Online casinos continue to grow in popularity. Over the last decade, they have become legitimized by moving mainstream and diminishing many of the negative stereotypes that once plagued the industry.
However, land-based casinos remain king of the mountain. Here are why some players prefer land-based casinos over online casinos.
Key Differences Between Land-Based and Online Casinos
There are obvious advantages to both land-based and online casinos. One key difference is the convenience factor.
Even if you live within a short drive of the casino, you still have to leave the house. This typically means putting on pants and venturing out into the world.
Real money online casinos can easily be accessed from your bed, and no dress code means you can play in your pajamas or nothing at all.
Most casino gamblers have to make some sort of travel to reach their gaming destination. Whether it’s a drive across state lines or a flight to the Nevada desert, this travel costs time and money.
Any money you spend getting to the casino is money you won’t have to gamble. Time is the most precious commodity we have.
Most gamblers are using vacation time for their casino adventure. Others are taking time away from family and loved ones for their excursion.
Online casinos eliminate many of the hassles of casino gambling. So, as far as convenience goes, online casinos hold a tremendous advantage over land-based.
That’s not to say they’re better. In fact, other areas give a clear nod to the land-based casinos. Nobody is going through half the trouble of the land-based casino gambler.
That’s because the land-based casino offers a ton that online casinos can’t compete with.
Bankroll Management Is Easier in Land-Based Casinos
Managing your casino bankroll is much easier in a land-based casino. The very nature of online payment methods can make it almost too easy to lose track of how much money you’re spending completely.
If you have a bad streak and get to zero, a few clicks, and you’re back in the black and on the tables.
In a land-based casino, players tend to pay far more attention to their cash on hand. It’s also much easier to spread your casino bankroll into sessions.
If you lose all of your chips, you’ll be forced to head back to the room for more cash. This gives you a much-needed break.
I highly recommend you weigh the pros and cons of extending your gambling session during this break. Even if you’ve still not met your daily loss limit. You may not be in the proper headspace to get right back to the tables.
In an online casino, this lack of a break can have devastating consequences.
Players in land-based casinos aren’t better at bankroll management than online casino gamblers. Still, for players with bankroll management skills, they’ll have an easier time managing their money in a land-based casino.
Live Dealers Add an Important Aspect to Gaming
Online casino games don’t vary much from the land-based casinos, with a few important exceptions. One of the significant differences is the lack of a live dealer on most games.
This is important for a few different reasons. The game’s pace is sped up considerably by using a random number generator for creating results instead of a living human.
You’ll actually be playing dozens of more hands an hour in an online casino as opposed to a land-based casino with a live dealer.
If you don’t see the problem here, let me explain. On a standard blackjack table, a player will play about 40 hands an hour.
So if you are playing for $25 per hand, you’re betting $1000 per hour. For most players, the casino has a 2% house edge. That means most players are losing $20 per hour.
Not bad at all, and a player can gamble for hours without emptying their bankroll.
However, even if you’re at a table with 4 players in an online casino, you’re playing 80 hands per hour. So, in an online casino, you’ll be losing twice as much per hour, $40, because you’re playing twice as many hands.
There’s also something nice about having a live human to deal with the cards and help you if you make a mistake.
Casino dealers are humans, and they come in good and bad varieties like the rest of us. Still, as a whole, I consider casino dealers to be pleasant and helpful.
Loyalty Programs Offer Amazing Casino Comps
Casino loyalty programs are one of the best ways for extending your casino gambling bankroll not specifically associated with how you play the games.
Free meals and even rooms can put money back into your gambling bankroll. Freebies are the name of the game when it comes to casino loyalty programs.
They aren’t always comps that you must use at the casino. A friend of mine gifted me a very nice camping cooler that he received for his dedicated play.
I have other friends who have received show tickets and know some players who earned lavish vacations for the amount of money they were putting in play.
Cashback is another huge incentive for casino gamblers. Usually, the cashback falls in fractions of a percent. Still, every penny counts when you’re trying to gain an edge on the casinos.
Online casinos are huge on the casino deposit bonus. They will match the player’s deposit up to a certain dollar amount. These bonuses come with stringent wagering requirements, and you’ll almost assuredly burn through the bonus before it becomes real money.
Some casinos will offer a similar bonus structure to their guests, which is great because it will keep you on the casino floor gambling longer. However, I caution you to read the fine print beforehand carefully.
There’s a Social Aspect That’s Lost in Online Casinos
Nobody in the history of casino gambling has piled 3 or 4 of their best friends into a 20-year-old Jeep and made a three-day journey to an online casino.
Vegas, absolutely. It was almost a right of passage the summer after college for us to make the trip before settling into adulthood. Jobs and rent would have to wait as we lived off rodeo cold beer and gas station nachos for a week under the Nevada sun.
The journey was memorable, but the real fun was in the casino. We played blackjack and drank whiskey for hours on end.
Then at night, we’d hit the clubs and meet some like minded casino goers of the fairer sex to dance and laugh the night away.
After breakfast, we’d head up to the room and sleep until the sun was almost down. Then we’d play the track again.
You’ll never be able to duplicate the truly social nature of land-based casinos.
The energy that comes off of a craps table during a hot shooter is something every gambler should experience. How can a group of players scattered across the globe feel the same excitement behind a computer monitor?
Would you be interested in watching a World Series of Online Poker?
Maybe, but you’ll never have the drama and gamesmanship from the game played in the Vegas casinos.
Even those who could largely give or take people, in general, tend to become more sociable in the casino. For me, that gives land-based casinos a significant advantage over online.
You Get Your Money Right Away
If you’ve never played at an online casino, you’re probably unfamiliar with the process of cashing out. I say process because the ordeal can take weeks for you to get your money.
Many players don’t take this into consideration when making a deposit. After all, when you make a deposit, it’s a fairly simple transaction.
You choose an amount to deposit into your account, choose a payment method, and you’re gambling in a matter of minutes. It would make sense for the withdrawal process to be as smooth.
Unfortunately, it isn’t. To begin a withdrawal from an online casino, you must initiate a payment request.
These requests are processed on a schedule that varies from casino to casino. If you didn’t do your due diligence when choosing a casino, you’re likely in for an unpleasant surprise.
Some casinos process requests every other day, and others only once or twice a week. So, if you make a request on Tuesday and withdrawal requests are only processed on Mondays, you’ve got a long wait.
Then comes an exhaustive verification process. The casinos wouldn’t want your account to be hacked and send the money to a fraudster.
Finally, some days or weeks later, you’ll get the check, which your bank may or may not put a hold on for up to 10 days.
In a land-based casino, you walk to the cashier with your chips and have cash in hand within a minute. Even players required to fill out tax paperwork from huge wins can have money in under an hour.
That’s not how business is done in online casinos and a major reason some players prefer land-based casinos.
It’s clear to see why some players prefer land-based casinos over online casinos. That’s not to say the online casinos aren’t a great alternative for many casino gamblers.
Maybe I’m just too old school for my own good, but there’s nothing that can replicate the feeling I get walking onto the casino floor.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …