In Las Vegas there is a casino with a miniature (but still huge) Eiffel Tower replica straddling it, there’s another with fountains that dance to music. There’s a hotel decked out like a castle with different coloured turrets and another that is literally a scaled down version of New York with a rollercoaster wrapped around it. Go to Macau and you will find casino’s that look as if they have been lifted from a Bond film. The point is this – spectacle. They are putting on a show.
On this site we talk mainly about the world of online casinos, which offer a completely different experience when it comes to placing bets and having fun. There is nothing physical to admire or enjoy as there is in Vegas, Atlantic City, or Macau; but it could be argued that it is a much more convenient way to have a bit of fun in your own home.
An obvious question then might be why would someone would choose a quiet night in over putting on their glad rags and heading out into the glitz and glamour? This page is an attempt to weigh up the pros and cons of each, hopefully helping you to understand why either one might be more your style.
Online Casinos – The Pros
The most obvious benefit to online casinos is the convenience of the whole thing. You can be lying in bed with nothing on but a pair of socks and be playing a big game of poker against opponents from Italy, Spain and South Africa.
You could be on the bus on the way home from work and happily have a mini slot session before the kids take up all of your attention. The ability to have a flutter wherever and whenever you want has changed the face of gambling.
You Don’t Have To Interact
Let’s be honest, not everyone is a social butterfly. Ok, you’re not forced to talk to people when you’re in a real life casino either, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t going to try to talk to you.
The online world limits the amount of interaction required with other human beings and for some that’s a genuine delight.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a bit of privacy or peace and quiet, for some they prefer it this way so they are able to concentrate.
Play What You Want
There’s an extent to which the world of online casinos has no limits. You can be a member of as many casinos as you like and flit between them to find the exact table game variation or specific slot that you want to play.
In a physical casino you’re limited to the games they have on site, but that’s simply not the case online. The choice is only as limited as your imagination, and you don’t have to cross the casino floor to switch.
Play When You Want
It is true that most land based casinos are open 24 hours a day, but then you may not feel like going all the way to a casino if you just fancy a quick game of roulette on a Saturday morning.
Online casinos are there to suit your every whim, and they are as flexible as you want them to be in terms of access.
This might not always be the case when it comes to support staff, but you could be playing the games themselves in seconds.
Offers and Loyalty Bonuses
All casinos have offers and incentives to use them, especially for regular players, but the offers provided online are far superior. This isn’t because land-based casinos are mean but because they have higher overheads; staff to pay, lights to keep on, facilities, rent etc. This all costs money and although physical casinos have other sources of revenue such as food and drink sales or accommodation, an online casino is still much more cost effective.
Online casinos also don’t have a size limit either, you can’t squeeze everyone on the internet into a land based casino. Casino sites are therefore able to give some of this saving back to players in the form of massive welcome bonuses for new customers and loyalty points schemes for existing players.
Online Casinos – The Cons
It Can Be Easy To Lose Money
Any reputable casino will allow you to set limits on your account so that you can only deposit a pre-determined amount of money within a given time period. This is designed to help you budget to what you can afford, but you have to actively choose to use the feature, the casino can’t force you to.
Therefore, if you don’t apply your own limits then you can keep moving money from your bank account and before you’ve had time to think it’s gone.
The same risk exists in a land-based casino, of course, it’s just easier to do it online. This is your responsibility, so know yourself and set limits.
You Can’t Socialise
This might have been in the ‘pros’ section as well but the truth is it’s both a blessing and a curse. Going to the casino and chatting to interesting people is a great experience, yet it’s something you can’t really replicate online.
Yes, you can use the chat function, but it’s not the same. Even if companies introduce the use of video during play it won’t quite be the same (this already exists in online bingo).
Again, it all depends on who you are and what mood you are in. If you’re feeling adventurous and like making new friends or swapping success stories an online session might not hit the spot.
