Many gamblers wondered how long virtual casinos would last when the first ones came out in the mid-1990s. After all, why would people trust their money with strangers located hundreds or even thousands of miles away?
Over two decades later, these attitudes have changed, and many people freely trust virtual casinos with their money. This has helped virtual gambling, also called online gambling, grow into a large phenomenon today.
But the growth of online casino games is because of far more reasons than just people having confidence in the depositing process. In fact, virtual casino games hold a number of advantages over traditional brick-and-mortar gambling.
I’m going to discuss all of the major advantages of why virtual casino games are so popular. I’ll also cover how each specific form of virtual gambling (software, live dealer, and virtual reality casinos) has surpassed land-based casino games.
General Advantages of Virtual Casino Games
Online casino games are perfect for low rollers because they don’t cost much to play.
Virtual slot machines allow you to play for anywhere between one cent and $0.25 per spin. Contrast this to land-based slot machines, where you’ll often bet anywhere from $0.50 to $3.00 per spin.
Online table game stakes are only $1 or $2 per bet. Meanwhile, the average land-based casino requires players to wager anywhere from $10 to $25.
Considering the ultra-low stakes at internet casinos, virtual gamblers can play for quite a while with a small bankroll.
One of the most attractive qualities of virtual casinos is that they offer welcome bonuses.
These bonuses are based on a match percentage on your first deposit, or a series of deposits. Here’s an example:
An online casino offers a welcome bonus worth up to $1,000 over your first three deposits.
The first deposit bonus is a 200% match up to $300.
The second deposit bonus is a 100% match up to $400.
The third deposit bonus is a 100% match up to $500.
Oftentimes you only need to deposit $20 to take advantage of each segment of the bonus. But the more money that you deposit, the more free cash you stand to win.
The one catch is that you have to meet wagering requirements on the bonus. And these are usually 20x the bonus plus deposit amount.
For example, if you deposited $100 with a 100% match bonus, you’d need to wager $4000 (20 x [100 + 100]) to get your reward. But if you’re going to be playing casino games anyway, you might as well take advantage of these offers.
I’ve read about a Spanish land-based casino that offers welcome bonuses to new players. But this is the only time I’ve seen a brick-and-mortar casino offer this kind of deal.
More Game Selection
On average, virtual casinos have a greater game selection than what you’ll find at land-based casinos.
You’ll typically have access to two hundred to three hundred slot machines, along with one hundred other types of games (keno, scratchcards, table, and video poker) at online casinos. I’ve even seen virtual casinos with over one thousand different slots.
Major land-based casinos in Macau and Las Vegas can offer thousands of games. But the majority of brick-and-mortar casinos don’t give you as good of a game selection as their virtual counterparts.
Easier to Move from Game to Game
Online casino games are much easier to maneuver around in comparison to land-based casino games. All you need to do is perform a few swipes with smartphones to scroll through hundreds of internet slot machines.
Compare this to a land-based establishment, where you can spend fifteen to thirty minutes walking around the casino and looking at all their slots.
Better Odds of Winning
Virtual casinos are cheaper to operate than brick-and-mortar venues because they don’t have as many overhead expenses.
This means that internet gambling sites can afford to offer lower house edges. Online slots offer an average payback of 96%, no matter what stakes you’re betting.
But land-based casinos only offer this type of slots payback for $1 denomination games and above. If you play quarter denomination slot machines or lower, you’ll see a payback of 90% or less.
It’s also easier to find better odds on virtual table games.
For example, online casinos offer French roulette (1.35% house edge) and European roulette (2.70%). Most land-based casinos feature American roulette (5.26%).
Some gamblers prefer to play casino games alone. And virtual gambling allows you to do this through a smartphone, tablet, PC, or Mac.
Playing casino games alone lets you avoid the drunks and overly chatty players that can be found in land-based casinos.
Convenience – Especially with Smartphone Gambling
One of the worst parts about playing at land-based casinos is that you have to travel to them.
Maybe you live in an area like Atlantic City or Las Vegas, where casinos are easily accessible. But the vast majority of people have to make a long trip to visit the nearest casino.
This is where online casinos are perfect because you can quickly access them through a mobile device or computer.
Most gamblers love playing casino games on a smartphone because this device fits perfectly into one’s pocket. This allows you to play a few rounds, then put your phone away when you’re on the go.
Numerous Deposit Options
Some virtual casinos offer dozens of ways to make a deposit. Here’s a list of payment solutions you can use in the virtual gambling world:
Diners Club International
Land-based casinos allow you to use multiple payment options to get chips or slot tickets. But they don’t offer anywhere near the amount of banking methods of internet casinos.
Control the Game Speed
Brick-and-mortar casinos like to keep games moving along in order to increase their profit margins. This makes it hard to relax with land-based table games when you don’t feel like playing at a speedy pace.
But with virtual casino games, you control how fast the action moves.
Let’s say that you’re playing blackjack and feel like getting a snack. You’d have to pick up your chips and leave your seat to do so in a land-based casino.
But all you need to do at an online blackjack table is leave the game running while you make your food. You can then come back and pick up where you left off.
