The most impressive technological advances are often the ones we take for granted. They’re so good that we adopt them and forget about them. Do you remember what it was like before the internet? Would you want to? Technology has only one purpose: to serve us and improve our lives. This also applies to casino gaming.
Technology in the casino industry has continually improved the player’s gaming experience. This boils down to online casino games that are more fun and more convenient to play. In this blog, we take a look at some of the most important ways technology has affected how we play these casino games.
Taking the casino online
The biggest thing to happen to the casino gaming industry has to be the internet. The first online gambling venture was ticketing for the Liechtenstein International Lottery, which opened to the public in October 1994. Around the same time, Microgaming developed the first fully functional gambling software combined with CryptoLogic’s online security software. This enabled the first online casinos to go live in 1994. For the first time, people could play casino games in the comfort of their own homes.
The processing power of desktop PCs was somewhat limited back then, so the first online games were 2D versions of card and table games such as blackjack, poker and roulette. As technology progressed, developers could produce more complex games. In 1998, Microgaming brought out the first online casino slots, which was called Cash Splash – a basic, progressive jackpot adaptation of the classic Vegas fruit machine. For a more dynamic slot that stays faithful to the ever-popular fruit machine theme, try Cash Eruption at BetMGM.
Making the move to mobile
Desktop-based online gaming was a step up from having to travel to a land-based casino, but it had its limitations. What really brought online slots and games into the 21st century was mobile technology – especially the invention of the smartphone. Mobiles had games on them before – the first mobile game to truly capture people’s attention was Nokia’s Snake, in 1997 – but the introduction of smartphones with the launch of the iPhone in 2007 upped the ante with (relatively speaking) much bigger touchscreens and more powerful hardware that could produce high-quality graphics and audio. Now players could access authentic versions of their favorite casino games any time, anywhere.
Mobile gamers had the first chance to play a dedicated mobile slot game online in 2005, with a 3×3 game called Pub Fruity. Unfortunately, no money was involved, which eliminated much of the excitement of playing. Real-money mobile gaming only really took off in 2007, when Microgaming brought out a mobile version of baccarat. As the processing power of smartphones increased, developers started launching mobile versions of slots. A mobile version of NetEnt’s classic Gonzo’s Quest came out in 2011, and you can still play it on BetMGM’s mobile casino app.
Mobile gaming is now a completely viable alternative to desktop and laptop computers in the online casino space. The processing power of today’s mobile devices makes desktop PCs from just a decade ago seem weak, and new casino games are automatically optimized for mobile devices, including tablets. For many gamers, it’s more fun to play casino table games such as Double Bonus Spin Roulette and BetMGM Blackjack Pro on a tablet, purely because the larger screen gives a better view, while still being able to play using a mobile device.
Gaining ground with graphics
None of these developments would be possible without the incredible advances in computing technology over the years. One of the areas that has undoubtedly improved over time is graphics hardware, with even mobile devices able to deliver beautiful gaming experiences to players around the world. Computer images have evolved drastically since the first-ever video game, Pong, a 2D tennis game with graphics made of pixels, was released in 1972. Simple pixel graphics rapidly developed into more realistic pixel graphics, as seen in 1980s game favorites such as Mario Bros and Wolfenstein. 3D games were also coming to life, with the first-ever 3D title Battlezone, a tank battle simulator, appearing on screens in 1980. This interest in 3D worlds would eventually lead to the likes of shooting games like Quake and Half-Life in the mid-to-late 1990s. Today, video gamers can immerse themselves in ultra-realistic, incredibly detailed 3D worlds with titles like Cyberpunk 2077, Elden Ring and F1 2021.
Players can expect a better playing experience with every technological advance. Of course, casino game developers pay close attention to the latest trends in graphic design. Slots, especially, showcase what developers can achieve, with immersive themes and interactive bonus features that tell a story at the same time as they multiply the player’s chances to win. Here are a few of the visually stunning slots you can enjoy at BetMGM:
- Book of Myths
- Asgardian Stones
- 300 Shields Extreme
- Loot’En Khamun
Another area where graphics have played a major role is virtual reality. Once something only thought of in science fiction, today, the idea of virtual worlds is not just possible but on the cusp of becoming a reality. Whether you’re looking at the future with ideas such as the Metaverse with its interconnected virtual 3D worlds, or just looking to step into a virtual casino for a few spins on a virtual slot machine or roulette wheel, VR can now present believable 3D spaces that could barely have been imagined just a couple of decades ago. As graphics power improves, so do the possibilities of VR. We can already enjoy casino games from the comfort of our own homes, but in the near future, we may soon find entire virtual worlds filled with exciting gambling experiences and people who love them.
