The global casino gaming industry has undergone its own process of digital transformation over the past two decades as changes in legislation, developments in technology and improvements in internet connectivity have come together to catalyse the rise of the iGaming sector.
Online casino gaming is nothing new of course – in fact, in one form or another it has been around as long as there has been internet on which to play such games – but it wasn’t until the 2000s that iGaming began to gain mass appeal, and even begin to rival brick-and-mortar casinos for preeminence in the table gaming space.
Of course, this is not to say that the experience of attending a physical casino is without merit. Every year millions of people travel to casino hotspots like Macau and Las Vegas to partake in the thrill and glamour of live, in-person gaming.
What has changed, however, is the relative quality of iGaming’s digital offerings. Whereas they were once a mere side-show to the ‘real thing’, online casinos now account for over 25% of all casino revenues.
And growth estimates suggest that before long, iGaming will account for the lion’s share of all gaming revenues, with a CAGR of 7% recorded for online casinos in 2023. What is behind this enduring success? Let’s break down the various advantages online casinos appear to have over their brick-and-mortar counterparts today.
Ease of Access
Casinos are to be found in most major cities around the world in which gambling is legal, though if one wants to select from a range of options they must typically travel to gaming hotspots, which are few and far between.
While such locations offer unique holiday experiences that online platforms cannot compete with, the reality is that many people are happy to forgo the experience and cost outlay of travelling to a physical casino when provided with the alternative of playing their preferred casino games on-demand, and from wherever they are.
This lowers key access barriers for responsible and legal players, and enables people to engage with their chosen titles on their own terms, right from their iPhone or laptop. In our increasingly busy world, time saving is highly valued – and this is something that online casino platforms are uniquely positioned to offer their patrons.
Another key contributor behind the rise of online casinos is the competitive promotional offers they have come to be associated with. The digital nature of online gaming platforms means their overhead costs to run are significantly lower than physical venues that must be maintained, cleaned and powered.
This means they can afford to run much leaner, and one of the key strategies that has emerged as a result of this is a commitment to offering a huge array of sign-up offers and welcome bonuses.
These can be general promotions that enable users to make free bets on a range of games, or can be more focused – such as the free spins on slots that dedicated platforms such as Casino Bonus CA provide to their users.
By being able to encourage digital footfall by offering a huge number of bespoke deals for users, online casinos are able to consistently outcompete brick-and-mortar venues on price and promotional flexibility.
Digital services are not constrained by the same limitations as physical ones, and this gives them a crucial edge when it comes to offering variety. The average brick-and-mortar casino in the United States, for example, features around 100 table games and 1000 slot games.
In contrast, most online casinos – whose only restrictions are server-capacity – commonly offering ten times this amount.
Nowhere is this more apparent than with slot games. These titles are the most popular type of casino game in the world, thanks to their simple and accessible design and engaging gameplay.
While a common brick-and-mortar casino offers 1000 slot games, many of these will be duplicates in order to permit multiple players to access the same game, at the same time. This kind of restriction is irreverent for online platforms, resulting in many offering thousands – even tens of thousands – of distinct titles from developers like Play’n GO at any one time.
This kind of variety can never be matched by a physical location, and thus for those that prioritise novelty, there really is no substitute for online casino gaming.