Whatever you call it, it’s changing the way America and the entire world live. The virus has shut down most communities and some states.
COVID-19 is changing local, state and federal rules on a daily basis. All industries are feeling the repercussions of the COVID-19 effects.
And the casino industry is being hit hard.
In this post, I look at what has closed and how you can still gamble.
I’ll tell you now, though, online gambling is going to be one of your only options.
The casino and gambling landscape is changing as fast as the virus is changing the rules we’re required to follow these days.
COVID-19 and the Land-based Casinos
The COVID-19 has led the governors of many states to shut down the land-based casinos in their respective states. This move has shut down Vegas and its casinos until further notice. This will cause a huge change in how the land-based casinos and sportsbooks look and function moving forward.
Closer to most Americans is the closure of their Indian Land Casinos. Oklahoma saw the closure of Winstar, the country’s largest Indian owned land-based casino — in fact, it’s the largest casino in the United States.
This removed access to traditional gambling from 1000s of Americans.
What do you do now?
Online Gambling — Is It the New Go to for Gambling?
The gambling industry is being hit hard between the cancellation and/or postponement of all sports and the closure of land-based casinos. One area of the gaming community that is not hit and will see a surge in business is the online casino and gambling sites.
What Online Casinos Have to Offer
These online casinos offering traditional gambling options as well as sports betting.
If slots are your thing, they’ve got it.
If blackjack or baccarat is your thing, they’ve got it.
And if keno is your thing, they’ve got that, too.
You get the idea. Everything offered in land-based casinos is also found in online casinos — except for the free drinks and the buffet.
The advantage is you can eat in your own home.
Never played in an online casino?
Here are some of the pros and cons of gambling in online casinos:
The Pros and Cons of Online Casinos
There are a lot of advantages to playing on casinos — especially during the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the land-based casinos’ closures, you will have to place your gambling hobby in the hands of online casinos.
Let’s look at the pros:
The 3 Biggest Advantages of Gambling in Online Casinos
1- You can play in pj’s- because you gamble online or via an app, you can play from the comfort of your home. Anytime. Anywhere. I hope you’re playing from home and social distancing.
2- Bonuses – some online casinos offer tremendous bonuses to new players to get your business. Make sure you read the terms and conditions on the internet casinos website. You don’t want to get labeled a casino bonus abuser. We will talk about that more later.
3- Player reviews – Because the online casinos do the entirety of their business online, there are tons of player reviews websites to read. The key to gambling at online casinos is to do your research. I can not stress this enough.
3 More Big Advantages to Gambling in Online Casinos
1- Online gambling is legal almost everywhere.
There are 2 types of online casinos:
- Land-based casinos with online capabilities. These online casinos are for gamblers who live in a state that has already legalized gambling in their home state. Let’s say you wanted to play Harrah’s online casino site. If you live in one of the states that the land-based casinos do business in (LA, NJ, NV, OK, etc.) you can play on their site. These online casinos must follow the same laws and their land-based big sisters.
- Offshore Casinos – These are casinos that operate and store their servers in over countries. They are usually located in Central America, Canada, and the Caribbean. They are usually are regulated by a third party for transparency. This is where your research could come in handy. Do. Your. Research.
2- Loyalty Clubs- these clubs function much like the high rollers or other land-based casinos. These clubs track your spending and paying habits because everything is online at the casino. Look into the benefits of the online casino’s loyalty clubs and if this is something that you might be interested in, join.
3- COVID-19 will not be a worry. I shouldn’t have to say this, but playing online casinos will cut the need to leave your house to gamble. In these uncertain times, social distancing is so important for your own safety as well as your family’s. With the current CDC recommendations, you should be social distancing.
With traditional land-based casinos social distancing is impossible (and closed). The advantage of online casinos during this pandemic is that you can lay from the safety of your home.
If you want the live-action of table games, look into live dealer games. You can play against not a real human dealer via webcam.
Disadvantages of Online Gambling
It’s not all roses and sunshine, though.
1- Bonus Abuse- a lot of online casinos make it very hard to make sure you are not abusing their new player bonus system. They sometimes use this phrase as a reason to not pay out your winnings. As I mentioned before, please read the terms and conditions carefully and research the online casino on player forums.
2- Collecting payouts from offshore online casinos- because gambling is still illegal in some states in the US, your bank can take the transaction as fraud because of the storied past with gambling in the US.
Another issue with transactions (deposits and payouts) with offshore casinos is the difference in currency. This can pose a problem with gambling at offshore online casinos. Again, research, research, research if you’re going to play online offshore casinos.
3- Customer Service – the online casinos are not always known for their customer service. This is especially true for offshore online casinos. They can lead you down a rabbit hole that will never lead to a human to dispute an issue with. You know what I am going to say. Research.
Problem Gamblers Shouldn’t Gamble Online, Ever
As I write this blog, we’re facing new uncharted territory as we watch the COVID-19 outbreak unfold.
Don’t turn to gambling to deal with the stress brought on by the pandemic.
If you find yourself turning to gambling at online casinos to deal with the new problems we face, please stop and ask yourself, “Is this still for fun?”.
Online gambling should be fun and enjoyable. The decision to play online casinos and gamble online is your decision. If you have a problem with gambling (land-based or online casinos) or know someone who does, please contact the National Council on Problem Gambling.
Now you know what the gambling industry is facing during the current COVID-19 pandemic.
I’d suggest doing some research on gambling at online casinos.
Online casinos can be a fun and safe alternative to land-based casinos.
Pj’s, couch, safety, what else could one want during these unsteady times?
I’d love to hear your experiences and questions about online casinos.
Please feel free to leave a comment below. Happy safe gambling.