Since the emergence of a few online casinos in 1996, the growth and popularity of the online gambling industry has skyrocketed at a phenomenal rate. There are currently thousands of online casinos generating an estimated annual revenue of over USD $7,000,000,000. If this figure is divided by 365 days, then it could be said that online casinos generate an average of well over $19,000,000 in revenue every single day.
As the global internet population continues to grow, and with internet gambling expanding into numerous non-English speaking countries in Europe and Asia, it is safe to assume that the above figures will continue to grow with no immediate signs of slowing down in the near future.
In many cases, compared to a traditional land based casino, an online casino has many advantages which have contributed to its overall growth, popularity and success.
Multilingual: Most of the popular online casinos offer multiple language support, so a person who does not understand English is still able to gamble and enjoy oneself without having to worry about language and communication difficulties. Some of the languages offered at online casinos include: Arabic, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Estonian, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish and Turkish.
Currencies: Unlike a land casino, many online casinos accept multiple currencies so that two or more persons are able to play the same game using their own currencies. A person living in Italy can purchase credit in Euro while a person living in the United States can purchase credit in USD. This removes the inconvenience and confusion of having to firstly convert an unfamiliar currency to one's own currency before placing each bet.
Real Money: Online gamblers play with real money, and as a result they are more acutely aware of the value of their money as opposed to one who plays with a stack of multi-coloured casino chips which don't seem to have as much of an immediate value. Unlike a land casino where chips don't seem to have as much value as real money, thus encouraging the player to gamble away more money, an online casino displays the exact amount of money in a player's account and as a result encourages the player to take his/her money more seriously and not lose track of the value of his/her money.
Dress code: Online casinos don't have dress codes. One can play in a business suit, dress, underwear, or naked. Thus one does not have to worry about choosing what to wear and dress according to one's social environment or weather forecast. Being able to wear whatever one chooses gives the player a greater sense of comfort and convenience.
Food and Drinks: Unlike land casinos which enforce certain eating and drinking rules, an online casino player does not have to worry about what he/she can or cannot eat and drink during a game. Thus an online gambler may play with greasy fingers while drinking from a bottle of whisky without an objections from the casino.
Smoking: Whether the player is a compulsive, chronic smoker or a non-smoker who cannot bear the smell of cigarettes, one sets his/her own environmental conditions and does not have to worry about the environmental preferences of other players.
Free Casino Chips: In an effort to attract players, numerous online casinos offer players free casino money to play with. Free online casino bonuses can range from $10 to $2400. Offering potential players free no-deposit or match-play casino bonuses presents a tremendous incentive for players to register real player accounts with these online casinos.
Less Expensive: If the land casino is located in another city, then the gambler would need to take into account transport, accommodation and meal costs, while a person living near a casino would have to take into account transport costs. Depending on how far away from the land casino the player is living, these costs can run into thousands of dollars, whereas an online player can gamble from virtually any computer with an internet connection.
Player Support: Online casinos usually offer better customer service in the sense that they may usually be contacted via telephone, fax, live 24/7 live chat support and email. In addition to this, they provide the player with detailed instructions on how to play each game, whereas a land based casino does not usually provide the player instructions on how to play the games.
Privacy: The sense of privacy available via online casinos greatly exceeds the sense of privacy offered by land based casinos in the sense that online casinos do not take photographs or film footage of players. One is able to enjoy the games without having to worry about what the photographic records or video footage will be used for. In addition to this, one is able to play at an online casino without the knowledge of any other person who is not a casino employee.
Safety: In many cases, it is actually safer for a person to play at an online casino than at a land based casino because the risk of the player being assaulted or robbed greatly decreases when one plays from the safety of one's home. This not only applies to persons who win large amounts of money in the presence of other people, but also to persons who attend casinos with cash money to play with.
Weather: One does not have to worry about the weather conditions or how to dress for it when playing from the comfort of one's own home. There is no need to worry about the wet and slippery road conditions when it's raining or taking an hour long trip to the casino on a hot summer day.
Ill Health: Whether the player is suffering from back pain or diarrhea and as a result is unable to attend the land casino, or whether he/she is simply trying to avoid catching the flu from other persons, ill health does not appear to represent a significant obstacle to those who wish to gamble online.
Less Distractions: Land casinos usually have more distractions which aim to decrease the player's focus on the game and separate the player from his/her money. Some of the distractions which land casinos utilise include glamorous flashing lights, machine sounds, free alcohol, large mirrors, the absence of wall clocks, windows or any indicators of time so that the player will lose track of time and spend more time in the casino. Unlike land casinos, online casinos do not utilise such distractions.
Play for Free: Online casinos offer players the opportunity to play the casino games for free. Thus one is able to practice and get a feel for the casino games before deciding if and whether to play for real money. Land casinos do not offer such an option and expect all players to play for real money with no opportunity to practice for free.
Relaxed Atmosphere: An online betting session is usually much more relaxed with no time limit or pressure to perform, compared to land casino betting. An online casino player may play a game at his/her own pace without having to quickly make his/her move because he/she is worried about the dealer or other players rushing him along.
Anywhere at Anytime: Online casinos may be played from anywhere at anytime. Whether the player is playing at 2.00 a.m. or 2.00 p.m., from the comfort of one's one home, or from a laptop inside a camping tent, online casinos may be accessed from any computer with an internet connection, anytime during the day or night.
Shyness: Internet gambling seems to appeal a great deal to persons who are very shy and do not wish to interact with strangers in a land casino.
Equal treatment: Whether the player is wealthy or not, male or female, young or old, Asian or American, online casinos do not discriminate against or show special favor to specific groups of players. Every player is valued and treated equally without having to feel inferior because he/she is betting $50 when another player is betting $5000. It would be difficult to imagine a Hollywood celebrity and the average Joe receiving the same type of treatment from a land based casino.
Better Payouts: Online casinos don't need to employ dealers, buy gaming tables and slot machines, purchase a casino building, manage a bar and restaurant, hire security guards, etc, and as a result they usually have much lower overhead costs and better payouts than land casinos.
Due to the above-mentioned set of reasons, it is not very difficult to understand why online casinos have proven to be so popular among gamblers from all walks of life.
Adel Awwad is the webmaster of http://www.casinoguide.ws