Online gambling has gone through an explosion in popularity since the start of the 21st century. As technologies have continued to develop and improve, the gambling experience online has become an even bigger rival for more traditional land-based casinos. Whenever you’re researching casinos online, you could almost be forgiven for thinking that land-based casinos have all but disappeared. But in reality, the new surge in interest in gambling has been of benefit to both the online and offline gambling industries.

While the games at online casinos largely reflect the games you can expect to find in your local physical casino, there are a number of key differences between the two. So what are the pros and cons of online casinos versus their more traditional counterparts, and why should you play one versus the other?

Benefits of Playing at a Land-Based Casino

Until relatively recently, the land-based casino was pretty much the only legitimate place you could gamble on games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat and progressive slots. Today, land-based casinos are doing well in the UK, thanks to the resurgence in interest in gambling. A combination of relaxed rules around casino advertising and the growth of the remote gambling industry has led to an increase in the numbers of gamblers heading out for a night at the casino.

Compared with online gambling, there are a number of clear advantages to playing at the ‘real’ thing. Firstly, there’s the experience. When you gamble online, you might be sat at home, watching TV, or otherwise relaxing in your home comforts. When you go to a land-based casino, it’s an excuse to get dressed up and make a night of it. Land-based casinos have a particular atmosphere that online casinos are hard pressed to match. Additionally, you’ve usually got access to a bar, plus options for food as well, so it’s possible to turn your gambling into a full evening of entertainment.

There are obviously a number of games available at your typical land-based casino, and you can easily roam between different tables and different dealers to suit. You also have the advantage of physically seeing the games unfold, and the human connection with the dealer and other players - again, not as readily possible when you’re playing in the online sphere.

Of course, there are downsides too. It’s not exactly the most convenient way to gamble, if you have to take a trip to the local casino every time you want to bet on a few roulette spins. Likewise, if it’s late at night, or early in the morning, you might not feel particularly inclined to venture out to a land-based establishment. This is where online casinos come in - it’s in large part the sheer convenience that gives online the edge for most people.

Perks of Online Gambling

Playing in a land-based casino can be a great night out, and it’s a must if you’re visiting Vegas or any other of the big gambling resorts. But for day to day gambling, it’s hard for land-based casinos to compete with the online offering. 

Online casinos are significantly more convenient than their land-based counterpart - they are only ever a click away. Especially now most casinos have developed mobile support, you can even have a quick flutter while you’re on the move, or at work. All you need to do is set up an account and deposit, and you’ve got a casino in your pocket, whenever you want to gamble.

It’s also convenient because there are so many different games to choose from. In your typical offline casino, there are dozens of games and variations. In your typical online casino, there can be hundreds, including progressive slots that could rival and even surpass the highest value jackpots in Vegas.

But as if that wasn’t enough, there’s also the issue of bonuses to take into account. When you sign up for an online account, you’ll be offered countless different bonuses to tempt you in, including free deposit matches, free spins, no deposit bonuses, and a range of other potential goodies. When you’re registering with a land-based casino, it’s usually a much less lucrative affair.

This is purely because the competition online is so intense, and in such close quarters. If a player doesn’t like the offer from Casino A, he can sign up with Casino B moments later. This just isn’t as practical with land-based casinos, and inevitably means players get a worse deal when it comes to bonuses.

With online casinos, you don’t get the same atmosphere or the same social element. But with the advent of live casino gaming online, it’s now possible to play through a direct camera link with a live dealer. This goes some way towards replicating these elements of the land-based casino experience. And as online casinos increasingly experiment with VR technologies, this side of their offering is only going to get stronger in the years to come.

While online casinos are clearly more convenient and more suitable for getting that instant gambling fix, there’s still a lot to be gained from playing in your local land-based casino. A growing number of gamblers are first introduced to casino gaming online, and the removal of all friction versus registering to gamble at your local casino makes remote gambling more attractive to first time players. 

It ultimately depends what you’re looking for from your gambling experience, and there’s no reason you can’t play both. Provided you bear in mind these pros and cons, there’s enough variety to enjoy a good gambling experience in either a land-based or online venue.