Gamblers have more options at their disposal than ever before. Long gone are the days where the only way to place a bet or play a few hands of blackjack was to visit one casino in the nearest city.
With the rise of online gambling, many have made the switch to the digital space. With that being said, casinos are still alive and well, and as purists will tell you, there’s nothing quite like the real thing.
In this article, I’ll outline the pros and cons of choosing physical casinos over online casinos. At the end, my hope is that you’ll realize both have a place in your gambling hobby.
1 – Pro: Good Old Fashioned Entertainment
For some, gambling is a way to make real money on the side, or even as a full-time job. The vast majority of people, however, gamble for entertainment. If a few extra dollars end up in their pocket at the end of the day, it’s just an added bonus.
Casinos have always been a fun place to gather. The unique atmosphere and potential for hitting it big creates an energy that is hard to replicate.
For all its nice perks and benefits, online casinos just cannot replicate the feel of the real thing.
At the end of the day, there’s something to be said about being involved in the action. The lights, the sounds, the bar…it all adds up to an experience that you just aren’t going to find in your living room. When you go to the casino, you can justify losing a little more money in that you were “paying for an entertaining day out” – at home, if you lose, it’s just money you no longer have.
It’s important to keep in mind that you need to factor in additional expenses when you go to a physical casino that fall outside of your bankroll. If you’re going to be having a meal and a couple of drinks, separate this money from what you use for gambling or you’ll risk throwing off your bankroll completely.
2 – Pro: Easy Payouts
One area that online casinos seem to be lacking fast payment systems. It’s not necessarily that players are getting screwed out of their winnings or anything nefarious like that, but getting paid isn’t as straightforward as it should be.
Many online casinos require that players meet a certain criteria in order to get a payout. For example, some sites might not have a free cash-out process only if you wager $500. Another example might be that you must pay a fee if you get paid out more than once in a given month. Numerous other systems are out there, but these are the most common that you’ll encounter in online casinos.
When it comes to getting your money from a physical casino, it’s almost always an easy process. If you’re playing games involving chips, simply cash them out and an equal exchange rate meaning you won’t have to pay any fees. It is important to remember, though, that you do need to tip your dealer if you’re playing a game that has one.
The biggest advantage of cashing out at the casino over online platforms is that you don’t need to enter any information or allow for a delay in getting your cash. It’s secure, immediate, and no risk involved.
Most online casinos are completely safe to use, but any time you’re uploading your personal or bank information, there’s an inherent risk attached. Not to mention, who wants to wait days (or longer) for their money to be deposited?
When you add it all up, physical casinos definitely take the victory when asking the question of who has the easier, faster, and overall better payout structure. If you want to gamble and take home your money (in cash) that same day, physical establishments are undoubtedly the best way to go.
3 – Con: Less Game Options
Casinos are known for having huge areas dedicated to gaming…but they aren’t as big as the internet. While you may have all the classics on a casino floor, you just can’t quite get all the options that are offered on online casinos.
Even the most popular games like blackjack, roulette, and slots have a number of different variations that can be found on several gambling platforms online. Physical casinos are simply limited by the space they have, vast as it may be, and can’t include all of them.
Aside from space limitations, many of the games offered online provide better odds to gamblers. Whereas the casino downtown has extremely high overhead costs for staff, food, drinks, etc., digital casinos only have a few costs to keep their site running. Because of this, they can afford to offer games that take less money from gamblers while still taking in a nice profit for the house.
You could argue that the small differences in odds could be made up with the fees associated with cashing out, but most gamblers would agree that it’s still better to play games with better odds and a lower house edge.
If your sole focus is to win money and the entertainment value is much less important, online casinos are going to give you the best opportunity on a game-to-game basis.
4 – Con: Difficulty Quitting While Ahead
This one is tricky, because you could argue that it’s harder to walk away when you’re sitting in your living room gambling. However, I would argue that because you haven’t made the commitment of spending a day at the casino, and have other options available for things to do, it should be easier to quit while you’re playing online.
One of the most important aspects of gambling discipline is knowing when to take your winnings and call it a day. Unfortunately, when you’re winning over and over, it can be hard to accept that you’ve won enough and don’t need to push your luck.
When you go to a physical casino, it’s a bit of a time commitment. You’ve likely gathered up a few friends, driven a considerable distance, and made the decision that gambling is what you’ll be doing that day. So what happens when you get up $500 in your first two hours? For most players, it feels like playing with house money the rest of the day. In reality, it should mean that it’s time to walk away.
Managing a bankroll isn’t always easy. Aside from just keeping the numbers straight, it requires a great deal of discipline to stay on track with your plan (that you hopefully have already). When you’re stuck inside a casino for the next couple of hours with “free money” in your pocket, it’s a lot to ask of yourself to quit gambling.
In today’s world, many things are moving online that we never could have dreamed of just 20 years ago. It’s not a stretch to say that real money online gambling will surpass physical casino gambling in the near future.
This is all well and good, but I would still argue that going to your local casino (or a casino on vacation) is still one of the most fun and exciting things you can do. Just because you can wager money online doesn’t mean you get the fully immersive, engaging experience a physical casino provides.
At the end of the day, it comes down to your preference. Online casinos are great, but for entertainment purposes, it’s hard to beat the real thing.