Online Casinos vs. Land-Based Casinos
You already know that you have the opportunity to win money when you play at your favourite online casino, but have you ever thought about how the industry makes money as a whole? The online casino business is booming as more and more players discover how fun it is to play online and how much more convenient it can be than playing in an on-land casino.
As casinos move online, JackpotCity is always aiming to stay the best online casino in New Zealand—that’s why we offer our players the best selection of games and all sorts of fun and easy ways to play. Whether you’re building up your poker skills before a big trip to Vegas or Macau or you just like to unwind with a pokie at the end of a long day, we have something to offer all sorts of players.
Recent changes to the way that online gambling works and who it’s available to have made a big impact in the value of the online gambling market. While it’s still not as large as the on-land betting market, it’s growing every day. Read on to find out what’s driving the growth and what we can expect to see from online casinos in NZ and around the world in the future.
The Early Days of Online Casinos
The internet as we know it wasn’t around for too long before online casinos started to pop up. These pioneering companies realized that they could create online versions of people’s favorite casino games that they’d be able to play at home. JackpotCity has been around since 1998, and we’ve been offering the best online casino games to our players ever since.
A lot has changed since the 90s, though. First of all, the technology has gotten a lot better. With faster internet, higher-quality devices and more secure payment methods, online casinos have been able to offer a better and better playing experience to their customers. New technology and enhanced games in turn attracts more players who before might have preferred to play in an on-land casino before. For example, live games and real dealer games more closely recreate the experience of playing at a real casino table, which makes it more fun for a lot of people.
Second, as the industry has grown, the regulations have changed. Most of these changes have helped to create a safer gaming environment, particularly with certification for legitimate online casinos and regulations about gambling ages and promoting safe online gaming. Some countries have also changed their legislation around whether or not they allow online gambling and under what conditions.
How the Markets Compare
Even though the online gambling industry has grown a lot in recent years, it still only accounts for a modest slice of the overall revenue for the industry. The current value of the online gambling market is around $59 billion (USD), while the worldwide market is around $400 billion (USD). Of that revenue, most of it comes from China and the United States, particularly because they have large on-land gambling destinations.
The online gambling market is on the rise, though. It’s projected to be valued at over $92.9 billion (USD) by 2023. That level of growth is thanks in large part to the growing number of people choosing to play online rather than traveling to an on-land casino. Other changes, like updates to gambling regulations, have also allowed more and more players to access online casinos and take part in the fun.
The on-land market has seen particular growth in the UK and Australia in recent years. In Australia, pokies are popular in bars as well as in casinos, which are frequently visited by tourists. This wide availability of games gives people more opportunities to play, and about 16% of adults play. In the UK, changing gambling regulations have allowed a big increase in the number of online casinos and betting shops.
Casino growth is great news for the regions that have casinos, because on-land casino market remains a huge source of revenue and jobs in areas where it’s legal. In Macau, for example, more than half of the region’s revenue comes from the gambling industry. In the United States, the gambling industry accounts for 1.8 million jobs (most of which are in Las Vegas).
The Most Popular Games
When we talk about the gambling industry, we’re talking about a whole lot of different games. The industry includes traditional casino games like pokies and table games, but also includes things like bingo and the lottery. Pokies remain one of the most popular choices in on-land casinos—among US casinos visitors, around half went to play at the pokie machines.
Recently, sports betting has seen a big rise in popularity, since it combines the excitement of watching your favourite teams play with the fun of betting. Worldwide, regulated sports betting was worth $58 billion (US) in 2016. Sports betting includes all sorts of events, from football and cricket to horseracing. In 2018, the US Supreme Court deemed the federal ban on sports betting to be unconstitutional, which can be seen as a sign of the industry becoming more popular.
The latest addition to the sports betting market is eSports, which allows gamblers to place their wagers on online sports-based video games like FIFA or NBA, as well as other popular video games like Overwatch and League of Legends. These new games open the world of online gaming to people who might not have previously played in casinos, which has contributed to the growth of the industry as a whole. As live streaming of these events becomes more popular, we can expect to see more gambling revenue from them around the world.
