The evolution of online casinos

There has been a rise in the number of online casinos entering the marketplace over the past decade. It seems more and more of us prefer to gamble online from the comfort of our own homes or while on the move via our mobile devices. Even with such a saturated market, there’s still room for more and casino operators are constantly looking to bring that new dimension to the gambling world.

Market trends

Take, for instance, the recent rise in demand for online sweepstake casinos. These casinos use virtual currencies such as gold coins to play casino games rather than real cash. Operators have been able to draw a wider audience as sweepstake casinos don’t fall under the same regulations as your traditional casino.

When playing at a sweepstake casino, you don’t use real cash to play games, it’s virtual money. For this reason, in some states where gambling is not yet legalized, sweepstake casinos are still allowed.

A step back in time

Rolling the clock back, the first online casino to hit the scene in 1995 was called The Gaming Club. Targeted at South African players, the fully functional online casino had been developed by a small software provider in the Isle of Man known as Microgaming.

By 1998, Microgaming had launched its first progressive jackpot slot, Cash Splash, along with five other slot games. The software provider has grown from strength to strength to become an award-winning iGaming industry leader.

Security

Secure data and financial transactions are paramount when gambling online, players want to see a variety of suitable payment options coupled with high-end technology. Internet security has evolved ten-fold over the last two decades with top online casinos now utilizing technology which is on par with many major banks. Prominent security methods include SSL certification, captchas and two-factor authentication.

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SSL certification

This is a method of encryption which ensures that all incoming and outgoing transactions are fully encrypted. Should hackers access any information held by the online casino it will be rendered useless as it is fully encrypted. This protects players and ensures they are not at risk of any data breaches.

Captchas and two-factor authentication

These security measures are to verify the identity of the player as they login to the online casino site. They ensure that malicious robots or hackers are unable to access a player’s account even if they are in possession of their login details.

It also helps that online casinos can only make payments to a registered user. So even if the hacker got through security and into the player’s account, they still couldn’t touch the player’s money as this is paid directly to the user’s bank account.

Live casino

With the evolution of online casino sites has come the transformation of online games. Live streaming has permitted casino operators to offer the very best in immersive game experiences around the world. Live dealers present the game and take control of spinning the roulette wheel or dealing out the cards.

Players have the glitz and glamour of a real-time casino with the added benefit of being able to interact with both the dealer and other gamblers from around the globe, all from the comfort of their armchair. The introduction of live game shows has taken casino gaming to a whole new level.

Cryptocurrency

The next big step in the evolution of online casinos has to be the progression of payment methods from fiat to digital. Blockchain is one of the biggest steps in technology over the last decade, not just for online casinos but for the whole world. Cryptocurrency has the potential to revolutionize the casino industry over the coming years.

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Online casinos are slowly coming onboard with the offer of cryptocurrency as a preferred payment method. As we see demand for this payment option increase so too is the adoption within the iGaming market. The digital currency has several benefits for online gamblers, including anonymous and fee-free transactions, easy deposits and faster withdrawals.

Virtual reality

Virtual reality (VR) technology has already been featured in online casinos with popular titles such as Gonzo’s Quest, Twin Spin and Starburst available in VR versions. It’s rumored that some developers are already working on plans to develop virtual reality casinos for a greater depth of experience.

Food for thought

The global online gambling industry is in a perpetual state of evolution. Always at the forefront for adopting new technology, the highly saturated market continues to push for innovation and embrace growing trends.

For instance, every year we see manufacturers releasing their latest edition of the smartwatch, this has come to the attention of game developers Playtech who have spotted the potential for a wearable gambling market and have begun design on slot apps for Apple watches.

Veronica Tucker

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