In this latest entry in our ongoing series on gambling technology, we take a look at casino trends to watch this year.
The world of online gambling is constantly evolving. Changes in technology, customer expectations, and regulations are pushing big players in the industry to adapt to new realities and meet new demands. But what exactly does the future hold for online casinos? Let’s take a look at six online casino trends to watch in 2018.
Many gamblers still go to brick and mortar casinos to enjoy the real casino experience. Given the dropping price of virtual reality headsets and money pouring into game development, we can expect virtual reality casinos to start emulating the real thing. As live technology increases, we’ll also see more interactive games where players connect remotely to participate in games held by a live host.
E-Sports has evolved from a niche “sport” targeting a marginal audience to huge tournaments with millions in attendance broadcasted on major channels. Just a decade ago, E-Sports was merely a blip on the radar and was viewed as nothing but a trend. But things changed quickly when the first tournament to have a 1.5 million prize fund was held. Fast forward, and the same tournament offered 20 million in payouts.
The E-Sport industry, which originally gained popularity in South Korea, is expected to be worth over a billion in 2020. And the online gambling world is taking notes. E-Sports offers them a great opportunity to offer bets on tournaments. This merger of E-Sports and gambling seems a natural partnership and could open the door to many exciting opportunities.
Since online betting for E-Sports is still in its infancy, bookmakers might not be as sophisticated, and there are still many mispriced matches. But this is expected to change quickly as growing demand for E-Sports betting pushes major online betting sites to jump on the bandwagon and start offering a wider variety of bets.
Gamification refers to the trend of making something fun and exciting like a video game. And casino sites have picked up on this trend.
Sites like Casino Heroes, as well explained in the review on Casinos Killer, are fusing online casino games and gaming, transforming the slot machine simulation into an intriguing adventure game that pays out when completing levels. The gambling aspect essentially takes the game to a new level. This allows players to get the thrill of a video game, but with real-life payouts.
The merger of games and gambling is already occurring, and we’re seeing an amazing array of games being rolled out in many online casinos. Whether you want to play a version of the wheel of fortune or involve your friends in a casino-based multiplayer adventure quest, there is literally something for everyone.
There is also an increasing number of people looking to be rewarded for their skill than mere chance. This can be largely attributed to the recent rise in online and offline poker. And we can expect online gambling to follow suit and start offering more and more skill games to satisfy this demand.
The 2017 G2E Global Gaming Expo talked at length about recent improvements in the world of casino gambling, and many online and offline skill-based games were featured. Companies like Probability Gaming introduced some of the new skilled-based games they’re developing with expert advice from mathematicians. These games merge traditional play with a little bit of strategy to make it more exciting for players. Games like this will be targeting a new breed of online gamblers looking for a challenge.
One of the key drivers in the impressive growth of online gamblers is mobile betting. Innovative tech startups and traditional gambling companies are competing to offer their audience the most immersive gameplay experience through mobile betting. While mobile often seemed like an afterthought before, simply an add-on feature, online casinos these days go above and beyond to focus on mobile, while others are designed with mobile in mind first and foremost.
Blockchain, the technology behind most cryptocurrencies, is slowly but surely making its way into online gambling. Blockchain technology offers many advantages to online casinos.
First, it supports anonymous transactions and provides an instantly verifiable open and decentralized ledger. It also allows online casinos to track information such as financial transfers and distribute payouts and bonuses through smart contracts. Records on the Blockchain cannot be altered retroactively or deleted, creating a secure record of transactions everyone can trust. The Blockchain can also let players play without having to set up accounts, something that certainly reduces the administrative costs associated with a website.
Blockchain makes it possible for players and businesses alike to get around various government regulations, though this may be offset by future regulations. Cryptocurrencies may allow for money laundering, and there is a risk of it enabling under-aged gambling. Websites will likely adapt by adding extra layers of verification and checks to make sure they meet social responsibility requirements and the terms of their licenses.
Blockchain’s role in crowdfunding is also resulting in small casino operators being able to raise capital to move online more rapidly.
The Content Push
Many casinos are trying to merge content with games to make the experience more immersive. For instance, many casinos are playing themed videos after certain slot wins. This opens the door to promotion and marketing possibilities.
Many casinos are integrating content from movies and TV shows into their games in an attempt to make them more interesting and engaging. Cross-promotions between branded games and branded content are inevitable. The ability to sell a game to fans of a show or movie is certainly a reason to create such branded games, and it is a way to attract new players.
We see a lot of exciting trends in online casino games in 2018, which are certain to affect the industry long-term. Whether you’re able to truly win more in a new form of multiplayer adventure games, or you feel like you’re playing at a real table, you’ll find the line between casino games and other genres melting away.