Just where would we all be without the internet? All of our lives have been completely transformed across recent decades thanks to the web, with innovation upon innovation changing how we look at the world. In terms of business, the technology’s transformative powers have been felt keenly across all sectors. However, arguably one of the most heavily influenced has been the gambling industry.
Like in many industries, the first online gambling websites tended to be established by major brands simply looking to dip their toes into the unknown waters of the web. Fast forward a few years and now those same sites are a critical part of their operations, giving them an opportunity to reach a potential audience of billions of people.
According to figures from Transparency Market Research, the online gambling and betting market was estimated to have generated $42.63 billion in 2016, with that figure expected to grow to a phenomenal $96.89 billion by 2024. The industry even has its own specialist term – iGaming – which covers a whole range of different types of games. But what key trends in tech have helped to push the area to this lucrative level?
Video and live streaming have had a major impact, leading to the creation of the “live casino game” concept. A key aspect of live dealer casino games is the way you mix casino land-based feeling to online casino features, with them revolving around a presenter hosting a real-time game in front of you. This means players get an experience similar to being in an actual casino while sat in the comfort of their own home, rather than simply having to play online games based on logarithms which lack the same human touch. Many sites now offer this type of live game, with Guts for example featuring London Roulette, Casino Hold ‘Em and Baccarat – to name a few – in the format.
Another technological innovation that the world of online gambling was quick to embrace was the growth of the mobile and smartphone market. With billions of people across the globe now having internet access available at the touch of a button, the iGaming industry got itself into a prime position to benefit from this. As well as offering mobile-friendly sites, many of the biggest names in the sector have their own apps for iOS and Android. Why? To make it as simple as possible for prospective gamers to get online and playing what they love the most. This idea of many people always being online must have also been an influence in the growth of real-time and in-play betting, another aspect of the gambling industry that technology has totally transformed.
With so many people using phones, tablets, and laptops while watching sport, many iGaming companies now offer real-time odds which shift as the action unfolds. Where once punters had to place their bet before an event, they can now gamble on what is happening right in front of them whenever they want. It is clear that technology has already had a huge influence on iGaming and surely all eyes are on where it can take it next.
The growth of augmented and virtual reality is bound to be something the industry is watching closely, with both concepts offering an opportunity to create new experiences for players. Interestingly, at the end of last year, Mark Zuckerberg showcased the potential of Oculus Rift VR technology in a special demonstration, with one part of his presentation showing him in a room playing cards ‘virtually’ with a group of friends. Could this be the next step for the iGaming industry? Considering the sector’s stellar track record at taking advantage of the very latest innovations, we wouldn’t bet against it.