The gambling industry is no stranger to risks. Gamblers’ primary way of making money is to take risks on sports bets, slots, or poker. As such, it’s not surprising that the decision-makers in the industry also take a lot of risks when it comes to innovations.
A prime example is online casinos welcoming cryptocurrencies back when everyone else shunned Bitcoin. Then they took a risk on live casinos—games through which you can play with human players instead of computers.
In 2021, there’s no doubt casinos and sportsbooks will risk their money building the next best thing in the sector. What areas will be at the center of most gambling innovations? We’ve explained below.
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For a long time, online casinos have had to deal with millennials that prefer games of skill like video games to games of chance. When they get into casinos, they prefer to play poker and blackjack over slots. Yet, casinos can’t rely on older customers forever.
They need to create games that appeal to young players for the industry to progress. In the past five years, operators have been focusing on themed games to impress millennials. They have produced slots based on Game of Thrones, Hitman Body Guard, and Dracula.
However, many of these slots are based on pure chance. To win over young players, gambling sites need to make skill-based slots a reality. They’ve already done it in the past with games like Seinfeld, Wrecking Ball, and Safari Match.
The games don’t have to be as complicated as Counter Strike or League of Legends. They can be simple and easy to use. But they also need to allow players to win based on one or a few elements of skill.
Live Game Shows and Streaming Apps
Last year proved that virtual concerts and game shows can be entertaining. In case you missed it, musicians, DJs, and even actors would perform with no spectators nearby but with thousands of fans watching and participating through their iPhones and home computers.
This could be a great idea for top-rated online gambling sites. Many of them feature both casinos and sportsbooks. As such, they can support live game shows—let’s say a virtual roulette competition through which people compete to win a progressive jackpot.
On the flip side, sportsbooks must continue investing in streaming apps. They are not a new thing by now: many betting companies allow you to watch a few matches. However, many of them have a small list of supported matches. In 2020, bookies need to work on the number of support sports and events.
Although VR isn’t as successful as it should have been, it still holds a lot of potential. People cherish the immersive experience that comes with using VR to watch movies or stream video games. It can also be used on slots and it should be used more often.
In the past two years, at least five popular slots have been redesigned to support VR. They include Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Thunderstruck II. More slots need to become VR compatible and 2021 could become the year when casinos get serious about it.
Sure, not everyone has a computer that can support VR. But the market for VR is constantly growing, meaning more people are interested in it. VR headsets have also become cheap and compatible with mobile devices. The only thing remaining is for casinos to innovate more VR games—both slots and card games.
4K and 8K Graphics
Nearly all video slots these days support HD and full HD graphics. It’s a laudable effort considering that not too long ago, slots used to look simplistic and unattractive. Developers seem to have come to terms with the fact that players appreciate good-looking games and not just betting features.
This year, there’s no other way for casinos but to innovate games with 4K and 8K graphics. Do players have the devices to support such advanced games? Supply and demand will determine. In the meantime, developers need to introduce more 4K slots.
Graphics and video solutions play an essential role in attracting young players. If a game is beautiful, then it’s likely to attract the attention of millennials. This is common knowledge for most developers. And naturally, that means they’re working on releasing the next generation of slots.
Blockchain, the immutable, decentralized ledger behind Bitcoin’s success has spawned dozens of innovations. People have created banks, video games, streaming networks, blogging platforms, and even casinos on it. Crucially, the blockchain also helps casino developers create games whose fairness is openly verifiable.
The games operate like regular slots and card games. You can place a bet, usually in crypto, and the reels spin to determine whether you’ve won or lost. After that, you can watch a video showing you exactly how you won or lost as a guarantee the process was fair.
Today’s online casinos don’t have a major fairness problem. Lots of operators have licenses that check games for fairness. But still, players tend to have issues with certain slots. Innovating blockchain-based games could increase pressure on traditional developers to keep their games entirely fair.
More Mobile Games
Mobile gaming is no longer the future of casino gaming. It’s the present, with nearly every operator featuring a mobile app or mobile-responsive website for iOS and Android players. Unfortunately, most mobile casinos have a scaled-down library of games.
On average, online casinos that operate through desktop computers feature 300+ games. But check their mobile websites and the games reduce to 150 or fewer games. The thing is, not every casino game runs smoothly on mobile devices.
Some games might never work on mobile devices because they were designed long before mobile gaming became a thing. However, casinos need to invest more resources on their mobile game catalogs this year. Statistics show that over half of online gamblers use mobile devices for gaming. So, there’s no reason they should play fewer games than their desktop counterparts.