Gambling has been an integral part of people’s lives for hundreds of years, through Ancient Rome and Greece to Elizabethan England and today’s society.
The earliest examples of European gambling houses occurred in Venice, Italy, as far back as the 17th century. Since then, gambling has grown in popularity and land-based casinos have become a familiar part of the landscape in many countries. Now, that landscape is starting to change as online casinos become more popular. How will this technical revolution affect land-based casinos? Let’s start by examining the rise of online casinos.
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Why are online casinos so popular?
The global gambling market is expected to be worth around $565.4 billion by 2022 and is currently growing at a rate of around 5.9% each year. Online gambling makes up around $53.7 billion of this total and its value is growing at around 11.5% each year. It’s clear that online gambling is big business, and increasing as a percentage of overall gambling revenue; but why is it so popular?
One of the main attractions of online casinos is the accessibility. This is being further improved with the use of technology. For instance, pikakasinot (instant casinos) are popular in Finland. Players get easy access because they verify their identity using their bank account and do not need to complete complicated forms.
Availability is also a major benefit of using an online casino. These casinos are open 24/7, so it’s possible to play at any time. The even better news is that many online casinos have customer service facilities available at all times.
- Choice of games
As online casinos continue to be developed, so the range of available games increases. This range is often bigger than that which can be found at land-based casinos.
It’s obvious that playing casino games online has several advantages. However, that is not the full story.
Things that only land-based casinos can offer
There are some things that people can only get from playing at a land-based casino. The most important thing is the atmosphere.
While online casino software is excellent, it cannot recreate the sights and sounds of a brick and mortar venue. Sights include the neon lights and hundreds of flashing screens in one place. Sounds include the sirens and music that can be heard whenever someone gets a big win.
Another thing that players cannot benefit from online is the area that surrounds a casino. For instance, in cities like Las Vegas, there is so much more to do than play casino games, such as seeing the sights or taking in a show.
People do not have to travel to Las Vegas to get the benefit of a land-based casino experience either. There is something very special about visiting any real-life casino as opposed to playing online. This is especially the case when the visit is part of a celebration and includes things like traveling to the venue in a limousine.
So, there are some things that players can only get from visiting a land-based casino. What does this mean for the overall casino market, both online and offline?
Conclusion – will online casinos take over?
Although online casinos are popular, and the market is expanding, land-based casinos still have plenty to offer. They may lack the convenience and availability of online casinos but they provide an experience all of their own. This is especially the case in cities like Las Vegas where it’s all about the overall experience.
It’s possible that advancements like Virtual Reality (VR) may bring online casinos closer to the real casino experience. However, even VR cannot create things like making friends with other players or being treated to a complimentary accommodation upgrade.
Taking all of this information into account, it seems certain that online casinos will continue to make big inroads into the overall gambling market. However, it’s unlikely that this will kill off traditional casinos altogether. Some basic high street casinos may suffer but larger land-based casinos are certain to survive. This is especially the case in casino resort areas like Las Vegas where it’s as much about the experience as gambling.