The Battle of Online vs Land-Based: Where is the future of gambling headed?

by | May 7, 2016 | Business Feature

When the state of New Jersey voted to allow online casino gambling operators to offer services to people inside of state lines, many people were excited about the potential for big new gambling tax revenues. Even Governor Chris Christie boldly stated that revenue from online gambling after the first year could be worth $160 million, but soon after everyone realized that it was closer to $80 million; still a hefty chunk of change. The question stands if online casinos are taking center stage away from big brick and mortar brands, and in some places that is definitely the case.

Online Casino and Gambling Sites

Online gambling has been on the rise a lot faster than land-based casino business over the last ten years. Virtual brands have the potential for much higher return on investment because they come with much less expenses. The comfort that online casinos offer, as players can play at home in privacy is loved by many, but some cannot get over the thrill of walking into the bright light, bell and whistle-laden land-based casino. The fact of the matter is though, that online casinos provide serious players with a distraction-free platform where they can hone their skills and even qualify for huge international tournaments with multi-million dollar prize pools.

Online poker is a great example of how online leads to land-based success. Most of the pros get their start at online poker rooms. Many of them have made millions of dollars playing poker on the net without needing to play in any brick and mortar events.

Brick and Mortar

The revenues at land-based casinos are still good, but they are feeling the burn from online brands, as less foot traffic leads to less gamblers on the floor. A big brand in Mississippi, Harrah’s Tunica Hotel & Casino recently closed its doors due to losing ground to online gambling, but other cities’ land-based gambling institutions are still on the rise.

Las Vegas has been, and will most-likely continue to be the “best” in land-based gambling. Even though online gambling is legal in Nevada, millions of annual tourists throw money on the real tables and into the one-armed bandits with the hopes of walking away with big money. Vegas is the home of the mega-brands, the all-you-can-eat buffets, the sexy, stylish, gold flakes on your hamburger bun and diamonds in your champagne glass mecca of land-based gaming excitement. And even with all the thrills that the City of Sin has to offer, online gambling revenues are steadily increasing in the state and many of the big land-based brands have established or accrued an online brand as a supplement to their services.

Virtual Reality Casino Gaming

There are already big developments in virtual gambling. In a few years’ time, players will strap on a VR headset, or wear specialized VR glasses and be totally immersed into a virtual casino – this is already happening. This technology is a very real and is slowly becoming more affordable and will be in every household in a very short amount of time.  One thing is for sure – the future is exciting for gamblers, whether they prefer brick & mortar casinos or online ones.


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