Online gambling is blowing up, with some surveys showing that over 60% of responders in 2021 prefer playing games of chance over the internet instead of at physical venues. That is so because these platforms offer convenience and variety that were previously unimaginable in the gaming industry. Today, over 3,000 reputable platforms offer gambling services on the World Wide Web as this sector is marching toward hitting annual revenues of $160 billion in the next five years.
As technology advances, it morphs virtually all facets of life. The same goes for gambling, where year on year innovations happen at rapid speeds making this sphere appear different than it did just a while ago. Below, we break down four trends that are disrupting the current status quo of the online gambling industry, poising it to overtake the brick-and-mortar one in the next decade, which is no small feat.
In most players’ eyes, Betway, 888Casino, Jackpot City, and El Royale are the leading casino game sites at present. However, their position in the marketplace could quickly get challenged by a threat that sprung up fairly recently. In March of this year, Atari, the video game pioneer, announced that it would launch a gaming establishment in the popular virtual world Decentraland. The California-based company struck a deal for a two-year lease on a twenty parcel estate inside Decentraland’s Vegas City to build its virtual casino, which opened in May. It features Atari-themed products and table classics which patrons can enjoy via MANA, DAI, and ATRI tokens. These are ERC-20 ones that run on the Ethereum blockchain. It is noteworthy that Atari’s Decentraland gambling venue is not the only one of its kind in this metaverse. Several similar one exists inside this virtual world where users can interact and transact with each other inside a vast map.
Augmented Reality Games
In 2016, everyone thought that Virtual Reality was the next big thing, with Oculus Rift leading the charge. However, things did not pan out as predicted. Over the last five years, multiple VR headsets appeared on the market only to discover that demand was not as massive as most analysts had assumed. The online gambling sector too fell prey to these overly optimistic expectations as it tried and failed to bring VR games to online casino lobbies. Microgaming’s Virtual Roulette was an attempt that never even made it to gambling websites. Now, in 2021, providers and operators are taking another stab at this genre by testing out a few VR slots, trying to gauge their potential fan bases. At this time, XR Casino, a cross-technology blockchain-based gambling platform, is introducing multiplayer Augmented Reality games, allowing players to compete in blackjack, baccarat, poker, and even lottery-style products like keno. XR is trying to change the way gamblers play their favorite games, whether from home or on a casino floor.
Skins are usually graphic changes to a character that users can purchase. These are nothing more than aesthetic enhancements. They do not affect a character’s abilities, nor do they impact game results. They only add a dose of visual diversity and uniqueness to the gaming experience. Per recent estimations, the loot box and skins market will generate up to $50 billion by next year. User polls suggest that 85% of gamers in the US between the ages of 13 and 45 know that they exist, and most of these are interested or have used them. Skins gambling is relatively the same as regular betting on internet casino games, with the only distinction being that gamblers are not wagering money but their game skins. They can also gamble with their money, with skins being the looming prizes. In the past two years, several crypto gambling sites supporting skins betting have popped up, a trend that is unlikely to die out any time soon.
The first batch of crypto gambling sites debuted in the digital sphere in 2011. Two years after the invention of Bitcoin. These were predominately dice platforms featuring provably fair algorithms that attracted a niche group of tech-savvy gamblers. Yet, it wasn’t until recently that crypto gambling sites started accepting digital coins for bets on all their products. Operators and players prefer these because they are fast, not monitored by financial institutions, and let both parties’ transactions remain anonymous. Essentially, they are a swift and cost-effective solution for everyone. At the moment, gambling sites only accept cryptocurrencies, but it shouldn’t be long until they start allowing popular crypto tokens for wagers. Ethereum ones dominate this landscape, so they are the most likely pick to first breach this wall.
About the Author
Shelly Schiff has been working in the gambling industry since 2009, mainly on the digital side of things, employed by OUSC. However, over her eleven-year career, Shelly has provided content for many other top interactive gaming websites. She knows all there is to know about slots and has in-depth knowledge of the most popular table games. Her golden retriever Garry occupies most of her leisure time. Though, when she can, she loves reading Jim Thompson-like crime novels.