In the loop with interactive audio
Audio is another technology that’s enabled the online casino industry to offer a better gaming experience. It’s hard to believe how much the audio quality of computer games has improved. The first game with a soundtrack running continuously in the background was Space Invaders, way back in 1978. The soundtrack was only four notes in a loop, but it helped add to the interactive experience. The loop got faster and faster as the enemy aliens descended – making the player’s pulse race! From the start, it was clear that this kind of sound had the potential to improve the player’s gaming experience.
Today, music and sound effects are part and parcel of the best online casino games. Classic casino table games such as American Roulette and Blackjack Premium Pro – a BetMGM player-favorite – benefit from ambient sounds that help create an authentic casino atmosphere. And for the best combination of audio and casino gaming, some fantastic music-themed slots really put sound center stage. Jimi Hendrix, Guns N’ Roses and Motörhead are some of the top-rated slots with this theme that you can play online at BetMGM.
More ways to pay, more fun to play
It’s no secret that people play casino games for the chance to win real money. How to pay winning customers is an important technological question. The house actually handed the first cabinet slot players their winnings. This changed in 1963 with the invention of the Money Honey Slot. Known as the father of electromechanical slot machines, the Money Honey Slot allowed for automated payouts of up to 500 coins – a vast improvement to the player’s gaming experience at the time. Today, payout mechanisms have also gone digital, with online players’ winnings being deposited into their virtual casino accounts, before being withdrawn directly to a player’s bank account.
With digital payments and improvements in the hardware driving these games, online slot players now have more entertaining ways to win incredible prizes. Many other structures have joined the original 5×3-slot fixed-line format.
BetMGM’s iconic Starburst slot, for instance, introduced paylines that let gamers win both ways. The 243-ways mechanism pays out any combination of three or more matching symbols on adjacent reels, while the cluster-pays mechanic pays out when symbols form winning patterns, rather than lines.
Another ground-breaking innovation is simply massive – Megaways slots have a random reel modifier that changes the number of symbols on the reels every time you spin. Less predictable and more entertaining, these slots offer the possibility of even more wins, with some Megaways titles offering up to 117,649 winning combinations. Twin Spin Megaways and Fruit Shop Megaways are two examples of Megaways titles you can find at BetMGM.
Streaming live casinos
One of the most ground-breaking technological advances of recent years is live streaming. YouTube, Twitch.tv, Facebook, Instagram and other live-streaming platforms provide a cost-efficient way to engage with thousands of people across the globe in real-time. The implications for online casino gaming are huge, with one of the biggest impacts being the rise of live dealer platforms.
Players connect with a real-live dealer in a state-of-the-art casino studio in live dealer casino games. This helps recreate the real-world casino experience in the comfort of your own home, making it the most authentic way to play casino games online. For example, the cards in First Person Blackjack and the wheel in First Person Roulette are real, which adds to the feeling that you’re right there in a brick-and-mortar casino. The décor in First Person Baccarat and First Person Dragon Tiger is exactly what you’d expect to find in a gambling hall in Macau, again adding to the atmosphere and helping you get immersed in the game.
The live dealer gaming interface allows you to communicate with the dealer and other players at the same table via a chatbox function. These live casino games also feature betting options that you won’t find anywhere else – for example, the “bet behind” feature, which allows you to bet on another player’s hand while you wait for a seat at the table. You can also call up your personal stats to inform your betting decisions.
Keeping you safe
Security is one of the things you don’t want to think about when you’re enjoying the latest advances in online casino technology. Sometimes the latest technology isn’t in your face – sometimes, you have to look under the hood. Fortunately, the industry has focused steadily on the latest digital encryption technology. At a legitimate online casino such as BetMGM, you can rest assured that your personal and financial information is safe at all times.
Artificial intelligence, or AI, also plays an important part in ensuring a fair and fun gaming experience for everyone. While AI has numerous uses in an online casino, one of the ways it is helping keep you safe is by spotting dishonest players who are using tools to cheat. Using highly advanced algorithms, a computer can spot subtle trends and decisions that give cheaters away, making online casino gaming safer and enjoyable.
Hand-in-hand with security comes convenience. We’ve already briefly touched on this, but virtual casinos can accept many different payment methods thanks to advances in online payment technology. These include prepaid cards, debit and credit cards, e-wallets and bank transfers. While cryptocurrencies are still struggling to gain a foothold in mainstream society, there’s also the possibility that we may be using this virtual money in all aspects of our lives in the near future. For now, some casinos have started to experiment with crypto, but we’ll have to wait and see what the future holds. No matter where you play, you’ll have a variety of payment options to ensure you can enjoy exciting real-money gaming! If you’re gambling at BetMGM, it’s important to note that payment methods at BetMGM do vary slightly from region to region.
Enjoy the wonders of modern casino gaming at BetMGM
With your newfound appreciation for all things technological in the online casino world, why not explore everything we have to offer here at BetMGM? When you register with us, you’ll gain access to our full range of online casino games, including slots, table and card games, plus all our exciting live dealer titles! Join in the fun from our website or casino games app.