A Look at the Future of Land-Based Casinos

min read
The word “casino” written in bright, bold lights.
BetMGM Feb 16, 2024, 3:49 AM

Casinos first became part of society in the 17th century, and it certainly hasn’t been plain sailing ever since. Since their inception, they’ve battled shifting laws and regulations and have had to adapt to survive.

More recently, online casinos have become the biggest threat to the continued success and survival of brick-and-mortar establishments. Demand for online casino games — not least online poker — has soared over the past five years, and the internet-based gambling industry has far surpassed even the greatest expectations.

However,  land-based casinos continue to evolve and blaze new trails within the gambling industry to stay competitive. For a deeper understanding of where casinos are headed, it’s important to look at how they handle their main threats and harness new opportunities to shape their future. Here’s an in-depth look at brick-and-mortar casinos and how they impact the future of the casino industry.

The Threat of a Pandemic

An empty casino with vacant machines and chairs.

There are plenty of threats that land-based casinos could’ve seen coming. They were aware of the growing number of online casinos and new casino games, but a global pandemic was probably not high on the threat list when it came to the future of casino gambling.

COVID-19 had a massive impact on brick-and-mortar casinos, with almost all of them shutting down during the initial outbreak of the pandemic. Even Vegas was hauntingly quiet for the first time ever. According to ABC News, the four months of shutting down casinos during 2020 “cost states more than $2 billion in lost tax revenue.” 

It’s important to have some insight into the general ways of the land-based casino sector, even before the pandemic. It is a sector that has constantly diversified with offers dependent on the market. For instance, either more machines were brought onto the floors, more features in the games, or growing jackpots that developed into progressive links. Therefore, in some ways, casinos were able to adapt during this unforeseen time while simultaneously experiencing financial impacts.

Of course, the sweeping lockdowns during the pandemic brought the land-based casino industry to a standstill. However, some casino operators saw the lockdown as a chance to realign their gaming offers and took advantage of the closure to implement renovations. 

The common trend was seeing the transition from land-based casinos to online. Today, many people still prefer the online casino experience as opposed to heading to a brick-and-mortar casino. This has forced casinos to implement online gambling into their business model.

The Rise of Online Casino Games and Technology Disruption

A robot deals out cards onto a green table.

Technological advances made it possible for gamblers to encounter casino games in various ways. From riverboats to casino games on a mobile phone, online gambling seriously began to take off in the 21st century and thrived. The swiftness of its growth proved that even the brick-and-mortar casino giants were not immune to the revolution that the Internet would bring to the industry. Casino industry trends continued to captivate gamblers and allowed them to get excited about what was to come.

The impact of technology on gambling habits shifted how people engaged with their favorite casino games. More people began playing games at home. New and exciting features — like playing at a live online casino — seemed irresistible to younger generations, and brick-and-mortar casinos were predicted to lose traction in the industry.

While brick-and-mortar casinos were initially a bit slow on the uptake, they’ve now fully revolutionized their offerings to compete and take advantage of the developing online sphere.

These are just some of the ways that they’ve adapted to stay competitive. At MGM casinos, players can access prestigious poker rooms, which provide a more immersive experience than online poker. MGM casinos provide an experienced team of casino hosts, marketing executives, and customer development professionals who ensure that your time at the casino is superb and one-of-a-kind.

Delight the Senses

Land-based casinos have the advantage of engaging all the player’s senses. Custom upgrades to table games such as roulette, blackjack, and poker ensure that players will return to the brick-and-mortar casino experience. After all, the aesthetic of a casino is part of the attraction to land-based casinos. The sound of slot machines and the social buzz are what sets land-based casino operators apart from the online experience. Casinos have learned how to use these human experiences to keep people coming back for more. 

Live-Dealer Experiences

One of the newest trends in online gambling is the introduction of live dealers for some of the table and card games on offer. Real humans host these live-dealer games in a studio or even in a casino, which are streamed to the casino website. Compared to standard online games, which work with random number generator (RNG) software, the live-dealer experience gives players a personal and social touch to their gaming as they directly interact with the dealer.

Virtual Reality

Virtual reality (VR) certainly is not being used to its full potential yet, but it’s already having a significant effect on the casino industry. Brick-and-mortar casinos combine with their online sites to allow at-home players a virtual land-based experience by leveraging VR technology. Players can now play wherever they are while feeling like they are enjoying the real thing. This is excellent news from a brand-loyalty perspective because it helps to keep the magic of visiting a real casino in person — and fans will want to return for the in-person experience when they can.

Robotics 

Brick-and-mortar casinos are starting to test the waters regarding robotics, and several robot croupier prototypes have been rolled out over the years. Whether or not robot croupiers will be a staple in the future is an exciting aspect to keep an eye on. The rise of online gambling is unparalleled to what people could have imagined.

Delivering More Than a Gambling Experience

The Las Vegas Strip lit up in the evening and reflecting onto a water feature.

Land-based casinos realized they would have to do something to keep customers coming in for an experience they simply couldn’t get online. Many have upgraded their facilities to take them to the next level. Several of the U.S.’s best casinos have world-class dining and bar facilities for customers to enjoy during their visit. Some have taken it a step further, making their establishments into luxury vacation spots where visitors can enjoy the comfort and relaxation of being on holiday while taking advantage of renowned casino facilities whenever they fancy.

What’s the Verdict?

The increase in online casino games and the magnitude of the pandemic have certainly forced land-based casinos to go back to the drawing board. Casinos may have taken a hit; however, there are too many crazy and fun casino facts and reasons that would keep people coming back. Over the years, they have evolved and adapted to challenging predicaments, and they always seem to come out stronger on the other side. Rest assured, then, that brick-and-mortar casinos are here to stay, and fans of casino games can’t wait to see the exciting developments that will likely happen over the next couple of years.

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Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.