Could Online Casinos Replace Land Casinos?

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August was a stellar month for online casinos in New Jersey. In total, regulated online casinos in the state generated $25.89 million in gross revenue, which was a jump of more than $3 million compared to July. In comparison, real life casino, Bally’s in Atlantic City was in negative territory during August after falling 10.7% to $18.7 million. Therefore, with online casinos accessible on phones, at work and even on vacation, can they ever live up to the real thing?

The mindset of a gambler

The psychology of gambling has been studied for many years, with many researchers concluding that most gamblers are driven by the prospect of a life-changing win. While, economists cite profit as the leading reason why gamblers head to the casino, Griffiths & Delfabbro’s study revealed that showing off following a win or making a successful bluff also plays a factor in gambling activity. Of course, this is easier when surrounded by other gamblers in a casino, however, greater satisfaction may be received with loved ones at home. However, it’s the brain’s response to gambling that plays a key role in why gamblers take the actions that they do. When something good happens, such as a win, the brain sends pleasure signals via neurotransmitter chemicals around the body which puts gamblers on a high and thus persuades them to invest more time and money.

Offers convenience & flexibility

The online gambling market has grown steadily since 2009, according to Statista. By 2020, the market is expected to be worth $59.79 billion. Having interviewed a number of online gamblers, Psychology Today states that most cite convenience as a leading reason as to why they choose an electronic casino over one made of bricks and mortar. The flexibility that comes with online casinos benefit players, however, it can have consequences for the casino owner. The distractions of everyday life mean that gamblers aren’t always fully committed to the game, meaning they’re more likely to jump ship when winnings are slow, thus revenue is impacted. But, gamblers gain as there’s greater opportunity to save their cash and walk away.

Feeling the atmosphere

Despite online gamblers stating that online casinos offer greater value for money, a larger variety of games and anonymity, more than one-third of Americans visit casinos each year, according to the AGA. There’s no denying that the atmosphere in a land casino is one that can’t be replicated on an online casino. Professor Karen Finlay, who has studied the psychology of gamblers since 2004 states that casinos work hard to create an environment which encourages individuals to “stay and play”. Her research has revealed that relaxing and opulence surroundings can keep even those who don’t usually gamble to stay. Meanwhile, she states that “Gamblers report feeling like the space is a ‘refuge’ and their stress levels are reduced,” which can only benefit the emotional wellbeing of those who gamble.

The number of land based casinos have dwindled in recent years, largely due to the rise in online casinos. Online casinos come packed with various benefits including being more convenient and offering flexibility to individuals. However, the atmosphere that physical casinos offer may provide an all round better sense of achievement.

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