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Prior to the establishment of the first online casino in the early 90s, ‘casinos’ was the umbrella term for all types of betting establishments. However, the inception and gradual acceptance of online casinos made it necessary to distinguish between land-based casinos and online casinos. Hence, the major types of casinos are the land-based (or traditional) casinos and online casinos.
The pros and cons of playing casino games at the traditional land-based casinos or on online casinos are constantly being compared by players and experts alike. This article aims to explore the distinguishing features of both casinos.
As the name suggests, land-based casinos are gambling establishments where players have to be physically present to place their bets on games. Land-based casinos may also be referred to as brick and mortar casinos. Although cities like Las Vegas and Atlantic City are often dubbed the “home of land-based casinos”, since most of the world’s land-based casinos are located in these places, land-based casinos can also be found in numerous towns, cities, and states globally. Since land-based casinos combine the gaming experience as well as entertainment, it is not unusual for them to house other establishments such as restaurants and bars.
Land-based casinos are appreciated by bettors who enjoy the glamour and bustle of casino venues: flashing lights, machine sounds, entertainment options such as performers and personal waiters, and the classic ambiance of traditional casinos.
The advent of the internet ushered in a new era of gambling in the form of online casinos. Online casinos are simply online variants of land-based casinos. Tickets for the Liechtenstein International Lottery were sold on the first online betting platform accessible to the public. Also referred to as virtual casinos, it is safe to refer to online casinos as the ‘high-tech’ and sophisticated versions of land-based casinos.
Online casinos are mainly favored by players who would rather play all their games from the comfort of their homes, using their mobile devices, without all the possible distractions of a traditional casino. Nowadays, most online casinos are mobile-optimized, so players can play on the go from a mobile device, computer, or even television; internet connectivity is the only determining factor.
What are the differences between land-based casinos and online casinos?
Each type of casino has its own peculiarities, and it may be difficult for bettors to settle for a particular option, so it is up to bettors to weigh the pros and cons before arriving at a decision. In addition to other differences which we would be looking at, the most obvious difference between the traditional land-based casinos and online casino is the location. Other ways by which land-based casinos differ from online casinos include:
Regardless of the time zone or location globally, bettors can comfortably play on online casinos using a laptop or any other mobile device 24/7. Online players may place their bets virtually from a computer, without having to expend money or time traveling to the casino venue, all that is required is a steady internet connection.
For players who do not live in the same city or country as the venue of the land-based casino, they may have to consider factors such as travel costs, accommodation costs, as well as feeding costs, as determined by the specific player. This may amount to hundreds or thousands of dollars, in addition to the actual betting costs.
With regards to accessibility of the available games, it is not uncommon for players on land type casinos to have to wait for their turn to use the machines to play their favorite games, since it may currently be in use by another player. Due to this, games on land-based casinos may be over-saturated with too many players. Also, available games can only be played during the opening hours on land-based casinos which is typically at night.
However, players on online casinos can place their bets without having to wait in line for a chance to enjoy their preferred game; or wait for any other reason whatsoever before playing games at any time they prefer, since online casinos are open throughout the day. Players are only required to log in to start playing their preferred games. Due to technological evolution, online casinos have a broader collection of games such as bingo, scratchcards, poker, and table games to select from.
A wide range of currencies is accepted in online casinos, from credit cards, to debit cards, money transfer services like Western Union, eWallets including PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, as well as Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.
Typically, the payment options are more restricted on land type casinos. Players may have to convert a certain currency into another currency that may be accepted by the casino. However, a major benefit here is that players may find it much easier to cash out all their earnings at any point in time.
The buzz and bustle in land-based casinos, the noise made by ringing slots, the smokes made by players may all be seen as a form of distraction.
This is not the same as the ambiance in online casinos, which have no distractions at all except those created by the player. No smoke fumes, no noise, no ticks, players can simply enjoy their games without being distracted.
Online casinos unarguably offer more anonymity to players. Players can safely play within the confines of their home without having to worry that their privacy may be compromised. For players who win big, there is little to no risk of being assaulted or harassed on the basis of their winnings. In addition, some casinos also accept payment in the form of Bitcoins which may also ensure anonymity and safety.
Photographs or video footage of players may be recorded on land type casinos for security reasons, so player privacy is not entirely guaranteed. The safety of players who win big may be compromised since they may be easily identified by other players at the casino as well as other individuals with possible ill intent.
Speed and Efficiency
The speed at which games such as craps, blackjack, and roulette are played on land-based casinos is dependent on the game itself and the activities of the players. However, other games such as video poker and slot machines are played on land-based casinos at almost the same speed as online casinos.
Thanks to technology, the speed of playing games such as roulette and blackjack on online casinos is considerably higher than that of land-based casinos. A poker player in an online casino can play up to 3 hands per hour, which is almost impossible in a physical casino. Casino games are regulated by the casino’s house edge, so it is important to note that playing too fast in an online casino may cause you to lose to the house too quickly.
Comparing the customer service available in land-based and online casinos may be difficult. Typically, in land-based casinos, casino staff are available to deliver payouts, payment transactions are handled by cashiers, and for casinos that provide entertainment options, musicians and other performing acts are available to make the whole gaming process more conducive.
On the other hand, in online casinos, these additional services are not available. Nevertheless, most online casinos have a customer care team that may be reached via fax, email, or telephone 24/7 in the event of any inquiries or complaints.
The overhead cost of running a land-based casino is considerably higher than that of running an online casino. In a physical casino, the casino structure must be maintained, real dealers must be present at
the tables, slot machines have to be maintained, security measures must be put in place, and all of these translated to lower payouts on land-based casinos.
Online casinos offer better gaming odds primarily because more games are being played, and more money is spent in addition to the reduced cost of running an online casino. The bet minimums at online casinos are significantly lower than that of land-based casinos, so players can play for hours before losing large amounts of money.
Land-based casinos do not provide an option where players can play games for free. It doesn’t matter whether players are newbies or experienced players, all players are expected to start playing for real money from their first play.
New players on online casinos are allowed to play games for free. With this, online players are allowed to practice the game in a pressure-free environment and get a hang of it before deciding to play for real money.
Bonuses and Promotions
Land-based casinos typically offer progressive jackpots which are certainly lower when compared to the payout. However, land-based casino players may decide to cash out all their winnings for the night.
Online casinos are popular for the large payouts offered to players. Although there are more bonuses, offers, and promotions available on online casinos, the standard wagering requirements may delay the withdrawal of funds. For instance, if the wagering requirement for a $50 bonus is 35X, this means that the bonus amount must be wagered 35 times before it can be withdrawn. Once this requirement is met, players may then withdraw their funds.
Age is usually the only restriction when playing in a land-based casino. The age restriction is determined by location: 18 years in some regions, and 21 in other regions. As long as the age requirement is met, players can freely walk into any land-based casino of their choice.
There are variations in the legality of gambling on online casinos as determined by each region. Although gambling is restricted in some countries, some casino providers still manage to operate in such countries. It is up to bettors to keep themselves up to date with the ever-changing laws guiding online betting.
So, which is better between land-based casinos and online casinos? The answer is determined by specific player preferences and requirements. There are specific benefits to both types of casinos. The main difference between land-based casinos and online casinos is the extra time and expenses incurred in playing at a land-based casino.
For players who are looking to experience the classic casino ambiance while being entertained, then land-based casinos may be a suitable option. However, in terms of convenience, bonuses, betting odds, security, and availability of games, land-based casinos still have a lot to do be meet up with online casinos.