The online casino industry has evolved at a rapid rate since its advent in the mid-1990s, and that pace of change has increased since the launch of the smartphone in 2007. Today the online gambling industry is one of the most lucrative in digital entertainment.
But what further evolutions will we witness in the coming years? In this article, we will analyze recent and future trends and consider how they will shape the future of casino gaming.
Virtual and augmented reality
Many of the world’s leading online casino operators have experimented with virtual and augmented reality, although the technology’s potential is yet to be properly explored.
The traditional console gaming sector has made a much bigger investment in VR and AR, with specialist devices like Oculus helping to immerse players in the action around them like never before.
For many players, casino gaming online in the modern age is already a highly immersive experience. Those who play blackjack online can enjoy realistic graphics and sound effects, virtual poker rooms offer a glamorous experience, while those who play online roulette benefit from slick realistic animation as the wheel spins.
That’s without mentioning how many variants of each of these games there are – even in just roulette, you have the standard options of European and American, but also Penny Roulette and a version of the game based on TV show Deal or No Deal.
But the possibilities of VR and AR are exciting. For example, poker players could soon see the action unfold on their own dining table, with cards and chips laid out on the table-top, while gesture controls could be introduced to keep the action moving across a range of games.
While portability and accessibility is the name of the game for many developers, we expect to see the industry experiment with immersive technology like AR and VR in a bigger way in the years to come.
Sticking with the theme of immersion and live video is allowing operators in the online gambling sector to deliver a much more engaging experience through a laptop, tablet or phone.
The use of live video is far more commonplace than AR or VR and we expect it to become even more prominent in the years to come.
Live video features human dealers and croupiers, helping to portray a true battle of wits and offering a product far more compelling than just trying to get the better of a bot or AI.
Like AR and VR, live video may not be for everyone, and some players prefer a more discreet experience, but with 4K streaming now fairly common across entertainment sectors, we expect to see providers deliver this option in more places.
Cryptocurrency is big business. First popularized by Bitcoin, the crypto ecosystem is made up of literally hundreds of brands, with investors and hobbyists pouring time and money into snapping up as much as they can.
The concept of cryptocurrency is still alien to many in the gambling community, but younger players are more likely to know about it or even own a little bit of it.
Cryptocurrency offers additional security, especially around anonymity, and is favored by a growing number of people for completing online transactions.
For this reason, we expect to see the number of online casinos providing crypto functionality to grow in the years to come, especially as the concept is more widely adopted.
The CEO of PayPal is on national television showing you the future.— Pomp 🌪 (@APompliano) November 23, 2020
The question is…are you open minded enough to listen? pic.twitter.com/vaZGkWhnIS
These are just three of our predictions for the short-term future of online casino gaming, although in reality it is impossible to know for sure what’s around the corner for such a fast-moving and ever-evolving entertainment sector.