If you had said that gambling online would be worth $60 billion just two decades ago, chances are that you would have been laughed at or brushed off. But the proof is in the pudding when it comes to online games and there are now thousands of casinos online that millions of players can choose from every day.
This means that not only is the competition between land-based and online establishments set to take it up to another gear but that more online casino sites are going to be vying for the growing number of players. This will have an impact on software companies in particular, as they will need to develop and implement new, innovative technologies to get ahead of the game.
In 2019, the industry came forward in leaps and bounds with regards to the use of technologies like AI and VR and we expect this to continue and improve in 2020.
What other fresh ideas and projects can you expect in the market in 2020? What should you keep an eye out for and how is advancing technology going to evolve the gambling world even further this year? We’re going to cover the 2020 casino trends below.
More realistic experiences with VR and AR
VR (Virtual Reality) and AR ( Augmented Reality) are two terms that you’ve probably heard thrown about quite a bit in the last couple of years and there’s a good reason for it. We have had a massive breakthrough with regard to the technology needed to completely harness the power of these two game-changers.
Don’t get confused between the two, however, as they will impact the game in different ways. Virtual Reality currently requires a headset like the Oculus Rift, which players can use to enter casino rooms that look real but that are entirely constructed.
AR uses a little bit of both and is the tech responsible for bringing you Pokemon Go a few years ago. This tech uses both reality and software to create a hyper-realistic playing experience.
VR should soon allow players to play their opponents face-to-face and interact with the other players. AR will give an extra edge to things like live casino games and allow players to see the surrounding tables and the rest of the environment within the casino.
User experience - the best is yet to come
In 2019, the online gaming industry went above and beyond to ensure that there was an improved user experience across platforms. We expect to see more of the same but to an even more noticeable degree in 2020.
Machine Learning (ML), which is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is being used across almost every industry to improve user experience, from banking to advertising. When it comes to the online gambling industry, companies are ready to take it to the next level. ML will be used to analyze your online behavior and in turn, smoothen out your experience by implementing changes to your home screen that includes things like your favorite games and it will suggest new games that will be more likely to appeal to you.
The next section where AI has already been implemented to a certain extent is in the form of customer service. Chatbots are already in place to help players that have queries and the machine then analyzes and learns from every query, making it more accurate as it goes. It’s also a way for companies to get on top of fraudulent and cheating ‘customers’ by tracking behavior and analyzing it. This is a task that is time-consuming and difficult for a person and AI can make casinos safer for players and owners. This behavioral tracking can also be applied to identifying players that are heading towards gambling addiction.
Increased blockchain use
The first time most people heard of Blockchain was when Bitcoin surged at the end of 2017, however, despite the fact that there was a huge rush to invest in it, not many of the investors actually understood the technology behind it.
Blockchain is defined as “a system in which a record of transactions made in Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency are maintained across several computers that are linked in a peer-to-peer network.” In other words, it’s unchangeable, time-stamped data that is managed by a whole network of computers and that are secure and bound by cryptography.
The online gambling industry is starting to use Blockchain more regularly now and there are dedicated Blockchain casinos. What does this mean? Well, it levels the playing field between casinos and customers. The data is encrypted and cannot be accessed or manipulated by the casino. It also means that players don’t have to put in any personal data and transactions will become even more safe and secure. We are expecting a lot more activity between Blockchain technology and casinos in 2020.
More women than ever before
If you weren’t aware, there are actually online casinos that are specifically catered towards women. These casinos came about due to the majority of female gamblers feeling uncomfortable and unsafe with the advances of their male counterparts.
However, the last couple of years has seen the female gambling base grow significantly and now around 40% of gamblers in the US are female. This number is notable just because of how quickly female gamblers have grown in number in the last four or five years. This year we are waiting for the female gambling base to grow further afield and to increase the industry’s revenue even further.
As we look forward at what to expect in 2020, it’s safe to say that this is a year to get very excited about online casinos. There will be more games to choose from and with the tantalizing mix of interactive technologies making the experience more like a brick-and-mortar casino with regards to interaction and excitement, we truly can’t wait to see the year unfold.
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