Historically speaking, the gambling industry has always been an early adapter. Even as far back as the dawn of the telegram, bookies were quick to take note of how such connectivity could widen the scope of their business.
Over the last 20, online gambling has grown year on year, so much so that it has actually changed society’s general perception. No longer the preserve of smoky bookmakers and disheveled tracks, technology has made online gambling a mainstream leisure pursuit.
The two games that were the quickest to adapt to the internet were poker and bingo. Conveniently, not only are these games easy to replicate online, but also they’re incredibly popular.
However, rather than rely upon once a week card schools or trips to the bingo hall, the internet made these games available anytime. Such popularity encouraged ever more people to take up playing as part of their leisure time – and it’s also essential that both could be enjoyed for free or very low stakes.
Since these early developments, technology has improved enormously. Poker and bingo are still extremely popular, but with the advent of reliable and widespread broadband it became possible to deliver high-class casino style experiences.
>See also: The digitisation of gambling
Anyone who remembers the very early days of online gambling will struggle to hold back a wry smile when comparing it to the smooth, reliable and engrossing experience on offer today. And, as ever, gambling companies have been at the forefront of making technology work to generate a better playing experience for their clients.
Like many industries that developed extensive business online, gaining the trust of clients was paramount. The gaming industry doesn’t cut corners when it comes to delivering complete security for their customers – they invest so heavily in such matters because their reputations depend upon the integrity of their sites.
As people have become aware that all the major operators take security as their number one factor, it’s no surprise that ever-more people have been willing to play. But it’s wise to roll with the bigger names, such as Royal Vegas, for peace of mind.
Into the mainstream
Mobile technology has been the absolute key factor in bringing gambling into the mainstream. It has revolutionised every aspect of the industry, from casual slots players to in-play sports book betting. Being able to play a favorite game when and wherever suits an individual has been an incredible leap forward.
Coupled with the astonishingly high-quality performance of modern smartphones and ubiquitous connectivity, the figures speak for themselves.
Uptake on free and especially money play via mobile devices has basically been doubling year on year for the last five years. Most importantly this is now a global trend – uptake in South America and Eastern Europe is matching if not even exceeding that seen in more established markets.
At time of writing mobile gambling accounts for around a third of all money staked globally, and it’s likely to pass 50% by the start of the next decade.
The major online casinos clicked right away that smartphones could be a huge leap forward for their business. It’s taken a little while to perfect but now most new games (slots especially) are configured first and foremost for play-ability on mobile devices.
Long gone are the days of trying to use a desktop version of a game on a small screen – now it’s all about allowing players the freedom to play easily and conveniently as they choose. Many online casinos are also now allowing players with accounts to top up balances via text, making the payments system even more secure.
Virtual reality (VR) is rightly predicted to be the next great leap forward. Game development companies are already spearheading the implementation of this technology into their slots games.
It looks like VR is finally here to stay this time around, and given the relatively low price of the hardware there’s a very high chance it will become a general household item in the coming few years.
Already gaming companies are looking beyond this and looking at ways to use the power of modern smartphones to run VR applications. It’s exciting times, and all thanks to the gambling industry’s open-mindedness to new technology.