August 28, 2018 by

Land Based Casinos are Thriving but Not Always Popular

Seemingly every day there is news about land based casinos.  The investment in a land based casino is so high that developers have to be very careful that there is a market for any new casino.  In some countries, there is a lot of tourist gambling.  This is clearly the case in Monaco.  But it is also the case in Curacao and now Singapore.  Both are major tourist destinations that don’t need to rely only on local patronage for their casinos to succeed.


Land Based or Online Casinos

There are advantages and disadvantages to players to playing at either type of casino.  One advantage that land based casinos enjoy is sheer excitement.  There is always a buzz in the air at a land based casino.  The shouting and cheering that rises from the roulette and craps tables cannot be replicated online. 

There is one big area where online casinos have a huge advantage over land based casinos: bonuses.  At an online casino you can accept a bonus by using the correct bonus codes and play with the bonus for as long as it lasts.  That could be weeks, months, or forever.  At a land based casino, you would expect to gamble away the entire bonus before leaving because once you leave the land based casino, you never know when you’ll return.

Israel

In the heyday after the signing of the Oslo Accords in 1992, a casino opened in Jericho.  It was frequented by many Israelis who no longer needed to travel to Europe to gamble at a casino.  Israeli authorities have never allowed a casino to be built in Israel proper.

The law in Israel regarding online gambling is murky at best.  In 2005, no doubt following the lead of the United States, the Attorney General of Israel made it illegal for financial companies to transfer money to online casinos for Israelis.  This has sent gambling at land based venues into the world of the underground and has not stopped some online casinos from serving Israelis anyway.

A report in the Jerusalem Post this week describes the tax money lost to the Israeli government by not permitting and regulating gambling in the country.

The Philippines

President Rodrigo Duterte has doubled down on his dislike of casino gambling.  On August 8th he decreed that there would be no new land based casinos built in The Philippines.  This throws a major obstacle in the idea that The Philippines would be welcoming the concept of Integrated Resorts.

Integrated Resorts are campuses of activity for families and singles, conventioneers, shoppers, theater and music lovers, and much more.  This idea has taken hold in Singapore and japan and the industry thought that President Duterte was on board as well.  Although Integrated Resorts do have a casino, the casino is not the major attraction.  Investors from Curacao and others have invested much money getting the Integrated Resort idea going in The Philippines.

Now, there may be no more movement in that direction.  President Duterte said that his decision was based on his strong desire to rid the country of corruption.

Louisiana

In this state in the south of the United States, there are land based casinos and riverboat casinos.  The riverboat casinos have always operated at a disadvantage against land based casinos.  The disadvantage is primarily that it is more difficult to get to a riverboat casino and players cannot leave whenever they want to.

The experience of a riverboat casino in the state of Illinois in 2000 illustrates the potential for increased revenues for the riverboat casinos if they relocate to land.  The riverboat casino in Illinois saw revenue increase by 25% in the first year after it relocated to land.

A law was recently passed that will allow the riverboat casinos in Louisiana to relocate to land as long as their land based operation is no further than 1200 feet from the boat’s berth.  This is such a short distance that many riverboat casinos will not be able to make the land improvements that close to the boat’s berth to support a land based casino.

The land at the berth and near it is often swampy land that would be very expensive to improve to make it feasible for a land based casino.

While the state legislature was working on the law allowing the riverboat casinos to relocate on land but with major difficulties, the legislature took a pass on a sports betting regulatory law.  Therefore, the state is set to lose sports betting tax revenue to Mississippi which is a short drive from New Orleans, the largest city in the state and which is getting set to put sports betting into effect as soon as the start of the professional football season in September.

Goa

In contrast to the situation in Louisiana, Goa recently passed a law requiring sea based casinos to relocate to land within four years.  The study that led to the new law cited the case of the casino in Illinois mentioned above.  The law is part of a plan to achieve full gambling revenue not just in Goa but in India as a whole.

India is a country of more than one billion people.  In addition, millions visit the country every year.  The potential for gambling to feed the state treasury is great but the legislature clearly saw that sea based casinos could not bring in the money that land based casinos bring in.

Atlantic City

Most of the news coming out of Atlantic City these days is about new land based casino investment.  This week, Stockton University announced that it is buying the property that formerly housed the Atlantic Club casino.  The property is close to a new University campus slated to open in September.

The property covers many acres of undeveloped land and 11 acres of seashore land as well in addition to the former casino.  At first the university will convert the existing property into housing for students but with so much undeveloped land as part of the deal there is no telling now how the university plans to develop it.