UNITED STATES—The internet has become a source of innovation and inspiration over the last two decades or so. Whenever a trend goes viral online, it spreads to the world at large. However, there was once a time when ideas flowed in the other direction. During the early noughties, developers were racing to turn offline products into online offerings. Nowhere was this more prominent than in the entertainment industry. As VHS was fading and DVDs were all the rage, those plugged into the early days of the internet spotted an opportunity.

Why force people to go out and hire movies when they could download or stream them? It doesn’t take a genius to work out what we’re talking about here. When internet connection speeds made it viable, discs were no longer required to play movies. In turn, this led to the demise of Blockbuster et al and the rise of Netflix. To put it another way, something digital replaced the physical. It’s much the same story in gaming. During the early noughties, rudimentary poker sites were developed. By using random number generator (RNG) technology, developers were able to mimic the shuffling of cards in order to produce fair results.

The Online Gaming Revolution

This prompted a wave of innovations. Casinos have long been popular in the US and the world at large. Las Vegas is the proverbial home of gaming and still generates upwards of $27 billion each year. In LA, Hollywood Park Casino, Hustler, and Larry Flynt’s Lucky Lady all offer a selection of slots, table games, and poker. Then, when you consider the world at large, the casino industry is worth hundreds of billions. Add to this Gallop Polls that show around 1.6 billion people enjoy some form of gambling, and it’s easy to see why online casinos sprung up. In much the same way Netflix transformed what Blockbuster was doing, LeoVegas et al did the same in gaming.

Indeed, if you take a look here, you’ll see that modern online casinos not only feature everything their offline counterparts offer but more. Within a single site, customers can play blackjack, slots, bingo, and bet on sports. What’s more, thanks to live streaming technology, the action isn’t purely virtual. Live casino games link online players with real dealers in remote locations. In essence, online casinos are every bit as entertaining as bricks and mortar venues. The main difference is that they can be accessed at any time via a computer or mobile. However, where the story differs between movies and gaming is that live casinos have adapted.

Online/Offline Synergy is Paramount in Business

Where Blockbuster was unable or unwilling to move with the times, casinos have embraced the internet. In fact, today, all bricks and mortar venues are willing to take what’s popular online and use it. Basically, things have come full circle. First, it was live products being turned into digital ones. Next, live casinos were taking digital innovations and making them their own. Now, there’s a synergy between the two. That, in reality, is the essence of good business in today’s world.

Poker chips.

Where there was once a divide between the real world and the internet, now there is virtually no separation. Companies that understand this and have a footing in both mediums are the ones that survive. So, while casino gaming may not be for everyone, the industry does offer some lessons to businesses. Learn to adapt and don’t be stuck in one way of doing things. In other words, be more like casino operators and less like Blockbuster if you want to survive in the modern era.