The casino was once a place that was felt like a mini-vacation. The excitement of walking out a big winner, the unfailingly-interesting people watching, and the bright flashing lights all contributed to the experience of gambling.
Today, the casinos still hold their appeal as a getaway, but for those who are solely focused on gambling, there’s another viable option: online casinos.
As technology continues to get more advanced, online gaming sites are becoming more secure and easy-to-use than ever before. In this article, I’ll lay out a few of the pros and cons of utilizing online casinos.
1 – Pro: Easy Access
Unless you live in a metropolitan area, there’s a good chance that the nearest casino isn’t right down the street. After adding up the time it takes to get to and from the establishment, not to mention parking and finding the casino floor, going to gamble isn’t a quick activity.
For those who prefer to wager their hard-earned money from the comfort of the couch, it’s hard to beat this betting experience.
2 – Con: Easy Access
I know, this was a pro just a second ago, but hear me out. For some individuals, easy access to gaming isn’t the best situation. Big losses can be followed up by reckless bets that can put players even further in the hole.
Additionally, the availability of online casinos can mean that it’s harder to walk away when you’re up. Because you can log on and off at your discretion, it might seem like you have more control over how often you play, but that’s not necessarily the case.
My advice? Set time limits. For example, if you’re utilizing online blackjack tables, put a timer on and don’t let yourself play once time is up. That way if you’re down, you won’t continue to lose money and if you’re up you can finish your round in the green.
Because you don’t have the added pressure of thinking “well, who knows when I’ll come back to the casino, better take more risks,” you can use the access to your advantage. However, if you aren’t careful it can become a real problem that has the potential to cause lasting negative financial effects.
3 – Pro: More Game Options
If you’re in a big city, you might be able to drive to a half dozen casinos in under a half hour. For the majority of the country, there are usually only one or two…if that. What does that mean? You’re limited to the games that are on the floor, and there’s not much else you can do about it.
When you enter the world of online casinos, you’ll find that there are tons of attractive options on various sites. Don’t like the returns on site A’s slots? Site D has exactly what you’re looking for! Want to try a version of roulette with a lower house edge? Seek and you shall find!
Of all the benefits that online casinos have for players, the wide range of game offerings has to be at the top of the list. If you can’t find the game you want, you aren’t looking hard enough or it simply doesn’t exist.
4 – Con: Potential for Scams and Vulnerability
Let me preface this section by saying that as long as you’re vigilant and mindful of the potential for scams, you can usually avoid being a victim by doing just a few minutes of research.
It doesn’t happen often, but some shady online operations have scammed their gamers out of money. Typically these are new sites that have only been “in business” for a short period of time, don’t have any sort of reputation developed, and don’t offer security protocols that you’ll find in other places.
The important thing is that you simply verify before putting any money or sensitive information on an online casino site. Do a background check – there are sites that are solely dedicated to verifying the reliability and security of some sites.
In addition to the site itself being up to criminal activity, it’s important to make sure that there are security protocols in place to help keep your money secure. If you’re making online deposits and keeping money on your account, make sure you can trust that the site has your protection in mind.
To reiterate, security and safety isn’t a problem if you do some research. Just be sure that you aren’t putting money on a site blindly. Now is also a good time to throw out the reminder that if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.
5 – Pro: Bonuses
When you have hundreds of options at your fingertips, online casinos need to try a little harder to earn your business than the place downtown. This effort typically takes place in the form of bonuses.
Each site will have their own unique offerings, but typically these perks will include things like initial deposit matches, free entry into tournaments, and the list goes on. One could argue that bonuses alone make it a better move from a financial standpoint to utilize online casinos instead of their brick and mortar counterparts.
Now, as we saw in the last “con” section, there can be some vulnerabilities with online gaming sites…are bonuses a trap? The short answer: they’re not!
If a site wants to earn your business for an ongoing activity like gambling, they’re highly incentivized to gain your loyalty. If that means giving away a few freebies along the way to keep you playing, that’s worth it to them.
Next time you’re considering signing up for an online casino, do a little research and try to pin down the best bonus offerings. Taking advantage of these perks are a great way to pad your bankroll without having to risk any additional money.
6 – Con: Cash out Complications
At a physical casino, cashing out is a very simple and straightforward process. Though the methods may differ depending on where you’re playing, one thing remains the same – if you want to leave with your winnings, you can do so. Unfortunately, the same can’t always be said for online casinos.
Whether it’s a monthly deposit or check or requiring you to have a certain dollar amount, the process isn’t always as simple as it should be.
In addition to the general complication factor that you might run into depending on which site you’re utilizing, there’s also the issue of (sometimes) hidden fees and charges. For example, if you’re cashing out more than $100, you may have to pay a 1% transaction fee to the site.
While it’s easy to complain about fees or charges, it’s important to keep in mind that online casinos aren’t making any money from drinks, food, or hotel rooms. Operating costs are certainly lower, but it’s understandable why some charges are required.
Just like bonuses and incentives, fees can vary greatly from site to site. If these are a concern, do your research and find which platforms have the lowest fees for transactions.
Going to the casino and observing the surroundings can be worth the price of admission (or worth the price of losing a few dollars). With that being said, sometimes it really is just all about the money.
Online casinos also provide a great opportunity for players to learn more about how the games work without the added pressure of strangers watching.
If you haven’t given online casinos a try, it’s certainly worth checking out a few. Each day there is real money being made by those who take advantage of all the options available. If you play your digital cards right, you could also be getting in on some of the action.