Online vs land-based casinos

Differences between playing casino online vs land-based casinos

Both versions are real casinos but while land-based casinos have been around for hundreds of years, online casinos have mainly grown in popularity during the last 10 years.

The oldest land-based casino in the world, Casino di Venezia opened already back in 1638. The first online casinos were released in the 1990s and today there are hundreds of online casinos to choose between.

The team here at has vast experiences from both land-based and online casinos as we have worked within both sectors. In this post, we will have a closer look at the positives vs the negatives from these two options and see which one is the preferred choice.

But, before we proceed, have a quick look at the great advert that gives you an interesting angle from both options:

Casino Online

casino slot on a mobile device

Playing casinos online has grown in popularity at a rapid pace during the last years and is still growing every year. More countries are improving their internet accesses and more people started to use the internet for shopping online and started to trust payments online. Most people today have a computer at home and/or a smartphone where they have constant access to the internet. The casino slots and live casinos offered online are also of very high standard nowadays.

Land-based casinos

las vegas land based casinos

Very often land-based casinos have a luxurious and exclusive feel to them. It´s quite standard to see beautiful decor inside the casinos. These casinos often come without windows to the outside or clocks to be seen. This is a small trick to keep the visitors from checking the time and to basically prevent people from going home too early. The same goes for the windows as the idea is to make you forget to look outside to check what time of the day it is.

Nowadays most people have a personal mobile phone so its easy to keep track of the time but avoiding to show people the time can keep some visitors in the casino for longer. The purpose of the nice and luxurious feel that land-based casinos offer is to create an environment where you feel happy and ideally want to stay in for a long time.

Differences in game offering

When you visit an online casino you will often find an enormous selection of different slot games to choose between. Smaller online casinos often have several hundred games while the biggest casinos online offer more than 1 000 slots and loads of live casino games to their customers.

There are loads of great game providers like NetEnt, Microgaming, Big Time Gaming, Evolution Gaming, Push Gaming, and more that constantly create new games to the online casinos. There are casinos that release around 50 new games each month so it can even be a bit difficult to keep up.

rizk online casino game lobby
Game lobby at Rizk Casino

A land-based casino has the issue that it can be restricted by space. Having said that, there are a lot of huge casinos around the world today that can squeeze in hundred of slot games and table games like Blackjack and Roulette in the casino. These casinos will still have difficulties competing with the online casinos due to the space factor though.

The big plus factor with land-based casinos is that you get to meet real people and dealers. However, online casinos have started to pick up on this as well lately due to most casinos online offering live casino games that are streamed to your device.

slot games from a land based casino

Differences in jackpots

biggest jackpots online like mega moolah and mega fortune visible at casumo casino
Online jackpots at Casumo Casino

Most often the larger jackpots can be found online. But this can depend on which land-based casino that you visit in the world. There are some massive slot jackpots on offer in for example Las Vegas and Macao. The biggest online casino jackpots can be found in games like Mega Moolah, Mega Fortune, Hall of Gods, and Mega Fortune Dreams.

The largest casino jackpot won online was of about €20 million and was won in 2018 in the game Mega Moolah. There have also been several wins of between €10 – €20 million during the last 10 years from these 4 online jackpot games.

Differences in the Return To Player percentage (RTP)

The RTP percentage determines how much of the wagering in a slot game that is paid back to the players. The casinos will always have an edge and will always win in the long run but there is often quite a big difference between online and land-based slot games and how much edge the casinos have.

A standard online casino slot has an RTP of around 96% while land-based casino slots often give back around 85% to the players. The difference is huge in the long run as the online casino’s profit margin is 4% while land-based casinos keep about 15% of the wagering. Keep in mind that the RTP percentages are calculated over a couple of billions of rounds.

One reason why land-based casinos have a lot lower RTP setting on their slot games is that it’s more expensive to run a land-based casino compared to an online version. They often need to pay rent, hire a lot of staff, pay for electricity, run a restaurant and bars in the casino. An online casino set up is very different and has lower operating costs.

Differences in bonuses to players

bonus button image

Pretty much every single online casino offers new and returning players different bonuses to play with. Some have wagering requirements and some don´t. Most often all new players are greeted to a new online casino with a welcome bonus. This is usually a percentage top-up to a certain amount that is based on your first deposit. Sometimes some free spins are also added on top of these.

Most online casinos also have some kind of loyalty program that gives players an incentive to stay at a certain casino. VIP players are also often treated very well online as the staff and VIP departments have a good overview of their overall and specific players’ data and can, therefore, act quickly and accordingly.

Some land-based casinos can sometimes offer new players a welcome bonus but far from all do it. VIP players can usually expect some perks and gifts at respected and well known land-based casinos but there are exceptions to this as well.

Overall, online casinos are usually more hands-on with bonuses and loyalty programs as everything is handled online, and it’s just easier to keep track of all players’ activity and performance.

Advantages with land-based casinos

roulette at a land based casino

Since most of the headlines have been in favour towards online casinos, we wanted to also highlight some of the facts that make a visit to a land-based casino a pleasant experience. Depending on the casino and country or city that you visit, sometimes people like to dress up when visiting a land-based casino. When you visit and play at an online casino, the focus is on the games while a visit to a land-based casino can be more about the overall experience.

You might mix your gameplay at a land-based casino with a visit to a nice restaurant inside the casino. You can enjoy some nice drinks and often decide to watch some sports inside the casino that is shown on big screens. A visit to a land-based casino is not only about playing casino games, but it can also be a nice night out with friends, family, or even when going out on a date.

What do we prefer?

Online casinos are the preferred choice when the focus is on the actual casino games. Everything is faster online, you don´t need to wait for other players and dealers, there are often more slot and table games online to choose between, you can win more and the jackpots are often bigger online. The RTP percentages on slots are higher online and bonuses and loyalty programs are often better compared to land-based casinos. It´s of course also convenient to play online as you can play from the comfort of your own home, or through your mobile device from basically wherever you want.

Land-based casinos are the preferred choice if you want to get something more out of the experience than just focus on the casino games. It´s more of a social event to visit a land-based casino and depending on the casino you visit, it can be an experience to remember for life as there are some very luxurious land-based casinos available around the world.

Both options have their advantages and we are happy that both exist as we enjoy both versions.

A look at the future

The trend is clearly showing that online casinos are increasing in both popularity and activity. Recent technological improvements especially within the online live casino field is speeding up this transition even more as well. Nowadays there are many live games that can offer users an enjoyable experience that land-based casinos just cant match.

We can probably expect more land-based casinos opening up their own branded online casinos going forward and that the online casinos will continue to take market share from the land-based ones.

The future seems very exciting for the online casino industry and keep in mind that the industry only has been popular for the last 5-10 years and is growing annually.

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