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The growing allure of online casinos and poker

According to a special report by the BBC News, the allure of online casinos and poker is growing even more in recent months.

The media channel profiled a twenty six year old online casinos poker player, Paul, who traes currency by day and comes home to visit online casinos by night, after working hectic days in his London offices.

Online casinos, as a hobby, are growing very quickly in the United Kingdom and is one of the fastest ways to gamble.

Paul discussed online casinos and said, "I've always loved card games, and played things like whist when I was younger," he explained as colleagues shouted euro prices in the background.
"I don't find it stressful, it's just a bit of fun."
The British - supposed champions of the underdog and defenders of the fair fight - have always loved to gamble – and online casinos provide this opportunity.
The online casinos industry is a $12 Billion dollar a year venture, and thousands of online casinos are crowding the marketplace looking to attract new players and retain current consumers. Online casinos employ special promotion strategies, bonuses, and other deals to excite interest in fans.
Now Brits are visiting online casinos in increasing numbers and companies are looking to cash in.
Top online casinos specialize in poker, and a few British online casinos are even on the London Stock Exchange. Many online casinos are based in Gibraltar or other off shore tax havens, however.
So what is it that makes the pastime so attractive and why has the value of the global market more than tripled in size to close to $1.5bn (£827m) over the past two years?
One reason is that poker is seen as a game of skill rather than luck, where one player is pitted against another and as Paul puts it, "the cream always rises to the top".
Another is the spread of the internet and our increasing confidence in the safety of online casinos and e-commerce.
On top of that, gambling is becoming an increasingly hip and accessible means of entertainment - just look at the resurgence of Las Vegas in the US and plans to build massive casino complexes in the UK.
Bookmakers no longer have blacked out windows, the lottery and its multi-millionaire winners are part of everyday life, fruit machines are in pubs and chip shops across the country.
According to research group Forrester, 76% of the UK's 29 million adult internet users admit to regularly placing a bet either online or offline.
Is it addictive?
Previously, there was always a chance that your gambling urge would come at a time when there was nowhere open to place a bet.
Now "it's a problem 24-7", said Adrian Scarfe, clinical practice manager at gambling addiction counseling and advice service Gamcare.
As more and more Brits are drawn to the allure that is online poker and internet gambling, addiction may be on the rise. But the excitement remains.


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