Real Life or Fantasy? How The Online Casino Experience Stacks Up
Tuesday 31st March 2020
When it comes to overwhelming and exciting experiences, there's not much that beats the thrill of a casino. Whether its the crash of the jackpot landing, the over the top shows or something as simple as the tick of a roulette wheel, the casino experience is electrical for all of our senses. How then do online providers manage to compete with the likes of the big Vegas casinos? Is it the differences in the physical and online experiences that draw us to them, or is it the ways in which they are the same?
One of the big differences between online providers and brick and mortar casinos is in the variety of table games they have available. Physical casinos are bound by space and the need to pay a croupier, so table games tend to be a smaller percentage of the offering.
Conversely, online casinos have no space or croupier constraints, so they can be as creative and diverse as they'd like when it comes to providing table games. Different varieties crop up frequently and vary from provider to provider; the Zoom feature announced by PokerStars allows players the chance to skip between opponents in every hand of poker. This fast-paced playing style is the sort of thing that is truly unique to online providers.
Another benefit of the online casino is its larger player base. For players that really want to see how they stack up on a global level, the easiest way is to play some games online. Online poker leaderboards are full of the world's greats and physical casinos, though plenty has some great players, can't compete with that. So, in terms of game variety, it looks like online casinos have got the upper hand.
One under-appreciated aspect of the casino experience comes in the form of audio. Everything that you can hear, either online or in-person, greatly affects the experience that you're likely to have. The main element that affects the audible experience of a player is the control that the provider has over the environment.
At home using an online site, the user has far greater control over the audio experience. They can choose to listen to the audio that the site has chosen, with little interference from others, which is likely to enable them to feel more absorbed in the gaming experience. They could also completely control the conditions by playing their own music instead. In some ways this control can be beneficial to the user; it could aid them in concentration, or help build excitement when listening to game-specific music. On the other hand, the atmosphere of a hushed casino can be a truly electric one, that really is a shame to miss. For this one, it's a draw - the hushed casino atmosphere can be really special, but the ability to control your own environment is certainly a comfort.
When it comes to adding value, both physical and online casinos have their own ideas. When competing in the same sphere it's easy to get sucked into direct competition, but in actual fact, these two models prove that diversity and playing to your strengths is key.
Online casinos are able to offer rolling leaderboards, virtual reality technology, large prizes, and regular tournaments because of their overheads and set up costs are lower. Setting up daily tournaments in a brick and mortar casino would not only be hugely expensive but also difficult to fill. Owing to their larger player base and lower overheads, online casinos certainly win on this one.
However, physical casinos have a further trick up their sleeve. Particularly in Vegas, but generally in the larger and more successful casinos across the world, casino shows are a favorite with players. Sure, the casino is primarily for gaming, but having a sideshow never hurts. People flock to Vegas from across the world not just for the casinos, but for the full experience of showgirls, circus acts and magicians. It's almost impossible to compete with that!