In conjunction with the rise of the internet, gaming has benefitted increasingly from the surge in general online popularity. Most platforms, industries or ideas that can have an online presence have got an online presence, and there are a few reasons for that.
In some cases, watching movies, for example, the introduction of the online format (sites like Netflix) have made renting movies redundant since the advent of streaming. As a result, Blockbuster, a once flourishing video rental company, filed for bankruptcy in 2010 and was bought-out the following year due to the digitalization of the industry. It would be fair to assume the popularity of online gaming could cause a similar demise for casinos, but the opposite has happened.
Why is online gaming so popular?
The simple answer is it’s accessible. Such is the case with most online initiatives — they are all accessible. People chose to go online, to say, for example, check the daily news as opposed to reading a newspaper because it’s a lot more accessible.
At the click of a button, players can seek entertainment in a card room playing poker or on an online casino with a slot game. Who is going to want to spend the time traveling to a casino when they could play the same games at no cost or delay?
Another reason for the popularity of online gaming is variety. Apart from home games, professional and recreational poker used to be exclusively played in casinos. You’d rarely see any other game types played than No-Limit Hold ‘em — and to a certain extent that is still the case today. The introduction of online sites provided a platform to play an array of different games from the comfort of a player’s home.
The use of mobile apps is also significant when discussing online gaming. Apps, in general, have become so popular that they are now seen as an alternative form of entertainment, differing from the more traditional forms like watching TV or reading a book. Users, therefore, are now downloading gaming or media apps, such as Full Tilt, Netflix and the YouTube, to play games, watch TV and stream movies for their entertainment. You see, apps have brought online into the mainstream as a primary form of entertainment.
Casinos Still Have That Appeal
Sure, those high-street gaming arcades have slot machines and the odd card game to play, but they are not the same as casinos. There is a certain glamor about casinos that make them appealing. That combined with the food and drinks that can be consumed while players potentially win a lot of money makes visiting a casino an occasion by itself as opposed to a time killer. No other venue could offer all those pastimes in one.
It’s a social thing as well. You can go to a casino with friends or work colleagues and have a fun night out. You can’t do that sitting at home online behind a computer screen —you can, but it will be much less of an experience.
Logically, though, online casinos and card rooms have many advantages that set them apart from regular casinos, but the latter has one big thing going for it: people are always going to want to have an experience. And while online casinos are easier to play, offer more games and can be enjoyed pretty much anywhere and anytime, a regular casino offers a far better experience in every way — and it’s that attraction that keeps them flourishing as a business.
The decor, the environment, the professional croupiers as well as handling physical chips, interacting with other players, enjoying a gourmet meal before all add to the experience of visiting a casino.
Why Casinos are Benefiting from Online Gaming
Casinos see a direct benefit from the popularity of online gaming as the two are different enough that they don’t tread on each other’s toes yet share enough of a commonality to synergize with one another. Online gaming is a bridge from casual, remote play to gaming in a casino. And while some people may never even think about stepping foot inside a casino due to the intimidation factor that often surrounds casinos that can deter people from visiting and playing games as it is an unfamiliar environment, online gaming at least helps to ease these concerns somewhat. It does so by allowing players to try out certain games that they’d play in the casino, so they feel more confident in how it works while getting a general feel for the gaming environment. Online gaming almost acts as a “practice,” so players can get a feel for what they have to do and what they like. If they then want to take it to the next step and game in person at a casino, they can. Whereas the online gaming world will continue to push boundaries, entice new demographics and act as an advertisement of sorts for casinos, casinos will remain the consistent familiarity that will always provide people with a genuine, live experience that they won’t get gaming online. However, if casinos and the online gaming industry work together, the future will be prosperous for them both.