For those who enjoy the glitz and glamor of the casino world, it has in the past been a rite of passage to head to one or other of the casino havens around the globe, in the process taking in some of the sights that have made the movies and getting the wacky, crazy and unbelievable experiences that come hand in hand with the landscape of casino cities like Monte Carlo, Las Vegas, Atlantic City and (more recently) Macau. Most important of all in this respect was the fact gamers could say they had put money down and gambled in one of these glamorous locations.
Despite these names having enduring relevance to the world of gambling and whilst these locations have not diminished as a pure spectacle, the question for 2017 is whether the draw really is in the form of the likes of Las Vegas, or whether gamers drawn to blackjack, roulette, and poker in all its guises are now more tempted to experience the thrill of gaming at home or on their smartphone.
The World of the Social Gamer
In an article from 2016, the Las Vegas Sun presented the facts surrounding the average tourist heading to Las Vegas. They discovered that the percentage of those who choose gamble when in the city fell from 77% in 2011 to 73% in 2016. While this figure isn’t by itself a massive change (just a 4% slide), there is no doubting the trend of gambling switching from primarily taking place in a physical casino to a virtual one in the digital age we live in.
This digital trend of online gambling can be seen at just a glance if you click here and look at the various ways you can experience poker online as opposed to offline. It’s not just in the range of games on offer, but the diversity of them too, with 888’s gaming platform offering access to cash games, sit & go tournaments, and scheduled tournaments all on the same interface. A huge draw of online gaming is the increasingly social experience. Whether or not you are playing on your smartphone, your laptop or your tablet, gamers are increasingly enjoying the chance to engage with other players, often on the other side of the world to them, and with improvements in virtual reality technology in relation to games like poker on the horizon, this is an area only expected to keep booming.
Can the World of the Physical Casino Strike Back?
Poker is obviously one of the more popular online games, but it is not the only online game that is being enjoyed more and more in a digital interface and which is increasingly fun and safe and even able to be experienced through the application of new cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. In fact, there seems to be no chance of reversing the online trend, which means that casinos and casino cities will need to adapt intelligently and quickly in order to survive.
Although Japan is looking to loosen regulations to encourage growth in tourism by looking to open new casinos, perhaps the reason we will travel to casinos in the future and the reason why these towns will survive is to watch live tournaments in person, or to enjoy the more unique aspects of these locations instead of solely gambling. This means that tourism may evolve so that we will be enjoying the chance to watch the shows in Las Vegas or the chance to walk around the outside of the Macau Tower instead of heading solely to the casinos in the future, as physical gambling becomes a side attraction in these traditionally gambling-dominated towns.