Two decades ago, the online gambling industry as we know it today was largely non-existent. There were a few rudimentary gambling sites doing the rounds, but nothing particularly ground-breaking. Hence, nobody could have predicted that within a few years, digital gambling would have all but taken over the world and revolutionised the industry.
When you take a step back from things and consider just how far the industry has come in such a short time, it’s difficult not to be impressed. Things have come so far that we not only take online gambling for granted, but have become increasingly demanding. These days, unless an online casino offers hundreds of games of consistently impeccable quality and a whole bunch of bonuses, we don’t consider them worthy of our time.
Likewise, we’ve also come to expect the most exceptional mobile casino gaming as standard. We think nothing about reaching into our pockets, pulling out a tiny device and diving into the most dynamic collection of real-money casino gaming imaginable.
Which, when you think about it, is actually quite extraordinary!
Still, it’s not as if an industry as forward-thinking is this is known for resting on its proverbial laurels. Instead, big-name developers are constantly on the lookout for new and interesting opportunities to take things to the next level. So while the online casino landscape of today may be impressive enough, it’s most likely not a match on what’s to come.
So the question being – what exactly is to come?
In the past, nobody could have accurately predicted where the casino industry was headed. Today, the whole thing is actually quite predictable. There are certain innovations and priorities among developers that are already moulding and shaping the future of the industry.
Hence, it can be said with complete confidence that the following three innovations will be playing a big part in the casino landscape over the coming years:
If you haven’t already dabbled in eSports, you’re missing a treat. The term ‘eSports’ essentially refers to a brand-new global betting market, which rather than the usual sports and events concerns video gaming. Meaning that instead of the FIFA World Cup, for example, tournaments are organised where players do battles on the latest FIFA video game. Having initially started life as a curious concept with a modest following, major names are backing eSports and handing out seven-figure sums to their victors.
eSports have a guaranteed place in the future of online gambling for two important reasons. First of all, the popularity of video games is accelerating like never before worldwide. As the quality and availability of multiplier video games continues its evolution, more of the same can be expected. In addition, organisations behind eSports events are just about as savvy as it gets. After all, the costs associated with organising a video game tournament aren’t what you’d call in the same league as those attached to a real sporting event.
It’s therefore a case of win-win – open and accessible tournaments for gamers with huge prizes available, new betting markets for gamblers and a great way of organising world-class events with none of the usual costs.
VR technology is slowly but surely becoming affordable at a mainstream level. Sooner or later, pretty much anyone who’s able to afford a mobile phone or games console will be able to purchase incredible VR hardware. So it’s hardly surprising that developers are already throwing their support behind VR, as one of the next transitions in online gambling.
When you think about it, the appeal of VR in the online gambling space is enormous. It’s already possible to don a VR headset and watch a movie or concert as if you were there. In which case, why not a live football match? Or the Grand National? Or the Superbowl? Where there’s a live, in-person experience to be enjoyed, it’s only a matter of time until it can be enjoyed from home.
The same also applies to online casino gaming, which can be enriched and enhanced enormously with VR technology. Instead of simply seeing a game of roulette play out in front of you, why not use a VR headset to take a virtual seat at the table? Or in the case of live-dealer gaming, join a bunch of real-life gamers from all over the world and get social?
Realistically, it’s only a matter of time until this becomes the new norm for casino gaming and quality online gambling in general.
Last but not least, there are still far too many international markets that are nonsensically dragging their heels. For one (misguided) reason or another, dozens of countries all over the world still prohibit online gambling. Or in some instances, allow online gambling exclusively through government-controlled channels, which aren’t particularly inspiring.
The thing is, there’s little to nothing any proactive government can do to prevent its citizens accessing online gambling. These days, all you need is a bog-standard VPN to access just about any online casino or gambling site from anywhere in the world. Where there’s a will, there’s a way – anyone who wants to gamble online can and probably will.
So to attempt to outlaw something that’s borderline impossible to control is nonsensical. Particularly when combined with the fact that the vast majority of people support the widespread legalisation of online gambling. And when you consider the enormous sums of money generated by way of taxation, it all adds up to the ultimate no-brainer.
It may take a while, but chances are it’s only a matter of time until online gambling takes over the world. International expansion is already happening, but is yet to hit its stride. In the meantime, support is growing among consumers and critics alike for more realistic and proactive regulation, rather than counterproductive prohibition.