The online gambling market has a bright future, according to Mark from DashTickets


Today we'll interview an expert in all things gambling related, Mark Dash, the editor-in-chief of DashTickets, the leading New Zealand online casino review website or, should we say, a magazine for players. Mark will explain to us the difference between offline and online gambling and share some insights into how the two blend with each other and what is the process of an offline player turning to online games.


Thank you for joining us, Mark. Please tell us about DashTickets.


DashTickets is my pinnacle project after being involved with the gambling industry for a while and after being a poker player. Time and time again, I've noticed that we lack a real information source in New Zealand regarding gambling-related things.


What kind of information were you missing, that DashTickets now provides?


Frankly, the Internet was just full of ads. Websites looking to make a quick buck on players' ignorance promoted whatever casino paid them the most. They'd say this casino is the real deal, the best online casino there is, whereas in reality the casino was often treating players unfairly.


This is when I've made it my business to test the casino myself and tell the Kiwi players the truth about a brand, whatever it may be, good, bad or ugly. Over the years I've assembled a team to help me build the brand further, and the result is many happy Kiwi players who know if a casino is good or not before they even deposit their hard-earned money.


Is it a good thing or a bad thing that New Zealand lacks gambling regulation?


It's a double-edged sword. On one hand, we're liberal and aren't facing any issues the players from other countries are facing regarding blacklisted territories, IP blocks, and the like. Everyone accepts New Zealand players because there's no legal reason not to. That's a good thing.


However, if you allow just about anyone to do business in your country, you're bound to get bad actors as well. There is zero control or regulation, so even a rogue casino may enter the New Zealand market in any way it pleases. That's a bad thing. This is where DashTickets comes in - we review casinos and identify the bad actors. This gives players the information that they'd otherwise be lacking.


In your experience, is offline or online gambling more popular in New Zealand and in general?


Offline gambling in land-based casinos will always be here, and it won't be replaced by any technological advancements. There's just that appeal of walking into a huge casino, seeing people play, hearing the noises of roulette balls and slot machines, and having a drink or two in good company. People just love it.


However, when it comes to convenience of gambling and variety and quality of games, online gambling wins, hands down. People who gamble to win, and not to soak up the atmosphere, play online. It's interesting to note that even the high rollers, people who bet tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands, prefer to do so online. Though you'd imagine them walking into a land-based casino with a huge entourage, in reality, they'd place their wager online on their phone while having breakfast in their villa.


Why is that so?


Well, land-based gambling is a fix you need to have once in a while, but if you gamble often, you'll be placing the majority of your wagers online due to sheer convenience. Also, there are privacy and security concerns. Big players don't really want everyone to see them and to see how much money they have. That kind of ego-related stuff isn't anyone's fix anymore. Or it is, but only once in a while, not every time you wish to place a large wager.


Where are the games better? Offline or online?


Online, by a mile. While you can be fairly certain that the land-based casino games are fair, as in, roulette wheels aren't being rigged and blackjack cards aren't marked, that's as far as it goes. You can't play a multiplier roulette in a land-based casino, can you? Because it's not possible to play it unless you use video technology. Same goes for any other table game. Live dealer online games are superior.


When it comes to slots, or pokies as us Kiwis call them, online slots are far superior. In land-based casinos you don't know the theoretical payout of the game, and it's a known fact that they pay very poorly. Online you can see the RTP and it's independently audited for fairness as the game is the same regardless of the casino you play at. Land-based slot machines are also inferior in terms of bonus features, graphics, and almost everything.


Are there land-based casino players that refuse to go online?


Oh, for sure. And I understand them. These would be the people that need to have real casino chips in their hands, they need to go to the cashier to exchange them for cash, and they need the atmosphere of a casino. Online play doesn't appeal to them as it's too distant. Although, I've seen some players who started playing live dealer online games - as all they needed was the human element. But if you want casino chips in your hand, then no, you'll keep playing offline and nothing will change your mind.


Why do you think the online gambling sector is booming?


More and more people are coming to realize that gambling online is more convenient, secure, and offers a fairer game. Convenience is everything in today's fast-paced world. It is understandable that people are turning to online gambling now when everyone has a smartphone and can gamble on the go.


What do you think about the convergence of gaming and gambling?


It's happening at a large scale, and it's not a good thing. People are being sold gambling in video games, perhaps even without realizing it - loot boxes are a prime example - and often these people are kids. There is no regulation, no known house edge, you don't even know what your odds are. This is the worst way to gamble.


What kind of advice would you offer to people who are into loot boxes, skins, and similar stuff?


I say, check your odds. Think like a gambler. What you are doing is gambling, so you'd better know the rules and the odds of the game. What kind of a return on your investment will you get if you play a hundred times?


In your opinion, what is the best place to gamble? How to find that perfect casino and the perfect game?


Visit DashTickets to see which casinos are legit. Since we cover all the casinos in the world as all of them appear on the New Zealand market, you'll definitely be able to find one for yourself regardless of your country of residence.


As far as individual games go, I'd say live dealer games are the best thing right now. Most fun, at least. Online slots are games of amazing quality, and progressive jackpot slots stand as the pinnacle of online gambling. In New Zealand, at least.


Thank you for joining us, Mark!

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