In the early 1990s, long-established casinos began losing ground to huge Internet businesses. Not long after the very first online casinos were launched in 1994, the popularity of brick and mortar betting institutions soon began to wane. However, they still managed to keep a cache of influence over old school players who had little to no inclination to keep up with recent innovations that were cropping up in the gaming industry.
Land-based and online casinos feature each has its distinct elements. There are some pros and downsides for those who opt to play there. This leaves players with a difficult decision to make when it comes to deciding on whether to pay a visit to an actual establishment that can be found just around the corner or to just search for a trustworthy option online and take their chances there.
Undeniably, the most obvious difference between the two is their actual locations: one is a tangible place while the other lies in the World Wide Web. However, there are a lot more ways in which these two contrast from each other. Aside from these, the choice of gaming venues, by and large, relies on what players are looking for, as well as their gaming inclinations. With all these being said, should land-based casinos feel threatened by online casino games?
But before we try and answer that question, let’s first try to take a closer look at each of the two options being discussed in this article as well as their prime differences.
What is a Land-Based Casino?
These are gaming establishments that are located in the real world. These are just old-fashioned classic gambling businesses. A land-based casino offers its players an incredible wagering experience within a gaming setting that most of you are all familiar and comfortable with. This includes all the fundamental elements that a good old reliable casino should have. Old-school betting enthusiasts who are looking for a classic, authentic ambience often prefer brick-and-mortar locales.
Essentially, the land-based choice is a spot you want to frequent if you’re looking for a game that features all the bells and whistles that come with a traditional gaming venue atmosphere.
What is an Online Casino?
Moving on, now it is time to shed some light on what an online casino is. This is a place where all your favorite wagering games are played on the Internet. Although an online gambling venue emulates the complete spectrum of games and rules of a brick-and-mortar casino, it still pales in comparison to the benefits you can get from playing at a real venue.
Online betting sites do have their advantages, as well as some unique and indeed distinctive elements that land-based venues just cannot reproduce. Who is the target audience of these virtual versions then? Players who do not care a lot about the traditional environment mostly frequent online ones that give them the same games. People who prefer a comfortable “home sweet home” gaming experience (think playing in pajamas rather than a well-tailored suit) are the ones who are also likely to appreciate online options.
What are the Main Differences Between Land-Based and Online Casinos?
The bonus systems that are being extended by land-based and online variants are totally different. There’s a much greater chance for players to win bonuses at a gaming website compared to that of a land-based gaming locale. The problem is that online casinos have fairly rigorous wagering requirements. For example, if one offers you a $200 bonus, you’re expected to bet the bonus amount at least 30 times, in order to get a payout.
One more aspect that land- and website-based casinos vary is in the kind of income they rake in. The amount of revenues produced by the online wagering industry has already surpassed the profits of similar land-based enterprises and it appears that this trend is not stopping any time soon.
Virtual gaming portals are generally praised for offering huge payouts that actually put land-based venues to shame! Most times, brick-and-mortar casinos offer progressive jackpots that are substantially smaller than those given by their online counterparts.
The processing of payouts is also something that virtual and real versions of this establishment differ in. Land-based options trump online ones in this aspect. At brick-and-mortar casinos, you can cash in your payout whenever you please, while online versions can take up to a few days for it to actually make its way to you. There are specific online operators who utilize something known as a “pending withdrawal” period in their payment system. Such an oddity implies that the time that payout processing may take is unclear; so, it can take a very long time for the payment to be received by players. However, very few online portals apply the “pending withdrawal” period, because of the inconvenience and the high risk it poses to customer retention.
Age restrictions are often the only limitations that you can find at land-based casinos. So, most of these allow visitors from other states or countries to frequent their establishments. Meanwhile, online choices implement a more rigid rule system. In order to get permission to operate, they are required to procure a license from the proper governing body. For example, residents of the UK, Italy, France, Denmark, and Belgium can only play in online gaming portals that have the license issued within the respective countries.
For most other countries, it’s a little bit easier, as there are global licensing bodies like Malta and Curacao. All things considered, the online casino industry does seem to be outperforming its land-based counterpart, when it comes to the benefits and advantages it can offer the players. The greatness of online gambling lies in the more advanced and innovative approach to the operational process that virtual gambling enterprises are bringing to the table.
Even then, traditional land-based casinos have kept hold of its high-end status, while still remaining popular among specific corners of the gambling world.
So, Should Land-Based Casinos Be Concerned?
