There can be no debate that online gambling is a lot different than gambling in a physical casino. In some ways it is better and in some ways it is worse. Below are my pros and cons of online gambling, based on my personal experiences, compared to gambling in a “real” casino.
- Online gambling is a competitive business and many casinos will offer a lot to get and keep your business. Many will offer sign-up bonuses to new customers, adding 10 to 50% of their initial deposit to their bankroll (see below for more on this subject). Some will randomly deposit money in customer accounts and others will give away vacations for specified levels of total money bet.
- The rules are usually better than in physical casinos.
- You don’t have to travel long distances. The casino is in your own home.
- You don’t have to suffer real casino annoyances, like smokers.
- You don’t have to feel obligated to tip.
- You have to be patient about getting your money after you cash out. In addition to waiting periods on the casino end there are also delays on the credit card end. Two to four weeks is the norm for the time between cashing out and your credit appearing back on your credit card. Debit cards are much faster taking only about 3 to 5 business days.
- Customer service can be spotty depending on where you play. Some places offer great service via e-mail and a toll-free number. Others take several days to reply to an e-mail, have no known telephone number, and generally seem like they just don’t want to be bothered aside from taking your money.
- The player has no power or authority to turn to in the event of a dispute. Usually in the player agreement it says the casino can make up the rules as they go and in the event of a dispute the casino’s word is final.
- If you play at a lot of places your credit/debit card statement will be a nightmare to balance. Transactions seldom indicate the name of the casino you played at but instead specify the merchant bank.