Poker has remained a popular game worldwide, even as regulations for it have tightened in countries like the US. However, the number of professional players who participate in big online tournaments has stayed high, which means the game still gets a lot of attention. The stakes in these games are high, too, with events like the World Series of Poker offering multi-million-dollar prizes to the winners.
The lottery is also a popular game around the world and is unique because it’s often legal in countries where traditional casinos or online betting aren’t allowed. People love it playing the lottery because of the low cost of play and the potential of huge returns.
When looking at the stats about gambling worldwide, it’s interesting to see who’s actually gambling in casinos on-land and online. Worldwide statistics show that around 26% of people gamble. The numbers are smaller for online players, with 17% of the population playing online in the UK and 3% of regular gamblers in the US playing online. A lot of this has to do with regulations, while some comes down to personal preference and the availability of casinos.
Gambling is certainly more popular in some places than others, which makes the attitudes toward it different, too. It’s seen as more commonplace in places like Australia and the UK. In Australia, an impressive 80% of the population gambles, while 32% play in the UK.
Gamblers tend to trend on the older side in most countries, though this could change as online games and eSports become more popular among younger generations that spend more time online.
One of the biggest trends lately has been the increase in the number of female gamers in a traditionally male-dominated pastime. In the UK, around 40% of gamblers are female, with the most popular games for them being bingo and pokies. In Australia, that number is around 35%.
Even though playing online is convenient and offers many of the same games, online casinos are still thriving. This is partially thanks to casino tourism to regions built around a vibrant gambling industry. These destinations are usually complete with other attractions like beaches, entertainment or nightlife, giving them even more draw for travelers.
Even in countries with casino tourism destinations, gambling may not be legal in the whole country. This means that most people have to travel to get to an on-land casino, which in turn drives profits from casino tourism. In the United States, Las Vegas has long been a popular destination, offering lots of entertainment beyond just gambling. The US also has lots of casinos on tribal lands, which drawn in visitors from surrounding areas where gambling may not be legal. Many North Americans also play in Nassau, Bahamas, which is also a popular place for beach vacations, making it a dream destination for many.
China has a similar situation to the US, with heavy regulations on the mainland, while the Special Administrative Region of Macau is a huge destination for casino tourists. The city is on the coast and home to a gambling industry seven times larger than Las Vegas’s. It’s known for its bright lights and glamorous casinos and makes a great location for a vacation getaway. Other Asian gambling destinations include the thriving industry in Singapore and the up-and-coming city of Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
The Perks of Playing Online
If you don’t want to wait for your next vacation to a casino tourism destination to play your favourite games, you don’t have to. Online gaming offers a similar experience from the comfort of your own home. And, with the best online casinos in NZ now offering players the ability to play from their mobile devices, gambling is more flexible than ever. The great new technology lets you take your favourite games with you, and even though the screen may be smaller the potential winnings can still be huge.
Many people also enjoy how hassle-free it is to play online—there’s no elbowing your way into the table or waiting for your favourite pokie machine to open up. You can also play anytime and anywhere and get first choice of the newest games on the market.
The countries that most love to play online are not the same as the countries that account for the most gambling revenue. Online gambling is much more popular in the Nordic countries and in Europe, while on-land gambling has a bigger hold in Asia, Oceania and North America. This is likely caused in part by the fact that there are fewer on-land casinos in the area, which makes playing online more convenient. In Sweden, Denmark and Norway, around half of all gambling is done online. In the UK, that number is around 42%.
The House Isn’t the Only Winner
If you’re thinking about gambling revenue, the money that operators make when the house wins, you can’t forget that a lot of money is also paid out to players in winnings and prizes. Many countries also support charitable causes through gambling. In Australia, some pokie machines fund sports teams, while many lotteries worldwide help put money in the pockets of schools and community organizations. On-land casinos also use their revenue to create jobs, pay employees and make their casinos even more popular vacation destinations.
Whether people prefer to play online, at an on-land casino or both, there’s certainly no sign of decline in the industry. More than ever people love to find ways to relax and unwind with a fun game, particularly if there’s the chance of winning some money as a result. As the industry grows, we’re excited to see what kinds of innovation and new games might be the result. If you want to try your hand playing at the best NZ online casino, check out the huge selection at JackpotCity and see what’s fueled our popularity since the early days of online casinos.