The online gambling industry continues to grow at breakneck speed. It was already a steady money maker as we entered the 1990s, but key tech innovations took it to a whole new level. Of course, the introduction of personal computers and the internet got the ball rolling. Then, innovative companies like Microgaming went to work creating the first online casino games while Cryptologic came up with a secure way to transfer funds. The launch of InterCasino in 1996 changed the face of gambling forever.
Since InterCasino went live, countless online gambling sites have appeared all over the world and the industry’s value has skyrocketed. The online gambling industry’s estimated value in 2008 hovered around $21 billion. By 2017, it was worth about $50 billion and many expect it to eclipse the $100 billion mark in the next few years Technological advancements, along with more people gaining access to the internet, continue to drive the industry forward.
The dawn of the internet age got the ball rolling, but it was the mobile revolution that gave the industry even more momentum. Almost anyone with a smartphone and an internet connection now has access to the wonderful world of online gambling. Are you interested in playing online Roulette for real money? Slot games? Poker? Bingo? How about betting on your favorite sports team? It’s all at your fingertips. And you don’t even need to download apps or casino software anymore because HTML5 is so prevalent.
Casino software developers constantly make use of the latest technology to enhance the online casino experience. The quality of games has improved immensely over the past 20 years, and they only get better. Online casino goers expect seamless and intuitive gameplay, stunning graphics, and sensational sound effects on both desktop computers and mobile devices. They also need to be confident in the randomness of Random Number Generators. With so many checks and balances in place, online Roulette players know they are getting a fair shake and that the outcomes of the spins cannot be manipulated.
Another innovation is the Virtual Private Network. A VPN essentially masks your location and allows you to use the internet anonymously. Many countries block access to online gambling sites just as some sites block people from certain regions. Because VPNs hide your IP address, a growing number of users are circumventing these barriers.
In the early days of the online casino boom, many people were hesitant to conduct financial transactions over the internet. They were afraid that ne’er-do-wells would gain access to their personal and financial information. This was a legitimate concern. However, internet security has evolved by leaps and bounds. While we still hear about the occasional breach, SSL encryption makes it nearly impossible for malicious third parties to steal your information. This elevates public confidence and increases the number of people who gamble online.
Blockchain is another advancement that has had an enormous impact on internet gambling. In many countries that have strict anti-gambling laws, authorities force payment processors such as banks and credit card companies to block transactions with online gambling sites. Blockchain transactions are secure, anonymous, and there are no intermediaries to block them. The number of cryptocurrency-friendly sites is still relatively low, but it is growing as more people turn to cryptocurrency for the purpose of gambling online.
Virtual and augmented reality technology is still in its infancy, but it has already found its way into online casinos. Strap on your headset and navigate your way to the virtual Roulette table where you actually place your virtual chips on the table. The experience is far beyond live dealer Roulette where you are still a bystander. Virtual reality puts you right in the middle of the action. VR doesn’t just enhance the Roulette game. Being able to interact with dealers and other players in the virtual universe heightens the social aspect of it all. Did the ball land in a black slot when you bet big on red? Take out your frustrations by hurling your virtual drink across the casino floor. Don’t worry, you won’t get the boot.
It’s hard to say exactly what technologies will be unveiled in the coming years and how they will further revolutionize the online gambling world. Nevertheless, it’s safe to assume a lot of these new innovations will be integrated into online gambling and will attract the interest of a new generation of players. We know that facial, gesture, and voice recognition is here. These technologies will have various applications at online casinos, but it will be a while before we realize their maximum potential.
One new innovation that will definitely make online casino gaming even more enjoyable is 5G mobile internet. This gives us internet speeds up to 20 times faster than 4G networks. This equates to increased responsiveness and even smoother game flow. Who knows how quickly we’ll see 6G, 10G, and higher? Only time will tell.