The gambling world has always been one that is responsive to technological advances and cultural trends. Slot machines have been the quickest to adapt to and implement new technologies. While there was some pushback from the hardcore traditional gamblers when virtual poker was introduced, the appeal was quickly understood.
Online casino games also often reflect the latest trends in pop culture. Slot machines often feature either licensed characters from hot TV shows and movies, or characters that are very clearly inspired by these same shows. Music and reality TV slots are also common games that show just how responsive the iGaming world can be to trends.
Within the world of iGaming, there are further trends that are shaping the future of how we play casino games online. In this article, we’ll look at some of those trends and the impact they may have.
The iGaming industry has been hampered by unclear regulations. Governments around the world have been slow to develop laws that address online gambling in a structured and productive way. In some regions, this has meant that online casinos have had to operate in a legal grey area in which players had some protections but the operators did not.
The realization that iGaming is an incredibly lucrative industry, which has the potential to heavily benefit countries that choose regulation and taxation over banning the industry, has brought on rapid changes. The legal status of online gambling has been changing quickly as governments introduce new legislation.
Canada is one of the biggest countries to overhaul their regulations. As of late 2022, Canadian online casino operators can now be licensed by each province they want to operate in. This is a huge step forward.
Live casino games have been a hot trend in the iGaming world for the last several years. Their popularity stems from the fact that they are the closest that players can get to a land-based casino experience while still playing at an online casino.
One facet of this trend is that online casinos are offering an ever-increasing number of live casino game options. Instead of only having one or two versions of each table game, some will now have dozens – each with a slightly different theme or vibe.
The other aspect is to increase and improve the augmented reality and virtual reality elements of these games. VR has become a booming industry and iGaming has been interested in employing VR technology since the early days. It won’t be long before we see online casinos with VR foyers and games rooms that allow players to walk around and choose their games as if they were in a real casino.
Cyber fraud detection
Traditional casinos had little to worry about in terms of cheating – players could count cards or try to work out if there was a pattern or algorithm to how the various slot machines paid out, but that was about it. Things aren’t quite so simple in the world of iGaming.
Besides the risks of hacking or bot accounts skewing gaming algorithms in order to win more regularly, there are other types of fraud that online casinos face. The most common of these is done through a method called ‘chip dumping’ – players working together with either stolen accounts or free bonus deposits intentionally lose to one another to inflate one of the accounts, and the money is then withdrawn.
Due to the amount of money involved and the damage that can be done to an online casino’s reputation, developing ways to combat cyber fraud is one of the biggest industry trends today. Some of these developments involve more human oversight while others employ AI to track and predict fraudulent behaviors.
Blockchain technology has been one of the big tech talking points for the last few years. The main appeal of blockchain technology for iGaming is the security and transparency it offers. With the blockchain, every step is logged and recorded, which makes it more difficult for fraud to happen and easier for players to see how fair games are.
Crypto casinos have been at the forefront of taking advantage of blockchain technology. This is because cryptocurrencies operate on the blockchain. As traditional iGaming outlets see how the use of blockchain technology is benefiting crypto casinos, they have also begun to find ways to implement it in their systems.
Being able to respond to trends in the tech world is part of how iGaming has managed to remain such a popular and lucrative industry. It will be interesting to see how that develops in the next few years.