Since the internet’s launch in the mid-90s, things have accelerated at an unprecedented speed. It’s been the fintech industry that has grabbed the headlines this year, but beyond crypto there have been all kinds of technological advancements that have affected industries differently.
The casino and online gambling industry has transformed, from rudimentary websites to one-click mobile live betting. A direct service that is accessible with just a few clicks on a phone almost anywhere in the world.
So far, the 2020s have been a decade for trail-blazing ideas and innovation. Gambling services have gone beyond what was once only imagined. We are in a new era for the industry. So, let’s dig into what has happened last year and how it may pave the way for the future of online gambling.
The rise of Esports and the growth of a cultural phenomena
The ubiquitous influence of streaming services has had a huge effect on the esports industry. Esports and professional streamers now have sponsorships from all kinds of companies, from food delivery services to major sports brands such as Nike.
Less than 5 years ago, top-tier online sportsbooks started offering esports betting markets for major games like League of Legends, CS:GO, and Dota2. As a growing segment, we can expect gaming to enter the mainstream in the not so distant future. With pro gamers like Ninja becoming household names, it seems to be right on the horizon.
In addition to that, there has been a wave of young professional sports athletes spending their downtime streaming games. This allows young aspiring football fans to create a direct connection with their favourite players; this is much the same reason esports and online sports betting are on the rise, especially among younger generations.
With more and more U.S states legalizing online gambling in the search for much-needed tax-revenues during the global Pandemic – the gambling industry is blooming.
From around the middle of 2020 through until today, there has been a wave of investment and innovation in the area of digital currencies. We saw the price of pioneering cryptocurrency bitcoin rise to upward of $68,000, as well as being offered as a payment option, with Mastercard and Visa backing the bitcoin.
The rise in the value of cryptocurrency hasn’t gone unnoticed by big tech players like Elon Musk, who is an avid collector and even offered customers the option to buy his Tesla electric cars using digital currency.
It’s also been well on the radar of the vast majority of US sportsbooks in the gambling industry who now readily accept cryptocurrency. Crypto gambling offers both customers and providers a faster and cheaper way to deposit and withdraw funds, as well as providing a level of anonymity that isn’t possible through conventional payment methods. The most common coins on crypto betting sites are Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), and Dogecoin (DOGECOIN).
The growth of VR gaming
Mark Zuckerberg’s Facebook underwent a renaming just months ago, changing the main company name to “Meta”, indicating a new direction for the tech giants. The development of “metaverses” is on trend at the moment, bringing virtual reality (VR) living to the masses. While the technology has been around for decades, things are falling into place at the right time for VR, notably for gambling.
Software developers like NetEnt and Evoplay Entertainment are already producing games for the iGaming market. VR provides an all-encompassing experience, full-immersion gaming from the comfort of your own home. VR gives companies the ability to create games where users can interact with a virtual world, moving and touching their way through a game, which makes the idea of a 2D slots game fairly primitive.
This technology extends to things like VR poker and may even give birth to a new age of gambling, where players wager digital currencies and play an immersive game with real money on the line. If managed and developed the right way, virtual reality environments could help to bridge the gap between gaming and gambling.
The gambling industry is supported by a number of companies looking to maximise new technologies and to push the quality of the service beyond customer expectations, delivering first-rate entertainment. While some innovations are yet to be realised, the future looks very bright.