Casinos throughout the western world have seen their numbers decline; Las Vegas in particular has watched the number of tourists visiting its desert city decrease whilst Las Vegas casinos have seen their revenue and stock prices shrink. What is the reason or this? Many poker players, slot players and general gamblers have decided; ‘why should I leave my house to gamble at a casino when I can quite easily do it from my own living room?’ To put this into some perspective, the uprising of online casinos has slowly but surely ensured that an ever-growing number of land-based casinos have been made obsolete.
UK land-based casinos
Land-based casinos in the UK are suffering. The total gross gambling yield fell 10% to £1.1bn between April 2018 and March 2019 and whilst this number remains a healthy figure, it is expected that 2020 figures will show a further drop in percentage. This could see the figure fall below £1bn. If you live in the UK, you will already have noticed a number of land-based casinos shut their doors. Whilst land based casinos in the UK used to be sophisticated establishments which couples and friends would visit on a Saturday evening, they have quickly become less fashionable, save the swanky high-class London casinos.
In a similar way to how the retail industry and high-street shopping has declined in the past decade due to cheaper and more accessible online retailers like Amazon, brick and mortar casinos are bearing the brunt of their online rivals.
The advantages of online casinos that have led to the decline of land-based casinos
The advantages of online casinos compared to land-based ones are numerous:
- Players can play from the comfort of their own home
- Online casinos give players an almost unlimited number of games to choose from including slot games, table games and live casino games
- Online casinos release brand new slot games monthly if not weekly whilst land-based casinos rarely update their slot machines
- Online casinos offer substantially superior sign up offers as well as bonuses
- Land-based casino rakes (the money the casino receives from each pot) are usually higher than the rake at online casinos due to land-based casinos having to pay dealers wages etc
These advantages are not a secret. Huge numbers of UK gamblers are flooding to online casinos. The online gambling industry in the United Kingdom is now worth £14bn rising from £10bn between 2011 and 2019 respectively. Online casinos offer what land-based casinos cannot. Some of the favourite casino games of UK gamblers; the likes of Rainbow Riches and Pixies of the Forest slot games are simply only available to be played at online casinos.
A personal touch for players
Online casinos offer players a much more tailored casino experience. Often, these casinos use gamification in order give players a more fulfilling experience. For example, they could give casino players milestones whereby they have to play certain games in order to unlock others. Additionally, some casinos reward players for time spent playing a certain game. These rewards could be anything from bonus spins to free cash rewards.
Players can also expect to witness casino operators communicating with them in order to receive feedback on certain games. Online casino platforms are much more likely to want to keep their players happy then land-based casinos are. Furthermore, communication between casinos online and players is easy – a simple email is all it takes. In addition to this, all online casinos operate with a fully staffed customer support team, so if players have any complaints, issues or feedback, it is simple to pass on.
A digital world
Online casino operators give players the opportunity to use a variety of different payment options. A greater number of people are becoming less reliant on cash as payment methods. The likes of PayPal and Skrill allow people to purchase goods without the need for currencies, these payment options can be used on many online casino websites. It is likely that Google and Apple Pay will also be able to be used by casino players in the future too.
What does the future hold for regular casinos?
The future for regular land-based casinos looks bleak. Furthermore, as the years pass, land-based casinos will become irregular and it will be the online casinos which are seen as the norm. Las Vegas casinos will always be separate from the casinos throughout the rest of the world – Las Vegas is an immensely popular tourist destination and will continue to be well into the future. Although it is likely that the casinos in the city will see their profits decrease, it will not be anywhere near as substantial as casinos in other parts of the world. What’s more, online casino gambling is illegal throughout the majority of US states, so Las Vegas is safe, for now.