Online In Short
|Convenience||Easier to Spend|
Land-Based Casinos – The Pros
Time to Think
Unlike in an online casino, placing a bet in real life takes a little more thought. You need to physically walk up to a cash machine or to the cashier in order to change money, giving you more opportunity to think about what you’re doing – handy if you’re on the fence about whether or not to place the bet you’ve been considering.
This time away can be enough to bring you out of the game and reassess your position, potentially saving you from making silly bets.
Perhaps it’s a slight cheat to have this on the list three times, but it’s definitely true that meeting and chatting with colourful characters is one of the real highlights of visiting a land-based casino. That and the free drinks when you are playing.
Casinos are also becoming all round entertainment centres. Many people go with friends to watch the footy or have dinner in between spins of the roulette wheel, and some casinos even have night clubs.
It’s worth thinking about how much you drink before you play mind you, as excessive alcohol consumption and gambling doesn’t tend to work out in the players favour. Saying that, if the staff suspect you are drunk you should be banned from playing for the evening.
Helps The Local Economy
From selling local produce to jobs for the dealers and croupiers through to the bar staff and cleaners, there’s one thing a physical casino can offer that online casinos simply can’t – a boost to the local economy.
Obviously online casinos do employ people, especially the ones that have live games on offer, but it’s not to the same scale and they are most often based abroad. Many live games are hosted in Eastern Europe and online HQ’s tend to be in Malta and Gibraltar.
Granted, this is unlikely to be your primary concern, but it’s true nonetheless.
The Real Deal
Online game developers can make all the claims they want about the quality of their products, but at the end of the day nothing beats the reality of a land-based casino. The simple fact is you cannot manufacture the sights, sounds, and smells of a real casino.
It can even be argued that winning in a land based casino is more fun, after all, you will have a captive audience and experiences tend to be better shared.
But beware; the only thing bigger than personal greed is collective greed and this is something that can definitely happen on casino tables.
Land-Based Casinos – The Cons
For better or for worse, land-based casinos will always be limited in terms of what games they can offer. You could go to the largest casino in the world with thousands of slot machines on display and you still wouldn’t match the variety found online.
If you’re someone that gets bored easily or if you struggle to keep your attention on one thing then you may feel as though you have done it all half way through the evening and a land based casino.
Time Can Be Wasted
If your main objective when going to a casino is to gamble then unless you happen to live inside a one the likelihood is that you’ll have to travel in order to get there. That is time that could be spent playing and building your bankroll had you chosen to play from home.
Even a trip to the bar to get a drink could be eating into your playing time if you’re limited by a deadline of some sort. There is also the possibility the table you want to play on, or the stakes you want to play at, will not be available when you want them.
This is not an issue if you are out for the night and just want a good overall experience, but if you want to put your nose to the grindstone and get down to business you could be better off at the computer.
Give Away Your Tells
This is especially relevant to the poker players out there. Playing a tournament in real-life means that opposition players may be able to pick up on your tells and weaknesses.
That’s not a problem that you’ll encounter playing poker online, though of course, if you’re on a computer you won’t be able to note your opponent’s weaknesses or tells either.
Betting online levels the playing field somewhat and favours those of you that play a statistical game of poker rather than an emotional one.
Land Based In Short
|Time to Think||Less Variety|
|Economy Booster||Showing Your Weaknesses|
|The Genuine Article|
The reality is that whether you prefer playing online or playing in a land-based casino will mostly come down to a combination of personal preference and the situation at the time.
If you’re a social person who enjoys mixing with other people and soaking up and atmosphere, then you’re always more likely to favour playing casino games in real-life. Especially if you aren’t taking it too seriously and are focussing on fun rather than business.
On the other hand, if you enjoy your own company and love the variety of gaming then an online casino will be your Mecca. Equally, if you consider yourself something of a professional and don’t want to be disturbed then an online casino could be for you.
One thing worth remembering is that you can always mix and match between the two as the situation demands, you don’t have to choose one or the other forever more.