There is an increasing debate raging between casino-goers about the qualities of playing at a land-based casino versus an online live dealer casino. Live casino technology has evolved at pace to deliver land-based casino experiences to users from the comfort of their own home. Although this increased accessibility to casino table games – and even entertaining live dealer gameshows – is impressive, how does the overall experience of playing at a live dealer casino compare with physically setting foot in a popular casino floor?
What are the pros and cons of playing at a land-based casino?
Globally, gross gaming revenues across land-based and online casinos are estimated to exceed $525bn by the turn of 2023. Land-based revenues continue to outstrip its online counterparts, but the figures are continuing to narrow over time. Why do people continue to visit land-based casinos when live casinos are infinitely more accessible?
The pros of land-based casinos
- Exceptional hospitality
One aspect that live casinos simply cannot compete with is hospitality. Most land-based casinos work hard to keep their customers happy at the tables. This includes free drinks during gameplay. The pit bosses of casino floors are trained to provide excellent customer service to their most loyal and profitable players.
- Complimentary benefits for valued players
Aside from free drinks, many land-based casinos also commit to additional ‘comps’ for players that spend freely at the tables. These include meal vouchers to spend within the casino’s restaurants and even bonuses to give players more funds to play with at the tables.
- Take your time to play
When you walk around a land-based casino floor, you have all the time in the world to choose what to do. You can pick and choose when and where you play, with no pressure on wagering a set amount at the tables to sit down.
The cons of land-based casinos
- Lose all track of time
Although you have all the time in the world, it can be all too easy to lose track of time too. Most casino floors do not have clocks, which make it hard to plan how long you want to play for – music to the ears of brick-and-mortar casino operators.
Caption: Land-based casino floors can feel dark with a lack of windows and natural light
- Lack of natural daylight
In addition, most land-based casinos can feel dark and dingy, with a distinct lack of natural light. With a lack of windows and doors, as well as fresh ventilation, some brick-and-mortar casinos may not be the best place to get your daily dose of Vitamin D.
- Expensive minimum bets at most table games
In addition, the minimum bets at table games in land-based casinos are much higher than their online casino counterparts. This is largely due to the increased operating costs of a brick-and-mortar casino, including staffing costs and utilities.
Understanding live dealer casino technology
Live casinos shot to prominence due to the rapid evolution of broadband connectivity speeds. With bandwidths now well capable of handling high-definition (HD) quality streams, live casino games have delivered a clear and fluid experience on desktop and mobile devices.
Optical character recognition (OCR) technology – which has recently been used to digitise centuries-old historical Arabic texts – is also a vital component in the make-up of new live streamed casinos. The OCR cameras help to maintain the pace of the game by capturing the data on the table, including card values and wheel values, and overlaying it on-screen for players to act upon. These sensors and cameras work in the background and deliver a slick real-time experience, as can be seen when playing for example at this highly recommended live casino with real dealers.
The pros of live casinos
- Low minimum bets mean a low barrier of entry for players
The barrier to entry for live casino players is much lower than at a land-based casino. Minimum bets are typically much lower online, making it a budget-friendly alternative.
- Move fast between live casino tables
If you want to try a different table game, you can leave and switch tables at the touch of a button. This allows you to experience a string of casino games within a short period of time. In some land-based casinos, tables are spread far apart, making it hard to find certain games.
- Responsible gaming measures
You can take greater control of your gameplay with live casino operators. These sites are now obliged to offer responsible gaming tools that can limit the amount you deposit and wager daily, weekly, or monthly. The premise is that these measures help to keep casino gaming fun, ensuring you only play with what you can afford to lose.
The cons of live casinos
- Lack of face-to-face engagement
Although live dealer casinos allow you to watch every aspect of your game unfold before your eyes, it’s not possible for them to see you too. Despite a lack of face-to-face rapport between yourself and the dealer – as well as the other players at your table – you can still interact using the live chat box functionality.
- Lacks the grandeur of a land-based casino
Some people desire to play table games at well-established, popular casinos due to their reputation and aura. It’s one of the main reasons why Las Vegas casinos on the Strip are still so popular. Sitting at home on your laptop may not have quite the same decadence as sitting in a plush casino.
Although there is still a big pull to play at glamorous land-based casinos, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brick-and-mortar establishments to rival live casinos for their convenience and flexibility. The unique ability to load up a screen and play whenever you feel like it on your desktop or mobile – and still get the casino environment and professional dealer experience – is difficult to rival in today’s 24/7, always connected digital world.