Differences Between Online And Land Casinos

The definitive difference is obvious. Land casinos are designated buildings where players go to wager on gambling games. Online casinos can be accessed through an Internet connection and a computer and offer players who sign up welcome bonuses such as no deposit casino bonuses and casino free spins. Beyond this, there are several deep rooted differences not immediately discernible to new casino players. This article is a primer on differences between land casinos and online casinos.

Physical Versus Simulated Games

Casino games are games of chance that depend on the generation of random events. In land casinos these are generated through physical means. It is apparent in the spinning of the roulette wheel and the rolling of the craps dice. In the card games like blackjack the decks are mechanically shuffled, usually in view of the players, before being loaded in the shoe.

In online casinos the randomness is created through a component of the software known as Random Number Generator. Using extremely complex algorithms these generate random numbers that are then converted to events like cards from a deck, numbers on the roulette wheel or numbers on the faces of dice. The software is rigorously tested for fairness by independent experts.

Contemporary slot machines and video poker games are based on simulation software in both land and online casinos.

Implications of Casino Costs

Land casinos own massive assets as buildings and gambling equipment. They also employ a large number of personnel. This results in high overhead costs. The only significant asset of the online casino is the software and these casinos operate with a much smaller staff. The overheads of online casinos are much lower. Land casinos need to operate with much higher margins to cover their overheads and this has implications for players.

Entry Charges

Most players would have to pay an entry fee each time they would enter a land casino. Signing up for membership at online casinos is free.

Minimum Bet Limits

The minimum betting limits at the lowest tables would be comparatively higher at land casinos. They generate the required gambling turnover through larger bets. While the limit would vary from casino to casino the minimum bet would be of the order of $5 on an average.

Online casinos offer most games at minimum bets of $0.01. There is no limit to the number of gamblers that can play at online casinos at a given time. These Internet casinos generate required gambling turnover through greater number of bets.

House Edge

The house edge is the percent of each bet that the casino expects to retain based on the structure and rules of the game. For the table games like roulette and blackjack, the house edge is the same for online and land casinos.

The house edges of slots at online casinos have to be declared in the public domain. This is not the case at land casinos and it is known that the house edges of land casino slots are comparatively higher.

Game Variety

All the games played at land casinos are generally available at online casinos. However, some additional game categories are offered at most online casinos. These include:

  • Scratch cards
  • Keno
  • Arcade games

Within the common game categories as well, there is much greater variety at online casinos. For example, you will find many blackjack variants at online casinos that are not on offer at land casinos:

  • Blackjack Switch (from Playtech)
  • Double Exposure Blackjack
  • Perfect Pairs Blackjack

Payment Mechanism

This is completely different at land and online casinos:

Land Casinos

At land casinos you buy chips at the cashier when you enter using cash or credit cards. If you are a known high roller you may be given a line of credit. After you are through with gambling, you take the balance chips to the cashier and convert them to cash. You have your balance money with you when you leave the casino.

Online Casinos

At online casinos you have to make an online deposit using credit card, e-wallet or prepaid voucher. When you want to withdraw funds you have to make a request, which is processed by the online casino. After approval the funds are remitted. The entire withdrawal process can take from a few days to a few weeks depending on the online casino and the payment option.

Comps and Bonuses

Land casinos do offer freebies, but usually to players that have wagered significant amounts. Usually these would be in the form of free drinks or free entertainment vouchers. Some land casinos give free chips to all players against entry fees.

The rewards at online casinos are more abundant:

  • All online casinos offer welcome bonuses to new players that could be free spins, no deposit bonuses or match deposit bonuses.
  • Players are rewarded with loyalty points for each wager. These loyalty points can be redeemed for casino credits.
  • Reload bonuses and promotions are offered at most online casinos on a regular basis.


There are several advantages of online casinos that do not contribute monetarily but facilitate the gambling:

  • You have to travel to a land casino, within your city or even outside. You can play at online casinos from the comfort of your homes. With mobile gaming you can play from anywhere and at any time. Online casinos are open 24/7 with no opening and closing times.
  • Casino hopping is very simple online. You log in and log off. You can switch as often as you want. If you are not lucky at one online casino go to another. It is not uncommon for players to visit half a dozen online casinos at one night. Land casino hopping is impossible unless you at a place like the Vegas Strip. Even then it is logistically impractical.
  • At online casinos you control the speed of play because in most games you play one on one with the house. You can take as much time for your moves, or as little. You do not have to wait for other players to complete their hands. You can take time to consult strategy charts in games of skill like blackjack and video poker.

Immersive Gambling Experience

Land casinos offer an immersive gambling experience in a glitzy larger-than-life surrounding. You are with a host of other people that are enjoying the same environment. Online casinos cannot give you this. Forward strides have been made with the sophistication of live casinos, but there is a long way to go.

Published on: 2019/09/17