The online gambling industry, or iGaming, is undoubtedly one of the sectors that has benefited the most from technological advancements, and it has seen significant changes in recent years as a result of the latest tech trends such as new devices, platforms, and software. Online casinos, for instance, a key market in iGaming, are continually adjusting to these new developments in order to deliver superior gaming experiences as well as a genuine casino atmosphere.
According to business experts, over 41 percent of the world’s population participates in some sort of gambling every year, whether by playing casino games or placing wagers on sporting events. But in the past two years, with COVID-19 and subsequent lockdowns and quarantines, the iGaming market witnessed major growth, drawing clients that were looking for new forms of online entertainment.
With each new tech trend that was introduced in the past decades, iGaming operators have become able to create new gaming ventures by delivering comprehensive platforms and improved gameplay, as well as allowing users to enjoy multiple aspects of online entertainment. From operators to bettors, this article covers how these new technologies have impacted the iGaming industry.
How it all started
The iGaming industry was basically established with the creation of the first online casinos, in the early 1990s. Way back then, two companies devised systems that made online casinos viable: Microgaming, the company credited with introducing the first online gambling software, and CryptoLogic, which supplied the platform for online money transfers. These two companies collaborated to establish InterCasino, which is widely considered the world’s first online casino.
Many more online casinos sprang up as a result, and in just a few years, there were several companies offering online casino platforms. Due to technological restrictions at the time, however, the range of games was still quite limited, with most of these platforms offering simply online slots.
As personal computers got more efficient and internet connections became faster, industry creators and operators began investing in improved visuals, gameplay advancements, and the addition of new titles to game libraries. New casino games, like roulette and blackjack, were quickly introduced, and by 1997, the number of casino websites had risen to over 200.
However, it was in the late 2000s that the iGaming industry would see the introduction of new technologies that significantly impacted both operators and bettors.
The rise of streaming
The development, popularization, and widespread use of streaming technologies in the late 2000s is largely responsible for the introduction of live dealer games, which is currently one of the most appealing features of online casinos, and revolutionized the way we play casino classics on the internet.
Unlike conventional online casino games, which rely exclusively on random number generators, live dealer games are handled and overseen by professional croupiers and streamed in real time to bettors playing from the comfort of their homes. Additionally, with live dealer games, rather than simply watching automated gameplay, players have also become able to interact with dealers and other players as well.
Cryptos are here to stay
Cryptocurrencies, one of the trendiest developments in the online world today and certainly the most popular in recent months, have already permeated the iGaming industry. Bettors can now use cryptos in a wide variety of gambling platforms and websites, including online casinos and sportsbooks.
Cryptos may be used to deposit and withdraw funds, and these transactions are far quicker than conventional banking methods such as credit cards and bank transfers, with funds being made available instantaneously. Players just need money in the form of a cryptocurrency, such as Bitcoin and Binance Coin, held in one of the various digital wallet services like Coinbase or Kraken.
iGaming goes mobile
Smartphones have become an indispensable part of our lives, with the majority of our online activity taking place on them. We can do practically anything in the palm of our hands, from shopping to investing in the stock exchange. As a result, the rapid increase of smartphone adoption marked a significant milestone of the online gambling industry.
With the introduction of the HTML5 language, developers were able to devise new platforms that could be utilized across different devices, allowing iGaming operators to provide their services on mobile devices.
Most operators now offer mobile-friendly websites and even mobile apps, allowing bettors to play casino classics and place wagers on major sporting events on a 24/7 basis.