You Don’t Have to Wait for the Pit Boss to Get VIP Rewards
Land-based casinos don’t immediately award comps to just any gambler. Instead, the pit boss needs to keep an eye on your play and rate you for comps.
Virtual casinos differ in this regard because all you need to do is make a deposit and start playing. The software will then automatically track your bets and reward you accordingly.
The only exception is when dealing with internet casinos that have invitation-only VIP programs. But these are so unpopular that you won’t run across them much.
Advantages of Specific Forms of Virtual Gambling
Software-Dealt Casino Games
A software-dealt casino game is played on a smartphone or computer. And these table games see the software automatically generate new images (e.g. new cards, chips) immediately after you make an action.
This is the type of virtual casino games that we commonly think of because they’ve been around the longest.
The primary advantage to a software-dealt game is that you can control the speed. You can play as quickly or slowly as you want with these games.
Furthermore, you don’t have lengthy waits in between rounds while the dealer collects chips and deals cards. Instead, all of this is available immediately after you make selections.
Another good thing about software-dealt games is that they’re the cheapest you’ll find in the gambling world. I’ve seen online table game stakes as low as $0.10.
The average virtual casino game requires that you bet between $1 and $3. But this is still very cheap when compared to land-based casinos.
Live Dealer Casino Games
A live dealer casino game can also be played through your smartphone or computer. But the key difference is that the action actually takes place in a land-based casino.
This gives you many of the advantages of brick-and-mortar gambling, including a human dealer, other players, interactions (through chat boxes), and an elegant casino atmosphere.
Another great thing about live dealer gaming is that you don’t actually have to travel to get this experience.
Instead, you merely fire up a live casino on your smartphone, tablet, or PC. You then select the desired table game and dealer.
Virtual Reality Gambling
Virtual reality (VR) is a smaller part of the online gambling world right now. But this sector should experience tremendous growth as more people purchase VR headsets in the coming years.
Virtual reality casino games give you a more immersive experience when compared to software-dealt games.
SlotsMillion, for example, features a virtual casino lobby that lets you walk around to different games. This is much like the regular land-based casino experience, where you can travel to various games by foot.
Another cool thing about VR settings is that they have the same elements of a regular land-based casino, including bar and lounge areas.
One more great aspect to VR gambling is how you can be transported to different settings. SlotsMillion’s VR casino sits in the upper floor of a skyscraper and has windows that you can look out.
I envision future virtual reality casinos coming out with all sorts of different settings, including Caribbean beaches, famous landmarks, winter climates, and lavish mansions.
Downsides of Virtual Casino Gambling
It would be unfair if I just harped on about how great virtual casino games are without discussing the downsides. That said, here are a few drawbacks to playing at virtual casinos when compared to land-based venues.
No Human Interaction
Outside of live dealer gaming, you don’t have the pleasure of human interaction with web-based gambling.
This isn’t as big of a downside in VR gambling, because it offers such a realistic experience. Furthermore, virtual reality casinos will likely add more interactive elements in the future.
But for social players, software-dealt games feel like watching paint dry.
These games don’t have visible dealers, and the atmosphere isn’t very realistic (even with great graphics).
Contrast this to a brick-and-mortar casino, where you can chat with the dealer and fellow players. You can also speak face to face with employees whenever you have a question or issue.
The vast majority of virtual casinos maintain a strong level of reputability so that they get repeat customers. Unfortunately, there are also some nefarious casinos that haven’t treated customers very well.
One example is the now-defunct Rome Casino, which ran faulty software and had terrible customer service. I should also mention the poker sites Absolute and UB Poker, which closed after getting in trouble with the US government and failed to repay customers.
These are the type of nightmares that keep some people from engaging in virtual gambling.
Online Comps Not as Fun
Online casinos offer several types of VIP rewards, including cashback, deposit bonuses, free spins, and merchandise.
But while this is nice, many gamblers just don’t get the same feeling from online VIP rewards as they do from land-based casino comps. After all, it’s more exciting to receive a gourmet meal, free hotel stay, or limousine ride based on your casino play.
Less of an Experience
The problem with gambling online by yourself is that you won’t gain as many memorable experiences. This is because there’s nobody around to share your big wins and funny stories with.
Brick-and-mortar casinos, on the other hand, offer the potential for greater memories, whether it’s the animated player next to you or a humorous dealer.
Atmosphere Isn’t as Cool
One final drawback to virtual gambling is that the atmosphere just isn’t the same as in land-based casinos.
Sure, you can get close to the real thing through virtual reality or live dealer gaming. But nothing beats physically sitting in a seat and playing with your hands or pushing the spin button.
It’s also more exciting to go on a hot streak or a huge win streak when there are other people around.
Each individual will have their own preferences when it comes to gambling online or in a land-based casino. But virtual gambling has some distinct advantages that can’t be beat.
Number one is the convenience factor because you can play through a smartphone or tablet.
Those who are obsessed with increasing their chances of winning will also appreciate the lower odds offered in online casinos. And low rollers will love playing virtual table games and slot machines for cheap.
In summary, I urge you to take into account all of the benefits of virtual gambling and consider playing your next session online!
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