How has casino culture changed in the 21st century?

Casinos have been a part of our society for centuries. For most of the 20th century they remained fairly unchanged. The security became higher tech, the slot machines had more bells and whistles — figuratively of course — and the shows became more elaborate. Apart from that, however, the casino culture was roughly the same in the 1990s as it had been in the 1950s and 60s.

In recent years, however, casino culture has begun to change. A lot of these changes are tied to the rise in popularity of online casinos and online gaming. As such a major market share of the gaming industry has been taken over by online casinos, it is understandable that they would have an influence on how we see casinos. This article will look at some of the biggest changes to casino culture over the last two decades.


Online casinos

The biggest shift in casino culture has been brought about by the rise in popularity of online casinos. So much of our lives are now conducted online, it makes sense that most of our favorite pastimes would move online as well. Online casinos have gotten rid of most of the stigma associated with gambling, since it can be a much more casual habit if you’re only playing on your phone instead of spending all day at the casino.

The amount of time that people spend playing has changed as well. Going to the casino could be an all-day or at least all evening affair. When you can play a hand of poker or spin the slots whenever you feel like it throughout the day, play is less concentrated.

One element of casino culture that has remained the same despite the move towards online casinos is concerns over security. While these concerns took the form of robberies and heists for land-based casinos, today’s online casinos are deeply concerned about hackers and ransomware attacks. Since online casinos hold both funds and personal data, they are even more desirable targets. Casinos have always had the most modern and effective security and online casinos are no different.

Live dealer games

Live dealer casino games are the latest development in casino culture and gaming. Live casino games are the closest you can get to a traditional casino experience while playing online. Advances in streaming technology have made it possible for players to interact with a dealer, the cards and one another in real time.

Some gamblers didn’t consider online slot machines “real gambling” because it was so far removed from the casino experience. These new advances mean that anyone can play like they’re at the casino from their phone. It has made the casino culture more inclusive since it is now more accessible.


Critics of a certain generation decry the move towards casual dress that is pervading society. The last few years in particular have been marked by a move towards the casual and the comfortable. With online casinos largely replacing land-based ones, people no longer feel like they have to get dressed up to gamble. They can now gamble in a relaxed and informal environment. This has made playing cards or slot machines less of an event and more of a pastime.

Organized crime

Another way in which the casino culture has changed is that there are no longer ties to organized crime. Las Vegas was, essentially, built by the Mafia. It was money from organized crime that created that gambling oasis in the Nevada desert, and it was organized crime that kept it running smoothly and lucratively for decades.

As the government cracked down on the big Mafia families, corporations were able to take over their casinos and turn them into more legitimate businesses. This has had an effect on the casino culture. The same pattern has been seen in other countries as well.

The Mafia days of Vegas, as recreated in movies like The Godfather (1972) and Casino (1995) was incredibly glamorous and exciting. There was, however, always an element of danger even if most patrons were only vaguely aware of it. The casino culture today is much more corporate and inclusive. It is a safer environment. Yes, if you’re caught counting cards at the blackjack table you will be very firmly asked to leave and banned from the premises, but you’re unlikely to end up with your kneecaps broken or in a shallow grave in the Mojave Desert.

Some might mourn the glamorous days of the 1970s, when going to the casino was an event worth getting all dressed up for. Most of us, however, are happy that the casino culture of the 21st century is safer, more relaxed and available from the comfort of our homes.

Disclaimer: Gambling involves an element of financial risk and maybe addictive. Please play responsibly and at your own risk. Subject to applicable laws.