Are online and land-based casinos rigged? Personally, I believe they are along with lotteries and other games generically branded as “gambling”. Initially, casino players would not bother giving “rigging” any serious thought. After all, players flock to casinos simply because they want to try their hand at winning. Their thoughts are more preoccupied with whether or not they would bring home the jackpot while questions or thoughts on rigging are yet to be conceived.

Rigging and Online Casinos

Before I continue, I do wish to make it clear that when I say “rigged” I basically mean that online casino games are pre-programmed such that at the end of the day, casinos maintain a winning edge. If you wish to validate this statement, a good look at these major gaming destinations might help – a classy façade and luxurious interiors teeming with all things grand. Going back to our initial talk on rigging, it is quite true that everyone has the opportunity to hit the jackpot however, take note that if you continue gambling until the wee hours of the day, you will surely face the consequence of having less cash (in your hands) than you’ve had in the first place. But then again, casino owners (and patrons as well) would ask “Why single out gambling?” and then proceed to argue that entertainment in any form would actually leave you coughing out more cash. This is quite true. Watching a movie, visiting theme parks, and bar hopping would likewise leave you nearly empty handed. So who doesn’t get rigged nowadays?

Online vs Land-based: Going by the Numbers

Maybe a more interesting point of discussion is if land-based casinos are less-rigged than its online counterparts. What is the difference anyway between online and land-based casinos? Well, one obvious difference that I could cite is the speed with which a casino game is played. For instance, playing blackjack (in a land-based casino) with about $100 dollars on hand is probably good for an hour or so. Losing this much in an hour wouldn’t hurt much and you would probably go home and call it a not-so-lucky day. However, if you’ve lost the same amount say, in just 5 minutes of playing online casino, you would most likely log out in frustration and call it an I’ve-been-rigged day. A better way to illustrate this is to do simple numbers analysis:

Imagine yourself at a land-based casino seated with around 5 players. It would not be unusual to see a dealer manually shuffling cards. Per estimates, you can play at a speed of 60 hands per hour or one hand per minute (this is quite fast by casino standards). I tried to test the waters myself and played online casino. Pretty soon I came up with this: I played a hand in 10 seconds, so per minute I got to play 6 and per hour, 360. Now compare 360 of online casino play versus 60 of land-based casino – the difference can indeed be glaring.

PwC made a graphical illustration of the speed at which two players lose cash if each played given the same amount of money ($100) and the same number of play time (162 minutes), the only difference is that the first one is a land-based casino player while the second is an online player. It turns out that at 162 minutes of play, the land-based player still has approximately $80 left to play with. Meanwhile, the online player has hit rock-bottom and doesn’t even have a dollar left to continue the game.

The Fairest of them All

Europeans may stand a better chance of enjoying a fair game when playing casino online. Casino regulations in Europe are more stringent. Moreover, players have the chance to play at companies that are publicly traded. It follows therefore that there are checks and balances being performed as what is being done in major companies. Even if the company you have chosen to play at is not at all listed publicly, there is available software that goes by the name of “Playtech” and this is listed in the London Exchange.
On the other hand, casino players in the US may have to deal with casino regulations that are not well-defined at the moment. So once again, the best way to handle this is to exercise precaution and stay away from online casinos with very poor reviews.

Keep on Searching

Online casino players, take note that any activity that involves you doling out cash, a little bit of research won’t hurt. Searching for info via the internet is free so why not take advantage of this and research for online casinos with very good, if not excellent feedback. Visit and get a good glimpse of online casinos with a good number of reviews backing them up.

The Verdict

I have played at online casinos a number of times and for this reason, I would say that there are still enough casinos engaged in fair gaming through the use of real number generators. So if by any chance a casino player would ask me what the odds are of hitting the jackpot at the nearby casino vis-à-vis the online casino, I’d readily say that the odds are indeed equal.

By Rick
Rick is an industry veteran offering views and insights into the online casino world. His casino blog provides insider information about online casino and what players need to know.