No domain has been left untouched by the advancements of modern technology. Casinos have benefited greatly as well, leading them to evolve significantly in the past decades. How exactly did modern tech drive the growth of the iGaming industry?
The global iGaming market is currently worth $67 billion, and financial experts project a growth rate of 11.5% per year. Technology has had its say in this.
Let’s explore the 7 ways technology influenced this industry.
More casino options
Online casinos would not have been possible without modern technology, and more specifically, the Internet. Somewhere in the mid-’90s, the uses for the Internet began to diversify.
In October 1994, the first online gambling enterprise opened to the public, the Liechtenstein International Lottery. The same year, software companies Microgaming and Cryptologic launched the first-ever fully-fledged online casino when the Internet didn’t yet invade consumers’ homes.
The online frenzy took off immediately, and within just 3 years, in 1997, there were already 200 online gambling websites all over the Internet. Given the steady growth, this number is sure to have increased to 3000+ by now, making brands comparison services a necessity. You must be able to compare a casino with the industry average to maximize your online gaming experience and it’s best to leave this matter to the experts.
Back in the ’90s, the market was largely unregulated. Around that time, at once with the Free Trade & Processing Act, one of the first licensing institutions started in Antigua and Barbuda, leading numerous gambling companies to open offices there.
Players’ security wasn’t necessarily at the forefront, and most companies went to get the Antigua license because of its permissiveness. This licenser has lost its credibility ever since through an association with shady online casinos.
When did this change?
However, in time, a legal frame was put into place. Following the Gambling Act of 2005, the UK Gambling Commission was created, which paved the way for increasingly higher levels of security.
Now, the UKGC and other reputable licensers oversee gambling activity in multiple ways, by:
- Making sure the games are based on authentic Random Number Generators for fairness
- Preventing money laundering through advanced technological systems
- Protecting user’s data by enforcing the use of SSL encryption
Software development meant another step forward for online casinos. Currently, hundreds of software studios work to fill online casinos’ catalogues with thousands of titles. But besides the unprecedented number of games, the titles themselves have been enhanced.
Graphic design is one facet of this step forward. For example, slots have become more interactive with each passing year, sporting better graphics and more immersive themes.
Decades ago, the variety of new slots’ bonus rounds would have been unthinkable. Combine that with the fact that many popular TV shows and books were turned into slots, and you get a view of the current slot’s landscape richness. Some examples include:
- Microgaming’s Game of Thrones
- NetEnt’s Hell Kitchen
- Pragmatic Play’s Peaky Blinders
Audio technology has improved, and this in turn has enhanced the online gaming experience. Classic pokies sounds are starting to be replaced by more sophisticated audio scores. You can even play Elvis-themed slots or go hardcore with Motorhead or Guns’n Roses slots.
Table games have had their audio background boosted as well, as developers strive to create a genuine casino experience. Gone are the days when you would hear the same loop over and over again.
Mobile gambling convenience
The year 2005 is when gambling made its first steps in the mobile realm with Pub Fruity. While it wasn’t until 2007 that real money mobile games were developed, it was already clear that the iGaming industry was steering mobile.
With the steady increase in processing power, the first smartphones became able to run casino games seamlessly. NetEnt’s classic Gonzo’s Quest, released in 2011, is an example of mobile success.
Mobile slots were soon joined by mobile table games when Microgaming launched the first-ever mobile baccarat game.
Now the idea of mobile gambling has evolved so considerably that no operator can even fathom surviving on the market without providing the best mobile user experience. Since mobile players pay and play more, online casinos must keep up with their needs.
Live Casino streaming
Live casino games represent another critical example of how technology has aided the online gambling industry. Modern tech has made live streaming possible, and that meant table games with real dealers were developed.
Live casinos’ capabilities are turning land-based venues obsolete. Players can access a wider variety of table games and play any style of Roulette or Blackjack in the comfort of their homes.
Casinos use high-definition cameras and OCR technology to be able to stream the footage online. Optical Character Recognition tech is responsible for encoding all that happens at the table, making the games reach a higher level of fairness.
In Roulette, for example, the OCR works together with a game control unit to keep track of the winning numbers. Data is displayed on high-end screens, enabling dealers to interact with online players.
Blockchain technology is arguably one of the key innovations of our century. It’s not difficult to see how a technology that completely transformed the financial landscape has a significant impact on the gambling industry.
Blockchain is defined as a database that keeps records of transactions made in an anonymous and decentralized way by comparing each piece of information on a user’s end with the information shared across the network.
Since information travels as encrypted blocks, this enables a greater degree of privacy. Cryptocurrencies are all built on blockchain tech.
Given the increasing popularity of cryptocurrencies, online casinos have the incentive to add them as a payment method. As an effect, the benefits of blockchain translate into the iGaming industry:
- Better financial privacy
- Personal information security
- Higher transaction speeds both at deposit and cash out
- All around efficiency
Virtual Reality is another piece of modern technology that has the potential to revolutionize the online gambling industry. While presently the number of VR casinos is small, soon they are predicted to grow explosively.
Virtual Reality is defined as an enhancement of the real world with an additional visual and audio layer that’s superimposed on it with the help of various devices.
Gamblers can enjoy a more interactive casino experience through a VR headset, complete with detailed and authentic surroundings, realistic slot machines, and lifelike Roulette tables.
Augmented Reality will take it to the next level in terms of engagement. While, currently, AR casinos are in the development phase, players can expect features like:
- 360 views of a genuine casino environment
- Realistic interaction to the smallest details
- Next-level live casino gameplay
Essentially, the online gambling industry could not have existed without these technological advancements. Without the Internet, smartphones, streaming technologies and so on, we wouldn’t have spoken of such a tremendous rise today.
We presented just 7 of the main ways modern technology has contributed to the growth of online casinos, but the list could have been longer. We didn’t mention AI chatbots, and some casinos already use them as a central Customer Support feature.
Newer tech always holds the promise of making online casinos more engaging. That’s why the industry’s progress goes hand in hand with technological progress.