The online casino boom is well underway, and it is exciting to see what developments have already been implemented and to imagine where they might lead in the future. Governments have begun to realize how much potential there is in regulating the iGaming industry instead of banning it, so more players than ever now have access to safe and legal online casinos.
In 2022, Ontario became the first province in Canada to regulate online casinos, allowing their citizens to enjoy the iGaming industry to its fullest. Having such recent access to online casinos means that Ontario residents were able to bypass the growing pains of the early days of iGaming and step straight into a blossoming online casino scene.
Much of the success of online casinos today is due to the tech innovations that have improved the iGaming experience as a whole. In this article, we’ll present some of those major innovations and also give a glimpse of where the industry might innovate next.
Live casino games
For table game enthusiasts, online casinos initially seemed like a poor substitute for the real thing. The experience of sitting down at a table, getting your cards and interacting with the dealer and other players was impossible to replicate with basic online versions of poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat.
This is where live casino games came in. Live casino games allow players to interact with a real dealer in real time. That means that as the dealer deals or displays the cards, remote players can interact with those cards on their screens. This is only possible due to a combination of technological innovations.
In order for live casino games to function, they need multiple cameras and audio equipment that has the capacity to stream without lagging. They also need monitors that convey to the dealer what players are doing, or any messages that they’re sending via the chat function. Most importantly, they need to use optical character recognition (OCR) software. OCR software converts the image that the camera receives into data. That data is then translated and transmitted to the player’s device, where it is converted into a digital image that the player can interact with. It is an essential piece of this complex puzzle.
We are still a way off from cryptocurrencies becoming a primary form of money and investment for the average person, especially considering how volatile the market can be. For those who use them, however, the benefits are the security and anonymity that they provide, as well as the freedom from government control or influence.
Online casinos have begun to accept cryptocurrency payments and this has greatly improved the iGaming experience for players who are concerned about privacy or who like to keep their finances compartmentalized. Since they employ blockchain technology, cryptocurrencies are also highly secure, and any irregularities can be detected and traced, keeping your account safer.
Some of the bigger iGaming brands accept cryptocurrencies as payment – though typically only the major coins such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. There are also dedicated crypto casinos that accept a much wider range of coins. One thing Ontario players should keep in mind is that in most cases, you must use the same form of crypto to deposit and withdraw.
Augmented reality and virtual reality
A gaming provider offering virtual games is fast becoming an important part of the iGaming industry. With so much competition, being able to offer a wide range of virtual games alongside the more traditional slots and table games is a great way to stand out from the pack and keep your brand relevant.
The next steps are to increase the augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) options for players. Live casino games are obviously the games where AR innovation will be the easiest and most effective to implement. It won’t be a huge technological jump for players to be able to “see” their cards on the table in front of them instead of just on the screen.
VR is more likely to play a role in the overall player experience of the online casino. While most online casino sites and apps are fairly intuitive to navigate, it is the only part of playing at an online casino that really reminds players that they’re not getting to enjoy the real thing. A VR casino floor where you can walk around and sit at the slot machines or choose your table will round off the experience.