The online casino industry continues to develop and be at the forefront of technological innovation. What was once a niche sector is today a multi-billion dollar powerhouse that continues to grow at an average of 11% per year. In addition to the entertainment and excitement offered, the use of new technologies is a major attraction of the sector. From virtual reality to the implementation of 5G, here are some of the most anticipated trends in online gaming.
Virtual & Augmented Realities
It is true that articles such as this have been announcing the use of VR and AR in online gaming for several years. The development of these technologies and subsequent implementation in online games might have taken longer than predicted, yet it looks like players’ patience is finally about to be rewarded. VR is not gone as far as even enabling people to visit new countries without moving from their home. Game creators such as NetEnt and NextGen are developing VR casino games with particular attention on live games.
For virtual or augmented reality casino games to really work they need the right infrastructure to support them. In many ways, this has been lacking, although the situation is changing. Apple and Google have developed and released open-source AR tools in order to help advance this technology, whilst 5G Internet is also becoming a reality.
Switching to 5G
You may not have given much notice to the transition to 5G, but if you’re a casino player, you stand to benefit significantly. This improvement in data transfer speed will see game latency reduce from 10 milliseconds to just one. As a result, new experiences, such as virtual reality casinos, can be introduced.
The power of 5G will ripple across the online gaming sector. Mobile gaming is already prevalent in many countries but limited in areas where mobile data coverage is poor. Faster speeds will also result in a great selection of streaming matches on online sportsbooks along with other major events.
As competition between online bookmakers continues to increase, and bonus rules continue to tighten, streaming will become one of the major selling points used by platform owners. High-speed Internet service along with new Wi-Fi standards will allow an ever-greater range of live streaming of sports and entertainment events.
eSports will also experience increased popularity as punters can get closer to the teams and players. Online sportsbooks will seek to close the gap between a betting platform and a streaming service in order to keep punters on their websites, all the while enticing them with promotions and offers.
Improved Payment Methods
The payments sector has long viewed the online gaming market as risky, and this has led to limited choice and relatively high fees for casino operators. Cryptocurrencies have already played a major role in eliminating dependence on particular payment methods, providing a truly democratised choice for players. The revolution, however, is far from over, and traditional payment providers are now seeking ways to recapture lost markets.
From making it more affordable for casino operators to use their services to accepting a wider choice of currencies and residents, there is a lot that payment providers will be doing in the coming months and years. This will make it easier for players to deposit lower amounts and provide payment methods that are popular in specific countries. This is especially important as nations such as India and Brazil, along with numerous African countries, join the online gaming community.
More Attention Given to Responsible Gaming
The online gaming industry will continue to encourage and support responsible gaming both as a public relations exercise, but also as a result of influence by governments. Restrictions in the UK and Sweden, amongst other nations, has already led to the banning of credit cards from online operators as well as the reduction of welcome offers. The situation with online casinos in Canada is quite different as the market is more open and less regulated, in that there are a lot of grey areas when it comes to online gaming. It is likely that more countries will follow suit, requiring platforms to rethink the methods they use to attract new players.
Regulated online casinos are already required to support responsible gaming, and this trend will certainly continue. Online casinos in Canada, despite the legal grey areas, are expected to promote responsible gaming too. Increased awareness of the risks and self-help tools provided by platform owners should help reduce the number of people who fall victim to addiction.
An Increase in Live Games
Whilst online slots remain the most popular casino game, live dealer games are becoming increasingly popular, especially in emerging markets. Online casinos, once treasured for their ability to offer anonymity and privacy to players, are now seeing a jump in demand for live games. Being able to interact with other players and the dealer, along with experiencing the reality of a virtual game, is clearly becoming important for casino players.
This increase in demand for live games is fuelled by the growth of emerging markets, such as India. Players there demand live dealer games which feature Indian dealers and regional games, such as Teen Patti and Andar Bahar. A similar trend is present and will continue in Arab countries. Naturally, live game providers are more than happy to offer these options, and it is likely that more creators will transition from virtual to live games.
New Casino Games
The online casino industry is expecting an increased number of players from younger generations. These tech-savvy individuals were born in a world surrounded by smartphones and modern technologies, and are, therefore, demanding ever-greater sophistication and excitement from online casino games. Whilst the classics will remain, new online slots and instant games will seek to close the gap between mobile games casino games, with increased gamification of the entire player experience.