As two arms of the same industry, physical and online casinos share a great many elements. Ultimately, they’re both built around offering games of chance, but how they approach this goal is very different. Rarely is this as obvious as it is on a logistical front, where the vastly different approaches raise very different concerns of organization and operation.
Taking a look at a few of the key elements of these logistics, we want to compare the realities of lighting a casino on the Las Vegas strip to typical concerns of an online casino. What made online casinos such a breakout hit in this realm alongside their brick-and-mortar cousins, and how does this compare to the evolving entertainment industry as a whole?
Operating a casino on the Las Vegas Strip means starting with one undeniable truth: you're going to have to spend a lot of time and effort on lighting. As famed as Vegas is for its games, for people all over the world, it's the glitz that best indicates the area's place in the cultural zeitgeist.
Neon, complicated patterns, and ingenious pseudo-animation; all these elements combine to create some of the world’s most captivating sights. This doesn’t come cheap, however, with this part of the city requiring an immense portion of the area’s overall electricity.
According to an article by System ID, just one of the largest Vegas casinos can generate a six-figure power bill in just one day. On an industrial scale, this works out to about 300,000 kilowatt-hours of usage, or about 172 percent more than America's national average. In total, Las Vegas consumes around 15 percent of the power produced by the nearby Hoover Dam, and casinos play a major part in this equation.
Maintaining these systems doesn't just require the capacity for a robust constant power-grid, either, as redundancies also significantly increase the complexity of casino design. Today, most casinos operate with extensive generator and battery back-up systems, designed to kick in instantly in the case of main-power failure.
These are not flawless, though, as the Rio Casino found out following a blackout in December of 2017. As Generator Source notes, the initial power-cut was caused by a fire. The resulting sprinkler system then shorted the backup generator, eventually leaving around 1,500 guests having to relocate. Perhaps inevitable when systems approach this size, oversights in Vegas power management are a constant concern.
While land-based casinos had the slight advantage of hundreds of years of existence (the first recorded casino appearing in Venice in 1638), their modern competition is fierce. Despite having to play more than a little bit of catch-up, the internet, as it did with so many industries, would completely reshape how casinos operate.
Beginning in 1996, the first online casinos were naturally limited. For reference, this was the first year that more email was sent than postal mail in America and when the first USB systems arrived. For years, these online casinos were playing catch-up, setting the bar at being able to accurately reflect what land-based casinos could already do.
In doing this, these early online casinos worked like many other forms of digital entertainment at the time. This was something that the likes of Solitaire and Sudoku had only just managed to do. As MacHash explains, once these matched the potential of older methods, they then began to exceed them. With instant clean-up, shuffling, and infinite puzzles on hand, all of these aspects and more rose beyond the possibilities of physical games.
We saw the same thing with television, movies, and music and, eventually, we’d see the same thing with online casinos. Breaking into the new millennium, these shook off their early limitations, advancing into fantastically fast and entertaining experiences, backed by immense artistic talent.
Perhaps most indicative of this avenue were slot games, a long-time staple in land-based and online casinos. By going digital and being based on software, these broke the chains of physical constraints, offering advantages like immense bonus structures, expanding reels, 3D graphics, and more.
Of course, all the choice in the world is going to waste without proper implementation. In their expansion, online casinos had generated far more choice than land-based systems ever could. This abundance required the casinos to take a new approach.
On an exterior level, online casinos work at least somew