Across the globe governments and anti-online gambling proponents fear that should online gambling be legalised that people will only gamble at home but according to gaming industry experts this fear is largely unfounded.
Tom Doyle, vice president and product management at Bally Technologies Inc. based in Las Vegas agrees with the experts, stating that casinos will be ready when internet gambling is legalised in the United States and that online casinos will only add to the overall experience. He further stated that there would always be people who wanted the live casino experience in a real casino and that free play online could actually enhance people’s land based game play.
Vahe Baloulian of eGaming Partners Inc. agrees, adding that online gaming aids land based casinos in retention and can even bring new clients to brick and mortar casino venues as online casinos help novice gamblers to acquaint themselves with various casino games, rules and strategies until they feel comfortable enough to put them into practice in actual casinos. He added that “Once people learn for free, then it trickles down to live games,” and that “We see it in Europe, where free play is used to teach players the game and then invite them to the casino.”
Baloulian is further of the opinion that there are several business models that casinos could employ to build brand recognition and connect with both existing and new players. The possibilities for driving players from free play online websites to actual casinos are endless.
Both Baloulian and Doyle as well as Jeff Jordan of Jordan Gaming Consulting Group LLC in Las Vegas, were panel members on the discussion of driving land based casino traffic via online gaming at the Global Gaming Expo which was held at The Sands Expo and Convention Centre this year.
Doyle stated that “gambling in Las Vegas continues to move beyond the casino floor” due to the fact that the Nevada gaming commission’s recent decision to allow wagering in the city’s hotel rooms via their mobile devices like iPads and smart phones.
So while the governing bodies continue to make excuses and arguments against online gambling, it would seem that many of these are unfounded. In addition it seems that the once hesitant land based casinos are now firmly behind online gambling so players are sure to reap the benefits of that going forward.