Illustration of man playing online casino on his phone

How Do Online Casinos Work?

Online casinos have burst onto the gambling scene in a big way. Have a look at how they calculate RTPs, keep your information secure and how they go the extra mile to ensure that you have an enjoyable gambling experience from the comfort of your own home.

Over the last couple of decades we have seen an unprecedented progression in technology that has resulted in an establishment of online casinos that has caught up and, in some cases, overtaken the popularity of land-based casinos. The biggest allure of online gambling is undoubtedly the huge variety of games that can be played from the comfort of home.

This is just one of the reasons why the online gambling industry has had such a meteoric rise over the last couple of years. The pace of play is also faster due to limited interactions between players. Most of these sites have 24/7 availability too, giving them added convenience in a world obsessed with instant gratification.

When you play online, you also have the choice of amazing graphics, life-like figures and other factors that give them an authentic live casino experience, without you having to leave the house. The expansion into mobile has further expanded their reach, and now players are able to enjoy their favourite games no matter where they are.

If you are a beginner preparing to gamble online for the first time, it’s important to know as much about the industry as you can. In this handy guide, we’ll explain everything from how these sites are licensed, to how they work, what kinds of games you can play, and the ins and outs of deposits and withdrawals.

Legality and licensing

First things first: you need to know outright that online gambling and especially sports betting is not legal in every country. Before you get started on your journey to becoming an online gambling pro, ensure that it is, in fact, legal to play in your county, state or country.

Remember that not all casinos are created equally and some are run by scrupulous frauds just looking to make money. However, thanks to regulatory measures and independent licensing authorities, it is easy to pick out an undesirable casino almost immediately based on their licensing.

There are specific licensing and regulatory authorities that can issue licenses to online casinos in order to ensure that they are run fairly, the player is protected and that their everyday operations are legit. If the casino you are looking to play at is licensed by gaming and gambling authorities in Malta, Gibraltar, the UK, Isle of Man or the Alderney Control Commission then they have gone through some of the most rigorous licensing standards by the world’s most trusted licensing authorities.

It’s imperative that you only play at a reputable licensed casino, as it means that you can report any wrongdoing and that the casino is help to specific criteria and standards in order to maintain their license through player protection measures and tax contributions.

Types of online casinos

There are three general types of online casinos:

  • Download-based
  • Online, web-based
  • Mobile

Neon poker chips and dice on top of a mobile phone

In the late 1990’s when these online gambling sites were first starting to come onto the scene, the internet wasn’t what it is today, and computers and internet infrastructure at the time didn’t have the capabilities that we are all so used to today. In order to play, users would have to download casino software onto their computer and play from their desktop. Some sites still have this option today due to the faster, more reliable gameplay and superior graphics, but the capabilities of the internet and computers today means that it is not a necessity anymore. Besides, downloading this type of software means players are limited to the one device it is downloaded onto.

Online, web-based casino games have become hugely popular in the last few years and that’s down to increasingly amazing graphics, instant 24-hour access and the elimination of the need to download the gaming software onto a specific device before you’re able to play.

One of the biggest reasons for the popularity of online gambling sites was their expansion into mobile platforms. This means that players can swap between computers, tablets, phones and other devices to play online, web-based games wherever they are. All the best casino websites are now fully compatible with mobile devices and don’t require players to sign in every time, whilst saving their favourite games from all the different devices for the convenience of quickly finding them.

The variety of games

It’s easy to understand why online gambling has become so popular when you consider that players’ favourite games are all grouped in one single easy-to-access location that is available 24/7 from any device.

Online slots are a firm favourite, and if you want to play online slots you’ll be happy to know that most sites have literally hundreds of games to choose from. There’s everything from the traditional 3-line slots to the more progressive games with multiple play lines, innovative graphics, life-like animations and a world of extra features. There are also some huge jackpots to be won in online slots games.

Table games are also present and this means that fans of these kinds of games no longer have to go down to a land-based casino to put a bit of money of baccarat or live roulette. In fact, playing poker and other table games is faster from the convenience of home due to the lack of player interactions. There are even traditional games that have been completely evolved into online-only versions that cannot be found in land-based casinos. There is also the option of really small deposit play amounts, which is handy for beginners just learning to gamble online. For those who aren’t there for the skill but purely the luck of the draw, there are also separate sections that offer casino games such as scratchcards, bingo and keno.

Live casino games are a wonderful addition to the online world, where players can enjoy the thrill and excitement of a land-based casino with live dealers and video, without actually having to leave the house.
Woman playing live online casino on her tablet

Deposits and withdrawals

One of the most imperative aspects of a respected site is that players can deposit and withdraw their money quickly, efficiently and in a safe way. A good online casino should offer players a multitude of payment solutions to choose from. Most will have the options of credit and debit cards, prepaid vouchers, online banking, digital wallets and independent online payment services like PayPal.

Deposits are usually processed immediately, and there should not be any fees involved from the casino operator’s side. In fact, some casinos even offer deposit bonuses for certain chosen payment methods. If you do happen to win, then you should be paid back via the same channel as you deposit, or the method that you would prefer.

In order to succeed, it’s important for these sites to have the payment solutions and security in place that allows their customers to enjoy their casino experience without having to worry about what is happening with their money.

How do they determine percentages?

There seems to be an inherent distrust by land-based players looking to transition to the online game. They tend to doubt whether the games are fair. In fact, most online gambling sites actually offer a higher return percentage on a number of the games than land-based casinos do.

Online games, that are not of the live game variety, are all at the mercy of Random Number Generators (RNGs) which produce randomised sequences of numbers using algorithms that then simplify the numbers to a specific car, slot symbol or number. This ensures that all sites have games that are entirely random and fair. Live casino games don’t have these purely because live dealers are involved in the game in real-time.

Online safety and security

It’s absolutely essential that online casinos have the best safety and security measures in place to ensure the safety of their players’ information and financial details. There are a number of ways in which they do this.

The first is an SSL connection, which shows up as a small padlock on the side of the address bar, and in the web address of the casino itself (https instead of http). This means that every piece of data that goes in and out of the website is encrypted from one end to the other. This highly advanced encrypting and decrypting technology is at the forefront of ensuring the safety of players’ personal information.
Illustration of a computer locked up by padlock and chains
Casinos should also keep players’ money in a separate account to that which is used for its own operations. This is part and parcel of many of the licensing authorities standards and it ensures that should there be a problem with the casino’s finances that it hasn’t impacted those of the players.

These sites are not licensed to give out information, and should fiercely protect players’ information from third-parties, with the exceptions of testing agencies or the regulatory/licensing board. That being said, every player has their own responsibility to read the privacy policy of the website before divulging information to real-money accounts.

Play with Grosvenor

At Grosvenor Casino, your safety is our number one priority and we take our security measures incredibly seriously. We want to ensure that you can enjoy a live casino experience from your own home, without having to worry about the safety of your information.

We are a unique live casino experience that offers players the chance to take on trained and experienced dealers from the comfort of their own home. You can look forward to all of the thrill and excitement and none of the hassle of land-based casinos.

Sign up to get 24/7 access to your favourite games.


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32 responses to “How Do Online Casinos Work?”

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