The stage is set for a battle royale now that several American states have legalized online gambling, with patrons deciding whether to continue playing at land-based facilities or make the switch online. Gamblers and sports bettors in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Michigan, and New Jersey have the luxury of choosing whether to play from home or take a drive to their local brick-and-mortar casino.
More states are contemplating the legalization of online casinos and sportsbooks as the potential tax revenues could help fill budget-constrained coffers and fund projects to improve citizens’ lives. These jurisdictions include New York State, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Illinois, and Louisiana. But what is the hype about online casinos, and how do they differ from land-based facilities? Are a player’s odds of winning higher when playing online?
The online casino phenomenon
While internet casinos have been around for a couple of decades, their prominence has grown in recent years due to advancing technology that creates a real-life gambling experience. Playing games at a real money online casino is more exciting than other online offerings, such as social casinos where no currency changes hands. Online casinos recreate their land-based counterpart’s ambiance and provide the adrenaline rush that only playing with real money can bring.
While online casinos were growing at the beginning of 2020, their use surged during Covid-19, when many brick-and-mortar facilities closed or could only offer partial operations. Many gamblers turned to online casinos to keep enjoying their favorite pastime. New markets emerged as house-bound adults sought new sources of entertainment that did not require leaving their homes.
Winning odds: is there a difference?
There is no technical difference in a player’s odds of winning when he plays at a land-based or online casino. For example, the odds of winning a game of roulette are 1 in 37 in a straight-up bet. This calculation applies whether you play online or at a brick-and-mortar casino. Sports betting odds remain the same regardless of where bettors place their wagers, making their chances of winning equal in an online or in-person setting. Slot machine odds also do not change irrespective of their environment.
However, these are statistical odds. Most gamblers believe that these odds are vital in determining whether they win but do not function in isolation. Instead, they believe other factors could affect a winning streak. Therefore, the facts and figures are not enough for them.
Consider the incentives
Many gamblers believe that online casinos provide better value for money as their operators offer players incentives and freebies. Most online casinos provide users with a welcome bonus, additional incentives when signing up or making their first deposit, and loyalty rewards for returning players. What these bonuses boil down to is free cash to spend on gambling.
Few land-based casinos offer players free chips when they enter the facility. Therefore, players at an online casino could win a substantial sum of money without spending a dime if they strike it lucky using their incentives. In such instances, a win is icing on the cake.
While most online casinos use cutting-edge audio-visual media to recreate the casino experience, seasoned gamblers still believe their odds of winning are improved in a brick-and-mortar facility. Online games do not capture the roar of a crowd of spectators standing at the craps table or the electricity in the air at a high-stakes poker tournament. Retail enthusiasts would argue that it is much like shopping online, which they see as a poor substitute for being in a throng of fellow shoppers at a physical store.
Many gamblers believe that the real-world environment improves their winning odds. Statistically speaking, this is not the case. The casino environment typically encourages gamblers to take greater risks due to the charged atmosphere. Bigger wins in such cases are more about luck than anything else.
Slot games lovers find that online casinos offer a greater variety of options than brick-and-mortar casinos. These games are more interactive, and many are theme-based, with the graphics and sound effects keeping players engaged.
However, the pleasing aesthetics of online slots and casino games are among the primary levers of predicted digital growth 2021 is set to yield. Players who feel more comfortable interacting with online casino games are likely to continue fueling the demand for new games.
Time is on your side when playing online
Think about playing a blackjack hand and how the experience differs in a land-based casino or playing online from home. In a physical casino setting, players must make decisions quickly or risk the ire of their dealer or fellow gamblers.
However, an online casino gives players more time to think about their next move. In games like poker and blackjack, which require strategic thinking, this could mean the difference between winning and losing. This approach would, indeed, improve a player’s odds of winning.