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Online casinos have been at the forefront of web development for more than 20 years now and one of the truisms of modern life is that if you want to see what other companies will be using on the web in the future, then look at what casinos are doing today.
The world of online casinos changes so rapidly that anything we write today could be obsolete by this time tomorrow so we’ve chosen 5 of the most likely trends to stick around in 2021.
Augmented and Virtual Reality
The world of VR gaming has increased markedly since Jonathan Waldern exhibited Virtuality, a VR arcade machine, at the Computer Graphics 90 exhibition in London in 1990.
The VR marketplace is estimated to be in the region of $21.83bn as of 2021 but is expected to balloon to $69.6bn by 2028.
This unprecedented growth shows that there is a large appetite out there for VR enabled interaction and casinos are no exception.
Arguably, the successive lockdowns caused by COVID have meant that people, desperate to experience something other than their own four walls have an even bigger need for a VR game.
Casinos are able to provide a VR casino environment allowing players to experience the very best of locations without leaving their own home. This richer, immersive experience is likely to increase the amount of time that people play and to widen the demographic that would be interested in an online casino.
Live Dealer Games
A natural step for VR would be to deliver a game with live dealers, however these are now available in most online casinos on standard screens.
Whilst animated dealers, (whether using photo or drawn animation) make a poker game more fun, there’s nothing like the interactivity provided by a live dealer operating through video link.
The technology for this is pretty simple and whilst it is more expensive for the casino to pay a dealer to be online rather than use a stock animation, the engagement from customers is better.
Hardly a day goes by without another story about cryptocurrencies hitting the headlines and there’s a good reason for this.
Cryptocurrency is now moving from a fringe interest to a major world currency, with some emerging nations now adopting the digital form.
Many different goods and services are traded in crypto and so this means that there is a ready supply of customers who want to be able to use casinos online just like anyone else.
A good BTC casino will offer all of the games such as baccarat, poker and slots but paid for using crypto with all of the advantages of anonymity and low transaction costs that go with it.
Accepting cryptocurrency will undoubtedly become more widespread as time goes on and as other sectors see that it can be used successfully and increase profitability.
Free to play
The standard operating model for Massive Multiplayer Online games (MMOs) is to offer a free version and then charge if the user wants to add more services and features.
This is a model that was pioneered by online casinos in the early days of the web, by offering Free To Play (F2P) options that would then be upgradeable to a full online casino experience.
Online casinos are now extending this to delivering free versions of more or less every game you would find in a normal casino.
This has two benefits for the customer. The first is that it delivers a free practice environment that allows people to enjoy and learn the game but without any personal losses as they make beginner errors.
The second is that the player can choose the level of betting that they feel the most comfortable with. A good example would be users who play the free bingo games on offer, but who then go on to buy extra features or decide to play some of the lower priced games with a capped level of loss.
Social media integration
It has been known for some time that the community aspect of games tends to lead to better engagement and a more loyal customer base.
This is something that online games operators have sought to encourage and integrating social media with their platforms means that players can message each other and form friendships from within the gaming platform.
Players who find an environment that they enjoy and that has people they like and respect are more likely to spend longer on the platform and less likely to look at competitors.
The message for businesses in other sectors is that finding ways to build a community, whether that is on your own platform or on social media such as Facebook or Instagram is a great way of increasing your revenue.
Summary: Watch online casinos for future trends
It’s always worth watching other sectors to get information, tips and ideas on ways to develop your own business but with online casinos that is even more the case.
Casinos are generally in the first 5% of early adopters of technology and being in an ultra-competitive environment means that they are always looking for ways to improve their service.
Any business person who spends a little time watching the developments that online casinos make may well find a single idea that could repay the time invested many hundreds of times.