While most people cannot imagine a time when they couldn’t video call someone across the world, order a meal via an app and have it delivered within the hour or play online casino games on the go, all these technological advancements are fairly recent. Before the mid-1990s, the only way to enjoy casino games was to drive to the nearest brick-and-mortar casino, making it a rare and special occasion for many.
Today, technology allows you to experience a massive selection of high-quality gambling entertainment from the convenience of your mobile devices, with the casino industry at the forefront of the latest advancements in virtual technology.
Microgaming was a pioneer in the digital casino industry, launching the Gaming Club Online in 1994, which offered just a few of the most popular casino games such as blackjack and roulette. At the time of its launch, many people didn’t own personal computers, let alone an internet connection. Still, the venture turned out to be massively successful, and technological advancements continue to grow the multi-billion-dollar industry.
We’ve come a long way since the early days, playing casino games online is more popular than ever thanks to their convenience, game diversity, bonuses, promotions and more. Let’s take a look at some of the most pivotal developments in the virtual casino industry.
Recent developments that have changed the way we gamble
While virtual casinos offered a multitude of advantages over land-based casinos, many players still missed the atmosphere and social interaction that traditional casinos offered. Around 2007, however, the first live dealer casino games entered the market, paving the way for a live, interactive and atmospheric casino experience from the comfort of your home. Now, players are able to enjoy the best of both worlds for a number of popular choices such as table games, wheel games and more.
These games take place in a studio and offer high-definition streaming with live webcams providing a variety of camera angles. Each table has its own game controller (GCU) and encoding feed from the table to the users to offer smooth interaction between the dealers and the players. The GCU works in combination with optical character recognition (OCR) technology which collects game data and overlays it on the screen. This technology records every detail of information in the gaming room, such as a spinning roulette wheel or shuffling cards, offering players a real-life experience.
Recent developments have made it possible for players to play at an online casino for real money wherever they are and whenever they choose. Modern virtual casinos have been fully optimized to serve a variety of devices so that players can enjoy high-quality games whether they’re playing on their home computer or on their smartphones. These apps make it easy to switch between devices, too, ensuring a much greater level of ease and accessibility for regular players.
According to “Gambling statistics 2021: The definitive guide” on Time2Play, “Across all age groups, smartphones are the most popular devices for online gambling, with 50% of gamblers expressing this preference. Laptops are next at 23%, but the only age group using tablets for gambling are the 35–44-year-olds. Around 75% of 21–24-year-olds use their smartphones and the remaining 25% their laptops.” This shows that while new, mobile gambling has become a firm favorite among online gamers.
Slots have become a particularly popular casino option, whether at a land-based or digital casino, since they don’t require the skill many table games do, they’re easy to learn and play, and they have a low buy-in with the potential for big wins. Online slot machines deliver colorful and exciting gameplay, providing a simple concept and classic design that has been adapted over a variety of themes, with modern slots incorporating a range of new features. To really bring these games to life and make up for the lack of a buzzing casino environment in which to play, game developers have started making use of 3D animations and other graphics in these games, which provide a unique and engaging element.
As technology evolves, casino enthusiasts are now offered a variety of safe and fast payment gateways, such as online banking, PayPal, Apple Pay and more. The newest technology allows users to initiate payment via cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin and others. This blockchain technology allows for data transparency, anonymity of financial transactions, decentralization and low transaction fees. While still fairly new, not all casinos have integrated cryptocurrencies into their systems, but this virtual currency will soon lessen the risk of identity theft and scams, making it an exciting development in the industry.
While pop culture often depicts Artificial Intelligence (AI) as robots taking over the world, the casino industry has managed to integrate this technology in intelligent ways that have and will continue to make the online gambling experience an enjoyable and highly personalized one. Virtual casinos are leveraging AI-enabled data methods to give insight into user behavior and patterns to adapt their offerings to customers’ needs, wants and preferences. When playing casino games online, you may have noticed that after a few sessions, your feed is more personalized, displaying games that are likely to pique your interest based on what you’ve played before. This tailored experience will continue to expand in the future, with data analytics used to create a more engaging gaming experience.
Online casinos have used technology in a variety of ways to create exciting and engaging gameplay, from HD graphics to bonuses and promotions. To give a competitive edge, these casinos have also introduced extra features to their clients, making leaderboards, tournaments and more an option for players looking to take their skills to the next level.
Exciting developments in the pipeline
VR and AI
As mentioned, AI is already showing up in virtual gambling in a number of interesting ways, and we expect to see more of this in the decades to come. Another exciting development on the horizon is the introduction of Virtual Reality (VR) technology, which, though still in its early years of development, will serve to create a highly lifelike, immersive experience for players who play from home. With the widened availability of VR headsets, players will be able to visit an actual casino, have real conversations and interact with games from wherever they are.
While live dealer games immerse players in the casino atmosphere, gesture control technology will allow players the opportunity to interact in an even more natural and lifelike way. This sort of technology comes in the form of gloves that users put on, making it possible to forgo keyboards, mouses and mobile phones used as controllers and instead interact exactly as they would if they were sitting at a live casino table or slot machine.
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