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What are the main differences between an online casino and a physical casino?

What are the main differences between an online casino and a physical casino?

Casinos are always closely associated with glitz and glamour and over the decades have proved that they are arguably the most popular form of gambling. In the past, you needed to visit a physical casino, but with the advent of the internet, online casino have brought gambling into people’s homes, making the entire experience accessible to everyone.

There is no doubting that brick and mortar casinos still hold and appeal, and their mystique is something that fascinates everyone. However, for various reasons, some people can’t visit in person but still want to enjoy the same adrenaline rush and excitement that can be felt when they are there in person. Many things remain the same, including the stakes. Still, for their sheer accessibility, not to mention enticing bonuses, it is easy to appreciate why online casinos are continually increasing in popularity.

Here are some of the major differences between land-based and online casinos.

  1. The Social Aspect

    Gambling is often an individual experience with players focused on their own games, but there is no doubting that if you want to experience the raw excitement and in many ways, the intimidation, then you must visit a land-based casino at least once. If you make an “in-person” visit, you get the opportunity to mix and socialise with others, perhaps improving your technique or trying learning about new games.

    Games such as roulette or blackjack are centred around a large main table where there will be a degree of interaction with both other players and a real dealer. This social interaction isn’t possible to the same degree with online casinos which can be something that many people appreciate and find relaxing. However, some modern online casinos offer a “chat” option to interact and socialise with others.  

  2. Money Laundering

    Money laundering is a global problem, and the fear initially was that online casinos would create a new platform for criminals to launder their money. However, the opposite has been true with anonymity almost impossible, unlike in a bricks and mortar casino where many transactions involve cash. The reduced threat of money laundering increases online casinos’ integrity and therefore makes them more socially acceptable.

    Many online casinqos are operated by reputable bookmakers or even the on-land casinos themselves. It brings increased trust and confidence to an industry which may have previously been driven underground or had close links to the criminal underworld. 

  3. More gaming options online

    While the larger casinos of Las Vegas and Macau offer an endless choice of games, this is rarely the case in many land-based casinos where they a limited by space and to a certain extent, players. Playing games in a virtual environment means that the gaming options are almost endless with tables designed to match any budget and also the experience that the player wants to achieve.

  4. Accessibility

    Having gaming available on your computer, phone, or another mobile device means that it is available 24/7 for short or long periods. Land-based casinos required gamblers to visit in person, often with a dress-code in place that means staying for a few minutes isn’t practical. Logging into an online casino is easy and comfortable. You can immediately access the game of your choice without having to wait up to an hour for a seat to become available.

    Payments to online casinos are straightforward with most accepting credit and debit cards, with some accepting Bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

  5. Anonymity

    Although it is almost impossible to remain anonymous to gaming giants for money laundering reasons, you can remain anonymous to other players creating an Avatar or discrete username. It can add an additional security element, including reducing muggings outside a bricks and mortar casino or from fraud as all reputable online bookmakers will be audited and verified by third parties.

    Land-based casinos have undoubtedly cleaned up their act in recent years, but many still attract unsavoury clientele who are perhaps more interested in criminal intentions than gaming. It is a problem which is reduced with online casinos.

  6. Reduced overheads mean better odds

    Land-based casinos can have excessive overheads which gamblers must absorb. Inevitably, in most cases, this means that the odds are less attractive. Without the need to pay real dealers, bar staff and chefs, online casinos can offer better value for money. “Super odds” or “Bet Boost” options are standard, making a gamers’ chances of walking away with a profit increased.

    Many games online are slot machine, and the payout rates can be increased, often to around 80%, which is considerably higher than in a bricks and mortar casino.  

  7. Introductory offers and bonuses

    Competition between online casinos is cutthroat and, as such, introductory offers, attractive bonuses and freebies are common. It is rarely available in a physical casino where, once inside, you almost become a captive audience. Online bookmakers need to offer incentives to retain your business, well aware that they are continually up against new competition and the fact that there is less loyalty online.

    Land-based casinos frequently have food and drinks offers to keep you on their premises, but cash bonuses and free bets allow you to win something. For most gamblers, these are a more attractive proposition than a free meal or cocktail.

  8. Ease of setting up an online casino

    Although online casinos are strictly regulated, the costs of setting one up are minimal compared to a land-based casino. From a gamblers perspective, increased competition and choice is a bonus as it is likely to mean that more incentives are offered. The freedom to switch from one casino to the next is rarely possible with many “real” casinos, often due to geography. In theory, it would be possible to collect hundreds of dollars of bonuses each day if the gamer was prepared to shop around.


Final thoughts

Both online casinos and land-based casinos have their attractions and benefits and in many ways appeal to two very different groups of people. There is no doubting that online casinos’ growth has opened up this form of gaming to the masses, and gambling from home is now as socially acceptable as drinking.

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