Advancements in technology have had a massive impact on the online gambling industry in recent times, helping it become one of the biggest growth sectors around.
Annual global revenues are on track to break through the $65 billion mark in 2021, and analysts have forecast further significant increases to come over the coming years.
Online slots are amongst the casino games that have driven the growth, with the marketplace now awash with thousands of different titles.
We take a closer look at how developers utilize the latest technology to create immersive slots games that keep people entertained for hours on end.
The development of online slots is a labor-intensive process, with around a dozen people contributing to the different elements of creating a single game.
A project manager is tasked with leading a team containing graphic designers, game designers, developers, animators, and game testers.
After discussing different ideas for the game, the team will create a prototype version to determine if there are any glaring issues to be resolved.
Once any problems have been addressed, a primary version is built which is carried forward into the final development phase.
The game is then subjected to intensive testing to uncover any final bugs. When they have been fixed, the slot is launched and made available to online casinos.
Every online slot uses random number generator (RNG) software to determine the outcome of every single spin on the game.
The number is generated when the player presses the ‘spin’ button and is linked to the result that appears when the reels stop spinning.
As highlighted by its name, the number generator produces a random result each time, meaning that every spin is totally unique.
The result cannot be manipulated by the online casino operator, giving players peace of mind that the games they play are completely fair.
Another element of programming involves the return to player (RTP) percentage rate, which determines how much a player should expect to win over a sustained gameplay session.
Web developers have a huge role to play in the creation of online casino sites
Online slots are generally found on casino websites that feature other popular games such as roulette, blackjack, poker, craps, and baccarat.
Developing a well-designed online casino website helps operators attract new customers and retain existing ones, thus allowing them to build their business.
Gambling operators use in-house web developers or external specialists to handle this extremely important part of the process.
Simplistic front-end design often works well for online casinos, allowing for a smoother integration with the back-end technologies.
Many operators also incorporate a blog section on their websites, using content management systems such as WordPress that allow them to publish marketing materials.
The past few years has seen a significant shift in the way people access the internet, with improvements in mobile technology driving the change.
It was once the case that online casinos were only available on desktop or laptop, but enhanced smartphone capabilities have changed the landscape.
The best operators now invest significant resources into optimizing their casino sites to work seamlessly on mobile devices.
Many firms go the extra mile by developing a standalone app, offering players even easier access to the same range of slots and other games they can play on desktop.
With 5G Wi-Fi technology improving internet connectivity even further, an increasing number of online casinos are likely to adopt a ‘mobile-first’ approach in the next few years.
As with other types of websites where goods and services are purchased, online slot sites must offer players a wide range of payment methods.
Digital payment technology is integrated into the site to facilitate the safe and secure processing of deposits and withdrawals.
Credit and debit cards were initially the go-to method for most operators, but the tech has advanced significantly in recent years.
Options such as PayPal and Skrill have become increasingly popular, while many operators have started to accept cryptocurrency payments.
Open banking is the latest innovation to impact the online casino industry, with operators and players switching onto the additional security benefits they provide.
Social networks are crucial in the promotion of online casino games
Any operator wishing to run a successful casino site must be adept at using digital advertising and marketing tools to promote their slots and table games.
Many casino brands use social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to engage with both potential and existing customers.
The social sites provide operators with invaluable user data they can use to improve future marketing campaigns, boosting their chances of growing their customer database.
Data analysis also allows online casinos to gain a greater understanding of how players are using the site, helping them to identify the areas that are most effective.
Operators can use these data insights to continually tweak the site’s design to ensure that players enjoy the best gameplay experience possible.
The online casino industry has undergone significant changes in recent years and the evolution of technology is sure have a major impact moving forward.
Slots could undergo the biggest transformation, with many experts predicting that virtual reality (VR) technology will become commonplace in the sector over the next few years.
VR allows players to immerse themselves into the heart of slots, providing them with an exhilarating experience that goes way beyond the current crop of games.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is another new technology that will make its mark at online casinos, with innovations such as automated chatbots already becoming more prevalent.
AI technology can also be used to address problem gambling, helping to ensure that players maximize their enjoyment of playing online slots and table games.
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