In countless casinos across Europe and the United States of America, plenty of casino players go heads up against each other and the house every day. But what would happen if the two continents competed heads-up? We look at the pros and cons of each location to see where’s best to gamble, in Europe or the USA.
Comparing the Casinos
While America is stereotyped for the supersized brashness of its casinos, Europe has a reputation for a more refined and classic take on the world of gambling. You only have to juxtapose the resort casinos of the Las Vegas Strip with Monaco’s Monte Carlo Casino to illustrate the difference between the two continents as far as gambling houses. While well-known casinos around the world attract the rich and famous and offer essentially the same games, in our minds you can’t beat the glamour of European gaming halls and the culture on offer.
The sights and sounds outside the casinos make a difference to where you choose to gamble. American casinos, in particular those in Vegas, often market themselves towards families as well as towards gamblers. After all, if you’re a father who is planning on hitting the blackjack tables while your partner and kids find other forms of fun, the sheer volume of shows and activities on offer at Las Vegas resorts is astounding. But if you want more high-brow entertainment when you’re away from the tables, opt to visit cities like Lisbon, Paris, and Brussels.
Differences in the Casino Games
There are subtle variations in the two most popular casino games, roulette and blackjack, on the two continents. In the US, a blackjack the dealer will receive two cards, one face up and one face down (the hole card), but in Europe, no hole card is dealt. This is worth knowing for familiarity’s sake, however, despite the suspicion that surrounds it, it makes no differences to the odds. Roulette is a slightly different matter though: the single-zero roulette wheel, a staple in Europe, has a smaller house edge (roughly 2.6%) in relation to the double-zero wheel which is more common in the US and gives the house an edge of around 5.2%. What that means for you is that in Europe the casino will take less money off you in the long run when you play roulette. Notably, this holds true when playing roulette online at sites like Europaplay.com. Just be sure to play the European version of the game and your bankroll will thank you.
If you’re looking at how to maximise profits depending on destination, think about the currency. Look at exchange rates and work out where you should go to get the best bang for your buck. It obviously depends where you’re based. Converting $100 will only get you around €75 (as of the writing of this article). Conversely, €100 will get you around $135 dollars. You also need to factor in the cost of flights and accommodation, but if you get a good deal on these, gambling in America could be a good bet for Europeans – and for Brits too, as £100 will get you around $160. In American casinos, there are also generally plenty of perks too, from free drinks and food to complimentary suites for high-rolling gamblers. You’ll be hard-pressed to find similar free amenities in Europe.
This one shouldn’t take too much explanation. Europe has a distinct advantage for the average gambling tourist in that the age limit for gambling is 18 years. Stateside, you need to be at least 21 to gamble (with exceptions in a few states) and you’ll be required to carry proof of age at all times. You’re unlikely to be stopped if you’re just walking through though. Europe tends to be less strict on proof of age, but it varies from country to country. The minimum age limit for smoking is generally 18 on both continents but the legal drinking age is 18, compared to the States’ 21. So, if you want to mix your vices, Europe is the best destination for those aged between 18 and 21.
Legality of Online Gambling
As a rule, the US has tended to ban online gambling rather than regulate it. Since some of the world’s larger online poker sites got into trouble with the US Department of Justice on what’s been called “Black Friday”, there has been a rise in number of illegal betting sites with little safeguards for bettors. However, things are changing. Just recently, states like Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware have given the green light to online gambling. There are rumours that other states will follow suit soon. That said, for the time being, Europe is by far the safest place to engage in online gambling. For those who don’t want to travel long distances to play poker, roulette, or blackjack, European-facing casino sites are great options. Most, like Europaplay, offer live action gambling via Webcam and a vast selection of online Flash games, from the common card games to popular slots.