Technology has always acted as an enabler and simplified life. This is true of its impact on the casino industry as well. In fact, the emergence of the online casino was primarily because of technological advancements that allowed for the commercialization of the Internet and the ability for people to play their favourite casino games directly on a computer from the comfort of their homes. And over the years, technology has helped improve the online casino industry in multiple ways.
The Online Casino Industry – The First Wave
The online casino industry made a huge difference to the way people gambled, by bringing the casino into their home instead of them having to go to a casino at a physical location.
Online gambling has improved over time with the adoption of upgraded technology to ensure:
- Bigger cache of games
- More bonuses and promotions
- Amazing progressive jackpots
- Faster payments
- Excellent customer support
The Arrival of Flash – The Birth of the Instant Play Format
In the early days all online casinos were available in download mode only: you had to download the software to your computer to be able to play. All of that changed with the arrival of Flash technology.
Flash – developed by a team of engineers at FutureWave Software as FutureWave Animator and later renamed Flash – enabled casinos to give players the option of playing directly from a browser. Players now had 2 play modes to choose from –download or instant play Flash. Read more about the history of flash here.
While the download version offered access to the full complement of casino games; the instant play Flash version was initially always lighter and had lesser number of games. That is no longer the case now; players get the full complement of games in both these formats.
Higher Quality of Graphics, Animations, and Sound Effects
The advancements in graphic software and technology have enabled casinos to provide players with mind-blowing graphics and visuals, be it on the landing page or in the games that the casino offers. The upgrade in quality is not limited to graphics alone; you see it in the animations and sound effects as well.
Today you get games with full HD graphics. BetSoft Gaming was the first provider to introduce cinematic quality 3D graphics to its players. You get games with different themes and graphics that fit perfectly into those themes. The sound quality too has gone up several notches and today you have games with surround sound.
Innovations Driven by Technology – The Live Dealer Casino
While the online casino gave players access to their favourite casino games directly from home, it still could not replicate the actual casino environment as players played against software and not against people. Technology helped bridge that gap by introducing the live dealer casino. This form of play allowed players to play table games against an actual live dealer.
A game changer.
The games are conducted at the studios of the live dealer casino or at actual land-based casinos. The action is recorded on full HD cameras and streamed live through a high speed Internet connection. You can see the dealer live on your device screen and chat with them as well. The dealers are trained and friendly and conduct each game on their own. Today you have a number of casino software providers offering live dealer games, with some like Evolution Gaming catering exclusively to this audience.
Ensuring 100% Security
Security was always a concern at online casinos, especially given that the action was conducted through software remotely, and you didn’t have a face at the other end to connect to. Casinos used digital encryption technology to resolve this issue. The use of secure socket layer (SSL) encryption technology – 128-bit or higher – ensured your money could not be touched by hackers.
Also, all personal information of players came to be stored on secure servers that were guarded by the latest firewalls. This made it almost impossible for anyone to gain illegal access to your data.
Multiple Payment Methods
Payment has always been a core issue when it comes to online casinos. Most reputed casinos offer instant deposits, but withdrawals take a whole lot of time. While there is a valid reason behind this – the need for the casino to conduct detailed checks and verifications to ensure the money being paid out reaches the right person, for the player it is an annoyance.
Today, there are many casinos that use the latest technology to speed up withdrawals – some casinos offer a 24-hour time period for withdrawals with specific payment methods. The number of payment methods supported has also gone up significantly over time. You nowadays actually find casinos with more than 15 secure payment methods.
One of the biggest improvements when it comes to withdrawals – not just the speed factor but anonymity as well – has been the acceptance of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Litecoin, among others, at many casinos. At the core of the acceptance of cryptocurrency is the technology that drives it – Block Chain technology. Block Chain technology uses a distributed ledger to allow players to transact anonymously.
Players nowadays have the option of purchasing or exchanging Bitcoins at Bitcoin exchanges and then using the currency they purchased to place bets on games. Bitcoin gaming is the future and it guarantees security, anonymity, and fair play for both casinos and players. For the players, it provides the vital additional assurance of express payouts. Most casinos are able to provide 24-hour payout windows post approval of a withdrawal request.
Other Technological Advancements
There have been a number of technological advancements in recent times that have allowed the online casino industry to scale new heights. We discuss some of these below.
Gambling on the Go – The Mobile Casino Makes a Grand Entry
Another big step forward for the online casino industry has been the arrival of the mobile casino. This is a huge step forward because it takes the concept of a personalized gambling experience to a whole new level, allowing players to gamble on the go from anywhere, and at any time. It was made possible with advancements in telecommunication technology and the emergence of the smartphone and the tablet.
The mobile casino is probably the biggest single improvement the online casino industry has experienced. Players can now play directly from their smartphones and tablets at mobile casinos that run on compatible mobile platforms. Many websites like NoDepositRewards review and list reputable mobile casinos so that a player can find one to play at within a few clicks.
Game play is available mostly in the instant play format. There are also quite a few casinos that have casino apps that you can download from the app store of the mobile platform your device is compatible with. The use of HTML5 technology ensures a responsive interface, which means you don’t have to scroll horizontally to view elements that are outside the screen area; everything fits perfectly on your device screen irrespective of screen size.
The Onset of Wearable Technology for Gambling
Another major improvement that the online casino industry, specifically the mobile casino industry, has seen in recent times. It is the advent of wearable technology for gambling. The most popular example is a gambling application that allows players to access a mobile casino directly from an Apple smart watch.
There is also currently research and prototypes that allow access to mobile casinos from Google Glass and smart watches. In fact quite a few casinos are developing applications that allow this kind of access.
Understanding Player Preference with Predictive Analytics and Data Modeling
Predictive analytics and data modeling have completely changed the way online casinos target players. Use of these technologies enable casinos to track the playing styles and preferences of players.
It is not just about tracking how many players downloaded software or played in instant play mode from their computers or smartphones anymore. It is about tracking player information like their game preferences and history to offer a better gaming experience to them.
The Future is Here – Virtual Reality Gambling
Virtual reality or VR gambling is the next innovation that the casino industry is experiencing. It gives players a 3D immersive gambling experience. They can for instance play just like at a land-based casino and indulge in all the actions that one would be engaged in there. For instance, you could get yourself a drink while you are strolling around the blackjack tables.
The Next Wave – Augmented Reality
Another major improvement that is in the works currently is the use of augmented reality. This technology is more or less like VR that allows players to place bets online and move around in the casino. That is not all; players can also check out different aspects of the cities they are in as they gamble online.
AR is going to be big as well because of its ability to create a real-time gaming environment.
Going Global with Neural Networks
Neural networks have been the next big thing for casino software providers. It gives them the massive doses of computing capability that they need to be able to execute randomization algorithm. With the use of neural networks it is possible to process billions of requests on a daily basis and ensure distributed computing.
In layman’s terms the use of neural networks ensures that an online casino website doesn’t lag or even crash because it is unable to handle the massive surge of requests over a period of time.