The gambling world can be intimidating to some. It is a world filled with money and luxury that is accessible to only a select few. However, all that changed with the advent of the Internet back in 1998, which revolutionized the way people lived, ate, and yes, even how they gambled. Since then, it has altered the way business is conducted, how people interact with one another, and how finances are managed. Safe to say, computers have become an essential part of society. So, it’s not really surprising that when gambling also transitioned online, it became accessible to anyone, anywhere, and not just to society’s elite.
Since a lot of people are put off by the ambiance and surroundings of land-based casinos, many people turn their attention to gambling online. In a land-based setup, players may at times, get that feeling that they do not really know all the rules and etiquettes of the game. Worse, they are hesitant to ask to avoid being branded a “newbie.” In an online casino setting, however, every piece of information a player might need is made available.
Online gambling gave the foundation of the gambling industry a jolt. Land-based gaming had to go through an incredible amount of adjustment just to keep up with the revolution brought by online gambling. Initially, it appeared to be bad news for the offline sector of gambling. From the mid-90s, the battle between land-based and online gambling entities broke out and is still being waged even as this article is being written. While others view online gaming portals as a parallel industry of land-based casinos, others see it in a different light: as a competition that will eventually cause land-based gambling to kick the bucket.
Seasoned gamblers who have witnessed the change brought this technological innovation can truly confirm that gambling online and offline are two entirely different activities. Others may repeatedly shift from offline to online or vice versa — it remains a matter of personal preference. It’s identical to watching movies in a cinema or streaming it online. Consumers can pick one, or they can do actually get away with doing both.
There are still those who are high rollers, tourists, and people who still like to enjoy the high-life experience continue to gamble in brick-and-mortar casinos all over the world. Las Vegas, Atlantic City and places of similar nature will still continue to be a huge tourist attraction as the homes of gambling. Even in the advent of technology, land-based options for gaming will still continue to attract clients from all over the world; those who prefer real-life thrills and excitement brought about by it.
On the other hand, people who choose online gambling are a new breed of players. They may probably be the people who just elect to stay at home to gamble or who will choose to gamble in person somewhere down the line. They may also be those who do not wish to travel for extended periods of time just to go to a land-based casino for the reason being they can experience it from the comfort of their own homes.
Why Should You Gamble Online?
Most players online essentially played in an offline casino at some point. They may probably be those who experienced the thrill of a real-life gambling moment. However, the problem with land-based options usually have something to do with location. As much as these land-based gambling institutions deliver an exhilarating experience of winning, people often do not like to travel long distances to satisfy their wagering fix. Land-based betting choices are not always accessible for players. And this is where online gaming steps up to the plate. Online options for wagering can be accessed by anyone eligible to do so from the convenience of their own homes, at any time, and still have the chance to win real cash.
In addition, people also elect to gamble online because of its many game variations. When compared to land-based casinos, online games are more varied and are always available. You don’t have to wait for a machine to be available or to wait for a slot to open. You can play online slot games and any other casino game at a moment’s notice, whenever you feel like it.
Another prime reason is that online casinos offer bonuses that are available as soon as you log in or go online. Land-based versions do not usually offer bonuses like free gaming cash when you enter or visit every day.
One more crucial reason is the convenience element that provides the player with the flexibility to accomplish and enjoy indulging in a number of other tasks while also attempting to win money. Along with the ability to complete multiple tasks at the same time, online casinos also permit players to easily jump from game to game with the click of a button. That flexibility comes, however, with consequences for the online outlet. Casinos would certainly prefer that players have little to no distractions surrounding them that could easily take them away from the game at hand. It is much easier for one to quickly exit a game once frustration starts to mount when the winnings are slow to come.
And finally, when it comes to safety, online choices offer a greater degree of security. Online gambling sites are heavily regulated by specific laws and provide privacy policies for all players. This is a feature that often attracts a lot of new players to online casinos.
Since we are in an era where entire lives can possibly be lived online, it would be unfair to say that online gambling has become a large threat to the gambling industry. The reality is, online gambling just made use of the resources available and one way to look at it would be its benefit to the gambling industry in general.
Let’s face it: land-based gambling will always have held a special place in gambling enthusiasts since it can still provide the real-life gambling thrill that most people crave for. But we should also take a look at the situation in a way that online gambling could also do its part for the industry. Online gambling makes it entirely possible to introduce a new breed of players who are new to the rules of the trade and who have never even thought about setting foot in a casino.
As the industry continues to grow as it responds to new nascent technologies and perpetually fluid market conditions, it is likely that the benefits of online (and mobile) to the wider industry will become even more evident and a lot clearer in the years to come.
As both land-based casinos and online casinos will appeal to each player differently, ultimately it is down to the player to choose which environment suits them best.