5 Online casino trends to watch this year
April 25, 2018 9:21 AM
by David Cash
The online casino industry has consistently moved from strength to strength over the last several years. 2017 saw a slew of new content and new directions being explored by the online casino industry. 2018 looks to be just as unique and exciting a year as its predecessor. Last year saw a surge in the number of franchised games that tied in with major cinema releases. It is believed that this played a significant role in bringing new players into online casinos.
Some reports estimate that in the UK alone, online casinos account for over a third of the total gambling revenue generated. With the technology underpinning the online gambling experience constantly growing in sophistication, new doors and possibilities are being opened all the time. 2018 looks set to be another fantastic year for the online casino industry, one that might even be able to outdo last year’s stellar performance.
The following trends are the ones that we most expect to dominate over the coming year. These trends reflect both the advances being made behind the scenes in terms of technology and also the demands of the ever-growing player base who use online casinos.
Virtual reality technology has long been in the realm of science fiction, with a few limited real-world applications. In the last few years, however, VR has begun to enter mainstream consciousness. It is now something that is affordable for many homes, and there are virtual reality kits available for games consoles, computers, smartphones, any device really.
Virtual reality offers unprecedented levels of immersion; it allows players to actually feel like they are inside the game. It is easy to see the attraction of such technology for more action-packed games, where the player is being thrust into the action, but why would you want such a thing for casino games?
Well, for one thing, it adds layers of immersion to the experience. Many people who gamble online either also gamble in an actual casino - or have thought about doing so. Virtual reality gives them a means of experiencing the best of both worlds.
With more of our online services embracing social elements, virtual reality opens up new possibilities for allowing players in an online casino to interact with one another.
The market for consumer virtual reality products and services is estimated to exceed $100 billion by 2021. Clearly, most of the tech world is expecting virtual reality to become a vitally important technology over the next couple of years. Consumer demand for virtual reality is increasing while the cost of technology decreases.
Twitch is an online gaming platform that allows users to stream footage of themselves playing games to other viewers from around the world. Twitch has proven to be a phenomenally popular platform; it has become to go-to service for anyone who wants to stream their gaming sessions.
The site’s popularity has exploded in recent years. Watching other people playing games is a pastime which has become popular beyond anyone’s wildest expectations. Given the prodigious success of the concept, it seems absurd to think that the online casino industry wouldn’t try and capitalize on it as well.
Over the last few years, a trend for live dealers at the tables of online casinos has emerged. Not only does this trend look set to continue, but it is likely that online casinos will start finding new ways to make use of live gaming.
Traditionally, casino games have been about luck and nothing more. The idea is that players are pitted against mathematics and statistics. Of course, these statistics – other than a few rare exceptions – are in the house’s favour, making it harder for players to win. Naturally, this is deliberate; the casino doesn’t want players winning too often, after all!
There are some games, however, which are not entirely based upon chance. In poker, for example, there are a number of techniques that players must master in order to compete at the highest levels. There has been considerable interest in these types of games from various academics, including mathematicians and statisticians. The allure of devising a strategy to supposedly allow players to overcome the chance aspect of gambling has proven too great for many to resist.
As a result, skill-based casino games are experiencing a sustained rise in popularity, a trend which is being seen in both online and offline casinos.
Recent events concerning Facebook have once again highlighted to consumers just how vulnerable their personal data is online. Gradually, our society is becoming more and more conscious of cybersecurity and data privacy. The result is that there is much more pressure on service providers to ensure that they are taking their customer’s security seriously.
There are a number of websites such as Casinos Killer which help players to avoid any particularly low quality, or even fraudulent, online casinos. This is great for making players feel more confident about security, but more still needs to be done.
Over the course of this year, we will see security and data playing much more prominent roles in the direction that online gambling will take. It is imperative that online casinos are able to demonstrate their commitment to keeping their player’s data safe and secure.
The potential of winning money is obviously the main attraction for players who play online casino games, but increasingly, game developers and operators have been looking for ways to make their online casino games feel more like traditional digital games. In doing so, they are hoping to attract players of different types and expand their user base.
This trend began in earnest last year; every indication so far is that it has proven to be a success. Whether it is allowing leaderboards, so that players can compete with one another in new ways, or something different, we may also soon see games that immerse the player in the way that traditional computer games do not.
These are the main trends that look set to dominate the online casino industry over the next year. Watch closely for further developments in these areas.
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