Online casinos are nothing new, but in the last few years their popularity has grown. Laws and regulations in many European countries, including Sweden, are being relaxed around the online casino industry. The question is, what effect will online casino have on land-based ones?
Dominic Andreasson is a long-established writer in the casino industry, with countless articles written over the years. He brings many unique insights into each article and discussion.
Why Are Online Casinos Popular?
There are a few important factors we need to look at regarding the popularity of online casinos and what they offer compared to traditional casinos.
The convenience of online casinos might be one of the biggest reasons for their popularity. They’re open 24/7, and you can play whenever you want. With most casino sites being mobile compatible, you can play them from anywhere with an internet connection.
It’s not necessary to drive out to a casino anymore if you want to gamble. The ease of accessing casino games is now greater than ever.
Traditional casinos simply can’t compete with the sheer number of games online casinos have. Even if we ignore the thousands of slots, there are still far more traditional casino games and variations available online.
With a large number of games, players will never get bored. There’ll always be something to play and enjoy, and it’s all available right at their fingertips.
Bonuses and Other Offers
When you sign up at an online casino, you’re almost certain to get what’s called a welcome offer or bonus. Usually, this means the casino will match your initial deposit up to a certain amount and also offer free spins to use on slot games.
Meanwhile, at land-based casinos, you don’t get much of anything for walking through the doors. These bonuses have been a powerful tool to attract more players. The allure of being able to gamble without having to use much of your own money is very strong.
Improvements in Technology
The rise of online casinos has also been fueled by improvements in technology. Online gaming has come a long way, even in just the past decade. The graphics, sound, and mechanics are vastly improved from what they once were.
The days of the simple three-reel slots are long gone. Some of the newer slot games coming out are simply stunning. If you’re playing them just for fun (with no wagers), you might even forget you’re playing a casino game.
The Future of Traditional Casinos
While the rise and popularity of online casinos might sound like gloom and doom for traditional casinos, we don’t think that’s the case. Currently, traffic in these casinos is reduced, but it’s not simply due to online casinos.
With the pandemic, foot traffic has, of course, been reduced everywhere. This includes casinos, resorts, and even just local malls. People are going out less, and restrictions on indoor capacity are also having an effect.
Interest in Gambling Is Increasing
Multiple studies have shown that online gambling has been steadily increasing, especially since the pandemic started. However, these numbers aren’t being driven simply by existing gamblers moving their activities online.
This means then, people who have never gambled before are trying it out for the first time. It could simply be curiosity or boredom, but people are seeking out online casinos more. The fact that many casino sites let people try the games for free is a huge positive for them. Somebody just trying the game today could be making an account tomorrow.
These same people could then one day decide to see the traditional casino experience. More people playing online isn’t necessarily a bad thing for casinos; it could be quite the opposite.
Land Based Casinos Have Moved Operations Online
Many of the online casinos popping up are simply online versions of already established casinos. This has been one way to recoup revenue following the loss of foot traffic. So, when people play at these online casinos, the land-based ones still continue to make a profit.
Even if operations do become predominantly online in the future, the casino still gets to keep its customers and maybe even gain new ones. It’s all about adapting to the current situation.
The Appeal of Traditional Casinos
While we talked about all the positives of online casinos, land-based ones have their own attractions too. Going to a traditional casino isn’t simply about gambling, it’s an experience in and of itself.
Many major casinos also act as resorts. Visitors will find pools, spas, high-end restaurants, and more. One could argue though those extra amenities were added as a way to make casinos a more attractive destination.
Ultimately land-based casinos do provide a certain thrill and excitement, and just being there is a sight to see. The lights, the sounds, and the whole atmosphere of a traditional casino is an experience that online gaming can’t match.
While traffic at land-based casinos has undoubtedly slowed down, we believe it’s only a temporary effect of pandemic-based restrictions. As the world returns to normal, casinos will be back up and running again. The new players exposed to online gambling could also translate to increased traffic at traditional casinos down the road.