The huge value of the online gambling in the UK – over £5 billion gross yield annually – means businesses are willing to invest large sums of money into product development. The industry has always been one of the first to harness new technologies to improve the gambling experience for players and the rapid growth in broadband speeds, mobile technologies and payment services has meant that placing a bet from anywhere in the world is now quick and easy.
Here we look at three of the most exciting tech developments that have driven market growth in the last two decades.
It is now estimated that more than 60% of all wagers placed online are done through a mobile device. This shift from desktop play to mobile was made possible by three technological advancements. Firstly, the move to broadband and much faster connection speeds. Secondly, improvements in the handset hardware itself. Bigger screens and higher resolutions means games played online through a handheld device now look and feel as good as those on desktop. And thirdly, HTML 5 technology has made it possible to build games that easily respond to the operating system and screen size of the users device, re-sizing to fit instantly. This technology has been partly responsible for the massive growth in playtime on video slots for example. This quick and simple fixed odds style of gambling is by far the most popular at any virtual casino and there are now thousands of new online slots created every year. You can see just how big this sector is when you browse the latest games at sites like www.theslotbuzz.com.
Live Dealer Gambling
The three technologies that have driven the growth of the mobile slots are also responsible for another exciting innovation in online gambling – live dealer casinos. These have taken off in the last decade and now surpass traditional HTML 5 versions of classic table games like Blackjack and Roulette in the online space. At live tables, real croupiers take bets and deal cards or spin the roulette wheels viewed over a video stream. This allows the gambler to experience betting in the same way that they would in a real Vegas or Macau casino. This is of course only possible because of the quality of broadband connections and video streaming. It is even possible to experience the same thrills when a user loads up one of these games on their mobile device. Live Dealer games vary in format from classic Blackjacks and Roulettes to bespoke, exclusive online games like Evolution Gaming’s Dream Catcher or Monopoly Live. For anyone who has shied away from online gambling because of fears that games might be rigged, the live experience dispels this suspicion – the cards are shuffled and dealt for real in front of you. In short, live casinos are as close to the real thing as you can get without stepping foot onto a real casino floor.
eWallets and Crypto Payments
The third area of tech development that has been a driving force behind the growth of the online gambling industry is payment services. Whilst traditional solutions like bank cards or bank transfers are still the most popular way to fund a gambling account, alternatives like eWallets or even Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, have given players the opportunity to make convenient deposits quickly and securely. Popular services like Paypal or Skrill are the most widely used because they allow the gambler to deposit without having to share their bank account details with the operator. They also facilitate quicker access to funds after a withdrawal. Cash appears instantly in a virtual wallet whereas banks take up to five days to make the money available. eWallets like Paypal are just one example of payment services that are popular with online gamblers. Bitcoin casinos are also now a popular way to stake online. The crypto currency’s high profile in the last 10 years has meant more and more players now favour this anonymous system over traditional bank solutions or virtual wallets. This is just another example of where tech innovation has helped drive the growth in popularity of online casinos and sportsbooks.
The online gambling market shows no sign of slowing down and we fully expect it to continue to be at the forefront of new technologies over the next decade and beyond.