The boom of smartphones and tablets has brought with it a new debate in the online gaming community. Which is better, online casinos or land-based casinos?
The discussion has been raging for a number of years now, and while both industries are extremely popular, there are several key differences between them that make them unique.
But casinos are all the same, are they not? Well, the answer is, not exactly.
Both online and bricks and mortar establishments are extremely fun places to let one’s hair down. Both have similar games available. For example, you can play craps online at Bodog or alternatively, enjoy it at a local, brick-and-mortar casino. But at the same time, the pair have plenty of differences as well, let’s take a look through them.
When it comes to revenues, the land-based casino industry tends to bring in more money than the online casino industry. That could come as surprising news. Surely the uber-accessible online casino – which can be accessed from your pocket 24 hours a day, seven days a week – is going to generate more money?
Well, according to a report by the American Gaming Association, the commercial casino industry in the US generated $41.7 billion in 2017, compared to $4.7 billion for the online casino industry. This is due to the fact that land-based casinos are able to offer a wider variety of games, as well as access to a much larger customer base. That gap will have narrowed somewhat in the six years that have passed since the report was released, but it will still be a substantial difference.
When it comes to the user experience, online casinos offer a much more convenient experience. Players can access online casinos from any device with an internet connection, allowing them to play anytime and anywhere.
On the other hand, land-based casinos are limited to physical locations and require players to travel to the casino to play. Online casinos also offer more variety, with hundreds of different games to choose from.
One of the biggest differences between land-based casinos and online casinos is the security of the games. Many players are wary of online casinos due to rumors of rigged games and unfair practices.
While these rumors are unfounded, land-based casinos offer a much more secure and regulated environment. All games in a land-based casino are closely monitored by the casino staff and regulated by the local gaming commission.
In recent years, however, the online gaming sphere has done its utmost to ensure maximum transparency. They too are heavily regulated – perhaps more so these days than land-based casinos – and they aim to process player withdrawals within a matter of hours, rather than days, as it used to be.
All games in online casinos also show the RTP% (return to player percentage) to players in every single game they offer. That way, players know exactly what they are in for when they deposit their hard-earned money at such a website.
One thing that online casinos will always struggle to replicate is the famous atmosphere inside a real-life casino. The thrill of watching the roulette wheel spin in front of one’s eyes, or staring into the eyes of a competitor when playing poker as you attempt to decipher whether they are bluffing or not. It’s something that is nigh-on impossible to reproduce in an online environment.
But to be fair to those that create online casinos, they have done their utmost. Online casinos offer live dealers, who interact with their clientele as a game is being played. They also have a chat box that allows you to chat both with the dealer and with other players.
With things such as Virtual Reality (VR) technology and Metaverses taking off in recent years, you can expect further developments in the sphere to continue. It won’t be long before sitting at the Blackjack table in an online casino is almost life-like.
One aspect of gaming that online casinos stand head and shoulders above their real-life counterparts is responsible gaming. With an online establishment, players have a plethora of limiting tools available to them which allows them to spend within their means and ensure that they are safe and secure online at all times.
Land-based casinos have not yet implemented such a system, and they aren’t required to either. Some casinos may tell you it’s time to go if you have a particularly disappointing evening, but if you had said evening online, you would have been protected at all times.
At the end of the day, the choice between online casinos and land-based casinos comes down to personal preference. While both offer unique experiences, it’s important to do your research and make an informed decision. Whether you choose an online casino or a land-based casino, make sure you have fun and play responsibly.