The Pros and Cons of Online Gambling vs. Gambling in Person

The Pros and Cons of Online Gambling vs. Gambling in Person

The choice between gambling at online casinos and gambling at land-based casinos can provide some issues for those who don’t know how to make the decision. Each method possesses some strengths and weaknesses when compared to the other.

We’re here to help you make the choice by going over the pros and cons of both online gambling and doing your gambling in person.

In the past, the only way that you could legally gamble via casino games would be to actually make it to a brick and mortar casino.

This could prove difficult for some people and uncomfortable for others. But it was the only game in town, so to speak, as there were no other real options.

But once the internet started to take hold and online gambling sites became prevalent, there was suddenly another choice.

Gambling at online casinos provided an alternative that was ideal for those people who didn’t want to deal with the hassle of travelling to a land-based casino or simply couldn’t make it there for some reason.

And it set up the choice between using real money gambling sites and land-based casinos for your gambling.

That can be a difficult decision, especially for those people who don’t know what the key differences are and how it could dictate their experience.

Gamblers who are concerned about technology might not have made the jump into online gambling just yet. By contrast, some people who are used to online betting sites might not know what can be gained from betting at land-based casinos.

In the following article, we’ll be here to help by showing the pros and cons of betting online versus betting at casinos in person. We explain the basic process between the two and then go over the differences. On top of that, we answer some frequently-asked questions about the two experiences.

The Processes of Gambling Online and Gambling in Person

Before we can compare gambling online versus gambling in person, we need to understand what each method entails.

After all, some of you might be used to one or the other method based on your past experiences. Maybe you’ve never engaged in any real-money gambling before and need instruction on both.

In any case, the first step in defining the pros and cons of online gambling and gambling in person is to first define the process for both. Let’s take a look.

How to Gamble at a Casino In Person

Step 1: Travel to the Casino

The good news is that more jurisdictions allow casino gambling every day, which make it more and more likely that there is a casino near you.

In the United States, for example, it used to be that gambling in casinos could only be found in either Nevada or New Jersey. But in the past few decades, the vast majority of the 50 states have jumped on the casino gambling bandwagon.

That doesn’t mean that everyone in the world has a casino near them, of course. But it does mean that you are far more likely to have one within driving distance than was the case a decade or two before.

Step 2: Get Some Cash

For the most part, casinos around the world require you to have some cash on hand. The cash is used to then purchase chips at table games to make your wagers. As for stand-alone games in casinos, you can put cash directly into slot machines, video poker, and the like.

Most casinos will have machines like ATM’s all over the property so that you can get some cash together. It’s not much of a hassle, but it is an extra step to the process once you have arrived if you didn’t do it beforehand.

Step 3: Choose Your Game and Play

As we’ve said, casinos are roughly broken down into table games played by multiple people at once and stand-along experiences such as slot machines or video poker.

Obviously, if the casino is crowded, finding spots to play can sometimes be problematic.

The good news is that many casinos are open 24 hours a day, which increases the likelihood of you finding a place to play.

Step 4: Cashing Out

Once you’ve decided you’ve stopped playing, you’ll be able to cash out what you’ve won. You’ll need to do that because you won’t get paid back in cash at the actual games.

Instead, you’ll receive chips from table games like blackjack or poker and redemption tickets from slot machines, video poker, and other one-person games.

If you do have some winnings when all is said and done, you can get them redeemed. There are redemption windows all over casinos where you can get this done. And there are also self-contained kiosks that allow you to make the trade from redemption tickets to cash on your own without needing help from an employee.

How to Gamble at an Online Gambling Site

Step 1: Choose the Website

There are hundreds of gambling websites which offer you the opportunity to play casino games for real money. You can also find apps that allow you to do the same in a mobile setting. As a result, your first step to online gambling is deciding which online casino to play.

This can be a confusing process because there are so many websites that allow gambling. And it’s an important choice, since you’ll have to provide your personal and financial information to get started.

That’s why you should choose one of the top-rated online betting websites from our list below. Our experts have studied and researched each feature of the following gambling sites to ensure they’re the absolute best and safest on the web.

Step 2: Signing Up and Funding Your Account

Once you’ve found a gambling website that makes sense to you, you can start the signup process. That will require you giving your personal information and, usually, picking a username and password that you can use to sign in at any time.

You also have to find a method of funding your account so that you can make wagers and win money in return.

Most gambling websites are constructed in a way where you don’t need to download anything; you just play the games directly from the site. With gambling apps, you might have to download them onto the device that you’re planning to use.

Step 3: Choose and Play Your Games

Once you have your account set up, you’ll take money from your account and allot a bankroll for the games of your choice.

The best gambling websites will provide you with a wide selection of games from which you can choose. You’ll play the game for as long as you wish or until your bankroll has been exhausted.

Step 4: Getting Your Money

This is where the process of online gambling differs somewhat from gambling in person. To get access to your winnings, you’ll have to put in a request to withdraw your funds.

You’ll specify a method for withdrawal and begin the process. How long that process takes will differ depending on the website.

You can deposit and withdraw money throughout the process as your gambling needs require.

Pros and Cons of Different Forms of Gambling

Now that we’ve identified the way that the different forms of gambling are accomplished, it’s time to look at the pros and cons of each. As you’ll see, what works as a benefit for one way of gambling also turns out to be a drawback to the other.

