The Future of iGaming From the AR/VR to Web 3.0
The iGaming industry, i.e., the broad term for online casino and sports betting, is almost 30 years old. The first “internet casinos” appeared around 1994 (in rudimentary form), and it has been quite the ride since then.
Indeed, like any industry, we can chart certain milestones with hindsight that shaped the sector into what it is today. First, as mentioned, was the arrival of internet casinos in the mid-90s, gaming platforms that wowed us all by bringing casino classics like blackjack and roulette to our home computers.
In the late 2000s, the iGaming industry was quick to spot that the future would be mobile. It was well ahead of the video games industry in this respect, anticipating that players would embrace the idea of having a casino or sports betting app in their pockets.
Live Casino Literally Changed The Game
In the 2010s, we witnessed the advent of live casino, which was one of the most ground-breaking – and underrated – uses of technology in the gaming industry. Now we could play with live dealers from the comfort of our homes.
So, the big question is what comes next? If you look at the narrative coming from casino games developers and operators, there is a sense that the experience can be enhanced even further. New technology will come into play, sure, but there is also the fact that the industry is hugely competitive, perhaps more so than ever.
One of the first areas we are interested in is the further blurring of the lines between live and virtual casinos. For example, Evolution Gaming has started experimenting with this concept through “Dual Play”, a technology that allows remote players to join in at tables in “real” casinos using a smartphone. It remains to be seen whether it takes off or not, but the commitment to innovation is laudable.
Of course, there is also the “M” word – the metaverse. People are rightly skeptical about the idea of inhabiting new virtual worlds, and it is probably going to take a lot of trial and error before anything truly workable comes along. But there should also be the sense that casino games are uniquely suited to metaverse-like experiences.
AR/VR (Augmented Reality / Virtual Realy) Will Be Big Business
Moreover, even if the metaverse doesn’t end up looking like some sci-fi virtual world, it is undeniable that augmented reality and virtual reality technology will be accelerating in development in the 2020s. Look what Meta, Apple, Sony, Google, and others are all doing now with AR/VR wearables like smart glasses. It seems inevitable that it can be transferred to help with casino experiences. Consider something like getting live statistics on your smart glasses as your play online poker or blackjack. It’s very feasible that this technology can merge with the casino.