1. Virtual and Augmented Reality
Online gambling is already starting to take over from physical casinos, with the industry growing rapidly over the past few years. However, many players still crave the lights, noise, and general hustle-and-bustle of real-world casinos.
Virtual and augmented reality systems have stepped up to the plate to try and meet these requirements, with many promising to put a real-life casino directly into your living room. With augmented reality, in particular, a player can digitally convert their very own home into their very own personal casino. Unlike the entirely fake world of virtual reality, augmented reality uses real-world objects integrated into a virtual reality headset to create a world that is both tangible but also partially computer-generated. This means your breakfast counter becomes a casino bar, the grandfather clock is a slots machine and your dinner table is a roulette game.
2. Changes in Payment Options
As new laws are enacted to help curb dangerous gambling habits, operators will begin to investigate new ways in which to let players deposit money to online gambling sites. Cryptocurrencies have already helped to revolutionize the way in which players can gamble online but still more changes are coming. In particular, New Zealand recently considered passing a law banning the use of credit cards for online gambling, forcing players to look for alternative methods. New Zealand gamblers are used to playing for real money but this may change soon as they begin to adopt cryptocurrencies or other online payment methods for gambling.
The advantage of using digital forms of cash to play online means there is no need to hand over sensitive bank or card details to a website you may not trust. Simply buy some virtual cash or cryptocurrency from an online exchange and use that to play at the many casinos that are starting to accept digital payments. It also speeds up deposit and withdrawal times, often making them instant.
3. Social Integration
Another issue many players cite with online casinos is the lack of social interaction. For some, this is a welcome relief, but for many others, the casino is a place to meet like-minded players and make friends. More and more online casinos are beginning to integrate social chat windows and forums to their platforms where players can chat and interact with other players on the site.
Many of the sites let you build an avatar or character around which you can perfect your own online persona, adding an element of gamification to the online gambling experience. This new trend also provides a way for house-bound or reclusive players to access an often much-needed connection to the outside world and provides a platform where players with gambling problems can reach out for help.
4. Themed Games
As gambling technology evolves we are seeing an increase in the amount of themed-games coming out. Developers have found that players are more likely to select a casino operator that offers a wide variety of games themed on movies, music or sports. These themed games are often used in conjunction with the launch of a movie to help promote it and as such are highly useful marketing tools.
Most recently, the popular online casino developer Playtech signed an agreement with Warner Bros Studios to release a range of slot machines themed on the DC Comics franchise, including Man of Steel, Green Lantern, Superman, Batman vs Superman, and Suicide Squad.
5. Computer Game Partnerships
Many online casino operators are now looking to integrate their gambling platforms into multi-player role-playing games like GTA, Red Dead Redemption and Fallout. Many of these games have already added in-game casinos that use virtual money with some success and this trend looks to expand into using real money.
However, gambling regulators in some European countries have begun to challenge the trend of gambling elements in computer games, with Belgium recently banning the use of loot boxes. Going forward, we may see some game developers filing for gambling licenses in order to continue offering these services in their games.