There have been casinos in the United States for a long time. They were around during the age of the saloons in the 19th century. European casinos are even older. They have been around since the 1500s.

For the first time in hundreds of years, land-based casinos are at a disadvantage. They are experiencing intense competition from online casinos. Many experts believe land-based casinos will eventually lose out to online casinos in the United States. However, land-based casinos can continue to be profitable if they have a good marketing strategy.

The Rise of Online Gambling

Online gambling began to appear in the early 2000s in Europe. At first, the games offered by European companies could not compete with land-based casinos. The games were not as much fun to play as land-based casino games because the technology was rudimentary. Gradually, however, the industry began expanding the technology and its offerings. Apps were also introduced so people could play from their phones or tablets. Online gambling companies found it difficult to expand into the U.S. market. That’s because there was a federal ban on sportsbooks and Internet gambling. However, when the U.S. Supreme Court threw out the 1992 ban on sports betting in May 2018, companies took notice. States began to legalize sports betting and online gambling.

At the moment, there are a handful of states that have legalized online casinos and online sportsbooks. Experts expect the online gambling and sportsbook business will continue to increase. People enjoy being able to gamble from the comfort of their homes. They also like to gamble on their phones.

Why People Still Visit Land-Based Casinos

The Tourist Factor

Most people believe people who visit land-based casinos are professional gamblers. But research has shown the majority of people who frequent land-based casinos are amateurs. Many people who gamble at land-based casinos see gambling as part of a larger experience. This is especially true for the two largest gambling markets — Las Vegas and Macau. People travel to these two cities to gamble, see concerts, and sightsee. In fact, the most successful casino venues are in areas where there are lots of tourist attractions. One example is Atlantic City, which has beaches and the famous Boardwalk. Another example is Philadelphia, which has historical landmarks and sporting events.

Research indicates when people want to visit casinos, they want a vacation experience. However, when people play at an online casino, they’re looking to kill some time. This is especially true when people play on their mobile phones.

All-Inclusive Experience

Online casinos can offer convenience for their customers. However, it can’t duplicate the land-based casinos’ all-inclusive activities. Professional online gamblers are perfectly happy to stay in their homes and gamble. However, amateur gamblers enjoy the inclusive experience. They want to be able to eat at a top-shelf restaurant, get spa treatments, play a round of golf, and see a show. Gambling for them is only part of the experience. They want to treat themselves to a vacation.

The Social Nature of Amateur Gambling

Land-based casinos also offer a social element to gambling. A lot of amateur gamblers enjoy all the music, lights, and atmosphere. They want to try many games and not just stick to one game. They also enjoy seeing other people celebrate the thrill of the win. These gamblers like to be acknowledged as VIPs, and they want other people to watch them gamble and have fun. This social aspect is something online casinos can’t offer.
It appears that while online gaming will make a dent in land-based casino revenue, it will not extinguish it. Land-based casinos that have other attractions around them will continue to be successful. This is especially true if they offer package deals for their customers and customize their experiences.

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A Massachusetts native, blogger Angeline Everett grew up in the Allston neighborhood of Boston and earned a degree in casino management from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. After graduating, Angeline moved to Atlantic City where she joined the young team at the Borgata Casino as a compliance representative, while blogging on the side. After a few years in the back office, Angeline moved to the floor to work first at a casual poker dealer and later casual poker floor supervisor. Fascinated with games of chance since she was a child, Angeline currently divides her time between blogging and work on her first book.