Saying the phrase “online casino” evokes some very vivid – sometimes emotional – memories of the past decade. Back when the economy was in a tech boom and we all felt like the Internet was science fiction come to life, online casinos began popping up all over the place.

These dens of digital dealers – a veritable city of sim sin – touched on people’s tendencies towards both greed and sloth, making this a hot duo of deadly sins that many players took to extremes. For those who were not active in the era of rampant online gambling, let’s just say that it ended poorly for most of the casinos and even worse for many of their players.

Fortunately, the end of the online casino craze did inspire some cool casino games for those who just like the joy of the games without the need to actually win money. Of all the game companies that still pump out gaming titles, perhaps the most prolific has been Phantom EFX. Their “Reel Deal” series of gambling titles has been consistently delivering realistic casino-themed games for around the cost of one night at an off-strip hotel.

One great example of Phantom EFX’s unique approach at cashless gaming is their recent slot collection, “Reel Deal Slots – Adventure.” This game offers over 20 video slot machines that manage to provide the addictive fun of a Vegas slot without the risk of losing your college tuition.

The game gives both real world and dream world odds, with the option of realistically low luck for the hardcore players as well as the chance to feel like you are constantly on a winning streak. Granted, this may seem to get a bit old, but the addition of an adventure mode where the game gives you specific goals adds quite a bit more playability to this title.

That said, Phantom EFX seems determined to take their game online. Worry not though, recovering online gambling addicts. This new title – “Reel Deal Live” – is an MMO (massively multiplayer online) game that offers table games and slot machines with no cost other than the monthly subscription fee and some micro-transactions.

This, of course, raises the question of why someone would want to pay monthly fees for the chance to play online casino games. Sure, the games offer the same quality as the rest of the Reel Deal line, but we live little more than a four-hour drive from the actual Vegas, and there seems to be no shortage of hotel discounts available. Likewise, just as most people wouldn’t want to be in a real casino every day for months on end, even a constantly updated online casino is likely to lose your interest without the promise of a cash payout to keep most players’ motivations.

To help overcome this interest gap, Phantom EFX has dipped heavily into some MMO classic features. Players start by creating their own unique avatar with the fairly deep character creation program.

Once they are ready, they are released into a virtual casino that is complete with multiple gaming rooms and shops where they can spend their earnings on apparel and décor for their virtual suite. There are also guilds and tournaments, but Phantom EFX seems to be betting heavily on the idea that players will want to chat with random slot or poker players they have never met in person.

If you just can’t get enough of social online gambling, “Reel Deal Live” does offer tons of games and slots to satisfy your need. Of course, if you just want to play slots, “Reel Deal Slots – Adventure” may be the better option. Or, you know, just go to Vegas.