How online casinos are driving technology
One facet of the pandemic has been its proficiency in accelerating industries. Whether it’s online deliveries, online payments, crypto… The list of industries that have benefited from lockdowns is endless.
Another one that has reaped the rewards of global lockdowns is online casinos. Casinos in London, Vegas, Paris, and many other places were shut down for months on end whilst regular gamers were sat at home not knowing where to focus their time (and spending).
Even prior to the pandemic, online casinos have been rapidly growing in sales, deposits, and demand. But this growth has been exaggerated by blocking the use of traditional casinos, and even upon reopening, many will have made the switch to online gaming permanently.
How online casinos affect technological progress
A key way that online casinos have contributed towards technological progress is within security. Online privacy is paramount to many gaming users, who wish to remain confident in the knowledge that they’re gaming anonymously.
For this privacy to be respected, online casinos have had to develop sound infrastructure through end-to-end encryption, where data is scrambled and can only be decoded by the recipient's computer. Security comes in other forms too, such as two-factor authentication.
Furthermore, to maintain anonymity, users like to avoid bank transactions with the merchant’s identity. One way to combat this has been reflected in the rise of blockchain casinos. These casinos use cryptocurrency as the method of payment, which is a fairly (though not entirely) anonymous form of payment for users.
The relationship between technology and online gaming isn’t a one-way street. Of course, online casinos cannot account for all of these advancements alone, only as mere contributors. Also, the advancements from other industries, such as the video gaming industry’s impact on VR, is also reaped by online casinos.
The future of Virtual Reality
Despite VR being in its infancy still, many casinos are integrating VR capability into their games. Whilst they’re not the first industry to use VR per se, they’re helping push boundaries on what VR can achieve, and how we can conveniently use it in our own homes.
A big way that online casinos are utilising VR is through Optical Character Recognition technology. This is a means to allow users to play live games with live dealers and is currently available, though still quickly evolving.
This helps reconcile traditional and online casinos because you get a more traditional experience despite never even leaving your home. The VR places you within the reality of a real casino setting, giving you the atmosphere and feel of being out at the establishment. Whilst this can never be a true replica, the realism and fluency is ever-improving, which is partly why the casino industry is an important part of the VR movement.
The user places the headset on and can walk around immersive gaming rooms. Their virtual hands and bodies are controlled by their real hands, bringing a physicality to play slots that normal online slots lack.
The interaction with other plays and dealers makes VR casino games a highly social activity too, again, improving on normal online casino games. With the integration of AI - which is used to increase the accuracy and realism of non-real players, to make up the numbers - online casino games will become all the more sophisticated.
In fact, AI is also being used for security purposes - another casino innovation. AI is being used to understand consumer spending patterns and understand each customer separately. This helps detect unusual behaviour to ensure they are safe and do not fall victim to hackers.
The more demand there is for VR headsets driven by these online casino games, the more effort that will be put into R&D to supply newer headsets. Recently, HTC unveiled a new Vive Pro 2 which boasts a 5k resolution display and 120Hz refresh rate - which is a big improvement on the original Vive.
Whilst many doubt that VR will become the mainstream form of video games, it’s entirely possible that it becomes the mainstream form of online casino games.
Online casinos are a driving force being mobile app development, AI, VR, crypto payment solutions, and many more technologies. Despite receiving a boost from traditional casinos being on lockdown, the biggest threat remains the legality of their existence. Their unique feature is that they can cross borders due to being online, yet countries have different laws surrounding the use and operation of gambling. On top of that, the anonymity of crypto casinos makes it even more difficult for authorities to track and regulate, which also brings a risk for the consumer as they must avoid scam sites.
For online casinos to retain stability and growth in the market, they need credibility. This means only operating in areas where it’s legal, and clearing up gray areas for users. Additionally, they may want to consider not only how regulation hinders them, but how it can help them.