There has been a lot of noise in the online casino news recently about the effects of reducing the possible stakes at FOBTs in bookmaker’s shops in the UK and the effect it might have on various gambling companies. There is obviously a difference between a live casino and an online casino when it comes to stakes and the FOBTs (Fixed Odds Betting Terminals) and the powers that be seem to want to treat these terminals differently again. FOBTs are in fact illegal in Irish gambling, although it is believed that a few can still be found, but it might be naive to assume that any legislation change in the UK will not affect Irish gambling companies. Paddy Power for example has many bookmakers shops in the UK. The issue surrounds the fact that the maximum bet on one of these machines is £100 and that this can be wagered several times every minute. One of the proposals is to reduce this to £20 or even £2 per spin. The bookmakers are crying foul saying that this will reduce their income and profits dramatically and might even cause closures of hundreds of shops. Gambling.ie finds this all a bit strange considering that online gambling plays such a big and increasing part in the income of these gambling companies and when gambling online there are plenty of sites where you can wager hundreds of Euro a time on the spin of a Roulette wheel or the turn of a card at Blackjack. Another unknown is how many people in the UK will actually go into a bookmaker and stake hundreds of pounds on a machine? Gambling.ie thinks very few and those that do are likely to spend it even if the limit is set at £20, it will just take longer.
The fact that these machines are not here in Ireland is no great problem anyway as indeed neither is the lack of a good live casino as the country is very well served with online casinos and other online gambling opportunities. In fact virtually all online casinos these days also offer what is called a live casino option where the stakes can be far higher than a mere £100. These live casinos are generally nothing more than a room somewhere which has been equipped with card tables and roulette wheels together with strategically placed cameras so that you can see what is going on. These rooms can be anywhere but gambling.ie has never come across one which is in Ireland. Judging by the dealers and croupiers it seems that most are located somewhere in Eastern Europe although the online casinos do not go out of their way to where the live casino streaming is coming from. A welcome exception to this is at the online casino called All Irish Casino where the live casino comes from an actual casino in Malta. Malta is of course widely recognised as being a top location for all forms of online gambling and many companies are based there but there are few online casinos that actually use the facilities of an actual casino on the island. The live casino is still not the same as the actual casino floor which is obvious really as few live casino players would want their pictures plastered all over the world. Even the live casino option at online casinos restricts the camera view to the dealer and the table or wheel in the case of roulette. You cannot see other players or their bets.
The article started with the perceived problem of players staking several hundred pounds on a roulette game or similar but All Irish Casino is no exception in offering stakes of maximum €75000 on roulette or €5000 on Blackjack. Surely those players who feel restricted in a UK betting shop will merely revert to gambling online where the chances of winning are at least as good if not better than on some of these machines. Live casino options generally seem to have higher maximum stakes than regular online casinos using RNGs which is good for high rollers but does not affect the large majority of those who gamble online. The other problem with the live casino option at any online casino is that the number of casino games available is severely limited. Roulette and Blackjack will always be there but after that you might find Caribbean Stud at a few or Casino Hold’em which is very similar and sometimes Baccarat or Punto Banco as it is sometimes called. Unfortunately the most played casino games at online casinos are casino slots in their various forms and these are never available at live casino options for the principle reason that slots do not require a dealer. The popularity of casino slots for those that do their gambling online has been high for a long time and shows no sign of reducing probably for the simple reason that these slots give a chance of winning very large sums of money for comparatively small stakes. When playing Blackjack for example the largest payout is ever going to be 3:2 for a blackjack or when playing roulette it can be 35:1 for a single number but at casino slots you can win thousands or millions of Euro with fractions of a Euro stakes. The very large jackpot slots will only payout the multi million Euro jackpots when the player is playing for the maximum stake possible per line which can be several tens of Euro but smaller jackpots can be achieved playing for cents.
Online gambling has never been easier and the choice of casino games is quite incredible especially in the area of casino slots where each casino can have several hundred different ones. Fortunately online casinos and other forms of online gambling are not only readily available but are also perfectly legal which is not the case in many other countries. In the USA for example which probably has the greatest concentration of live casinos in the world has made online casinos and online sports gambling illegal with certain states bending the rules a little particularly for online poker.