Land-based casinos and online casinos are places that will offer a wide range of safe and action-packed entertainment in the form of gambling. While land-based casinos are something most of us associate with Las Vegas and classic 50s movies, online casinos have grown tremendously in recent decades and made the casino world's captivating entertainment easily accessible to anyone and everyone.
In this blog post, the intention is that I will take you on a deep dive into what characterizes land-based casinos vs online casinos, and what advantages and disadvantages these different offers have.
Land-based casinos are something that have been around for a long time. In the beginning, this was almost a lifestyle that was reserved for the rich and wealthy, those who had money to show off and spend. The whole concept leads its roots in the carnival season in Venice, where gaming houses were legalized by the state so that they, among other things, would bring good income in the form of taxes.
Today, land-based casinos have become more common and modernized, and are no longer reserved for the most affluent among us. Today, absolutely everyone can enjoy the exciting atmosphere that land-based casinos offer, and that is something I personally recommend everyone to try out.Today, casinos are about so much more than just gambling. Land-based casinos are lavish buildings with hotels, fantastic restaurants, cool shops, and other fun attractions. You really get a whole package of experiences that make the atmosphere around gambling so magical.
Today, we find a variety of exciting land-based casinos across the world. Although most of us associate these classic gaming halls with flashing neon lights in Las Vegas, you will also find similar casinos in Sweden, Denmark, Asia, several places in the US and in a number of other European countries. The possibilities and destinations are endless.
These land-based casinos have also become very diverse in a sense that some are adapted to families and have something to offer for those who cannot or will not play. Some have relied on certain games such as poker, table games or slot machines, while others are more versatile. The casino industry has become so complex that it attracts millions of visitors every single year, and I find that very impressive.
Although land-based casinos have faced competition from the internet in the recent years, such physical casinos are still being built, especially in Asia. There are, for example, a lot of exciting things happening in Japan after the authorities allowed gambling in 2016. I think it is very exciting to follow how land-based casinos develop together with their virtual partner.
Gambling is the major attraction at all casinos, but the great thing about land-based casinos is that they offer other exciting entertainment as well. World-class tournaments, shows, and fun activities are just some of the things the casinos offer to compete for your attention.
Online casinos have become more common in the last decade, as they were made possible by the fantastic internet. Today, such online casinos have become a significant competitor to land-based casinos. New online casinos are constantly appearing on the market, and they offer a variety of slot machines, odds, table games, and live casinos. The live casino category is reminiscent of virtual land-based casinos because it is a live dealer who manages the game for you.
Online casinos have ensured that players all over the world have access to the world's most popular real money games. The internet has helped to make gambling popular, and you no longer have to travel far to experience this action-packed entertainment.
We know that the security of land-based casinos is strictly taken care of with many precautions and security guards watching over people. Therefore, many people are wondering if it is safe to use online casinos. The simple answer is "yes". As long as you play at a serious online casino, your security is safeguarded in accordance with applicable laws and regulations regarding privacy.
Many online casinos also use encryption to keep the information they hold about you extra secure. The security also applies to payment methods.
With the development and spread of the mobile phone together with other advanced technology, online casinos have been given several platforms to operate on. Mobile has made sure that gambling and other entertainment at online casinos are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, no matter where you are. All you need is internet access, and entertainment and excitement are literally in your pocket.
Personally, I think it is very exciting to follow the development of online casinos on mobile. It is in this field that a lot of new things are happening at a furious pace, and the mobile phone is, without a doubt, of great importance for the online casinos' development and reach.
One thing that online casinos can offer is almost endless amounts of games, but what I like best about online casinos are the bonuses, free spins, promotions, and the tournaments - the little extra that makes playing so much more fun.
All online casinos are known for their bonuses, especially the welcome bonuses and their VIP programs with increasing benefits for loyal players. The welcome bonus is especially well-liked because it gives new players a chance to get to know the online casino well, so they can see if they prefer one particular online casino over another.
Free spins are also something I am a big fan of because you simply get the chance to play for free for a few rounds. Free spins are given both as bonuses and act as a special feature in most slot machines. Many free spins also contain some features that make them extra exciting, and in some machines it is also during these rounds where you have the opportunity to win big.
