The UK is one of the most important iGaming markets in Europe with the latest UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) reports indicating a £3.1bn gross gambling yield between April and September 2020. That’s over 50% of the overall gambling market in the country and only over a period of six months.
The COVID pandemic limited access to land-based casinos and betting shops so the use of online bookmakers and casinos dramatically increased. All this extra interest towards iGaming has helped fuel the development of various new technologies. The goal is to provide online players the land-based casino experience with the safety and convenience of gambling online. No matter if you’re interested in online gambling or not, these technology trends will surely influence other sectors as well. So, it’s worth scrolling down to check the latest developments.
Augmented and virtual reality
Some casino players aren’t fundamentally interested in online gaming. These players are drawn by the atmosphere inside a brick-and-mortar casino and the unique social interaction with dealers. New technologies have allowed online operators to get creative. While live dealer online casino games have been available for quite some time now, cutting-edge software developers like Evolution Gaming decided to take things to a whole different level.
Using Virtual reality (VR) and Augmented reality (AR) technologies, online casino games can become even more immersive and deliver an improved experience to players. Using a VR headset and a controller, casino enthusiasts can ditch the mouse and keyboard to control their actions in online slots or table games. Such technology will not just improve engagement, but it can make the entire casino experience a lot more appealing to those that may not have been interested previously.
Augmented reality is primarily used in mobile video gaming. Online casino integration with this technology is still in the works. Despite its current development, there is already a significant amount of VR use in the iGaming industry. Early in June, Evolution Gaming announced the launch of Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. It’s the first casino slots game completely based in VR. Inspired by Gonzo from NetEnt’s popular casino slot Gonzo’s Quest, this new game takes a whole new direction and allows players to join the character in its adventures through a VR headset and controller.
The launch of Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt became possible after Evolution Gaming acquired NetEnt at the end of 2020. The game challenges players to find hidden treasures behind a giant wall of 70 stones.
Besides marking several world firsts, Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt is also the first live game in which players maintain a high degree of control regarding the potential outcome and overall game strategy. This new approach, combined with using VR and AR is all part of Evolution Gaming’s mission to attract new audiences to iGaming.
Improved mobile iGaming
There’s no secret that the vast majority of online casino players enjoy their games from a mobile device. Mobility and easy access are two of the most important factors that make mobile casino gaming so popular. A study conducted by the UKGC confirms that over 75% of online gamblers used a smartphone or tablet to access the games. The trend appears to be more pronounced in younger players.
This massive adoption of smartphones and tablets for online gambling wouldn’t be possible without the latest technological advances. When the first smartphones became widely available, it was hard to picture an entire online casino working such a device. The limited memory and processing power limited the first smartphones to basic functions. However, modern smart-phones and tablets can deliver technical specifications that are sometimes higher than basic laptops.
If you’re new to the whole concept of mobile online gambling and you want to understand how everything works, there are plenty of options to learn. However, it’s important to note that the French casino industry is on the cutting edge of many of these technologies. It is important to understand how to assess mobile online casinos and pick the best one for your needs.
Blockchain based innovations
Blockchain technology and cryptocurrency go hand in hand with online gambling. Despite both industries facing a lot of backlash in their early days, it now seems like a natural pairing between the two. While cryptocurrency deposits enable processing speeds that were never seen before, blockchain technology improves security and fair play for all casino games. Furthermore, the entire casino and bookmaking platforms are improved through blockchain technology and its numerous applications.
Another advantage brought by blockchain to the iGaming industry in the UK and worldwide is anonymity. Even though the days when gambling was seen as a frowned-upon activity, many users still want to be as discreet as possible. Cryptocurrency and blockchain deliver a level of anonymity that was never possible before this technology fused with online casinos.
Whether it’s Augmented or Virtual reality, convenient and secure payments, or improved mobile functionality, the online casino industry is truly leading innovation. Look for these new technologies to filter into our everyday lives as they further develop. One day in the near future you may do all your shopping online and through virtual reality or augmented reality and pay for it all through a blockchain payment processor. These concepts are still in their infancy.