In the last ten years, we’ve seen a gradual shift away from land-based casino gaming to online equivalents. During 2020, online casino use rose by 8% and is forecasted to continue increasing further in 2021. Here are some of the top online casino trends that 2021 has to offer.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
With a headset and motion tracking, virtual reality (VR) allows users to look and move around a virtual space as if they were actually there.
Consumer-grade VR headsets have been available for a few years but only recently has technology really caught up to the potential. The price of VR kits is becoming more accessible and the development of titles for them is expanding.
- In 2018, Oculus introduced VR Casino to demonstrate the perfect compatibility of the technology and the casino experience. The potential social aspect of meeting and chatting with other casino users is also an exciting prospect.
- Augmented reality (AR), or the enhanced version of the real world is achieved by simulating an environment through a digital device, like a smartphone. It requires technology that most people already own and can be accessed from the palm of your hand
Interactive touch table technology also looks promising for 2021. Essentially a large (up to 2 metres) touchscreen built into a table. They can be integrated into work, board-game or even DJ setups and the potential to create your own home casino is evident. Some land-based casinos have already begun to use commercial versions of the products at their roulette and blackjack tables.
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One thing often absent from the virtual casino is the live, real-world element. If you don’t want to feel like a computer is deciding the outcome of your games, the real-time live croupier is the answer. Live video feeds to a human dealer give casino authenticity to your experience and gives you that same sense of participation.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrency
Bitcoin and cryptocurrency is a topic seemingly never too far from the headlines. Blockchain, the technology that underlies cryptocurrencies enables increased anonymity around online transactions.
Online casino transactions account for approximately half of all transactions made with Bitcoin. Online casinos using blockchain technology can deliver a service described as ‘provably fair’ where the user can know for certain that no interference or odds fixing has taken place.
Other blockchain benefits include:
- Players retain their anonymity
- Transactions are non-reversible
- Transactions are near-instant
- Players don’t require accounts which mean casinos don’t need to manage and protect customers’ funds. This in term means overheads are lower and more attractive odds can be provided to the user
In 2021 this transparency continues to be a big draw for online casino goers.
Console and PC based franchises have seen the potential of mobile gaming. Call of Duty: Mobile has accrued over 300 million downloads. In 2018, cult classic PC series Diablo from Blizzard Entertainment announced a free-to-play mobile instalment much to the disapproval of some fans. But mobile gaming is establishing its own place among gamers and shedding its reputation as inferior to its console and PC counterparts, with casino and monetary reward gaming proving particularly successful.
The line between casino games and video games is becoming increasingly blurred. The traditional roulette wheels and blackjack tables are well represented but new games have been developed to take advantage of new technologies. Even slots have been updated for the mobile experience—with bonuses, combos and features not possible in the physical world.
Online casinos are increasingly transparent about placing the emphasis on fun and ensuring players can enjoy the experience responsibly. Voluntary time and deposit limits, recommended breaks and available online support encourage casino gaming as a form of entertainment.
If you thought a casino that can fit in your pocket was impressive, how about one that you can wear on your wrist? Already, online casinos are offering versions of your favourite games that can be controlled and enjoyed on a variety of smartwatches that are on the market.
Poker’s transition to the mainstream has all but completed with coverage on major TV channels and international tournaments with eye-watering prize pools. 2021 will see the same spectacle take place with a focus on online channels.
The Decline of the Land-based Casino
Players are continuously moving away from land-based casinos in favour of the online equivalents and 2021 projects this trend to continue. Consumers can save on transport costs to and from the casino and they can instead direct that money into their games for better returns on investment.
An online casino offers more privacy, convenience and choice to the user. They can provide a more vibrant gaming experience suited to each individual and with so much available, users can find exactly what they’re looking for.
Online games often undergo routine updates. These keep the experience fresh and exciting with seasonal themes and events offered by providers.
As 2021 shapes up to be another innovative year for the online casino world and as competition continues to increase, it cannot be long until we see online casinos supersede their land-based counterparts.
(Disclaimer: This article is sponsored and hence promotes links of some commercial interest.)