With the quick rise in popularity of online casinos both in the UK and around the world, the question inevitably arises: which type of casino is better? For every hardcore online gambler that will give you a thousand reasons why you should never step foot inside a brick and mortar gambling hall, there are also a thousand professional gamblers who will tell you that real gamblers stay away from computers and focus on the cards physically in front of them. Below, we quickly look at some of the main differences betweenonline and land-based casinos in the U.K. and the offer some of the advantages and disadvantages of both types of casinos.
The main differences between online and land-based casinos
The most obvious and discernible different is that online casinos allow you to play from anywhere in the world where you have an internet connection. Online casinos are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year. Furthermore, because they are online, these types of casinos allow you to play from around the world.
Land-based casinos, in comparison, often have strict hours of operation, and may be closed during certain holidays or days of the week. While many land-based casinos try to get their clients to forget the concept of time through not having windows and filling the rooms with dazzling lights, sounds, and colors, the ease of gambling with online casinos is incomparable as you can play from the comfort of your home.
Gambling is a game of luck. However, strict mathematical formulas govern virtually every type of game that is offered both byonline and land-based casinos. While an expert poker player might be able to turn the mathematical odds in his favor due to his skill, experience, and prowess at intimidating other players, there will still be times when he or she loses to a complete novice depending on how the cards fall.
The “return-to-player” rate is a term that is used by casinos to denote the amount of money that gambling machines (like slots) will return to back to players over time. For example, if a certain slot machine has a VLT of 85%, $85 out of every $100 dollars paid will eventually go back to the players.
In Las Vegas, for example, the legal lowest RTP rate for any machine is 75%. Online casinos, in comparison, have a legal minimum of 91%. While mostland-based casinos in both the U.K. and around the world have a higher RTP rate than the legal minimum, it is widely accepted that online slot machines usually offer a much better rate of return. Because online casinos do not have any overhead costs (employees, rent, electricity bills, etc.) they are theoretically able to offer better RTP rates. While every individual casino will be different, in general the RTP rates are considered to be higher at online casinos.
During any given day inside a casino, chances are that you will hear several gamblers complain that the “house” has rigged the games and is not being fair. While no one enjoys losing while gambling that is the nature of the game.
While online casinos were previously unregulated for several years while they began to gain in popularity, today almost all online casinos are legally regulated and licensed. One of the regulations that all online casinos must abide by is that they must publish their audit reports and the “fairness level” of their games on the website. While many online casinos may try to hide this information in obscure parts of their website, you can theoretically find all the information related to the games offered by online casinos before deciding to play.
Smart gamblers will thus have the ability to discover the RTP rates for the different games offered by the online casino and thus choose the games that allow them the greatest opportunity to win. Land-based casinos do not openly disclose this information to players and are rarely required to do so.
Variety of games
Many land-based casinos in the UK are relatively small, sometimes only offering a dozen or so slot machines and 10 table games. While many gamblers may like this laid-back and relaxed gambling scene, online casinos try to draw in gamblers through offering literally thousands of different types of games. From online poker to almost an infinite variety in slots, if you are looking for variety, online casinos certainly offer a wider assortment of games. For other gamblers, however, the wide selection of games can be confusing and complicated.
Furthermore, many online casinos allow players to try the games for “free” before deciding to wager money. Amateur online gamblers, then, can try out hundreds of different games before finding one that they enjoy. Land-based casinos obviously cannot offer these sort of benefits. Furthermore, online casinos do generally offer much more bonus offers and free money to players. While land-based casinos also have these types of perks, they often are limited in scope.
The social aspect of the gambling experience
The main advantage that land-based casinos claim is the “experience” that comes with physically being in a casino and sitting down at a table with other gamblers. The lights, sounds, and smells all often a sensory experience that online casinos simply cannot emulate.
While some online casinos have begun to offer “live casino” options where you can play on multi-player tablets with gamblers from around the world and even see a live dealer on your screen, most gambler will admit that the experience is simply not the same.
Furthermore, many land-based casinos offer certain entertainment options that add to the experience. From casino resorts that bring in live musicians and shows to the small neighborhood casino that allows you to watch the football game with a group of friends while casually playing blackjack, the social aspect of the gambling experience is still a major draw of land-based casinos.