Gaming is one of the oldest forms of entertainment. For 99% of that history, it has relied on props and people; the visual spectacles from horse races to spinning the ball on the roulette wheel were overseen by bookies, dealers, and other real people creating an immersive and interactive experience that stood the test of time.
The digital age has revolutionized all of this. Online gambling now allows people the chance to access activities around the clock, to have state-of-the-art security protecting their funds, and the ability to streamline their choice of games. Behind everything is a massive investment in technology with the ultimate goal of ensuring that users have all the benefits of the digital age with all the interaction of more traditional forms of gambling.
Online casinos, betting sites and other forms of virtual gambling all fall under the umbrella of iGaming, and on the larger platforms, you can find these all together in one place. If you look at the Paddy Power site for instance, there’s not only casino and table games but also a selection of the best online casino games, ones that are as high quality as any given modern mobile game in terms of design quality.
Other than being virtual rather than physical, casinos like this operate in the same manner as any other. There are welcome bonuses and events for new and existing players, large scale prizes available through those events, and every casino has its own brand and identity.
As an industry, iGaming is constantly at the cutting edge of technology. Virtual reality (VR) is being used to allow players to immerse themselves in the spectacle again and is certainly a growing trend as developers work to improve the experience for users, Cryptocurrency is also developing within the iGaming world as a method of depositing and withdrawing winnings. In fact, it is now so prevalent that analysts treat it as an entire subcategory of gambling.
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is currently used in Gaming, but is more aimed at marketing, support channels, and event admin. Of course, this makes sense given that Gaming is meant to be based purely on chance; slot and casino games are strictly programmed to follow random formulas in the interest of fairness and algorithms which learn and make informed decisions are unlikely to help with this.
However, there are areas of iGaming that will benefit from AI and keep the fairness of playing intact. Online casinos have always worked towards interactivity with their players; a task that can be a little challenging when the platform is purely digital. AI has the potential to change that with the advent of projects like the Metaverse. When casinos inevitably make the jump to the virtual world, and when AI becomes stable enough, then it’s very likely fully interactive virtual casinos will follow.
This would be iGaming’s ultimate goal; being able to host fully interactive casinos with automated AI hosts, with players using VR technology to ‘walk’ around and even interact with other players, emulating the atmosphere and social aspect that the casinos of Vegas or Monte Carlo currently hold exclusively.
It may be some way off still, however it could well be a revolution in the industry when it lands.