a relatively small wager is what draws many to gamble online. Certainly there are professionals who are able to make a living by playing skill games such as poker on the Internet.
But there are always a few who think they can cheat their way to riches, and today’s web site operators are well aware of their tactics.
One scam used early on was the practice of setting up multiple accounts to dominate multiplayer games. If a player could control six or seven hands at a poker table, for example, the possibility of others winning could be greatly reduced.
Over time, safeguards have been put in place by the software makers to ensure that such collusion does not occur.
Very few online gambling sites allow an individual to open more than one account, and identity verification is now a standard practice within the industry, not only to stop cheats, but also to keep underage players from participating.
The jury is still out on the use of “robots” to wager at online casinos, but most of the larger operators prohibit them in their terms and conditions.
Robot programs supposedly use sophisticated algorithms to get an inside edge on random-number generators, predicting outcomes faster and more precisely than any human mind could do.
But the great majority of these “game killers” are really nothing more than high-speed betting strategies that fail in the long term.
If they really worked like they were supposed to, their inventors would be using them to make money gambling, rather than selling the software to unsuspecting players for $39.95. The adage caveat emptor (“buyer beware”) applies just as much to the Internet as does to other purchases.
For the greatest enjoyment of online gambling, the key is to “wager with your head, not over it.” Internet casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks are businesses. They operate for profit with the odds in their favor, providing entertainment and amusement, along with the possibility of winning some cash.
Although luck will always favour a few, the vast majority of players experience small gains or losses, with occasional highs and lows. The object is to enjoy the ride. As long as players are having fun, online gambling works for everyone.