Technology has altered, changed and affected pretty much every area of modern-day life and this has never been clearer than in the online casino industry, which has reinvented itself for 21st-century gaming. For most of us, this is great news as services become more open, available to everyone from any location, and regular advances in gaming tech are made every day. But not everybody feels at home online, or comfortable with the digital switchover, this is called the digital divide.

The internet holds huge potential and power, according to The Global Connectivity Index (2018) countries that invest in digital infrastructure will see x5 times the return on investment in GDP growth by 2024. As such the consumer power of the internet cannot be ignored, and yet for casino players there has always been and remains to be a certain magic about entering a land-based casino. The excitement, the lights, noise and shrill calls of joyful players as wins ring out across the casino hall is an unbeatable atmosphere, and one that hasn’t quite migrated online in the same way. However, there are many other benefits to online casinos, which leaves many players questioning, which option is better, why do some players prefer to visit brick and mortar casinos, whilst others open their browsers, phones or tablets and access an online casino in seconds?

Let’s find out as we take a look at gambling in the 21st century with online casinos.

Land-based vs Online Casinos: The Industry Breakdown

Turning to which option players prefer, the online gambling industry is booming. It is the fastest-growing method of play, seeing around 10% growth per year (European Gaming and Betting Association, herein EGBA, 2018). But classic, land-based, casinos still rule the roost for the majority of players, making up 73.9% of the market across Europe, whilst online casinos account for only 20.7% of the market share.

As Europe is one of the largest gambling markets (with approximately at 48% of the world total EGBA, 2018), the data can be taken as a rather robust reflection of worldwide gambling habits. it is clear to see that land-based gambling is still the main form of gambling used by players, but this is a changing picture as the online market share is fastest growing, meaning eventually it is set to take over as the main method of gambling, especially as those who have grown up in the digital era, fully tech abled come of gambling age.

Land-based vs Online Casinos: What are the Differences?

The first online casinos and online casino software companies hit the net all the way back in 1994, whilst land-based casinos, and shall we say less formal gambling establishments have long part been a part of human history. From laying a bet on a favoured Gladiator to the first deck of playing cards, which originated from China in the 9th century, gambling is an activity that we just cannot get enough of.

There are both advantages and disadvantages to playing online and in brick and mortar casinos, we’re going to compare the two main ways to play here:

Land-based Casinos Online Casinos
The number of players, slots, tables and other games is regulated by the casino size and building space. Are not constricted by space and so can host many more casino games and players than a land-based casino.
You must attend in-person to play. This means being within travelling distance of a casino and so can incur more costs than using an online casino You play through an online account and site, therefore need only to be within the licensing jurisdiction of an online casino, have a mobile, tablet or computer to play from. Additionally, you can load up the casino and play from any location, be it on the bus or your couch at home.
You are constricted to the casino’s choice of software and games. Therefore, you have less ability to shop around for a casino that suits you and stocks the games you love- unless you are prepared to travel. As you can access hundreds of casinos at your fingertips, you can experiment and find the games software and casino ambience/ethos that suits you instead of settling for the nearest casino.
Land-based casinos tend to offer higher starting stakes for games, especially tables games. Online casinos are able to offer lower starting stakes as their operating costs are less. This is also reflected in their house-edge, which tends to be lower than land-based casinos.
Land-based casinos do not offer joining or welcome deals to their members Online casinos must fight for your attention and custom in a busy market so offer some incredible joining offers including matched deposits and free spins!
Land-based casinos are only available during their opening hours. Online casinos are available 24/7.
In land-based establishments, games can only be played for real money stakes. Most online casinos allow their members to try out different games in demo mode and read reviews before they play for real money stakes. This means you’re more informed about the game and can also find out the rate of RTP, max coin wins and other key information.
As we already mentioned at the start of this article, the ambience and environment of land-based casinos are unbeatable, and in our opinion unmatched by their online counterparts. This has Online casinos have tried to recreate the buzz of land-based casinos with live games, tournaments and chat rooms. Whilst this provides its own perks like privacy, not having to engage, and the ability to play in your PJs, it is also not comparable to the real-life casino experience.
You don’t need any technology to play in a land-based casino. Simply find yourself a casino, show up and join. You’ll need to invest time looking for a great online casino, download it or use the live site, and register as a member to play.
There is less choice of payment methods, as land-based casino tend to stick to more traditional banking methods such as cash, bank transfer and debit/credit card. However, land-based casinos offer instant payouts, unlike online casinos. Online casinos have a wider range of payment methods including E-Wallets, voucher systems, and more newly, cryptocurrency casinos. This provides more flexibility to players, but withdrawals take an absolute minimum of 2 days to be processed.
Land-based casinos provide the chance for destination gambling. Every year millions of players head to the shores of LA or Macau to experience some of the best casinos in the world. This is an experience that cannot be matched by an online site. Whilst you cannot partake in destination gambling online, you may just win a ticket for the trip of a lifetime with online casino prize draws.

Land-based vs Online Casinos: Who is King?

It’s clear that for now, land-based casinos are still the champions and are the preferred method of gambling, creating the most revenue and cementing their market share, but this is a changing scene, and the most experienced gamers know the future is online as this is where the most innovation, funding and research is taking place. For now, where you play is all about your preferences and the type of gaming experience you want.