It is the fierce competition between more than 2000 different online casinos that has pushed forward a whole sea of bonuses to attract players. Since the competition will not diminish in the first place, I am excited about what it will lead to - what new bonus forms we can expect.
I started this blog post by going into more detail about land-based casinos, and there are many good things about them, but I thought I would summarize them here in this section while I also want to make you aware of the disadvantages of physical casinos
Casinos are the fastest growing industry in the world, and it is estimated that around 2.5 billion people worldwide engage in online gaming. It goes without saying that these are huge sums of money, and many people want their share of these sums. The result is that many new online casinos appear every single year, but not all do very well. In this blog post, I will take a closer look at what we can call the back of the medal.
As I have already mentioned, the online casino industry is a very lucrative industry. All the new casinos that are launched online mean that the competition is great, and it is no wonder that many of them do not succeed. They either go bankrupt, close down or are acquired by major players.
There are many reasons for this. There are many companies that venture into the industry with only a desire to make money. These companies often have a bad business model, poor management or a website that does not work the way more and more discerning players want. Still, others simply run out of money. Serious players make sure to notify their customers of the closure or acquisition in good time, while others close their doors without notice. Then you are in danger of losing both your deposit and any winnings.
Here is an overview of some of the many online casinos that have gone bankrupt or closed down for good in 2019 and 2020:
Last fall, GIG, Gaming Innovation Group, sold the online casino Highroller to Ellmount Gaming. This made them some money, but not enough for the company to pay off existing debt. That is, a bond of 300 million Swedish crowns.
The online casinos they sold include Rizk Casino, Guts Casino, Kaboo and Thrills. The buyer was none other than the well-known company Betsson, and the purchase price was over 22.2 million euros. However, this is only for the brands. For the platforms, Betsson will pay 8.7 million euros, and then they will also pay a fee for the use of the platforms, which is calculated in relation to the income over the next 2 years.
I would also like to mention that if you play at one of these casinos, you can be sure that your funds and any winnings are protected. You will not notice when the online casino you play at changes the owner.
The acquisition means that GiG and Betsson are now partners, and operators who cooperate with GiG will thus have access to the products Betsson has in its sportsbook.
You might be wondering who Betsson really is. Betsson is one of the major European companies in the gaming industry. They are listed on the Stockholm Stock Exchange, and are behind a number of other brands in the industry. The company, which was founded by 3 Swedes in 2001, is headquartered in Malta. Among other things, they have a very rich and almost famous sportsbook, with multiple available markets within a number of sports.
GiG, or Gaming Innovation Group, was started in 2008 by Frode Fagerli and Robin Reed. The company delivers technological solutions, such as a cloud-based software platform, which a number of other operators in the industry use. They are headquartered in Malta, but also have offices in Marbella and in Oslo, Gibraltar, Kristiansand and Copenhagen. The company is listed in both Stockholm and Oslo.
River iGaming is a company that was founded in 2017 by the Norwegian Morten Klein and, among others, Kjetil Holta. The company is also listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. They own, among other things, Vegas Casino, which they bought in 2017. Now the company has chosen to sell its online casinos, and that is precisely due to the tough competition I talked about in this post. Thus, they put their ownership interests up for sale, and concentrate on other parts of the gaming industry, such as marketing other online casinos.
It has not been easy to be a gaming company in the Scandinavian countries. In recent years, several of the companies in this industry have experienced that the value of their shares fluctuates sharply. Some of this is simply due to the Norwegian authorities' tightening of foreign gaming companies. Especially as it is more difficult to carry out money transactions to and from these companies. In Sweden, a licensing authority was put in place, and although this has also been in demand by the industry, regulations have been tough for many. The companies have to satisfy a number of tough requirements to get the license, and in addition, the license costs money.
Large companies such as Betsson Group with brand names such as Casino Winner, Betsson, Betsafe and NordicBet, as well as Kindred, which owns Storspiller, Unibet and Maria Casino, have experienced large declines in revenues.
