by Dan Adkisson
Land-based casinos have been around for almost over 400 years. Casino di Venezia is a brick and mortar casino that was located at the Grand Canal of Venice, Italy. Since then, the practice has expanded worldwide. During the 18th and 19th centuries, Las Vegas in the United States became the destination for the world’s biggest casinos, a status that this city in Nevada retains to this day.
Macau in China, too, became a prominent location for land-based gambling during the early 1900s. It later came to be known as the gambling capital of the world as well as the Monte Carlo of the East. But none of these locations has the world’s largest casino. Of course, we’re considering the sheer size of the establishments for our baseline.
Fast forward to today, we’re living in the era of online gambling. It’s been almost 30 years since the first online casino launched. Over time, it has become a mainstream entertainment source for players around the world. The largest online casino, however, cannot be determined based on size, as there is no physical existence of these casinos.
In this post, let’s learn about the largest casino operators in the world, both online and offline. But before that, let’s learn the quick differences between them.
Land-Based Casinos vs Online Casinos
In terms of player sentiment and game selection, online casinos with free $50 pokies no deposit sign up bonus Australia and offline casinos are not very different. But when it comes to their operation, they differ a lot.
When we say “land-based”, a building that’s standing on a piece of land is more likely to come to everyone’s mind. These types of casinos are also known as “brick and mortar”, simply because the buildings are built with bricks and mortar machines.
You already know that the first-ever casino was built in ancient Italy, in Venice, to be precise. Back then, casino games were very different from what we know now.
Currently, slots are the most popular genre of casino games. In any land-based casino, lots take up the most space and generate the most revenue. But slots weren’t even a thing until late 1800s and early 1900s.
Table games like roulette, blackjack, baccarat, etc., were also invested during the 17th and 18th centuries across Italy, France, Rome, Greece, etc. countries. The versions we play have evolved a lot from their original style.
To operate a land-based casino now, the origin country must have proper regulations regarding gambling. Otherwise, it comes with severe moral and ethical risks for the citizens.
The interested company must apply for a licence before it can even think of launching a casino. It must pay the necessary fees and comply with all the local government laws to operate.
Considering all of these, along with the actual operation, land-based casino maintenance is very expensive. This is why the minimum bet at gaming tables at land-based casinos is quite high. Also, you pay separate fees for food, accommodation, parking, etc. amenities.
One of the most significant drawbacks of land-based gambling is its exclusivity. Very few countries in the world have easy access to casinos. Take the US, for example. Everyone knows about Las Vegas and its lavish casino brands. Then there is Atlantic City in New Jersey. These 2 areas have the biggest concentration of brick and mortar casinos in the country.
But what about the rest of the states? Well, they have to drive all the way or fly to these states to play games. If you ask us, this is not a very user-friendly experience. This drawback, along with the improvements in internet technology, led to the advent of online casinos.
As the idea suggests, online casinos are “online”, meaning they have no physical existence. For the most part, the largest casinos that are online had the same genera of games as land-based casinos. You have your “online” slots and table games. Interestingly, the table games at online casinos are divided into 2 major categories – RNG and live dealer.
RNG Table Games
RNG stands for Random Number Generator. It’s an algorithm that controls the randomness of slot games. This means the RNG table games are also algorithm-based. These games are not present in land-based casinos simply because they don’t exist.
Live Dealer Games
If you’re a fan of gaming tables like roulette, baccarat, blackjack, poker, craps, or anything similar, you’ll love live dealer games at online casinos. You can interact with a casino croupier as well as other players in the lobby, all virtually.
In the last decade or so, the popularity of online gambling has skyrocketed for valid reasons.
First, you no longer have to drive or fly to a city where casinos are available. Also, the regulations for online gambling are often easier compared to offline casinos.
Then, players have the opportunity to claim different types of bonuses. This is an exclusive benefit of online gambling. World’s biggest casinos compete with each other to give players the best bonus possible. As they say, competition is always good for the consumer.
Now that you have a good idea of what land-based and online casinos are, we can move forward with our discussion regarding the world’s largest casinos, both online and offline.
World’s Largest Casinos: Online and Offline
For a land-based casino, the discussion of “largest” mainly revolves around its size, how many games it has, and how many players it can accommodate. For an online casino, however, the size is irrelevant. What matters are the number of games and the number of customers that play regularly.
World’s Biggest Land-Based Casino
Do you remember how Italy was the venue for the world’s first casino? Interestingly, it’s also the venue of the World’s largest casino. It’s Casinò di Campione, located in Campione D’italia. It’s one of Italy’s oldest casinos as well.
The casino is so big that it became the largest employer in the Campione d’Italia municipality. The casino started its journey back in 1917. It was initially intended as a site where foreign diplomats would gather and exchange information regarding World War I.
After 90 years of operation, the casino relocated to its new premise. It’s within the same vicinity as the old headquarters but in a bigger and better venue.
Compared to its massive 590,000 sq ft size, the selection of games inside the casino is quite limited. There are around 500 slot machines and 56 gaming tables. The tables include popular casino games like roulette, Chemin de Fer, baccarat, poker, etc.
In 2017, the casino was declared bankrupt. It was a sad time for Campione d’Italia as the heritage of the city was about to go down. It stemmed from the casino’s inability to pay fees to the municipality. It was submerged into over €132 million in debt. Thankfully, it was reopened in January 2022, and the legacy was restored.
World’s Biggest Casino Online
As we already mentioned, it’s quite hard to gauge which are the largest casinos when you move things online. In our opinion, the fair way to do it is to take the total number of active players into consideration.
From that angle, it’s Bet365 that takes the win. The company was founded back in 2000, which makes it one of the pioneers in the online gambling space. It currently generates a massive €3+ billion in annual review, more than any other online gambling company in the world!
Bet365 initially started its journey as a sports betting platform. The founder Denise Coates was a trading professional who got a team together to create the website.
Denise already had experience with gambling as his family owned a betting shop in Scotland. He borrowed around €15 million from the Royal Bank of Scotland to facilitate the development by putting the betting shop as collateral.
To pay off the loan, Bet365 sold its chain of physical betting shops to Coral, another major gambling company in the UK region.
Since its inception, Bet365’s founders had a clear vision of what they wanted to do with the brand. You can see the reflection in the increasing volume of customers as well as revenue. The move into the US market has been one of the major events in the company’s history. The US has largely been an untapped market due to the Supreme Court’s law against online betting.
Although Bet365 is primarily known for its online sportsbook, it has a full-fledged online casino, too. To manage both components of gambling, Bet365 employs over 5,000 people all over the world.
For its approach to making online gambling more approachable, Bet365 has won many awards over the years. Some of them include:
● eGaming Review Operator Award 2010
● The Sunday Times Profit Track 100 League
● Best Bookmaker of the Year at SBC Awards
The world’s largest casinos in both online and offline spaces operate very differently. One is located on the shores of Lake Lugano in Italy, while the other is spread all over the world through the users’ internet connection. If you’re a fan of casino games, you should check out both. If not, at least give Bet365 a try.