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The online casino industry is booming. In the UK alone, online gambling made up 32% of an industry worth £13.8 billion, a figure which has rocketed over the last decade thanks to constant interest in online casino gaming. More people than ever are opening online gambling accounts and customers are coming from more diverse sections of society. Online gaming has truly entered the mainstream and gambling is starting to shake off its stuffy old image.
Online gaming in general has seen similar growth since the PlayStation 2 and Xbox consoles first introduced online gaming to the masses. Online communities are made of millions of players, competing against each other no matter what the time or location. It is becoming even easier for gamers to get their fix too, with mobile phones now allowing players to access high quality gaming whilst on the move or at work. This is leading to a lot of cross-genre mixing in app stores and virtual console game markets, with mobile titles making it to the PlayStation and Xbox and vice-versa.
Thanks to improved technology, more accessibility and relaxed approach to gambling, cutting edge mobile gambling has become popular with the next generation, who are gaming on consoles then logging onto gambling websites with their phones to continue the action. This renewed interest in casino games like poker, blackjack and roulette has made its way onto consoles, with several casino games making it into the world of next-gen, HD graphics.
Some of the best of casino games to bridge the void and hit both PCs and consoles have been the Pure Hold’Em series. Players must navigate their way through 6 different themed tables that increase in difficulty, gambling with virtual money and entering tournaments. The AI gameplay is ok, but the online offering is what makes these games worth buying.
Four Kings Casino & Slots aims to take casino games beyond just poker, with roulette, blackjack, bingo, Keno, slots and Texas Hold ‘Em all on offer in this slick role playing game. Alongside gambling and winning virtual currency, players can collect luxury clothing and bonus items that can be used to customise their character.
Prominence Poker is another title which has turned heads, an idea coming from an Indie studio that takes the standard casino game and makes it a bit more interesting. Prominence Poker is a ‘Poker RPG’, with players assuming a customisable avatar and playing against characters in a virtual world, generating virtual cash and gaining a reputation as a top poker player. Although the concept is great, this game and others like it fall short for one reason.
The graphics, sounds and experience on consoles can sometimes be way better than what any online casino can offer, but one of the key drawbacks with any console game is the lack of ‘real’ money. The rush of winning big just isn’t there and casino fans who want to earn cold, hard, ‘real’ cash need to stick to online casinos for the time being. Until the world of micro-transactions starts to allow for gambling on consoles, players can still make some money on real poker sites, which still have the quality 3D environments found on consoles mixed in with a thriving online community and great value for money when it comes to offers and jackpots.
Consoles and casino games certainly have a perfect use in the meantime; get some practice in against the AI before using the built in web browser to access online casino sites!