Gambling has been around forever but has come an incredibly long way from the early days of card playing and dice rolling back in the 1st century AD. Today’s gambling industry is moving increasingly online and technology is changing the way in which punters bet with every year that goes by.
Betting shops were first legalized in the middle of the 20th century, using the technology available at the time – information which was transmitted via an Extel wire service and then marked up on a board. By the 1980s televisions were introduced into betting shops and fruit machines were also brought into these bricks and mortar premises, but it was the arrival of the internet in the late 1990s that really opened the betting market up to a wider audience. Online betting exchanges such as Betfair were launched and online poker and bingo sites were set up. In the last few years, mobile phones and tablets have changed gambling’s public face yet again and increasing numbers of online gambling transactions are now made through mobile devices. Mobile gambling is responsible for around 40% of the online betting market since it allows punters to wager from the palm of their hand, no matter where they may be. Casino betting kiosks are also now becoming more widespread in betting shops eliminating the need for human interactions.
Virtual Reality was, until recently, the stuff of fantasy, however in the last few years there have enormous leaps in VR technology and it is already starting to become a prevalent theme in the gaming industry. Many of the biggest gaming brands like Sony have now introduced their own versions of VR headsets allowing players to actually feel like they are living in the virtual world of their game and there have already been a handful of attempts at creating a virtual reality casino. As well as offering plenty of game options and bonus offers, VR casinos also give players the closest thing possible to a bricks and mortar experience without actually having to leave their home. Harnessing the recent developments in VR headsets, the latest online casinos look set to give punters a true real-world experience, allowing them to actually explore the casino floor, place wagers in person, check out different games and even interact with the other players at the gaming table. Although the necessary technology remains too expensive for most, it is likely to become more widely accessible in the next few years.
Very similar to VR, augmented reality gaming takes the experience one step further. Rather than simply giving users an illusion of reality, augmented reality influences all their sensory inputs to create an experience which could potentially be even better than that offered in a bricks and mortar venue. As yet, augmented reality is still very much in development and is not yet ready to enter the mainstream with a number of technical challenges which must be dealt with before it could be incorporated into an online casino site. However, it is certainly more of a question of when, rather than if, this technology will be brought into play.
Blockchain technology has exploded in recent years and the impact has been felt in many online business areas, but particularly in online casinos. Cryptocurrencies, together with the technologies that are at their heart have paved the way for brand new possibilities. Not only does blockchain technology have a part to play in the banking element of online casinos, it also has a role in providing fair games. As fairness is one of the main concerns raised by online players, blockchain casinos are already proving popular and increasing numbers of online gambling service providers are now seeking to incorporate the cutting edge technology which they hope will encourage new players to use their site.
As technology rushes on apace, it’s clear that the latest advances will be incorporated more and more into casino websites ensuring that players can enjoy the best possible experience when gambling online.