The corona situation with closed communities has also affected the casino industry. Land-based casinos around the world are struggling to make ends meet. The closure for several weeks has ensured a solid loss of income, and several large chains in the US are announcing bankruptcy and closures. MGM Resorts International is one of those who notice that the money is starting to dry up. The same is true elsewhere in the world.
Now, the online casinos have not had to close their premises, but they are still affected by the situation. People who lose their jobs and for various reasons have less to spend, do not spend money at online casinos. On the other hand, people around the world also have more time to play. In short, I can say that the serious and reputable online casinos do well, while online casinos run by people who are only looking for quick profits without taking great account of the players' wishes, do it badly.
Like in everything else, there are good and bad ways to do things. An online casino should be run with the customers' best interests in mind, and this also applies if the company is closed down. The most important thing they can do is to notify players and affiliates as soon as possible. Players must be given ample time to withdraw their funds and settle the account they have.
Unfortunately, it is still the case that many online casinos close their doors without warning. They declare bankruptcy, and may even go so far as to give players no opportunity to withdraw the funds they have in their account. This is one of the many reasons why I again emphasize the importance of playing at a serious online casino.
So far in this blog post I have told you about several online casinos and companies that have had to close down or sell. What is really behind a bankruptcy in this industry? When there are so many players spending so much money, why does a company go bankrupt? I'm going to take a look at this.
Starting an online casino can be relatively easy. However, there are a number of things that need to be put in place, and most of these things cost money. Within the industry, it is estimated that establishing a good online casino will have a starting price of up to 3 million euros. If you want to succeed, you must attract enough loyal players for the investment to pay off. Today's market is, as I have already mentioned, very competitive, and that means that it is not easy to keep the players.
A license from a reputable regulator is one of the things you must have for the players to trust you and you to appear serious. The most recognized regulators are those in Malta, the United Kingdom, Curacao and Gibraltar. Getting a license from Malta costs about 50,000 euros, which is close to half a million Norwegian crowns.
An online casino without software and a good selection of games is not an online casino. The games offered should come from well-known providers, so that there are both games that are loved by the players, but also games that are recognized for being fair. Providers should not only have paid for you to use their software and games. They should also have a share of the income you get from these games. We are talking about an investment in the multimillionaire class.
The casino's website must be user-friendly and attractive, so that players want to open an account and stay. The site must not be slow, and all information submitted by players must be encrypted and processed in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The online casino must also be able to offer popular and secure payment methods as well as a customer service that is available when players need it.
In order for players to know that the online casino exists, it must invest in marketing. This also includes bonuses in various forms. Without a nice welcome bonus, it becomes difficult to attract players.
The bottom line is that starting a solid online casino is costly, and it is just as costly to keep it going. Did you know that the annual costs can reach around 20 million Norwegian crowns? If the job is done badly, the players will not come, and if the company does not have good enough financial management, it will also go badly. There are many who break their necks with everything it takes to run a successful company. If an online casino goes bad and loses money, it is not always easy to find someone who will buy it, and then it can quickly happen that the casino closes its doors without a warning. This happened, among other things, in 2018 when the seemingly popular online casino Larry Casino suddenly closed its doors.
In the same way that many online casinos go bankrupt after a while, it is also not uncommon for online casinos to change owners. I was already talking about it when I talked about GiG who sold their online casinos to Betsson. This is not an unusual event in this industry.
When an online casino does well, it also becomes very interesting for larger companies that want it in their portfolio. It has happened many times and will happen again. In 2018, for example, the very popular online casino Mr. Green was acquired by the large company William Hill.
Here are some of the acquisitions in 2019:
In 2016, Betfair merged with the British company Paddy Power to form the company Flutter Entertainment. These have since been relatively active and acquired several companies, such as The Stars Group.
Betsson, which this year bought the online casinos of Gaming Innovation Group, was also active on the acquisition front in 2017. Then they bought NetplayTV and Premier Casino.
The conclusion of this post must be that there is nothing unusual in either bankruptcies, closures or mergers. What is important for you as a customer is that you make sure to always play at an online casino that has a good reputation, and which appears to be serious in every way. A bad online casino can, for example, be fined for withholding winnings. These fines are so large that it can actually lead to the company going bankrupt.