Pros of Online Gambling


It’s pretty obvious that online gambling gives you the opportunity to get your action in no matter where you are, at any time. You don’t have to go any further than your living room to make your bets and win big. All it takes is having a connected device.

If you choose your gambling site correctly, you can usually get a better variety of games than you might at the average casino, which has to worry about having enough space and availability for a specific number of games.

And you never have to worry about not finding your favorite game because it’s too crowded.


Most of the best gambling websites have reached a point where they’ve made it easy for you to gamble on the go. These sites may have an app connected to it. Or they have a special mobile website which can be used on devices like phones or tablets that are much more portable than a computer.

For most people, the idea of making a trip to a casino on the regular isn’t realistic. But mobile gambling on websites gives you the ability to gamble often while still keeping your daily routine going.


By this, we mean the amount of play that you get in a certain amount of time. When you gamble at a casino, you are relying on the employee running the game, such as the dealer or the croupier, to determine when the next round of play will start. That pace might be either too fast or too slow for your liking.

In online casinos, you get to have control of the pace of play. You can burn through more hands or rounds than you would be able to in a casino. Or you can take an occasional break and never have to worry about losing your spot.

Cons of Online Gambling


If you’re the type who isn’t used to dealing with computers or portable devices, the process of playing in an online casino might seem foreign to you.

It’s actually an intuitive process, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t confusing for some people. Such concerns often prevent people from trying online casino websites.

Payback Process

When you play in the casino, you’ll get your money back immediately after completion of play.

If you’re gambling online, you’ll have to wait for the process of withdrawal to actually realize your winnings.

That can be problematic if you want to get your money quickly.

Lack of Atmosphere

Quite simply, some people love to go to the casino. And all the cool graphics and fun sounds contained on online gambling sites can never replicate that experience.

Lonely Girl Sitting on Couch Thinking Bubble with Girls Laughing at Casino

That is one concession that online gamblers will be forced to make.

Pros of Gambling in Person


When you go to a casino, you’ll usually get a lot more than just gambling. Most casinos are tricked out with high-end restaurants, shopping, and even live shows. It’s a kind of one-stop shop for entertainment that is difficult to replicate in the online sphere.

On top of that, casinos often offer rewards cards that players can use as they gamble on different games. As you play more, you can accumulate more points. These points can then be used for some of the amenities located on site.

Instant Payback

As we mentioned above, many of the characteristics of gambling that are a con for the online sphere are a pro for casino gambling, and vice versa.

We talked above about how you’ll usually have to wait to get your money back from real money gambling sites. That can remove some of the thrill of the experience.

When you go to a casino, you can immediately take you chips or tickets to redemption and claim your cash. It’s more instantly gratifying in that respect.

Social Experience

When you play at an online casino, it’s usually a solitary experience. That might be what you’re looking for, so this isn’t really a knock on that part of it. But if you’re looking to have a more social experience, the casino is the better place for it.

Many people play casino trips as a group experience with friends. Some even plan a vacation around a trip to a casino. It can be a lot of fun with a lot of people involved, even if you’re not winning big.

Cons of Gambling in Person


When you play online, it’s a hassle-free environment where you can play at your own pace. If you’re playing at a casino, it can be intimidating if you don’t know the protocol for certain games.

And you might find that the idea of gambling with a lot of people around you watching your every move can be daunting.


First of all, you have to make the trip to a casino, which can mean dealing with traffic or, if it’s a long trip, coming up with travel plans. On top of that, you’ll often have to deal with big crowds, which isn’t for everybody. When you’re playing online, you don’t have to deal with any of that.

Lack of Variety

When you gamble at a casino, you’re restricted to the games that they have. As a result, you might not be able to play the game that you want.

This is an opposition to online gambling at website, where you can keep searching the internet until you find the game that you want to play.

FAQs About Online Gambling vs Gambling in Person

We’ve already mentioned that, when you’re betting in a casino, you can get a club card. This allows you to earn rewards for the casino and can be used for free play, dining, entertainment and whatever else the casino might offer. But online gambling sites offer their own rewards to help you out.

Many top gambling sites offer deposit bonuses which add the amount that you put into your account for gambling. You can also get free spins or free games when signing up at websites for gambling. And these sites have VIP rewards for those who play often.

When you go to a casino, it’s pretty clear that you won’t have any issues with legality. The casino wouldn’t be operating otherwise. But for the most part, you won’t have any issues with top gambling websites either.

The only issue that might arise when you’re online gambling is that one or more of your preferred methods of funding might be restricted. That’s why you should always seek out sites which have the widest variety of funding methods. But the bottom line is that you don’t have to worry about any legal ramifications at top online gambling sites.

The general rule of thumb is that online gambling sites offer you the chance to bet at lower limits than would be the case at casinos. Again, this isn’t a hard and fast rule. But for the most part, online gamblers can get away with smaller wagers.

As for house edge, that generally depends more on the game you’re playing rather than whether you’re playing on-site or online. Strategy-based games like blackjack and video poker offer higher payback, on average. Luck-based games like slot machines or keno might be easier to play, but they don’t tend to pay back as much.

Rex Hoffman / Author

Rex Hoffman is a passionate sports writer, with over five years of experience covering sports journalism in line with the Vegas betting landscape. His favorite subjects include football, basketball, and baseball. As a Las Vegas resident, he enjoys finding an edge against the local sportsbooks and aims to share his extensive knowledge with both beginners and experienced bettors. Rex also dabbles in horse racing wagering and enjoys typical casino fare like blackjack and poker in his spare time.

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