Gambling as a Leisure Activity and the Growth of Online Casinos

Gambling is a very popular leisure activity. According to statistics published by, 4.2 billion people gamble at least once per year. As a result of this, more and more online casinos such as are opening with advanced technology and features. The competition for business has never been higher. One of the ways online casinos attract visitors is by offering welcome bonus packs which often include attaching welcome bonuses to their online slot games. These can come in the form of no deposit bonuses, where spins are given to players without them having to place a deposit first, and in the form of matched bonuses, where players are given double the amount of spins they pay for giving them more chances to play the game.

Types of Game, Free Spin and Matched Bonus Slots

The online slot game is a staple of both bricks and mortar and online casinos and playing the game in an online casino such as transports the imagination to the hustle and bustle of a vegas room. Which slot a player selects largely depends upon the personal preference of the individual... some may, for example, prefer the old-school feel of the classic slot, whereas others will prefer the exquisite visual gameplay of a themed slot based upon their favorite TV show or movie. While the gameplay of slot machines vary, each have features in common. The purpose of the game is to match symbols on the reels which spin around in a pre-determined sequence. Random bonuses occur, increasing winnings. The main types of slot game are:

  • Reels slots
  • Video slots
  • High Payout or High Return-to-Player slots
  • 3D Slots

One of the main welcome bonus offers from online casinos is the 'no deposit' game. This doesn't charge the player anything in order to play the game. The biggest advantage of this is that the player is able to try out a few different games and try out various different games before deciding which slot to bet on using their own money. It also helps the player to familiarize themselves with the gameplay before playing with any risk. The casinos' objective in offering this to new players signing up is that they hope the player will enjoy the game and continue to play after the end of the free slots, therefore betting their own money.

The other most common welcome bonus when playing online slots is the matched bonus. For example, Mega Casino offers new players a200% bonus when depositing over £20, plus 50 free spins on their Ninja Master game. This means that the player receives £60 for depositing £20, plus their 50 free spins. This works for both the player and the casino. For the player, they receive 50 spins on the game and can, therefore, experiment and decide if this is the correct slot for them, before then playing the game using the money the casino matched, and use any winnings to continue playing, therefore if they don't get a feel for the game, or they don't enjoy it, they have not lost any of their money.

Conspiracy Theories and Cautionary Tales

One long-standing conspiracy theory surrounding online slot machines is that they are somehow rigged, that 'the house always wins'. This is absolutely not the case. Gambling, both on and offline, is highly regulated. Online casinos are licensed, the details of which can be found on the sites, meaning they are held accountable. Casinos also use random number technology. This is computer programming which generates numbers at random in order to select the winning computations. This is not rigged or stacked in any way. Finally, online casino games have to disclose their return-to-player percentage, which is the percentage of the total amount gambled which is returned to players as prize funds. If games were rigged, this would be obvious in this number.

Although online slot games are not rigged, winning or losing is down to a mixture of any strategy the player chooses to employ during the game and their luck. Playing slot games are fun, and they are designed to be played quickly giving the player little time to think. In order to maximize your chances of winning, don't rush through the game. Take your time, think about what actions you are taking in playing the game. Finally, as with all gambling, never bet more than you can afford to lose. While playing with bonuses does give the player more chances of winning, it is equally possible to lose. Players should always be responsible when adding money to that online casino account.