Always check that the casino you want to play at has a license from a reputable gaming authority, offers good games from reputable providers, encrypts all information you submit to them, has reputable payment methods and a customer service that is easily accessible. Even if all this is in place, it does not mean that the company can not go bankrupt, but it does mean that you as a player are secured if it happens. After all, your safety is the most important thing to you.
The market for casinos and games is growing at record speed. New online casinos are being established almost daily, and fortunately for players, the vast majority of them are legal with the necessary licenses in place. They offer entertainment and a fair chance of winning in a safe environment.
Unfortunately, I have seen that this rapidly expanding market for casinos and gambling has given a fertile ground to more illegal operators where the sole purpose is to take as much money as possible from the players. This is a problem I will address in more detail in this blog post, but first I will give you a brief explanation to why licenses are so important in the casino industry.
All online casinos that offer gambling must have a license in place if their services are to be legal. A license is a security guarantee that you as a player and your money are taken care of in a safe way in accordance with laws and regulations. This includes guidelines that address the conditions for responsible gaming at an online casino. A license also states that the games the casino in question offers are fair, which in practice means that you have a real chance of winning.
A license is granted to a casino by the authorities of a country, but the country that granted the license must not be the same country in which the gambling is to be offered. For that reason, there are a number of different licenses a casino can use, and the more licenses a casino has got in place, the safer it is for you as a player and consumer. The regulator that has issued the license maintains strict supervision of the casino that has been awarded the license. It is also not easy for an online casino to get a license, as there is a lot of work behind checking that the online casino operates legally and responsibly.
Fortunately, a license is not something that is handed out with a light hand by the authorities. In Europe, the rules for being allowed to offer gambling are very strict, and we should be happy about that. Some of the requirements to get a license are that the operator must have enough money to buy it, as well as have an impeccable record for those behind the casino.
What I consider to be the best thing about the license is that it is more difficult to keep it than it is to get it. The license regulates absolutely everything an online casino can do, and the slightest breach will result in fines and revocation of the license. The authorities that have issued the license constantly check that the requirements behind the license are maintained. An online casino would not go far with an attempt to avoid the rules.
It should be easy for you to find out if an online casino you want to play at has a license. At most online casinos, it is common for this to be stated at the bottom of the main page, and as you have probably realized, it is very important that you check this before you register and make a deposit.
For instance, Norway does not have its own authorities that control online casinos. We are a so-called unregulated market, where it is foreign operators who mainly offer gambling. The licenses you should pay attention to as a Norwegian player come from Malta, Great Britain, Curacao, and Gibraltar.
Now that I have explained why a license is so important, you will probably see right away why an unlicensed casino is a big problem - and I will take that further in this post.
Online casinos and gambling are a growing source of entertainment, and I am concerned that this form of entertainment should take place in a legal and safe environment for the player. Therefore, I find it disturbing that an increasing number of operators are looking to deceive consumers and affiliates.
What is scary about such illegal online casinos is that for many they can be very difficult to detect. For a dishonest online casino to be able to trick you for money, they must give you a good impression, a desire to play there. Therefore, the online casino must give the impression that they are a safe and fun place to play, where you can safely bet money and where your chances of winning are fair. In other words, an illegal online casino must be both genuine and professional.
Since many players do not quite know, or forget to take the time to read the legal information behind an online casino, I find it frightening how easy it really is for illegal operators to feed the players false and confusing information. They may give you the impression that they have their licenses in place, but is the company registered? Is there the address they have provided? Is the license active? Who is the license issued to?
This is information that does not take many seconds to double check, and it is something I recommend everyone to do to avoid being scammed. If the information does not match the online casino has stated, some warning signals should flash.
There are many factors that come into play to determine if a casino is operating illegally or not. As I have mentioned above, the use of fake licenses, i.e. that the online casino claims to have a license that they do not have, is a common method that illegal online casinos use to scam players and possibly affiliates (which are websites that promote casinos).
A license regulates so many areas within the casino industry that when an online casino operates without a license, it is almost impossible to cheat. Lack of license also means lack of controlling authorities who strictly monitor that the casino business is reputable and adheres to the terms of responsible gaming.
