Advances in Casino Tech Trends that Players Should Know
By their very nature online betting sites have an interest in the latest technology, and from the inception of the first casinos on the internet betting establishments have been engaged in fierce competition for players. This has led to the creation of introductory promotions and existing player bonuses, and also makes the top sites eager to grasp technological possibilities to create a more compelling place to play. From smartphones to cryptocurrency, here are some of the best casino technological trends that have, and will, make online casino bonuses even more fun for players.
The Latest Casino Tech Trend - Wearable Technology
Online casinos have always been quick to adapt to new technological innovations and embrace the latest hardware and software. The competitive nature of the online betting industry means that competition is rife, and any site that isn't mobile compatible, for example, will be significantly reducing its attractiveness to a substantial part of its potential player base.
Smartwatches have been increasing in popularity since their creation a few years ago, and the sector is only going to get bigger. As the software improves, the utility of smartwatches and perhaps other forms of wearable casino tech (might we see sleeve-style computers that cover the forearm?) will be able to compete directly with smartphones in terms of versatility. Tens of millions of people already have a smartwatch, and what could be more fun than checking the time and discovering you're in line for some free cash courtesy of an online casino?
Cryptocurrency and the Future of Casinos
Even no deposit promotions such as free cash, free play, and free spins require banking to occur, if only to withdraw bonus cash and associated winnings. Unfortunately, a great deal of payment systems have drawbacks associated with them. Some great options are subject to severe geographical restrictions (Interac and iDEAL are limited to Canada and the Netherlands respectively, for example), while others come with lengthy time frames and high costs (checks and bank wire transfers).
Cryptocurrency resolves a lot of these problems and is becoming supported by an increasing number of online betting sites. While Bitcoin is far and away the most common cryptocurrency, others such as Litecoin and Dogecoin can also be found. Some sites even make it a point to specialize in cryptocurrency, with special bonuses now a trend, dedicated just for those depositing via this banking method.
What are the advantages of cryptocurrency, compared to the credit cards, debit cards, pre-paid vouchers, and e-wallets that can otherwise be used to handle money online? The use of blockchain technology for casinos to facilitate the existence and growth of cryptocurrencies makes them inherently secure and affords anonymity to users, which is a great boon for players who are concerned about sharing personal or banking details online (though it should be noted that casino encryption is usually very good). There's also no geographical barrier in the way, as exists for most other financial methods, so players from just about anywhere can use cryptocurrency, making it highly convenient for betting sites. Not so long ago it was pretty rare to find an online establishment that supported Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as a payment system but they're increasingly common, and the rising use and value of Bitcoin, Dogecoin, and other cryptocurrencies mean that ever more online casinos are offering them as a banking method. Be sure to check the bonuses page because sites that support them frequently have special promotions just for cryptocurrency.
The Unstoppable March of Smartphones
With the sole exception of casinos going online, the biggest technological innovation that turbo-charged the industry and continues to be a source of growth for online gaming is the smartphone revolution. In everyday life, smartphones have been taken up by around 80% or more of people in Western nations, and it's not hard to see why. In addition to making calls (and being used for the time, their single most common use), smartphones are mini-computers that offer much of what a desktop does but with far greater convenience. The only real downsides are battery life and the smaller screen size - although new casino trends have seen that be less of a factor.
Once upon a time, few casinos, online slots, and table games were compatible with mobile devices, but these days the exact opposite is true. The sheer convenience of being able to play on the go, or spend a few minutes spinning reels during commercials, has seen the percentage of players making use of smartphones (and tablets) surge. Because of this, practically every casino nowadays is completely mobile compatible. Many even offer dedicated apps for iOS and Android devices, although as sites can be fully accessed via the web these are optional rather than essential. Similarly, the multitude of banking options for transferring cash into and out of casinos can be made full use of when using a smartphone or tablet. Desktops aren't obsolete, of course, but the great thing about smartphones is that whether you're out for a walk or have a few minutes to kill they're just as accessible as when you're at home.
In the past, mobile accounts were usually separate from a desktop casino account, but normally they're unified now. What this means is that if you prefer playing on desktop at home but mobile out and about there's no need for two separate balances, and bonuses taken advantage of with either device are accessible on the other.
Social Elements - an Upcoming Casino Trend?
