Mariamichelle (CC0), Pixabay

Online casinos were increasing in popularity, even before the pandemic and lockdowns put a (hopefully) temporary pause to visiting entertainment venues.

Assuming land-based casinos will be allowed to open in 2021, how do these forms of gambling entertainment compare? Let’s take a look, by examining several crucial factors.


Land-based casinos are the clear winner here. Having a night out with friends playing in a casino cannot be beaten, and neither can the opportunity to enjoy some complimentary drinks and nibbles as you bet. Until virtual reality makes some major inroads, online casinos will always be second best when it comes to the social aspects.

Chances of beating the house

For most casino games, online providers offer far better RTP (return-to-player) ratios than land-based venues too. This is most obvious when it comes to slots. Slot machines at the local casino will tend to payout 90% of what they take in (every ten thousand spins), whereas that kind of ratio would be deemed extremely poor by online casino players. RTP values of 96% are seen as the gold standard on the internet. In table games, the RTP values seem to be a bit more even, but when playing on the roulette wheel, make sure you choose the European version (one green zero number) rather than the American version (a double zero), as that can halve the house edge. In general, online casinos edge land-based on this one.


Here too, the online casino world is a winner, but this time it isn’t even close. Practically every online casino tempts new players with deposit bonuses. These range from matched deposit bonuses where for every 100 units you deposit, the online casino will match it with an added 50% or even 100% (subject to wagering requirements), to free spins. In the land-based world, you might be lucky to win some loyalty points, and high rollers might get comped with a free hotel room. Other than that, online beats the land-based world hands down.


Here too, the online casino is clearly the better option. Unlike joining a land-based casino, which may well have 24-hour membership rules, you can play at an online casino within minutes of making your first deposit. What’s more, you can play wherever you have internet access. That could be in your pajamas in bed on your tablet, at your desk on your computer, or even on the morning train commute on your smartphone.

Safety and Trustworthiness

Here it gets a little murky. Assuming you are not visiting an underground casino, the chances are that every land-based casino in your city or region will be regulated in some way. Online it isn’t so clear. You should only play with a casino that is regulated by a reputable organization like the UKGC or MGA, which will ensure you will be treated with the utmost respect, and the casino will comply with all responsible gambling legislation. To ensure you are playing safely, we advise you to bet with trusted casinos, for example, Mr Green.


Choosing between online casinos and land-based venues is often hard, and a lot depends on how you want to spend your night. If meeting up with friends is a priority, then clearly going to your local regulated venue will always be a winner. On the other hand, if bonuses, convenience, and RTP is most important, then an online casino is the sensible option.