Gambling online is big business. And we mean seriously big business. Well over four and a half billion pounds was spent with online casinos during 2016-2017 according to reliable reporting. So how are the best and brightest of the online brands staying ahead of their competitors?
The answer is that they’re evolving. Technology in the world of online gambling doesn’t stay where it is. It can’t. With so many firms competing, every time a competitor makes a move, all of its rivals have to step up or fall behind. Five years ago, the ability to gamble from home on your mobile phone was considered to be a great innovation. Now it’s taken for granted – and in some quarters, it’s even beginning to be considered yesterday’s news.
Competition drives industry forward. That’s why you could make a strong argument to say that online casinos may be evolving faster than almost any internet medium. We’re going to take a look at what’s happening now – and what’s likely to be happening in the near future – in this constantly progressing world.
Virtual Reality Comes To Casinos
Virtual Reality is the latest craze in the interactive technology market. Whilst some reports say that Virtual Reality could do anything from making people feel less isolated to curing health issues, in the short term the primary use of new VR technology is likely to be for entertainment. VR in itself is nothing new – it’s been around in basic forms for years – but only as the quality of graphics have progressed has it become of interest to casino land.
It’s not just the graphics, either. Early VR headsets were heavy, thick devices that were impractical to be worn for more than a few minutes at a time. However right now, Google and Samsung in particular are fighting head to head to get the first truly affordable lightweight virtual reality headset onto the market and into your home. Casino firms have been watching and learning, waiting to make their move. Look at gaming websites today, and you’ll see an expansive and varied number of slot games like Wolf Gold slot that you can play using the tried and tested ‘click and go’ method. Look at it a year from now, and you can probably expect it to offer you VR services that completely immerse you in the experience. Current estimates suggest that we’ll start seeing virtual reality casino games become commonplace within the next twelve months.
What About Augmented Reality?
Whilst you’re processing that thought about virtual reality, what if we took it one step further? Some tech developers believe that the problem with virtual reality is exactly that – it’s virtual. If you were part of the Pokemon Go crazy of a couple of years ago – or even if you just read about it – you probably understand a little of how it operated. You looked through a camera on your phone, and Pokemon started appearing in the real world around you. Virtual reality immerses you in a fantasy world. Augmented reality places the fantasy into your reality.
When you play casino games online, you’re enjoying a casino experience from the comfort of your own home, but it’s still just on a screen. When augmented reality reaches its full potential, that entire casino is now a living, breathing world around you, even though you haven’t moved. With augmented reality glasses and gloves, it becomes a world that you can not only see, but touch.
Casino Games Based On Skill
The current generation of younger people – the one that some people like to call ‘Millennials’ – are the first generation who were truly raised on convincing video games. Those who are a little older still got to play video games growing up, but they didn’t have the movie-quality graphics and interactive features that we’ve seen in recent years. As such, they’ve come to expect a little more from the gaming experience. They also like to be rewarded for their skill at playing games. As with everything technology related, gambling websites have taken note of that fact.
When we talk about skill based casino games, what we mean is a new online entertainment form that combines video gaming with gambling. The first examples of these games are starting to appear on the market today. Although there’s always been an element of skill involved in gambling, they take it to a whole new level. A skilled slot player may make intelligent use of nudges, holds and special features, but they’re still relying on the random chance of the reels turning. Skill based casino games dial down the sheer chance a little, and allow more reward for skill. Imagine a Super Mario game where you got rewarded for jumping on mushrooms or getting through a level without losing a life. Imagine playing Resident Evil, and earning money every time you took out a zombie. That’s the basic idea behind it, and the concept has proved very popular in testing with the demographic it’s aimed at.
The basic idea behind the launch of skill based casino games is to draw a younger crowd into the gambling market. With every passing year, potential new gamblers become “of age” to play, and need attracting into the marketplace with bold new visions. By combining the latest in graphics technology, video game storytelling and innovation with classic gambling risks and rewards, manufacturers hope that they’ll have grabbed the attention of a whole new generation. If the idea is successful, you can probably expect to see physical gambling machines with a gaming element, as well as an expanded range of them appearing online.
With everything taken into account, the online casino industry has taken a leading role in embracing new technology and bringing it to the mainstream. Few would consider gambling to be the most likely route to commonplace acceptance for VR and AR technology. However money talks, and the online casino world has a lot to spend. Innovation and progress happen when money and passion collide with new ideas, and all the evidence points to this industry being the place that has plenty of both.