As we trundle towards the end of the 2010s, there are numerous tech trends that we can speculate will dominate the 2020s. For one, there are going to be the so-called streaming wars, where the likes of Disney, Apple, Netflix, HBO and the rest try to get us to part with our cash and loyalty. Other areas like A.I, automation, the Internet of Things, VR and Big Data will continue to blossom and, for good or for ill, dominate the next decade.
For the iGaming industry, the 2010s were about developing the first range of live dealer casino games. If you aren’t familiar with it, live dealer casino is the streaming of real casino games – blackjack, roulette, etc. – to your computer and smartphone. You can see an example here: live.casino.com/united-kingdom/live-blackjack/. It uses revolutionary console technology, allowing players to place bets that play out in real-time as the action takes place in studios.
As such, live dealer games were being touted as a possible example of digital disruption, and, as such, might point the way to replacing the land-based casino altogether. To be frank, that didn’t happen, and is not likely to happen; after all, you can’t really replace the hedonism and entertainment offered by a trip to somewhere like Las Vegas. In short, the two arms of the industry continue to coexist peacefully, and they both prosper.
New Experiences Being Mooted
Yet, there is a feeling that the iGaming industry has locked in on something else, perhaps almost accidentally. Namely, we are talking about live casino games going beyond the classic table and card games, and to offer a completely different experience.
For instance, we saw during the World Cup 2018 that NetEnt, a gaming software developer, created a live betting widget that was compatible with the real dealer games. Essentially, it meant that players were able to use the live dealer games as a one-stop-shop to play casino games, place sports bets and chat about the World Cup action as it unfolded. Does the above sound exciting? Perhaps not, but it was more of a prototype feature, and a window into how to live to the game might change.
What all of this means is that we are looking into a future of gaming where the casino games might be secondary: Think about virtual gaming tables were powered by the technology of VR, you and your friends, despite being miles apart, can socialize while playing the games almost as an afterthought.
Different Games Going Live
Moreover, there has been an effort to engineer new types of live games that move away from the traditional card and table games. For instance, Evolution gaming brought out a live Monopoly game, where, as you might expect, the action is played out on a 3D Monopoly board with the actions streamed live. The likes of Playtech, NetEnt, and Microgaming are all pushing to create these new live games, and they are expected to start rolling out over the next year or so.
What will all this look like in 10 years or so? Well, one suggestion is that we will be moving to more skill-based and adventure games. The former is self-explanatory, although it’s difficult to say how it would all work, the latter is what should excite the millions of gamers who have grown up on the World of Warcraft, Fortnite and so on. A live video game experience where you play for money might just become the standard entertainment at casinos as we approach the 2030s.