While gambling may date back over millennia the casino as we know it was first established in the UK in the middle of the 17th century. Since then the casino industry has grown to be a global phenomenon including in gaming capitals like Las Vegas, Macau and Singapore. The mix of glamour, wealth and the chance of sudden good fortune has always been an intoxicating combination – surely a key reason why so many Hollywood movies have featured casino scenes.
But times are changing and there’s good evidence to suggest that the golden age of the land-based casino could be on the wane. With even the takings for the traditionally biggest money maker, slot machines, on the decline in US casinos many business analysts see big changes on the way.
It doesn’t appear that people have fallen out of love with gambling, far from it, it just seems that many prefer to use online casinos instead. The rise of the internet over the last couple of decades has truly opened the floodgates for these with even many land-based casino companies choosing to make major investments in their online operations.
For the casino operators this has been a very simple decision to make. That’s because running a land-based casino is an indisputably expensive business. As well as requiring a high-profile location and decorating the premises lavishly, there’s also a need to have a large number of staff to operate it from dealers to bar people, not to mention a large number of security staff.
In fact security is another headache for any casino operator. Not only do the players need to be watched closely, the large amounts of cash that may be held at any time also make casinos a popular target for hold-ups and theft.
Online casinos, on the other hand, have a fraction of the overheads and, while not risk free from fraudsters and thieves, don’t present quite such an open target. It’s the reduction in operating costs, however that really brings benefits to casino and customer alike with the latter being treated to bonuses and bigger winnings which the reduced overheads allow.
One thing that the online casino does lack is the atmosphere and ambience of the real casino experience. Online gambling, on the other hand, is generally a solitary exercise with the focus on winning. But, as with all online experiences, greater convenience is another key selling point with games available to be played round the clock and on virtually any device with an internet connection. So it’s far easier to dip in and out of playing online when convenient – a big bonus for many when compared with the commitment of time needed to visit a land-based casino.
Online casinos have also shown themselves to be a great introduction for novice and pro players alike to find their feet. With this in mind, online casinos such as the well-known brand 888Casino for example provide comprehensive player guides and tutorials such as blackjack strategy guides and video series, roulette and slots guides ensuring an improved user experience to their players.
So while it would be foolish to predict the end of the land-based casino their online competitors certainly seem to be in the ascendant. Although, for many, they’ll never be able to match the thrill of beating a real-life dealer or absorbing the admiration of onlookers in a big-money win.