The debate for online gaming especially relating to the use of live tables is certainly a hot topic in the Asian regions. But, is all online gaming basically the same? . I feel there are still a lot of misunderstandings about the variations of games available, even among casino executives and players alike.

Firstly, to make things clear, I would like to explain the options available as I see them. The simple game of baccarat may fall into the following:

Category A

  1. Pure Digital Online Game

This relates to an approved online gaming portal, or App  “BigRed”, “Unibet“, etc. Where an approved digital formatted game is used with an approved RNG for game delivery and betting via the portals usual processes.

  • Pure Live Online Game

As above, where an approved gaming portal either has studios in an approved jurisdiction or pays for the rights of an approved studio from a third party. This will then deal a live game and stream results to players via the online portal. Mainly for live casino table games.

Category B

  1. Live Digital Streaming Studio

Studios set up in an approved regulated and non-regulated jurisdiction in both casinos or third-party studios. These then host and deal live table games to a camera, streaming the event to third-party portals or patrons on a secure database or via VPN.

  • Proxy Streaming and Proxy Betting

As above but, the player has access to see a live table and sometimes the dealer. Also have a “proxy” player place their action for them on the table and in some cases, squeeze the cards for them. This concept has matured from a simple phone betting option into a video format. As technology has advanced so have the options for the player. It may also be streamed to live audiences in a controlled environment, where many bets maybe taken across a room on a game streamed in from a trusted live casino.

So who is gaming this way? If I had to group players, I could classify them as follows:

  • Category A, Concepts 1 & 2 are widely accepted concepts available to players worldwide and in general aimed at mass players.
  • Category B, Concept 1 may be considered premium mass players or in-house VIP players, managed by the casinos.
  • Category B, Concept 2 may be considered VIP player or “junket” controlled players.

As all concepts are online, technically they are available anywhere the online is available. But, some countries legalise and control online gaming access to their citizens, so some sites may not be accessible to player in that country.

Category A seems more common on regulated portals. Meaning one that has been licenced from an approved jurisdiction and where players need to pass certain conditions, be registered and legal. Also, they may need to conform to KYC regulations with proof of ID, addresses and bank accounts etc, or digital currency’s etc.  Funds are likely to follow AML standards for depositing, withdrawal and management of online wallets.

It’s worth noting that pure crypto currency online casinos, who only deal in crypto, don’t need to use public banking systems and don’t necessarily need to be licenced. Although depending on their location they may also require players to register.

Category B options vary slightly when it comes to being licenced. Some countries have approved licenced options for these and usually operate them from approved licenced casinos like POGO and PIGOS in the Philippines etc, though some maybe operate in grey nations or areas.

As such the control and registration of players, may either be left to the casino or the operator running the event. Due to the value of some play, some operators may control the monetary side of the business too or some play may only be seen as credits or tokens, with no fixed value, so there is no need for online wallets and transactions. This leaves the options open for dealing with this offline and face to face as part of regular business practices.  In affect as there is no currency transactions online, less regulations may apply. Players are in fact members and recognised by a number tied to an account and account for play. As such access to the site is also restricted and maybe only available to players via VPNS and other private App based systems.

No matter what option of play, the biggest concern for most players when playing either of the four, is obviously TRUST.

Can you trust the game is true? Can you trust the site is honest? Is the game fair and can you get your winnings out and how easy is that?

In theory, with any casino, there is no need for any operator to run “un-true” games, as gaming math is designed for the house to always have a slight edge and baccarat is no different.  In my experience, most games operators and casinos are operated exactly this way.  They depend on repeat play and patronage, so it makes no sense to run unfair games, lifetime value is always greater than short term gains.

Players trust either the casino brand or operator in which they play. More often even with proxy players they prefer the table to be operated from a reputable casino in a regulated market and prefer live play over digital outcomes.

In my experience the behaviour of the players in both categories also differ.

Category A players prefer pure online play, even when live casinos are available to them. Whereas category B players would visit a live casino if they could access easily. Some maybe in countries where casinos are not permitted and as such limit their visits.

If online play is as big as reported throughout the world, and players seem to be from all groups of demographics, does this mean digital commerce has become accepted as normal and trustful.? Does the regulation and control of these games ensure trust

After considering all of this

What is the difference between playing a game on a site licensed in a regulated online jurisdiction, compared with playing a game streamed online from a casino operating legally in a jurisdiction where online is not regulated?

Does your age, background or experience change your trust level?

  1. How important is Online play to bricks and mortar casinos.?
  2. When playing online is a live dealer or a digital experience better?
  3. What’s your thoughts on trust levels for both players operators and the games?
  4. Do online slot players prefer simulated slots play or would they prefer an actually slot machine inside casino shown online?

Feel welcome to leave your thoughts. this topic will be continued……….

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