People have been gambling on the internet since the mid-1990s. However, the gaming experience was sub-par back then due to bad quality graphics and slow internet connection. It wasn’t until the 2000s that it really took off as an industry, with the poker boom of that era contributing significantly. Chris Moneymaker’s WSOP win in 2003 proved to a generation of players that you could reach the top of the poker world by qualifying at home. That helped the online gaming market expands rapidly: hitting a whopping $70 billion in gross wins recently. Its growth hasn’t shown signs of slowing down, and it can only go upwards in 2020 and beyond.
The Popularity of Online Casinos
Traditional gamers might argue that the lure of flashing lights and glamor is part of the gaming experience. While this is partly true, what then attracts this many players to online casinos? Accessibility is certainly one aspect that attracts people to online platforms, as well as the potential to play a wider range of people from across the world. Most apps and platforms now deliver a truly international experience. Bagogames explains how the PPPoker app has launched in 100 countries worldwide bringing global poker players into your own home. With the possibility of winning big prizes and qualifying for actual tournaments attached to online platforms, it’s become a very popular way of getting into playing poker, and other casino games at home.
Another main contributor is the variety of titles today. On top of this, you also have more control over your winnings, thanks to online casinos having great Return to Player (RTP) rates. You can use RTPs to estimate what percentage of the money you’ve wagered will be paid back to you. With online games, the average RTP rate is between 95% and 96%.
Online Casino Trends in 2020
So what can we expect from online casinos in the coming year? Apart from all the factors we previously mentioned, the top trends driving its expansion include:
VR and AR: Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) are making the online casino experience more immersive than ever. Microgaming, for example, just became the first company to set up their own roulette with VR.
Artificial Intelligence: Artificial Intelligence (AI) is already known to lend its services to industries like marketing and finance, but it’s disrupting online casinos too. Tech company RedMarlin has played with the possibility of leveraging AI to analyze player behavior and spot illegal activities on gambling sites.
3D Graphics: Players have grown weary of the typical casino designs, so the introduction of 3D graphics is a welcome change. Though it’s a work in progress, titles such as the Vikings series of Yggdrasil Gaming are now significantly more high-tech, and we’re looking forward to more titles catching up.
Crypto Gambling: Cryptocurrency provides online gamblers a way to process their money without having to go through external payment processors. The industry is still ironing out the nuances of integrating this technology into the business side, but some blockchain platforms like TRON have reported a good number of transactions already being made for gambling sites.
Since the beginning, the goal of online casinos has always been to elevate the experience and provide players with fun opportunities. With all these new trends coming in, we’re already seeing massive changes underway. Though it’s unlikely to drive physical casinos into complete extinction, online casinos can still only go upwards from here and offer their own unique take.