Fake slot machines are also a factor that characterizes illegal online casinos. It is the games that are most important at an online casino. There are games that offer entertainment and adrenaline kicks. Fake games therefore have a harmful potential to swindle huge amounts of money before you discover that something is not right.
It is not the casino operators who create the games they have in their portfolio. This is what different developers do, and through collaboration with online casinos, they make the games available to the public. Among other things, what I have discovered is that in today's modern, high-tech world, it is unfortunately far too easy to copy and make changes to the original slot machines.
There are many fake online casinos that seem to offer slot machines from, among others, the popular developer NetEnt, but in reality they have no contract with the developer. To an untrained eye, such pirated slot machines can be very difficult to detect as they are very reminiscent of the originals.
What characterizes the fake slot machines, and which are the signs you should look for, is that the payout rate (Return to Player - RTP) is significantly reduced - it is rigged so that you never win, there are no progressive jackpots and it costs you enormously a lot to play on the slot machine.
As I have already mentioned, it is not always so easy to see if a game is fake. If you get the feeling that something is not right, you should check the information about the game against the information another casino has provided about the same game. You can also check out what the developers themselves have written about the game in question. If the information is different, you should tread carefully.
Since it can be so difficult to detect such fake slot machines at dishonest online casinos for players, I want there to always be an easily accessible and always up-to-date list of such casinos. Then it will be much easier for players to detect such attempts at fraud, and the dishonest online casinos will be held responsible for their actions.
There are many forms of fraud, and you need to be aware of something called fraudulent cooperation. Dishonest cooperation is characterized by what I have mentioned later in the post - when affiliates are cheated for money.
Online casinos can partner with a variety of forums, websites, casino portals and newspapers to market themselves and their services in a way that effectively reaches out to players. These affiliates are entitled to a certain amount of the online casino's profits as they take the time and resources to market them to a wide audience. Extremely many online casinos have been blacklisted in recent years because they have unfortunately failed to pay their partners what they are entitled to.
The reason I choose to inform you about this type of scam, even if it does not necessarily concern you, is because this is often the first sign that the online casino is not what it claims to be. In such cases, fortunately, the partners will be quick to go out and warn players about the relevant online casino. It is important that you as a player do not bet money on such blacklisted online casinos. It is not uncommon for them to declare themselves bankrupt and run away with all your money.
What I have focused on in this post is to provide more information about what characterizes dishonest online casinos in the hope that you as a consumer will avoid experiencing fraud. What is challenging in this expanding market is that there are casinos that are not directly illegal, but which you should still be careful about. I am talking here about the sites that are in the so-called gray zone.
For a casino to be legal, it must have a license in place, but since licenses only provide an extra guarantee of security if the authorities behind follow up and set strict requirements, there can unfortunately be a gap in this area that operators with dishonest intentions know to take advantage of. This can be very confusing for players who see the license and thus think that everything should be in order. Some licenses are sadly worse than others, and can provide a false sense of security.
The license from Curacao is an example of a not-so-good license. It has been discovered that these authorities easily issue licenses, and that they rarely follow up on their licensed online casinos and that players who report complaints rarely receive a response. The Curacao license does have some requirements, and not all online casinos that have this license are dishonest and looking to defraud you.
However, it is easier for casinos in the gray zone to commit such illegalities with only this license. Therefore, it is recommended that you check if the online casino has this license along with other licenses. The license from Malta is, for example, the safest because the gaming authorities there are among the strictest in the world.
I want to help ensure that you as a player do not end up in the desperate situation of fraud and deception. Therefore, I will end this post with some tips you can take with you further when seeking entertainment in gambling.
Perhaps the best tip I can give you is not to search for online casinos directly, but read more reviews of the casino in question before signing up. Read reviews written by experts, and see what is written about the casino itself, what licenses they have and what protocols they have in place to protect your information. You will find useful overviews of blacklisted casinos here at CasinoTop.com.
You can also do some research on your own, such as checking that the license is active. Also check which games the online casino has in its portfolio. Does the information about the game match the information you find at other online casinos and in reviews? What payment methods are offered and are they safe to use?
These are small signs that together can reveal dishonest online casinos. The best way to put an end to such gambling sites is to not leave money there.