The casino business is volatile by its very nature. If a casino is unable to evolve it will cease to exist. There is no greater evidence of this than the El Rancho Vegas, the first casino built on the Las Vegas strip in 1941, which lead to multiple casinos to follow. But, by 1992 all of those casinos were out of business, demolished and replaced with newer more modern casinos. The next evolutionary step it appears is the advent of the online casino.
Online casinos have grown up alongside the internet as a whole. In 1996 there were an estimated 17 million dollars spent through online casinos. By 2000 the numbers exploded to 3 billion. Not more than three years later, Bear Stearns a worldwide leading banking and securities brokerage firm estimated that spending jumped to 6 billion dollars in the U.S alone. Today the number has ballooned to nearly trillion dollars worldwide, revenue is expected to continue to grow as broadband internet becomes ubiquitous in industrialized countries.
As revenue continues to expand so does advertising, according to BBC online casinos represent the fifth largest advertiser on the internet inviting you to visit their websites and gamble directly or via an application on your desktop. The ease of use sets the online casino apart from its traditional physical casino. Live in West Virginia? You don’t need to take a trip to Las Vegas to partake, it is right at your fingertips. The trade-off is it’s a bit more difficult to bluff your opponent into thinking you have a Full House when he or she cannot see your face, but that is a trade-off that more and more people seem willing to make.
The only thing that would slow down the growth? Shady business practices. It has become a practice to buy domain names close to a competitor’s actual domain in hopes that if a person mistypes the web address, they are redirected to a competing casino. Even more dubious, recently there was a legal dispute over the domain name SportsOdds, where I competitor outright bought the domain name and redirected traffic to their website. Where there are large amounts of money, there will be businesses that will turn over every stone in order to get out ahead of their competitors.
In the 21st century casinos no longer require a trip out the house, they don’t require you to even wear pants, they only require a working internet connection. If you have the internet, you have access to multiple casinos, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. There is nothing stopping you from trying an online casino out right now?