Are online casinos more profitable than land-based ones?

December 1, 2021

The online casino industry has boomed in recent years. It has led to a situation where online casinos can often be more profitable than their land-based counterparts.

It should come as no surprise – with the legalization of online gambling in many states, millions of Americans have, for the first time, gained access to online casinos. Previously, the only way many Americans could gamble was to drive to locations such as Atlantic City, Las Vegas, or an Indian casino.

So, why are online casinos more profitable than land-based venues?

Smartphone revolution

Much of the popularity of online casinos boils down to the simple law of accessibility. Everyone owns a smartphone, and most people have access to a laptop. Widespread wifi access means that people can gamble from anywhere with popular casinos such as SkyCity Casino and other major names.

Even if they have just a few minutes to gamble on the way to work or during a commercial break, there’s no preparation necessary to get started.

According to a study from Grand View Research, the global online gambling industry is expected to grow to $127.3bn by the end of 2027. This will eventually come to exceed the income from traditional land-based casinos.

Amazing incentives

Land-based casinos have relied on incentives such as free hotel stays, buffet breakfasts, and discounted drinks to encourage people to stay with them. Unless living locally, most people make a vacation out of a casino visit.

Online casinos, on the other hand, rely on providing tangible game bonuses, such as free spins and deposit bonuses. These are arguably much more valuable, as they can result in free money if luck is on your side.

The competition between online casinos means that these bonuses are becoming more lucrative. As new online casinos open their doors, they’re always thinking of new ways to outflank the competition.

Does this mean the end of land-based casinos?

Although some commentators have heralded the end of the land-based casino, citing high construction and maintenance costs, this is an incorrect assumption.

The games themselves might be the same, but they offer two entirely different experiences. An online casino cannot match the highs of winning in a land-based casino when surrounded by your friends and family.

Studies have shown that playing online video games affects your mental health by giving you a shot of endorphins. This effect is amplified when indulging in the atmosphere of a real-life casino.

Land-based casinos will continue to have their place and there’s little crossover between the two. Rather than competing for the same audience, online and land-based casinos can win both.

How can land-based casinos survive?

Now that land-based casinos are no longer the only game in town, it has spurred the veterans to modernize the way they run their casino operations.

The emphasis has now been placed on the experience, rather than the prospect of winning big money. Previously, the tantalizing image of nailing a jackpot and changing your life was the overarching image that traditional casinos used to attract gamblers.

Land-based casinos are now pivoting to focus on the experience as a whole. It has led to a diverse approach to marketing, with several key groups emerging, such as:

  • Gamers
  • Businesspeople
  • Families
  • Vacationers

Each group now requires a completely different set of promotional material. Online casinos also offer experiences, but they’re less important in the grand scheme of things. It’s still about nailing that big win and logging off with an incredible profit.

Will online casinos continue to thrive into the future?

Online casinos are also looking toward the future. After all, online casinos must compete with a global – rather than a national – audience.

It is widely expected that the power of the online casino will grow and supplant the traditional casino industry as the frontline of gambling. The simple reason for this is that there are still vast untapped markets for online casino brands to exploit.

For example, only some states have legalized online gambling. That leaves millions of Americans who still cannot legally access an online casino. The same can be said for several huge markets around the world, with many of them being in Europe.

As legislation changes, the gap between online and land-based casinos is only expected to widen.


Online casinos are destined to become infinitely more profitable than land-based casinos. Increased accessibility, money-based bonuses, and thousands of different games contribute to an industry with a bright future.

But there will still be a place for the land-based casinos, as they offer an experience their online counterparts cannot.

Do you prefer gambling with online or offline casinos?


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