Outside of the U.S, online gaming has become a huge market that is capable of delivering lucrative sums of money. So while gambling hotspots and bricks and mortar locations in Vegas recorded numbers last year with more than 40 million accessing the bright lights of the strip, the online world the industry is continuously seeing growth that is hard to ignore.
But where exactly is better to play?
For many it is a non-issue, with online gaming isn’t available to American customers located in Nevada, New Jersey, and most recently Delaware. The remaining U.S States having not yet passed legislation legalizing online gaming, although California faces a seminal battle in the next 12 months to force through such a bill. Even then, the argument continues as to which format is better, with two generations making compelling arguments for both entities.
Are you in it for the love or the money?
From a traditionalist perspective, the additional atmosphere and interaction available in a real casino cannot be topped. Of course there is relevance to this, and with the atmosphere of a casino being electric, the sound of the slots blaring behind you it really is magical. There’s so much going on, but at the same time as this offers a huge distraction to those with the primary goal of making money and winning!
The lure of free alcohol and these noisy machines and flashing lights can disrupt a players' focus, while music will undoubtedly be playing in a busy establishment (usually upbeat and positive tracks to increase your level of optimism!). This can all take away a players’ attention, making it harder for them to make well-reasoned decision and apply a carefully cultivated strategy.
AT home on your own and free from the great destroyer that is alcohol, you are far likely to have your eyes on the prize and the best ways of winning it.
All in all, your preference of platform depends almost entirely on your underlying goals and motivation for playing, so it is important to understand these before making a decision.
Online Poker and its unique merits
Right, are you still with us? As this is where it gets complicated!
In poker, for example, a professional may wish to spend some preparation time playing at a live table where they can understand their opponents strategies and physical tells before making their move. Conversely, a casual or fun-minded player may not be as interested and in some cases may even want to just play for free and take advantage of fun and increasingly interactive gameplay with friends and strangers alike.
Ironically, this is probably where online gaming comes into its own. If you have ever enjoyed interactive slot experiences such as Siberian Storm, you will understand the graphical and audio revolution that has revolutionised this type of gaming and popularised it among new player demographics. In short, slots and other casino games have borrowed heavily from modern innovation and desktop narratives, creating more immersive experiences for a new breed of players.
The freemium nature of online gaming and huge promotional incentives also make it the ideal setting in which players can hone their respective skills, laying the foundation for growth and development as a professional.
The upshot of this is that while the distraction-free, online gaming environment is perfectly suited to money-orientated players, the interactive nature of the virtual platform and its penchant for creative titles and realistic dealer interaction continues to appeal to casual gamers.
Which is right for you? How GTA Online, Animation and similar games may influence your tastes?
Ultimately, these conflicting factors mean that you decision will come down to an individual matter of taste. Of course it is easier to game online, but this does not carry the excitement and social value of heading to a local casino or the Vegas strip. This may soon change, however, as innovation and the blurring of gaming genres continues to make a compelling case for virtual casinos.
To envisage this, we need to consider the rise of VR and animated apps such as Headcaster, which enable users to communicate through three-dimensional, automated iterations of themselves. These innovations ass a huge dimension to online gaming, particularly in terms of creating an immersive and interactive experience. The blurring of gaming boundaries may also influence your decision, particularly with popular desktop titles such as GTA Online now integrating live, virtual casino games where players can compete for real money.
The latter point is particularly important, as we are likely to see further console, PlayStation and desktop titles that integrate live, real-money casino gameplay in the future. This will further spread the merits and popularity of online gaming, striking another blow to the popularity of bricks and mortar casino fun.
At the moment, your choice between live and online is a matter of choice. In the future, the virtual market will have merged the best of both worlds to eliminate the need for such a choice.