Casino gambling traces its roots back several hundred years. From the blackjack tables of 17th century Spain to the dimly lit roulette halls of 18th century France, gambling operators have been entertaining guests for centuries. Today, the big thing in casino gaming is technology.
Casino gaming developers have long since moved beyond the land-based environment. They are still developing games for traditional casinos, but they are putting a tonne of time, energy, and money into developing an online audience. No doubt they are succeeding. The online gambling industry continues to grow by leaps and bounds.
Still, much of the technology that birthed online gaming is already old. Technology moves at such a fast pace that what was hot 10 years ago is now irrelevant. Casino gaming developers just keep pushing things further along. In so doing, they are constantly competing to widen their audiences. Below are five ways they are doing so.
1. Expanding Licensing Opportunities
Licensing opportunities represent the biggest opportunity for widening a developer’s audience. You can look at licencing opportunities in one of two ways. First is the principle of game developers licencing their games to as many operators as they can. That way, the developers do not have to operate casinos themselves.
Some online casinos collaborate exclusively with a single developer. This is usually because the developer also offers a complete gambling platform to go along with its titles. Other casinos obtain licences from multiple developers. You might find the Big Banker slot from Blueprint Gaming alongside NetEnt’s Gonzo’s Quest.
A second way licencing can widen a developer’s audience is by influencing new titles. For example, a developer might obtain a licence to develop games around a popular movie or literary franchise. Such licencing is a way to tap into pop-culture as a marketing device. It works well. Licenced games are a big hit among players who count themselves fans of the licenced material.
2. Omni-Channel Development
In the last five years or so, gaming developers have latched onto the omni-channel concept. This is a concept that involves developing games and gaming platforms for use across multiple environments. Modern video slots serve as a particularly good example.
Go into any land-based casino and you are unlikely to see mechanical slot machines. Everything is video based these days. In an omni-channel scenario, the land-based casino’s video slots are little more than computer terminals connected to a gaming platform network. When players sit down to play, they are actually playing software that could be hosted on a server thousands of miles away.
What makes this an omni-channel scenario is the fact that those exact same games are being played by online gamblers around the world. Moreover, some are playing on desktop PCs and laptops. Others are playing on their mobile devices while they are out and about. All three are connected in a cloud.
In this scenario, you have three channels: the land-based casino, the desktop computer environment, and the mobile environment. All three are being simultaneously tapped with a single video slot machine hosted on a cloud server. The developer creates one game but simultaneously deploys it across multiple channels.
3. Live Table Games
A relatively new addition to the online gambling family is the live table game. If you can imagine getting in on a live poker game via Zoom, you get the point. Live gaming involves setting up popular table games in a studio environment. You then stream those games to players through live video and audio. The audio and video streams are combined with the computer-generated graphics that allow remote players to interact with the game.
This is a big hit among players who appreciate live table games but do not have access to land-based casinos. The appeal is that live games are real games, not computer simulations. You get all the excitement of live casino gambling without actually being there.
4. Cryptocurrency Payments
Some of what game developers are doing to widen their audiences goes beyond the games themselves. For example, developers are beginning to encourage online casinos to accept cryptocurrency payments. Increasingly, casinos are offering the cryptocurrency option alongside credit cards, electronic funds transfers, etc.
Cryptocurrency is the preferred deposit method for some gamblers who want to keep their activities private. A gambler can deposit cryptocurrency without leaving a paper trail. Do with that as you will. At any rate, the cryptocurrency market is a growing one. In fact, the online gambling industry is the single biggest adopter of cryptocurrency payments.
5. Improving the Mobile Market
It would be impossible to talk about technology of this sort without mentioning the mobile market. Just 10 years ago, gambling online with a smartphone was almost unheard of. There were a few developers working on it, but they were the exception to the rule. Nearly all online gambling was facilitated through desktop and laptop computers. This is no longer the case.
These days, it seems like every game developer and online casino offers a mobile app. Many of them also offer mobile friendly websites for users who do not want to install apps. In either case, casino gamblers are no longer required to visit a land-based casino or sit in front of their computers at home. They can gamble from anywhere.
Have some time to kill on the train ride home from work? Pull out your phone and spin the roulette wheel a couple of times. Need something to do while your kids play at the park? A round or two of blackjack is just a swipe and a tap away.
Casino gambling has come a long way. A lot of what constitutes modern casino gambling is heavily rooted in technology. Like it or not, technology is driving the industry forward. Gaming developers know that, and they are harnessing the power of technology to widen their audiences all over the world.
There is no telling what casino gambling will look like 50 years from now. But it is a safe bet it will look a lot different than it does today. Are you willing to take that bet? Look around. You just might find an online betting operator willing to give you the odds.