One area that is in its earliest days but has plenty of potential to expand and enhance the offering of online betting sites is the social aspect. In a real-world casino the social elements are pretty obvious. Players often attend in groups, might dine before or after playing, engage one another in chit-chat, or even a spot of ribbing when playing poker. To a large extent this doesn't exist in the online space, with the vast majority of online play involving just the player and the casino. However, not only is there the possibility of adding more traditional casino socializing (live dealer games and future VR development being ideal for this), there are also features that betting sites can take from social casinos and videogames to bolster what they can offer in terms of player-to-player interaction.
Some small steps have already been taken in this direction courtesy of the rare but increasing promotion of free tournaments. These can function either as traditional poker or blackjack tournaments (players seeking to best one another directly) or slots tournaments that see players attempt to top a leaderboard for a particular game within a given time limit.
Social casinos are online sites that feature games of chance but do not involve actually betting anything (there's no chance of winning real money prizes). They're getting more and more popular, and one of the reasons is the relaxation of playing roulette or poker while chatting with friends. In addition, you can gift one another presents of coins and the like (this is possible at some online betting sites but very few). The popularity of social sites revolves around the fun of relaxing with friends, and that's something that online casinos really could learn from. In common with video games, there's a great degree of customization possible with player avatars.
This is an echo of something that's been in videogames for a long time, from the camouflage options for Snake in Metal Gear Solid 3 through to the umpteen clothing, weapon, and ship cosmetics in today's Rare hit Sea Of Thieves. Critically, Sea Of Thieves' extras in this regard can be unlocked through different means: buying with real money, buying with in-game currency, and special seasonal events. This combination would fit in perfectly with online casinos for avatars and possibly casino skins, and the socializing options to include a relaxed playing-with-friends environment could combine the best of both worlds.
An Ever-Growing Technology for Casinos - Virtual Reality and Actual Fun
Virtual Reality (VR) has long been the preserve of science fiction and futurologists, but the same was once the case with mobile phones (Star Trek communicators) and GPS tracking (weirdly enough this was used by the Kingpin to keep track of Spiderman). Scientists engaged and inspired by these fictional devices eventually brought them to fruition, and the same is now true of VR. It must be said that the current applications of VR headsets in the online gaming landscape are limited, with a bare handful of sites dedicated to using the casino technology and a small number of compatible games, but if the parable of the mustard seed taught us anything it's that from tiny beginnings great things can grow (as has been seen with mobile betting).
Right now VR is mostly used for e-gaming rather than i-gaming (videogames rather than casino games), where it's particularly well-suited to vehicle type games (driving tanks, piloting planes and spacecraft and so forth). However, the immense power of the videogames industry, which is bigger than Hollywood, will help drive innovation in this area, making VR more accessible, versatile, and affordable, and driving software development that will readily transfer to the online casino world. It's not hard to imagine playing poker sat around a table with others in the same VR space. In addition, there's a huge library of online slots and regular (solo) table games that can be upgraded to be VR-compatible once there is sufficient uptake by the public and technological progress.
Live Dealer Games
Betting online has plenty of great attractions including convenience and a better chance of finishing ahead due to lower overheads than brick-and-mortar casinos. Not to mention an array of games that couldn't physically fit under a single real-world roof. But there are some reasons why land-based establishments are still very fondly thought of by players. The quiet hubbub of background chatter, the groans and exclamations of victory, great dining options, and the feel of chips and cards in your hand.
A lot of that can be replicated through the proliferation of liver dealer games, which are now available at the vast majority of online betting sites. Popular with players around the world, live dealers use livestreaming to have a real dealer feature, bringing some of the atmosphere of a land-based casino to your online play. This has proven a great benefit for those who really like the idea of playing in a brick-and-mortar establishment but simply don't live near enough to access one regularly or easily. All the classic table games can be accessed this way, so card sharks can choose between baccarat, poker, and blackjack, and there are multiple variations of roulette to sample as well. Plus dice fans can try their luck and indulge in craps.
Looking to the future, live dealer options would dovetail perfectly with advances in VR technology, allowing players to lounge around in pajamas and play from home while at the same time going head-to-head (in a virtual way) with players from around the world. There are even efforts afoot to try and replicate smell, the most important sense for memory, and if that could come off it'd make VR live dealer games more immersive than ever if your opponents could smell your coffee.
Online betting sites have always been quick to take advantage of advances in casino technology, but there's still plenty of room for casinos to improve. Already some of the items on this list have been largely or fully exploited, and we can expect to see plenty more in the way of cryptocurrency and VR-compatible games in the future.