The Growing Popularity of Online Casinos
By Space Coast Daily // October 27, 2020
Ever since the arrival of the internet in many people’s lives a couple of decades ago now, it’s brought about countless changes. Besides bringing a wealth of information into everyone’s homes and transforming everything from the way that we shop to how we book a holiday; it’s also introduced many new forms of entertainment.
So now it’s possible to call up TV shows and movies of virtually every genre. And, thanks to YouTube and other similar sites, we can also post our own content quickly and easily.
But one of the most surprising success stories has been that of the online casino. In the UK alone, remote casino gambling generates over £3 billion in revenue every year and its popularity continues to grow year on year.
As well as a number of major players in the online casino sector offering a wide range of games and the biggest joining bonuses, there are also many smaller names occupying more niche positions. For example, an increasing number of Bitcoin casinos are starting to appear as the popularity of the cryptocurrency becomes more widespread.
The driving force of tech
In fact, it’s technology in general that has driven the growth of the online casino. Increasingly powerful smartphones and other mobile devices have meant that more complex and involving games have been made possible. The fact that playing on the go has become so easy has also drawn in many more players.
As the momentum has gradually built there have also been a number of events that have caused spikes in the interest in online casinos.
For example, anecdotal evidence suggests that numbers of players always rise following the annual World Series of Poker tournament that’s held in Las Vegas in May and June and which features huge prizes. Similarly, when sports betting was legalized in the US in May 2018 this also had the effect of encouraging many to also look into how to play in online casinos too.
Throughout its history, the online casino sector has also strived to provide players with ever-more immersive experiences. The ultimate objective has been to make playing online as much like the “bricks and mortar” casino experience as possible.
Again, technology has come to their aid in the form of live streaming. Most now offer live casino games like roulette and blackjack which feature real dealers playing in real-time. There’s even the facility to chat to dealers while playing which all adds to the realism of the experience.
The live casino is made possible by the same number recognition technology that is used in car parks to capture car registration plates, but in this case, it is used to recognize cards values and even where the ball has landed on a roulette wheel.
Some online casino providers now offer a ‘live casino’ feature so players get the full experience of a land based casino.
Lots of slots
Away from table games, the growing sophistication of slots has also helped to increase the popularity of online casinos. The use of themes ranging from lucky leprechauns searching for the gold at the end of the rainbow to linkups with movies and TV shows are designed to target particular types of players. The fact that a number of games can also be linked to create progressive jackpots has also proved to be a big draw for players and led to some life-changing wins for the lucky ones.
Thanks to their increasing influence and prominence, online casinos have also started to make their way into popular culture in general. Although we’re yet to see a version of a movie like Ocean’s 11 featuring the online alternative to a Vegas casino, many TV series and films have started to include characters who like to play on them. In countries where it’s permitted, there are now also many TV ads that aim to attract new players, thus firmly weaving the online casino into the national psyche.
The millennial market
One area that has been ripe for development has been attracting younger players, namely millennials. Traditionally, casinos have attracted older players in the 40+ age group. But gradually the player profile is getting younger thanks to the inclusion of games specifically targeted at 25 to 35-year olds.
Given that it’s a generation that has been raised on video games, more and more slots are starting to introduce elements of these such as levels that need to be completed to multiply a prize or qualify for free spins.
Looking to the future, the two big areas for development look like they’re going to be virtual and augmented reality. Both will make it possible to create a more immersive experience than ever and one that’s even closer to the authentic casino.
To date, these are only in the experimental stage. However, all of the big operators know how important it is to be at the forefront when it comes to introducing new player experiences, so look out for them starting to appear on all of their sites very soon indeed.