At a time when many parts of the economy are struggling, and with the uncertainty of Brexit still hanging over the UK, there are still pockets of good news out there. You just need dig a little deeper to find them. Ironically, at a time when many of us are looking for a little certainty in the world, it’s gambling that’s proving to be one of the most resilient and successful industries of the moment.

One area that is doing particularly well is the field of casinos. Both in their bricks and mortar and online manifestations, in 2017 they played an important part in raising the total of £13.9 billion that gambling in general contributed to the UK economy. Of the two, the real growth has been seen in the rapid expansion of online gambling which, in a little over two decades, has grown to be the single biggest revenue generator. According to Gambling Commission figures, in 2017 it raised a gross yield of £4.9 billion, 35% of the total.

A great deal of this growth has been down to the ever-accelerating pace of technological development. This has made it easier and easier to play online whenever and wherever you want to, as long as there’s a fast connection available.

Of all the games available in both land and virtual casinos, roulette is one of the most popular. In fact, for many people it’s the quintessential casino game. Simple to play, but also one of the most exciting experiences as you wait for the little white ball to come to rest in the number that could spell an instant win. This is surely why it has formed the centrepiece in so many movies from James Bond onward, encapsulating, as it does, all the thrill and glamour of the casino experience.

Five factors to bear in mind

It’s not always convenient, or even possible, to visit a real casino to play. That’s why the online version of the game has been gaining such an enthusiastic following in recent times. So how do the two different experiences measure up to each other? Well, let’s break it down into five key areas:

Experience. There’s no denying that the thrill of the casino is a difficult experience to replicate online. For a start, the fact that there are usually a number of people watching a game in a real casino automatically raises the level of excitement. Then, if you win, seeing your mounting pile of chips is always more thrilling than just seeing your credit mounting up online – not to mention the pleasure there is in cashing them in for actual notes. But for many people, the increased privacy of being able to play online is the big appeal, especially for the less extroverted player who prefers to keep themselves to themselves.

Convenience. This is one area in which the online roulette experience will always win out, thanks to its sheer convenience. Courtesy of today’s tech, you can play virtually wherever and whenever you want, for as long or as short a time as you want as well. There’s also no need to get dressed up for a trip to the casino when you can enjoy all the excitement from the comfort of your own home. Plus, you’ll avoid all the expenses of getting to and from the casino – as well as all those incidental costs like drinks and meals along the way.

Dealers hand on edge of roulette wheel

Environment. There’s a good reason why casinos have a reputation for being plush and lavish places. A great deal of thought goes into designing them to create an environment that players feel comfortable in and where they’ll will lose track of time. There’s also the sleek interiors that create an air of sophistication. Finally, there’s the dealers themselves, who interact with players and form an integral part of not just roulette, but all casino games. It’s this environment that many leading online casinos have started to replicate with their “live casinos”, which operate in real time with actual dealers and genuine roulette wheels. This uses an ingenious sort of tech which converts the action into digital information that can be used for online play. All of this is done to replicate an authentic physical gaming experience and through creating immersive online casino games. Many companies have capitalised on the market opportunity of live casinos, including some brands which previously specialized in one casino game, now extending their offerings. For example, Wink Bingo originally provided Bingo, but then launched their companion site Wink Slots to offer online slots before incorporating a live casino as part of their range of games.

Game Range. In bricks and mortar casinos there are essentially two variations on roulette; European and American. The only difference between them is that the former only has a single 0 space, while the latter has 00 as well. This has a marginal effect on the odds of your number coming up, which we’ll discuss in more detail shortly. However, in a bid to make the online experience even more appealing, you’ll find a wide variety of different games available. Including many designed to be played at a faster pace and incorporating many more spins – and therefore opportunities to win – per hour.

Online roulette vs real casino roulette

Chances of winning. On a standard American roulette wheel, the chances of correctly predicting red or black are 46.37%. While on a European table, it’s marginally higher as there is only the single 0. Provided you find an online game based on the European model, this slightly increases your chances of winning. Of course, in an online game of roulette, there may also be the suspicion that the odds might be slightly less random than in a physical game. But this needn’t be a concern in a legitimate and regulated casino, as a random number generator ensures a random outcome on every spin. So, it would be fair to say that both kinds of roulette offer the same chances of winning when you play.

Naturally, whether you favor playing in an actual casino or in an online environment is always a matter of personal choice and many people will enjoy both experiences at some time. Yes, there are differences, but these are generally outweighed by the similarities and both offer a great way to have fun and maybe even win in the process of enjoying yourself too.

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