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Tech Innovations in Online Casinos

Written by:
Payton
Published on:
Sep/29/2020

Online casino operators are always on the lookout for how they can improve the technologies that power their sites. It is a crowded and lucrative market – estimates predict that the industry will top $70 billion in the next couple of years – and new casino sites must innovate to stay competitive.

Recent years have seen a massive shift towards mobile gambling, so many of the advancements are focused on this platform. Here we will take a look at some of the current and anticipated future technology trends for the online casino industry.

The End of Apps and Software Downloads

There are still some casinos that have a downloadable software client for desktop, especially some poker sites. However, while this was once the norm, they are now becoming very scarce. The same goes for apps – the vast majority of new casinos bypass the creation of applications and many more established sites have stopped supporting them.

Instead it is all about cloud gaming, meaning that the games are all played via the internet and no data is stored on devices. This gives players access to a theoretically endless number of games, not just those that can be stored in an app or PC software. 

Of course cloud gaming and instant play have been advanced by the improvements in internet bandwidth and latency, both of which are important when playing any kind of online game. As our devices become more app-heavy, customers value the chance to avoid using up more of their storage space. Another factor influencing the shift is regulation. Android and iOS apps are subject to tight restrictions when they relate to real money games, and the rules become more stringent by the year. 

We predict that within the next year or so, casino apps will be a thing of the past. The downside of increased data use will also be mitigated by improvements in internet bundles and packages, especially after 5G becomes commonplace.

New Casino Sites with Cryptocurrencies

Blockchain and cryptocurrencies may not be brand new, but a few years ago it would have been unthinkable to use Bitcoin or one of its relatives at a casino site. Not so anymore – now many new online casinos accept transactions using crypto.

From a player perspective, the appeal is obvious. No other type of transaction can come close to the anonymity of crypto, and with certain precautions it is also one of the most secure ways to move money online. Crypto payout times are also much faster than more traditional routes, and casinos can provide higher limits.

We expect that there could potentially be some trouble down the line for crypto payments. At the moment a certain amount of ambiguity exists over the legitimacy of crypto casinos, but the international market allows them to operate uninhibited. Should there be further global efforts to tighten restrictions, especially with regards to money laundering, then the days of the licensed crypto casino could be numbered. 

AI and Analytics

More than ever, operators are using computer modelling to interact with their player base and to collect information about them. Data relating to playing patterns is already used to make recommendations, but this will be employed to far greater effect in the future.

Software developers will use the data collected by the casino sites to tailor new games to particular markets. It will also influence the way the casino providers design their sites. In the future, this could lead to casino sites and games that can be personally customised to each individual player. 

AI is already employed in more than just recommending a new game or promo. Chat bots are commonly used to field more generic questions, or to help direct queries to the correct department. The bots are still a long way from replacing human customer support agents, but they can help the casino to deal with a higher volume of inquiries at one time. 

Expanded Reality Gaming

Yes, the rise of virtual reality in online casinos has been predicted for years. No, it is not yet close to being mainstream. We could be at a tipping point, however – and it is all down to the hardware. Not long ago, VR headsets were prohibitively expensive and only of interest to a niche market. Fast forward to today, and online video gaming has embraced VR, sending up demand and expanding the customer base. More budget headsets have come to market, and it won’t be long before it is as common to own this bit of hardware as, say, a games console. 

It is unlikely that casino players would purchase a headset purely to play casino games, especially as so few VR casinos exist yet. Give it a couple of years, and casino operators will be clamouring to create VR spaces for their customers. As soon as a critical mass of consumers own VR hardware, it will take off like wildfire.

As for augmented reality, casinos seem a little stuck on how best to incorporate it for players. Mobile devices are the obvious medium for AR, but the creative brains behind the software are yet to have their eureka moment on what to do with it. We are hopeful that there will be a breakthrough soon, as it seems like a wasted opportunity. 

Slots in Decline

Slots are the most popular game at any online casino, but could they be on their way out? Research suggests that the spinning reels appeal more older players, and less so to younger customers. If casinos want to serve the next generation of players, then the game designers will have to get creative with their new products.

 

Younger players engage more with puzzle and quest games, and those with a social aspect. In other words, casino software will have to become more like online video and mobile games if they wish to stay relevant well into the twenty-first century.

 

Of course, slots will never go away completely, and all the classic games will remain in one way or another. But in just five years time, the average online casino is likely to look quite dramatically different to how it does today.

 

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