Why play at an online casino instead of a brick-and-mortar property? There are all sorts of reasons! You'll find the best of them below.
Unless you happen to live in London (or a similar centre of gambling), there probably isn't much of a selection of local casinos within a short drive. With online gaming, all of the casinos in the market are at your fingertips. No hunting for time off to go on a casino trip, no expensive and disappointing hotels, no other added expenses. Online gambling is clearly more convenient, but you also get the full selection of games you would in a land-based casino.
And if you like table games, you're probably aware that table space can be an issue at brick-and-mortar casinos (particularly on busy weekends). Online play ensures that the game you're looking for is always available, even during peak hours.
Traditionally, casinos don't allow you to use a credit or debit card to fund your play. You have to bring adequate cash to the casino with you, or use their in-house ATM that usually charges some outrageous fee for the privilege. Things like bank transfers, e-wallet services and cryptocurrencies are also rarely to never accepted by the house.
Not so with online gambling. All of the above methods are considered standard at online casinos, including credit cards. With a Visa card, you can even receive withdrawals back as a credit to your account.
When you sign up for the loyalty program at most land-based casinos, you don't get much more than a card. At best you might get a T-shirt, baseball cap or a paltry £5 and sent on your way. The real benefits don't start rolling in until you've played through a huge amount of money.
Not so with online casinos. There are many more of them, so the competition is fierce. That means large welcome bonuses for new players along with plenty of other regular incentives. VIPs who deposit a lot of money are treated especially well.
Also, since most online casinos don't have a physical location, they can't get away with rubbish "offers" for your play like a 2-for-1 buffet coupon or a promotional T-shirt. Instead, they have to deal in the incentive that most players really want - cold hard cash rebates. Not to say that real-world benefits aren't available if that's your thing. But unless the online casino has ties to a land-based property, actual physical gifts (like paid travel and household goodies) are usually reserved for players in the VIP program.
Sharp players know how to shop around and get the best deal for their money. With land-based casinos, that's a very time-consuming and tiring enterprise. Walking from casino to casino, combing the floor checking the latest pay tables, looking for those progressives that are about to pop, looking for 3:2 blackjack with favourable rules ... it's just an awful lot of work.
Online casinos make the "shopping" process so much simpler. You can quickly scan all of the games at a casino, or flip between casinos to compare offers. If you know the software developers that provide your favourite casinos with their games, you probably already know the pay tables and theoretical expected return of the games already since they usually stay consistent between different properties.
You don't have to hunt for an open table game with the table limits and terms you're looking for online, either. The online casinos always have a virtual table ready to suit every taste.
Practice for Free
One thing you'll never see at a land-based casino is the ability to practice games for free. They might offer free lessons at table games in very limited time windows, but that's about it. You can't just sit down and try out a new slot or video poker game at no risk to see what it's all about.
It's the complete opposite with online casinos. Nearly all of them make their full game selection available in a "free play" mode. You can see if each game is a good fit for you without having to put any money on the line.
Anonymity and Comfort
Brick-and-mortar casinos are full of distractions and irritations. A player with annoying habits or a particularly stinky cigar might decide to plop down right next to your favourite machine. You're constantly being pulled away from the game for offers of drinks, cigarettes and massages. If you're not a smoker, the air quality in a typical casino is probably not something you want to deal with for hours on end. Or the machine you want to play may be covered in a sticky mystery fluid.
None of these irritations are present in the comfort of your own home (or wherever you want to play). Drink and eat what you want when you want, no worries about tipping. The smoke level is exactly what you want it to be. And if you spill beer on the computer, well, you really only have yourself to blame for that one. At least the cleaning supplies are right at hand!
Online is also the best place to learn new and unfamiliar games. Stepping up to a new table game in a land-based casino can be daunting. There's all sorts of lingo and etiquette you have to learn, and the players clustered around it might not be inclined to be friendly to a newbie. Some dealers can get short with you if you don't know exactly what you're doing as well. Online, you can take your time and try everything at your own pace with no pressure.
If you're a high roller, online play also offers the ultimate in anonymity and security. You don't have to worry about being watched or about sketchy characters taking notice of how much money you're playing. Every detail of your play is just between you and the casino.
Live Sports Betting
It's convenient to place a sports bet whenever and from wherever you like. Online betting is particularly useful when you venture into the world of live (or "in-play") betting, however.
Live betting consists of wagers offered while a game or match is currently going on. It's often not convenient to get to a sportsbook for this sort of thing during a match, and when you do it may be a crowded and unpleasant environment in which to watch it!
Those who do well at live betting often do so by concentrating intently on just one or two matches at a time, something that is much easier to do in an environment that you control. Watch on your television or computer at home, and when you see a development that you think could give you a betting advantage you can quickly place that bet from your computer or phone.
Online Casinos Do What Brick-And-Mortars Don't
When you lay it all out like this, the list of online casino advantages is pretty overwhelming. Land-based casinos can certainly still be fun for a vacation getaway, but it's no wonder that many UK bettors are shifting the bulk of their gaming to online sources. The best online casinos just have so much more to offer!