Are Payouts At Online Casinos Higher Than Land Casinos?

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If you have ever gambled online, you have likely asked yourself if the payouts are higher at online casinos or in brick-and-mortar casinos. As an individual player, this is nearly impossible to determine as it requires a significant amount of data collected from gambling on multiple platforms and playing many different games. 

Thankfully, you are not the first person to have had this question – other people have wondered the same thing in the past and crunched the numbers so that you do not have to. Keep reading to learn more about payout differences between online and brick-and-mortar casinos and the characteristics which set online casinos apart. 


The Rise of Online Casinos

Gambling has existed in thousands of different forms since time immemorial. Archaeologists have even found bones used for playing dice that predate the Egyptian pyramids. The way we gamble reflects the needs and interests of our current society and culture. Drawing from this, one could argue that convenience, speed and shorter attention spans are some of the defining traits of our current cultural environment. 

Online casino games were first developed about 30 years ago, but they have really started to grow in popularity over the course of the past decade. These days, online casinos are popular in nearly every country around the world and market analysts have predicted that they will only continue to grow in popularity for the foreseeable future. 

One of the reasons that online casinos and sports betting platforms have become so popular is due to their convenience and ease of use. Instead of needing to drive to the nearest casino, gamblers can play all their favorite games (and many more) on their phones. Of course, this level of convenience is especially attractive to Canadians who want to avoid unnecessary journeys in the heart of winter. 


Registration Bonuses 

The online gambling and sports betting industry has become so popular that gaming and betting platforms need to set themselves apart from the competition just to get ahead and survive. Many casinos are now offering online casino bonuses to new players to distinguish themselves from the competition. 

Casino bonuses are typically available for new registrants and may require a certain promotional code, minimum deposit amount or even deposit schedule, such as a first deposit within a certain period followed by a second and third within specified timeframes. While casino bonuses vary widely in terms of quality, most typically offer a percentage match for deposits, cash bonuses or free spins on specific games. 

New registrant bonuses are typically not available for brick-and-mortar casinos. Although physical casinos do have bonuses and promotions, they do not necessarily sign up everyone who walks through their doors for the first time and hand them a number of chips for the poker table or quarters for certain slot machines. In this way, online casinos offer players the possibility of attaining higher payouts. 


Return to Player 

You may have seen the term RTP in various casino reviews – this stands for ‘Return to Player’ and is the percentage of stakes a game is programmed to return to the player. The higher the number, the better the payout and the win rate for that particular game. 

Some sources indicate that online casinos have higher RTPs than physical casinos, further boosting the winning chances of players. Table games tend to have the same RTP regardless of whether they are being played online or in person, but slot machine games can differ greatly. 

Gamblers can try to maximize their returns by reading reviews of slot machine games and focusing on games with the highest possible RTP. The internet is a great resource for this information and allows gamblers to easily make an informed decision about the slot machine game they want to play next, rather than having to guess or hope that a particular slot machine in a physical casino has a good RTP. 

One reason why the RTP in brick-and-mortar casinos is lower is because of the high cost of running a casino. Casinos tend to be large, open spaces, which are notoriously difficult and costly to heat in the winter and cool in the summer. 

On top of that, entire teams of staff are working physical casinos every single day, whether they are serving drinks or dealing cards. These are all part of the high operating costs which can drive down the RTP in order to improve the casino’s profit margins. 



Conversely, some of the biggest jackpots of all time have been awarded to gamblers who were playing slot machine games in person. The current biggest win for an online jackpot is the $23.3m record in April 2021. The biggest slot machine game win for an in-person machine was a staggering $39.7m in Las Vegas in 2003, which remains the largest jackpot in history. 

The other top jackpots are also nearly uniformly the result of gambling in person. This will certainly attract the attention of some gamblers who love the allure and appeal of huge jackpots, however unlikely they are. 

However, another aspect of online gambling which may have contributed to the lack of mega-giant jackpots is the fact that it is easier to gamble with very small amounts online than it is in person. While it may be difficult to show up to the casino in person with a bag full of quarters, it is not awkward to bet low online. 

As online gambling becomes more and more popular, the jackpots will likely continue to increase in size. 


How To Choose? 

Every gambler has their own unique preferences and many like to play casino games both in-person and online. This is because each style has its own attributes and qualities which are likely to be appealing to gamblers. Thankfully, no one has to choose between the two: both can be played and enjoyed equally.

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