Depending on where you live, you may have noticed that there are now more and more advertisements for particular online casinos or casino games. The online gambling industry is certainly growing at a rapid rate, but is it as popular where local casinos and betting shops are still open for business?
You might think that the availability of brick-and-mortar shops limits interest in online gambling, but online gambling is starting to overtake its land-based competition everywhere.
The rise of online gambling
Online gambling has grown in popularity over the course of the last few years to the point that there are now more people gambling online than in person in many places around the world. One of the reasons why online gambling is so popular is because it is so much more convenient and easy to play compared with walking or driving down to a local betting or gambling spot.
As online gambling has grown in popularity, the industry has grown increasingly competitive and online casinos and sports betting platforms are trying harder than ever to attract the attention of potential gamblers. The best online casinos, such as PayPal Casino, attract new gamblers through generous registration bonuses, extensive games libraries, and seasonal promotions and offers.
Where online casinos can be found
It might surprise you to learn that, actually, online casinos are just as popular in areas that do not have brick-and-mortar casinos as in areas that do. Take the UK, for instance. In towns and cities of every size, it is easy to find casinos and betting shops wherever you go. However, online casinos and sports betting platforms are just as popular in the UK as they are in places where brick-and-mortar casinos are not as ubiquitous.
In fact, some urban planners are actually hoping that online gambling will continue to increase in popularity until it eclipses in-person gambling and betting by a great margin. This could lead to the closure of many betting shops and casinos in many areas as more people will be gambling online. These spaces could then be repurposed and transformed into community centres, cafes, restaurants, pubs and shops, thus revitalising the local community.
The difficulty of keeping track
That being said, it can actually be difficult for researchers and regulators to collect accurate data on the locations of people who are playing on online casinos. This is because many people are using virtual private networks (VPNs) while gambling.
VPNs allow a user to hide their actual location and instead access a website from a different place in the world – essentially, it is geoblocking. Many countries around the world still do not allow their citizens to gamble online, which has led many enthusiastic gamblers to circumvent restrictions through the use of VPNs and continue gambling online. For example, there are millions of Chinese citizens who gamble online, even though it is technically illegal in China.
While the use of VPNs is understandable, it means that it is difficult, if not impossible, to actually know where people are gambling and where they are located in the real world.