Online vs. Land-Based Casinos: What You Need to Know

Pros and Cons

Has your introduction to top casino games come via a great online site, perhaps one recommended on these pages?

Are you venturing into online casinos on the web for the first time, having been a long-time visitor to any one of Australia's great land-based casinos like the Crown or Star City?

If the answer to either of those questions is 'yes' (chances are you won't be answering 'yes' to both questions), then you may be wondering who wins out in the battle of the casinos: land-based vs. Online.

Well, it's Seconds out, Round 1, as we look at the pros and cons of both equally valid options.

Why Online Casinos Rock

1 - There Are No Travel Costs

How much does it cost to walk upstairs to the bedroom or study, fire up the PC and get spinning on those Internet roulette websites? Zip, that's how much. Now work out how much it costs to drive or train it to a brick 'n' mortar casino, perhaps hundreds of miles from where you live? A lot, right? Add that cost onto your bankroll for the evening and you'll soon see how much you need in AUD to make it a profitable night.

2 - Signing Up Takes Minutes

Registering for an online casino account takes no time at all - all you need is a username, password and an address that isn't a prison. Joining a land-based casino, however, is much more of a hassle: you have to get to the casino to start with, bring photo ID, have your picture taken, and in some cases, wait 48 hours before you can get your hands on those pokies.

3 - You Can Play Anywhere, Anytime

Even 12 months ago you'd be hard pressed to find a decent suite of games to play on your smartphone. In 2024, however, there are new mobile casino sites being launched every week and dozens of new games to go with them. Many of the biggest online pokies and table game variants like Multi-Hand Blackjack and Spingo are being hurried out in a new format which fits perfectly to your smartphone or tablet, and include many of the same features as their older online brothers and sisters. That's not even mentioning the convenience of whipping out the iPhone or Samsung Galaxy on the bus to work and having a few spins.

4 - There's A Bigger Range of Games Online

So, there you are on the gaming floor of your local land-based casino - there are lights and sounds everywhere and it looks like there are games as far as the eye can see. But wait - where's that new roulette game you tried online the other day? Where's the progressive video slot you've heard about?

Online casinos offer Aussie players virtually any betting game they can possibly want, and at all kinds of stakes. If your local casino offers one progressive jackpot slot, chances are a decent online casino will offer a dozen. Even the biggest live casino won't have every game in the world, so why waste a journey?

5 - You Can Deposit With a Wide Range of Bank Methods

Visit your local casino and you can usually deposit money at the tables in Aussie dollars, or withdraw cash out from an ATM with your credit card - with a fee, of course. Online however, you'll have a massive range of deposit and withdrawals methods at your disposal. Deposit in seconds with your Commonwealth Bank debit card or use the popular POLi method, and withdraw your winnings back into your account just as easily. There's no queuing at the cash desk and having to leave with a wedge of Aussie bills bulging in your back pocket.

6 - You can Ditch the Tuxedo

Unless you're in the middle of the Vegas Strip surrounded by guys dressed in sandals, socks and baseball caps, chances are your local casino will enforce at least some kind of dress code at their joint. There are no such restrictions online, however. 'Visit' your favourite online casinos dressed in your pyjamas, smartest gear or finest birthday suit and kick back. Online is where a pit boss won't tell you to get your feet off the table.

7 - The RTP is Better Online

If you're a serious online pokies player you should be looking at the RTP% (Return to Player). For example, an online slot of 96% pays out $96 for every $100 wagered - or should do. Due to the lower operating costs and fierce competition, online casinos' slots RTPs are generally much higher than their land-based cousins, which can sometimes be in the mid-80s.

8 - You Can Get a Great Deposit Bonus

There are so many online casinos about these days, and they're all desperate for your business. That's why welcome bonuses at online casinos easily out-strip any kind of crummy free-drinks-and-meals VIP program offered by a big brick 'n' mortar gambling joint. Online deposit bonuses can vary wildly from casino to casino, but essentially they follow the same system: depositing the maximum amount into a casino offering a 100% deposit bonus up to $400 will pay you back $400 over time in increments. There are rules about how much you play, and over how much time, but when did you last hear of an Australian live casino offering so much free cash?

...And A Couple Of Reasons Why You Might Still Like Land-Based Casinos

9 - It Gets You Out of the House

It's true, playing casino games online is fun, relaxed, and you don't even have to get dressed to do it (but close the curtains first, yeah?). After a while, though, you may want to experience the bright lights of your local gambling joint - if you have one close by. Every once in a while, shut off the laptop, get dressed up, and venture out to a land-based casino; it's great to compare the games you've been loving online and their older, live cousins.

10 - There's a lot More than just Games

Does your online casino have great food, a bar, or night-time entertainment like a cabaret or karaoke? Well, that's not much cop, is it? Generally speaking, if you want night-time entertainment while you're playing online pokies or roulette you'll have turn Channel 9 on. But at a land-based casino -especially one of the big inner city ones - you can enjoy a cold one at the bar, watch some footie on the big screen, or have a juicy steak in the restaurant. Visiting a land-based casino is so much more than the games it offers.

11 - There's More of the Human Element

If you're not too sure of the legitimacy of the RNGs (Random Number Generators) governing the spin of the roulette wheel or the shuffling of the blackjack cards at an online site, at least land-based casinos guarantee human croupiers - overseen by pit bosses and managers - who add that human element to proceedings. You know that 100 percent a computer isn't overseeing anything, and that everything is above-board.

Of course, if you want that bit of human contact in your Internet gambling games, you can sign up to an online casino that offers Live Dealer games. Live Roulette or Live Blackjack offers you the chance to play games on your computer that are actually dealt and spun on REAL tables in a REAL casino. You can see the dealer via webcam and even chat to them via a live chatbox. How cool is that?

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