Sheldon Adelson, the businessman behind the Las Vegas Sands (and other major casino resorts worldwide), was a major opponent of online gambling in the USA. The reason is that online gambling would hurt the land-based casino industry. This might need a more accurate assessment of the situation, especially looking at the numbers. This begs the question: do online casinos beat land-based ones?
What Do the Numbers Say?
According to recent numbers from the AGA, more than a quarter of American adults gambled at a physical casino last year. Overall, people appreciate the entertainment and dining options land-based casinos bring into areas that would otherwise not attract them. Plus, many consider casinos a form of entertainment with good value for the money.
After a sharp decline in 2020 and 2021, casinos are almost returning to pre-pandemic levels. This is despite an ever-increasing number of US states regulating online gambling in recent years.
Overall, the American gambling industry has shown strong growth in the last year across the board – and while iGaming grew by the highest percentage, it’s by far not the most lucrative branch of the industry.
Land-based vs. Online Casinos
Quite a few things make online casinos superior to their land-based counterparts. For one, they are much more accessible and cheaper. Instead of booking a flight, hotel room, and budget for dining and entertainment, you can just sit back at home with a cup of tea and play any game you want at Yebo Casino. But accessibility and affordability don’t make up for the experience of the Las Vegas Strip.
What land-based casinos bring to the table is a distinctive and unique experience. The lights, the noises, the smell of the air, the cheering of the crowd at the craps table – these are things online casinos can’t recreate. Not even live dealer games are a match for sitting across from a dealer.
And let’s not even talk about the rest of the experience. Casino hubs like Las Vegas are not just about gambling but all forms of entertainment and hospitality. The “casino experience” includes these, too – and an online casino can do nothing to beat that.
Does Online Gambling Beat the Casino Experience?
If you focus on gambling alone, online casinos are just as good as the real thing. Even better in some areas, like game variety, innovation, and accessibility. But there are many areas where online gambling is no match for the real thing. This is like comparing cinemas and streaming: Netflix is cool, but there’s something about sitting in a movie theatre that streaming can never match.