Las Vegas may be the world’s most popular gambling destination, but it’s far from being the only one. In fact, it’s also not the biggest gaming city, at least not since 2006. When it comes to convenience, most players choose online casinos as the best platforms.
They’re the easier to access and offer several benefits land-based casinos don’t. Below is a comparison of land versus online casinos and how they perform in comparison to each other.
Market Share: 94% Land, 6% Online Casinos
The gambling industry is valued at more than $150 billion. It’s a significant jump from the industry’s $115 billion value in 2016. In 2018, US-based casinos contributed $75 of the $150 billion gross revenues earned by casinos around the world.
Las Vegas generated $6.46 billion while Atlantic City, Chicago, New York City and Washington totaled for $7.5 billion. Interestingly, the total revenues made by all the aforementioned states and cities were significantly lower than the $32 billion accrued in Macau; the world’s biggest gambling market at present.
The online casino industry is worth an estimated $46 billion. By 2024, online casinos are projected to be valued at more than $94 billion. Paddy Power, 888 Casino Holdings, William Hill, Coral Group and Betfair command the biggest revenues in this industry.
Paddy Power grossed $10 billion worldwide in 2018, which notably, was bigger than Vegas. US-based casino games’ software developer International Game Technology (IGT) came in second at $5.5 billion.
Distribution and Popularity
There are 104 casinos in Las Vegas, 200 more throughout the US and 38 establishments in Macau. Around the world, land-based casinos make up for less than 1500 establishments.
By comparison, more than 100 casino sites have been launched since the beginning of this year. More than 250 platforms launched online in 2018 and thousands more casino sites have been founded since the industry began in the 1990s.
Most casino players now view online gambling sites as the more convenient gaming option and will quickly create an account to play instead of dressing up to visit a land-based platform. The best casinos offer slots, table games, bingo and all other kinds of games you’d expect in Las Vegas.
Land-based casinos also have their benefits. The atmosphere experienced at gambling establishments is entertaining enough to keep players coming back for years. When coupled with their social benefits, lavish resorts and music concerts, they’re many reasons why people prefer Vegas over online platforms.
Payouts to Players
In addition to being more convenient, online casinos are also more rewarding to players. Whether players choose slots or table games, gambling sites payout at better rates than their land-based counterparts.
The best casino sites have a return to player rate of 96%. Individually, online casino games can have payouts up to 99%. For table games, it’s not unusual to find games with a house edge of 2% or less. Technically, most table games have similar house edges to land-based platforms, but they’re unique benefits to playing online.
This online casinos guide offers a better outline of what you can expect from a modern online casino. Notably, there’s also a live casino where players compete against one another as opposed to playing against RNG software.
For comparison purposes, the best land-based casinos have a payout rate of 90%. Most casinos have lower RTP rates, with some games having payout rates of 85% or below. Keep in mind land-based casinos are also skillful in coercing players to spend more in hotel room services and drinks.
The Vegas strip was designed to be an entertainment destination and not solely a gambling place anyway. In 2018, the Wynn Palace earned $40 million from hotel room services. Wynn resorts generated an even bigger revenue at $11.8.3 million.
Revenues for Governments
Land-based casinos are a huge source of revenue for local governments wherever they’re established. In Las Vegas, businesses that want to establish a casino in Clark County must pay a licensing fee of at least $10 million.
Last year alone, Las Vegas generated more than $109 million from business licensing fees. The city earned another $711 million from gambling. In total, the city collected more than $1.5 billion in tax income.
In Macau, the Chinese government generates more than $2 billion by taxing land-based casinos. Compared to online casinos, land-based platforms handle a lot more money. They may not always be profitable but they’re able to generate hundreds of millions in tax to local governments.
The online casino industry is not left out in contributing to the world’s economy. With revenues bigger than Facebook and other social sites, the industry is fast growing a good source of revenues for governments.
Governor Chris Cristie of New Jersey, for example, has been a huge proponent of legalizing casino sites in the last few years. Before convincing Jersey lawmakers to legalize the industry, he estimated the state would generate $160 million per year in taxes. His estimate was higher but New Jersey is still able to earn at least $100 million from the same.
Bonuses and Promotions
Many land-based casinos offer gifts and rewards to loyal customers. By comparison, online casinos welcome players with bonuses even before they make their first deposit. Known as no deposit bonuses, these gifts allow newcomers to test a casino’s games before indulging further.
Land-based casinos, on the other hand, run loyalty programs known as comps. If you enroll in the programs, you receive promotions like competing for real money prizes, cars, and luxury vacations. Some online casinos also offer these kinds of bonuses, but they’re mostly reserved to VIP club members.
For players that want to maximize bonus use, online casinos are a better option. You can easily grab welcome bonuses for 10 casino sites. With land-based platforms, you have to deal with travel issues and sacrificing a lot of your time.
Online casinos may be ubiquitous, but they’re dwarfed by land-based casinos when it comes to collecting revenues. Most of the largest land-based casinos make billions of dollars every year. By contrast, only a handful of online casinos are able to hit a billion dollars every year.
Of course, there’s more to gambling than how much the casino keeps as profits. If you’re looking for convenience, good games and quick of accessing your funds, then an online gambling site is actually a better option.