It used to be that the only place that people could try their hand at blackjack or test their lucky number on the roulette wheel was a casino hall, made of brick and mortar. As the internet took hold and developers realized the popularity and demand for the likes of baccarat and slot machines, the games started to migrate to the virtual halls of online casinos.
It has been 15 years since the first online casino opened; technology has come a long way since 1994, and online casinos are now in abundance, so much so that online casino comparator websites have arisen to help players to decipher which casinos are the best in the UK. But what are the remaining differences between online casinos and land-based casinos?
The live casino experience
The obvious point to make is that the experience of going to land-based casinos is very different to that of online casinos. Regarding gambling opportunities and the chances to win, they both offer a similar experience, but gambling on a tablet, phone, or computer is quite different to gambling at a real felt table against a real dealer. People will make a night out of going to a land-based casino, enjoying the atmosphere and the chance to move chips and win cash.
With online casinos, the hands-on experience can be somewhat limited by comparison, but the accessibility and ease of use make the online experience more desirable to those who simply want convenient gaming and don’t want the additional expenditure that comes with going to a land-based casino, such as travel, food, and drink. A fairly new section of online casinos, the live casino section, is bridging the gap between the two forms of casino gaming and proving to be very popular.
Enhanced gambling security in-house
The convenience of online casinos can come at a price: that they become more readily available to those who may become problem gamblers. Online gamblers can set betting limits to help to enhance their personal gambling security, but some people won’t do so and will, therefore, expose themselves to possible risks.
Land-based casinos tend to be too far away for many people to find gambling opportunities on a whim, venues will remove any person who appears to be intoxicated, and they will have set maximum bet sizes. Online casinos are local to everyone and currently don’t have overly strict betting limits. Online casinos in the UK are very closely and stringently regulated, but there is a need for new restrictions on the size of bets that can be placed to help stop people from betting more than they can afford.
The variety of games
Land-based casinos are very limited on the number of games that they can host. A land-based casino can only fit as many games as its floor space will allow. On top of this, games need to be purchased, and until quite recently, the only way to upgrade the offering was to buy new games. This is to a slightly lesser extent now that digital slot machines have become more viable, but the issue of floor space and the cost of set-up are still very limiting.
Online casinos boast a tremendous variety of games, offering players chances to win across a whole host of different themed creations and twists on popular games. While online casinos do have their limits in terms of space, those limits are far greater and easier to expand than land-based casinos, which allows them to update the variety of games on offer regularly.
The continued development of online casinos
The online gambling industry is incredibly competitive, which is why websites are always keen to update their offering, add bigger and better games, offer bonuses to players, and improve in other areas as well, including complying with the Gambling Commission’s enhanced stance on consumer protection. There’s only so much that land-based casinos can do because each update will cost more money and will require upkeep.
Online casinos continue to expand the variety of games on offer and grow in popularity while the real-feel experience of land-based casinos is less sought-after, which has led to a decline in venues.