Prospects of ambitious charge to implement unique online casino tech.
Online gambling is far from a new concept. We’ve had access to internet-based casino games for the last two decades. We can now log onto a gambling website on our desktop, laptop, smartphone or tablet and play slot machines, spin the roulette wheel, shoot craps or hit the blackjack tables anytime, from anywhere.
The option to play these games in a real-life setting has been available for much, much longer. So long, in fact, that one might think the land-based gambling industry is more attuned to pioneering new gaming technology. But that’s not the case at all.
Real Online Casinos Pushing the Tech Envelope
Real-money internet casino companies—the ones that develop the games we play online—are doing all the work towards the future of the global gaming space. They’ve been doing it since the late 1990’s, and what we’ve consistently seen is the bricks-and-mortar industry following right along to adopt similar technology—after they prove successful, of course.
Mobile gambling has existed since 2003, but didn’t harvest any remarkable attention from consumers until 2010 onward. Then around 2014-2015, when mobile casinos really took off, land-based operators took up the charge.
First, they created social gaming apps to attract customers, then real-money apps that could be used on location (because why shouldn’t you play blackjack from your Caesars hotel room?), and now some casinos even have elaborate lounges with tablet casino games embedded right into the tables.
While the internet gambling industry is surely proud to know they were the first to pioneer such technology, it hasn’t been all fun and games (pardon the pun).
Cons of Developing Unique Online Casino Tech
Being first to market with a product that becomes the next big thing is great for any company. But as we all know, not every new product is adopted by consumers. Sometimes, they crash and burn, and other times, it can take years for a new concept to catch on. Microgaming’s introduction of the first mobile casino games is a perfect example of the latter.
Microgaming lead the ambitious charge to develop the first real online casinos for mobile in 2003, four long years before the first touch-screen “smartphone” (the Apple iPhone) was released. These games were designed for play on the old flip-phones and sliders—only the best of which were actually equipped with color screens. Players had to press a series of buttons to navigate and play the games.
Needless to say, it wasn’t a huge success. A few played the games—the limited selection that there was—but for the most part, it was a flop. There’s no telling how much money the company lost pursuing technology over the next few years. But Microgaming knew bigger and better things would come of it, and they certainly did.
Another great example was Playtech’s soft-launch of the very first live dealer casino tables, also in 2003. Honestly, although the technology was there for it, it wasn’t nearly advanced enough to give players a positive experience (much like Microgaming’s premature dive into mobile). Progress didn’t come along until 2006, when Evolution Gaming created a live platform using the best video/audio equipment the world had to offer. When that took off, land-based casinos once again played copy-cat.
Now, many of today’s major gambling establishments offer a similar arrangement via what they call “stadium” seating. Countless people can join in, each with their own kiosk-style screen before them, as a single live dealer hosts the game.
AR & VR the Future of Casino Tech, Online and (Eventually) On Land
For the last few years, we’ve seen online casino companies dabbling in augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Once again, we saw Microgaming lead the way to this new horizon with the first virtual reality casino game, debuting VR Roulette in 2015. While a few other games have surfaced since, the market for this style of gaming remains minimal. For now…
No doubt, when these unique online casino games become the next big thing—as every so-called expert and industry analyst has promised—land-based casinos will begin utilizing AR gaming floors and installing sophisticated VR contraptions left and right.