Gambling is big business. The gambling industry was worth more than $240 billion in 2013, and it is still growing. And no part of the gambling industry is growing faster than online gambling, including online casinos, sports better, and fantasy sports gambling games.
It’s not hard to see why. While gambling in-person at casinos is a unique thrill, modern online gaming sites have a number of key advantages over their old-school peers. Here’s why more and home people in America and beyond are choosing to gamble online.
From the start, online gambling sites offered one basic convenience that brick-and-mortar casinos did not: they were right in your own home. You just logged onto the internet on your desktop computer and bam, there you were: at a virtual poker table or playing the virtual slots.
In the years since the first gambling sites popped up, this advantage has only grown more lopsided. Computers shrunk and became portable and shrunk again. Our phones got smart and tablet computers began to appear. These days, we have computers with us almost everywhere we go. We can pull our phones from our pockets and be online in seconds.
And that means that online gaming can go wherever we do – as long as we don’t go someplace where gambling is illegal, of course. That’s a massive advantage for online gaming. Gambling on smartphones has changed everything. You can play the slots on public transit, consider a poker hand over lunch, or even do some quick gambling during a bathroom break (we aren’t here to judge).
And since none of this is happening in a casino, there’s no dress code. There’s nothing wrong with dressing up – the best brick-and-mortar casinos are fun in part because of the elegant surroundings and high-class vibe – but it’s not something that many gamblers want to do every day. In addition to being everywhere that you are, online gambling sites leave you free to be you. You can gamble in a t-shirt, pajamas, or even nothing at all (again, no judgment here).
Brick-and-mortar casinos have their place, of course: they’re destinations! Think of them as splurges. And splurge you will, because brick-and-mortar casinos come with other costs. The drinks are often free, but your flight to Las Vegas certainly will not be. Ditto for your hotel room, dinner, and tickets to the latest show. That’s all part of the experience at a brick-and-mortar casino, and it’s something that online gambling can’t match – but for those who enjoy gambling regularly, constantly heading to the nearest casino can be a huge and unnecessary financial drain. Brick-and-mortar casinos are for vacation days a few times a year; for those who count gambling among their hobbies, online casinos are the solution for a normal weekend.
This casual atmosphere means that online gambling can be more appealing to beginners. If you’ve never stepped foot in a casino before, it can be very intimidating to don a suit and walk up to a Craps table and try to place a bet in your best James Bond voice. It’s far more appealing to most beginners to try their luck at low-stakes tables in online casinos. There’s no need to worry about casino etiquette, and nobody can see an online gambler’s face when he or she makes a silly mistake or loses a bet. All of this makes the barrier to entry much lower for new players.
Another reason that new players might turn to online gaming is safety. The inexperienced low-stakes gamblers mentioned in the last section might be intimidated by the high stakes, high prices, and unknown (to them) culture of high-class casinos, but it’s also no surprise that they don’t want to head to lower-rent establishments. Before online casinos, low-stakes tables and low-priced drinks were most easily found in seedy casinos – dingy places that felt unsafe as well as unglamorous.
Security is great at high-end casinos, but less so at the less reputable establishments. And no matter where you gamble in person, there’s a chance your winnings will attract a criminal element and that you’ll be the victim of a crime off of the property. Classy Las Vegas casinos have great security, but unless you hire a personal bodyguard, you’re on your own once you’re back on the street.
Online gambling eliminates this risk, and also helps protect you from cheaters and freeloaders. It’s a safer and better way to gamble.