Upcoming Technologies in Online Gambling: What’s Likely and What’s Not
Something we’re very much due for in the online gambling industry is a surge of excitement around new technology. The mobile casino revolution was pretty much the last “big thing” to happen in the industry as a whole that really changed how people play. Some different options have come about since then. However, none of them have really stuck around.
We’re very much eager to see what will be next in the industry. We know players are as well, and that’s why we want to share our predictions.
The predictions that we are making are based on our experience over decades in the online gambling world. Additionally, they’re centered around what was seen previously before the industry went online. Advances over the history of the land-based sector can also hold some serious lessons about how things are likely to go.
One thing to know and understand before we get into this, however, is that change is inevitable. The online casino game will not exist in its same form as now in a decade. However, trying to figure out where things will go is the tricky part. That’s why, in the following, we will break down our case as to which technologies we think will perform and which will be left by the wayside.
The Most Recent Failed Technological Attempts
To understand where we’re going, it’s critical to know where we’ve been. A big part of that is understanding the most recent attempts to revolutionize the industry and why those attempts failed.
The Smartwatch Fiasco
When smartwatches started coming on the scene, particularly with the Apple products, we saw software companies jump at the opportunity to bring something new to players. It really seemed like this would be an extension of the huge growth we had seen for mobile play.
However, for better or worse, nothing could be further from the truth. They absolutely flopped and showed no promise on any real level whatsoever after an initial set of slots and a few table games.
So why did these games not work out? You’ll find that two main reasons came into play. First, smartwatches weren’t as popular yet, and players couldn’t be bothered to pay hundreds just for the hardware to play inferior versions of games that already existed (inferior due to the smaller screen sizes, etc.).
Second, the technology was based on having your smartphone nearby in the first place. Additionally, this created a situation where you could play on a tiny screen on your watch or reach into your pocket to play a much more polished version. If the watch didn’t require the phone to be nearby for full functionality, this may not have been such a big deal. However, as it played out, it helped to destroy any hope that smartwatch casino games would take off.
Virtual Reality Goes Virtually Nowhere
The other big hope that we’ve seen over the past decade is in VR casinos. A big part of this is that virtual reality headsets have become a lot more popular. However, this popularity arc was similar to that of smartwatches. Likewise, the technology ran into similar issues.
First off, the hardware cost was an issue. Especially in the earlier days, the hardware was not as popular and was seen as a niche item. Players weren’t really willing, in aggregate, to go out and spend a lot of money on VR headsets and controllers to play similar games as to what they were used to on computers and mobile devices.
Another issue was that a lot of games weren’t really developed yet. Additionally, even at this point, the true virtual reality experience is super limited. Some casinos have incorporated “VR casino” sections here and there. However, this is mostly as accessible on a computer or smartphone as it is with hundreds in equipment. As such, it has players enjoying most of the same games, usually slots.
Finally, we think the lack of development of VR-specific titles, especially table games, has hurt the technology. Since players haven’t shown much interest en masse, it doesn’t make sense for developers to remedy this problem either.
The Lessons to Learn From These Previous Attempts
If we take a look at the failures of virtual reality casino sites and smartphone casino games, then we see a few common elements. Additionally, plenty of historical examples from the land-based industry back up these patterns as well.
First off, players have a tendency to not go after new technology purely for the sake of gambling. While you’ll always have a small minority who will, it’s not the standard for the most part. In both of the cases we saw above, players weren’t really into adopting new technologies like smartwatches and VR headsets just for the gambling aspect alone.
However, if they already have the technology integrated into other aspects of their lives, they’re more than willing to play using it. Both mobile devices and computers are excellent examples of this approach to hardware adoption.
Another key lesson to learn is that players need a big incentive to switch away from what they’re already comfortable with. The only way mobile gambling became so popular was because of the huge incentive of being able to play on the go that was not available with computers. However, jumping from smartphones to smartwatches, for example, does not provide a large enough incentive.
Why We Think the Metaverse is the Next Big Thing
Of all of the available new and emerging technologies, we believe the metaverse concept is the one that has the most potential to take over the online gambling world. Looking at the lessons we have broken down above, we can very easily explain why we think this is the case.
1. No New Hardware is Needed
What’s so awesome about the metaverse concept is that no new hardware is actually needed. You don’t have to purchase anything in particular to take part. Instead, it’s more of a platform that can be built on to include things like computer play, mobile play and even smartwatch and VR play if players so choose.
This is really one of the key elements of the entire situation. Players would be able to seamlessly move right over into metaverse-based gaming without any type of upfront investment in hardware if they didn’t want to.
Additionally, due to the previous failures we’ve seen before, we think this is the number one barrier to overcome.
2. People Will Most Likely Already Be Using the Metaverse
Because the metaverse concept is billed as a platform for a variety of things, not just online gambling, we have plenty of reason to believe that players would already be using it for other purposes. When a technology like this is already being used, we’ve seen how easily it can be adopted for gambling purposes.
The same thing happened with video screens back 50 or more years ago. From there, we saw computers take over in the 1990s once the Internet was already being used for other purposes. Most recently, smartphones became the hottest thing with more people placing casino bets via mobile than with computers.
In this same vein, we believe that the metaverse would become the dominant way to place bets online. However, it would most likely only happen after players were already using the technology for other purposes.
3. The Metaverse Allows for More Immersive Social Play
This is an element that we didn’t touch on up above. However, players have been clamoring for a way to connect with each other more when playing these games online.
Online bingo does this with chat rooms. Additionally, live casino tables often have their own chat box. However, everyone is forced into the same “area” in terms of communication. That means you don’t have much in terms of being able to only socialize with a set group, make friends that you can play with and connect with later and so on.
The metaverse concept would allow for all of that in ways we’ve never seen before with online gambling.
We Think The Industry Will See Huge Changes
In terms of the technology used, the industry has stayed about the same for quite a while. Other than mobile phones allowing players to take their play with them on the go, the games themselves have stayed pretty similar over time. However, we predict that things will change a lot once we get metaverse-based technology going.