The landscape in the casino industry has changed dramatically in recent years – Image via Pexels
The casino industry has undergone significant changes since the turn of the century, with advancements in technology facilitating a huge shift in how the sector operates.
It does not seem too long ago that visiting a land-based venue was the only way you could play casino games, but the landscape has changed massively in recent years.
The launch of the internet opened the door for gambling operators to seamlessly navigate into the online arena, and this has quickly become a boom area.
Global revenue topped $66 billion in 2020 and analysts have forecast that the annual figure will continue to rise at a rapid rate over the coming years.
Changes in legislation in growth markets such as the United States are helping to power the growth, while improved regulation has had a positive impact in many other regions.
However, as we alluded to earlier, tech developments have been a key driver in allowing operators to create immersive online casino sites.
There are now a plethora of different brands jostling for supremacy in the industry, each of which are striving to be bigger and better than their rivals.
The choice of games available to players is staggering, with the best online casinos offering roulette, blackjack, poker, slots, baccarat, keno and more.
These are available around the clock, 365 days per year, making it easy for people to play on their chosen device whenever it suits them.
Like most other tech-powered industries, the online casino sector continues to evolve as operators look for new ways to attract new customers and retain existing ones.
One of the most exciting innovations in recent years has been the development of live casino games, which mirror the experience of playing in a land-based venue.
The demand for live games has been massive, with some of the leading operators reporting that they now account for more than 50 per cent of their online revenue.
An introduction to live casino games
The concept of online casinos was built around digital versions of games like roulette and blackjack that are available in brick-and-mortar venues.
While offering an exciting gameplay experience, they are unable to replicate the thrill of going head-to-head with the dealer or croupier.
Improvements in video tech have provided a thrilling alternative, allowing operators to work with iGaming developers to create live casino games.
These are currently focused on popular table games, and generally require three cameras to film all the action in real-time.
By using optical camera recognition technology and a Game Control Unit (GCU), online casinos can live stream games directly to a player’s chosen digital device.
The dealer or croupier can follow the action on studio monitors, while instant messaging software allows the two parties to communicate with each other.
A cameraman is on hand to ensure that all of the equipment functions properly, thus providing players with a seamless live casino experience.
Why players prefer playing live games
Casino players love pitting their wits against dealers or croupiers – Image via Pexels
There are a few factors that contribute to the popularity of live casino games, with human interaction undoubtedly one of the most important.
Many people dream of visiting Las Vegas, but not everyone fulfils their wish to tick the iconic casino destination off their bucket list.
Live online casinos replicate the experience of playing games in land-based venues, allowing players to access games via their chosen digital device.
People no longer have to think about travelling thousands of miles to play live casino games – they are available in just a few clicks.
Whether you want to play at home or while travelling around the world, land-based venues simply cannot match this level of convenience.
Another element that gives live games the edge over the traditional digital variants is the increased level of skill they bring to the table.
Digital versions of games such as blackjack and roulette are controlled by random number generators, which means the outcome is purely down to luck.
However, live casino games provide players with the opportunities to implement strategies that can significantly improve their chances of making a profit.
Variety is also another reason why people love playing live games. Some land-based venues may only have a handful of tables available, but online sites can offer much greater choice.
Live casino games in the future
While live casino games have already had a massive impact on the industry, it is fair to say that there is still plenty of room for growth.
Most of the leading brands now feature a live casino, although some of them have only made a token gesture by offering a handful of variants of the most popular games.
However, some operators are well ahead of the curve and provide players with dozens of different live games to choose from.
They are already looking to the future by exploring the possibility of introducing new innovations such as Virtual Reality (VR) technology.
Evolution Gaming is a specialist developer of live games and has been ploughing significant resources into VR in recent months.
The firm recently launched a live game show and casino game – Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt – which has received rave reviews from players.
VR has been threatening to cross into the mainstream for some time now, and Evolution’s latest effort could be the catalyst for this to finally happen.
This is a tremendously exciting prospect for fans of casino games, as they could soon be playing alongside friends and family in a ‘virtual’ environment.
Live casino games have already had a major impact on the industry and we expect this trend to continue over the next few years.
VR could facilitate significant changes in how people play online casino games, and this is unlikely to be the last tech innovation to hit the sector.