The world is changing while you are reading this sentence. New technologies, new opportunities, new ways of thinking. Even gambling isn’t the same any more. One of the oldest pastimes in human history has made great strides since it entered the online world, and the casino lobby has been getting closer and closer to the players. From dusty saloons to virtual labyrinths – it has sure been a wild ride. What’s next? What will be the next step in casino evolution? Let’s try to find out.
The Times, They Are…
…a-Changin’. Bob Dylan said so more than four decades ago, and this is one of the few things that have not changed. If you’re reading this piece, then you, like us, are interested in the evolving world of online gambling. Gambling has been an important part of human society for a staggeringly long time – about 4 300 years, if you listen to archaeologists. However, it took four millennia for the first casinos to appear! Their birthplace was Venice, and they were an attempt to organise the betting madness during the local carnivals.
Since then, casinos have been spreading like wildfire. They crossed the Atlantic with the first settlers, and the dusty Old West saloons slowly grew into the grand palaces of Las Vegas. However, things went viral when the first online casinos appeared in the 1990s. The dot-com boom changed things forever. Before, a night at the casino was kind of a fantasy for most, but suddenly anyone with a decent internet connection could play exclusive games in the living room. Online casinos were something fresh, exciting – and sometimes dangerous.
According to Nicholas Crouch from scams.info, this is no longer the case. Nowadays, the online world is no less regulated than the real one. People had to learn to manage invisible money, while casinos now keep their guard against scammers hidden miles away. And… online casinos no longer feel new. People have gotten so used to constant change that they expect it on a daily basis.
And the industry has to deliver.
The Next Great Tech for Online Gambling
The last few years have seen a tremendous increase in mobile gaming. People have started to play from their phones while they are on their way to work, or during the breaks. It’s that easy. Online casinos are suddenly competing in introducing mobile-friendly platforms faster, even as they are managing the new requirements towards the web-based ones. The graphics that you will see on smartphones are a whole world apart from the first tetris-like games that people raved about less than two decades ago. This is another field of online competition – or warfare, if you prefer to be blunt about it – that has developed naturally as people changed their habits in response to new technology.
Of course, the million-dollar question is what the next innovation to shake the gambling world will be. Surprisingly, it seems that there is already an answer to that. If you’ve been keeping an eye on tech news, you may have noticed that a very old sci-fi dream has steadily been gathering steam. We are talking about Virtual Reality, of course.
Some years ago, VR expert Mark Bolas boldly claimed that this revamped technology will change every aspect of our lives. Well, it hasn’t been that quick in spreading, but VR seems to be real enough, and everyone expects it to be the next great shaker. And you can bet your bottom dollar that casinos will be among the first to take a leap into this new world.
In fact, they are already doing exactly so.
Expect the Unexpected
Even as new technologies flood our lives, you should remember that innovation can often be found in the rethinking of older concepts too. French aviation designers AirJet Designs and Designescence tried a more straightforward approach in making gambling accessible – by putting the casino on a plane. While not exactly cheap (or successful, for that matter), this is an alternative approach that might also work.
There is a growing nostalgia for the simpler, less tech-driven lifestyle of the past. Progress will keep marching on, but this doesn’t mean that the next grand change won’t be something quite more retro than you would expect. Even the new generation – those millennials that have practically been suckled with a tablet in hand – have proven surprisingly resilient to some tech changes. Taking a sideway step from gambling, a decade ago everyone expected that eReaders would turn paper books in a thing of the past, but the recent Nielsen survey shows that this isn’t the case at all. Perhaps VR will follow a similar route – establishing a niche, but without threatening land-based casinos or even their web platforms.
After all, humans are extremely diverse in their thoughts, dreams, and desires – and that’s OK! There is no real reason to stop old and new concepts from co-existing, especially if both are bringing us entertainment!