Internet casino gaming has been around for two decades now. It first began to soar in popularity following the turn of the millennium, and has since experienced exponential growth. Unlike some big businesses that rise and fade away, online gambling has yet to become stagnant, and we have a continuous flow of new technology to thank for it.
According to Statista, the global digital gambling market is projected to reach $50.65 billion in 2017. That represents a phenomenal growth rate of more than 10% compared to last year’s value of $45.86 billion. There’s no indication that the industry will slow down anytime soon, either.
Today, we’ll take a look at three of the most interesting trends in internet casino gaming that are likely to impact the continued success of this global industry.
Omni-Channel Gaming – Merging the Live & Online Space
When internet casino gaming first came along, land-based operators scoffed at it. A few years later, their attitude changed as the success of iGaming was more than they ever imagined. Fear that digital gaming would cannibalize brick-and-mortar casinos began to set in.
Just recently, land-based operators began to accept the competition, merging their own operations into what’s become known as Omni-Channel gaming options. Online poker players have always been able to win seats in live events, but now they can enter live tables at real casinos via webcast from their computer. Blackjack players can do the same, and some slot machines (pokies) now have linked jackpots with live and online machines.
The more these two segments come together, the more successful both the live and interactive markets will thrive long into the future.
Alternative Payments – Rise of Crypto-Currency
When Bitcoin first came along in 2009, it received sideways glances from online gamblers who didn’t trust its methodology, or that it would last more than a few years, or even months. The crypto-currency has proved them wrong, now preferred by countless internet casino gaming fans and operators as a quick, secure and anonymous way to make deposits and withdrawals.
Other payment methods continue to rise in popularity as well. Where credit/debit cards once reigned supreme, it’s today’s eWallets – Neteller, Skrill, Click2Pay, etc. – that have taken the title of “norm”.
Looking to the Future – AR & VR Gambling
Several software companies have already begun releasing VR casino games. The technology is still in its infantile stages, but then again, so were smartphones ten years ago. New VR headsets are coming out, rivaling the original supremacy of Oculus Rift. As these neat little devices work their way to common household items, there’s mounting potential for iGaming companies to cash in.
Analysts have speculated that VR will revolution internet casino gaming, making the experience more immersive than ever before. It will also work in favor of our previous trend, relating to the merge of live and online gaming industries.
Instead of utilizing live web streaming technology, poker players, for example, could be virtually seated at a land-based table. Looking around, they would see a panoramic view of the actual casino and live action taking place around them.
How long it will take this technology to really flourish is hard to predict, but there’s little doubt it will happen, altering the way we perceive internet casino gaming entirely.