Why Brick and Mortar Casinos Need to be Afraid
For those of us who love a trip to the casino, we’ve had to get our gambling kicks from elsewhere.
10:47 26 August 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has forced many changes to the way we live our lives. Fortunately, online casinos have been on hand and, in many ways, they offer a much better proposition for their customers.
The pandemic will have no doubt encouraged players previously sceptical about iGaming to take their gambling online. Once they’ve had a taste of what a virtual casino can offer, we reckon they’ll be less likely to be drawn to real-world casinos in the post-COVID world.
In this article, we look at the online gambling experience relative to the real-world one. As you’ll find out, there are plenty of areas in which a brick-and-mortar casino simply can’t compete.
Lower Minimum Bets
Online casinos have much lower overheads than real-world ones. There are all kinds of operating expenses that a brick and mortar casino must consider that simply don’t exist online. In addition to the venue, security staff, and physical equipment, the dealers themselves need paying.
For a table game to be profitable for the casino, it needs to generate more than its cost of operation. This encourages casinos to enforce larger minimum bets on the likes of roulette, blackjack, and other popular games. It just makes no business sense for a casino to provide a dealer for a table on which just a few pounds are bet per minute.
Online, it’s very different. After a game has been developed and the casino has paid for the rights to use it, there is very little operating cost. This means that the game will be profitable even if players are free to bet much less. Obviously, the lower betting limits encourage more players to use the games. Whereas a real-world casino would be limited by the number of tables it can provide, online casinos can offer as many additional tables as demand dictates.
Real-world casinos do offer bonuses. However, they often take the form of a free £5 or £10 chip to use on games when a player first becomes a member. Online casinos, on the other hand, offer massive bonuses to new and existing players alike. First deposits are often doubled using bonus cash. Such promotions allow players to enjoy games for a lot longer than they could using only their own money.
Online casinos offer bonuses as part of their marketing efforts. In the online market, the physical location of both the player and the casino are largely irrelevant. There’s no extra travel involved to visit a different casino and, therefore, the market it much more competitive.
The bonuses online casinos offer are specifically designed to attract new players. That’s why signup promotions are the most prolific type of online casino bonus. The rationale is that once a player signs up to a casino, they are much more likely to revisit the same online venue the next time they have an urge to gamble.
You’ll even see online casinos offering entirely risk-free bonuses that require no deposit as a means of establishing a direct line of communication between themselves and the player. As part of claiming a bonus, the player needs to create an account. By doing this, they give the casino at least their email address (and likely a telephone number). This allows the casino to address future marketing efforts directly to the player.
Of course, casinos are businesses. They, therefore, must limit potential losses that may be incurred by offering a bonus. They do this through terms and conditions – most notably wagering requirements. Take your time in understanding the terms and conditions by using this guide. It’s the wagering requirements that directly influence how likely you are to make a profit when using a particular casino bonus.
No Waiting Around
Relying on physical equipment and human staff, the real-world casino only has the capacity to serve a certain number of players at any one time. If there’s no room at a table, players just have to sit and wait their turn. It can be quite disappointing taking time to travel to the casino only to find the only seat available for the first hour is up at the bar!
There’s very little waiting around at an online casino. If you want to play blackjack, you just load up a virtual table in seconds. It doesn’t matter if there’s one person on the site playing blackjack at the same time or 1,000. You won’t need to wait to start betting.
The same holds true for almost all other games too. Whereas there is often just one or possibly a small handful of the same slot title at a brick and mortar casino, any number of instances of the same title can run simultaneously online.
In fact, the only games that might require a player to wait are Live Casino offerings. Like the real-world casino, these require real-world equipment and human operation. However, you can join a waiting list and jump in another game for a few minutes whilst you wait for a player to leave the game and free up a seat for you.
Existing in cyber space, online casinos are infinitely more accessible than brick and mortar ones. Players just need an internet-connected device to pay a visit to the casino. Since just about everyone has a smartphone these days, this means they can play casino games without even leaving their bed if they so choose.
A trip to a real-world casino requires a much greater time commitment on a player’s behalf. They need to get ready – getting showered and dressed for a night out – and need to travel to the venue itself. Whether by bus, train, cab, car, or on foot, it all takes time. Most transport options aren’t free either, which is something else to consider.
At the end of an online session, a player simply logs out of their account. At the end of a real-world trip to the casino, there’s the matter of getting home again. Since casinos are busiest at night, transport options might have stopped running by the time it’s time to walk away. This invites additional expense in the form of taxi rides, hotel stays, or even just staying in the casino until the next day when it’ll be easier to get home.
Some Things Online Casinos Can’t Do
Of course, there are some parts of the casino experience that iGaming venues can’t replicate. Chief amongst them is the social aspect of visiting an actual casino. Virtual reality technology will have to make considerable advances before an online casino can offer the same “night out” appeal as a brick and mortar one. For some gamblers, part of the fun is getting dressed up in their Sunday best for an evening of high stakes action. Chat boxes make a poor substitute for real-life discussion of bad beats and such at the bar with fellow gamblers.
Whilst we don’t imagine online casinos will take away all of a real-world casino’s custom anytime soon, they do offer a service that’s comparable on most fronts and that’s even better on certain aspects. We reckon many of those trying iGaming for the first time as a result of the coronavirus shutdown of casinos may very well favour the virtual casino for at least some of their future punts.