How does the Online Casino and Land-Based Casino Balancing Act Work?
Casinos are commonplace across the world, with the likes of Macau and Las Vegas hailed as the ultimate destinations for gamblers. However, the rise of the internet and the mass-appeal of iGaming may lead people to believe that land-based casinos are trending downwards while the online offering continues to grow in popularity.
There’s no denying the appeal of iGaming, and while the industry does continue to grow in gross gambling yield and player base, it is very clear that both online and land-based casino gaming are thriving alongside each other.
Undeniable growth, but VIPs prefer the occasion
As you would expect from a massively popular entertainment medium becoming accessible to anyone with an internet connection, iGaming has become incredibly popular. Across the European Union alone, online gaming generated €22.2 billion in revenues in 2018. However, as far as total gambling revenue goes, online gaming only accounted for 23.2 percent of total gambling revenue in the EU.
In the same area, land-based gambling generated €73.5 billion through 2018, indicating that there is still a very significant clientele that attends venues such as casino halls. This could be explained by what the VIP players seek to achieve when they want to go out and gamble.
VIPs are after a luxurious and classy hands-on experience which they may not think that they can get online. As such, online gaming has become more of a platform for the people while the land-based offering has become more attuned to VIP bettors. It can be seen all over the world, too, with 55 percent of Macau’s gross gaming revenue in 2018 coming from VIP baccarat players.
That said, many non-VIP players also enjoy a land-based casino night as it’s all about the experience, being able to pull in chips by hand, and playing as a social occasion.
A lot of competition online
With the exception of gambling-centric destinations like Las Vegas and Macau, most casinos in the world don’t have a lot of fellow land-based competition in the vicinity of the venue. Online, however, it’s a very different matter with hundreds of platforms competing to be the best.
This has created a very user-friendly and accessible environment for would-be online gamers. The most obvious indication of this is the evolution of the welcome bonus from a convoluted set of steps to get bonus funds to offering completely free gaming. For example no deposit free spins are a popular way to attract new customers in the modern space.
The high-level of competition means that platforms are continually improving, leading to more players joining websites. The ever-rising standard in iGaming, however, also promotes improvement on land, with brick-and-mortar venues vying to be as appealing as the online options.
Games, games, games
While table games will, for the most part, be rather similar wherever they are, slot machines can vary greatly from the theme, layout, jackpot size, RTP, and volatility. For land-based casinos, it can be difficult to swap in new games, whereas the online space allows iGaming operators to quickly and easily add new titles whenever they see fit.
As such, online casinos can adapt to new trends and pop-culture fads. You can see this with the online slot games Ted, Lara Croft: Temples and Tombs, Jumanji, and Paranormal Activity. The Game of Thrones slot best demonstrates the strength of this practice. Even though the final series was a huge disappointment and full of flaws in the eyes of many fans, the slot game continues to be one of the most popular online games.
Online casino operators are taking a segment of the market due to their welcoming bonus structures, ever-changing games libraries, and accessibility. However, it simply can’t be said that the iGaming platforms will take over the industry – or even the majority of the industry – as people still greatly value the occasion of going to a casino: particularly big-spending VIPs.