Online casinos have been in operation in one form or another for more than a quarter of a century to date. The very first online casinos emerged in the mid-1990s, with technologies that today’s consumers would most likely laugh at. However, for their time, they were relatively advanced and the forerunners of what would become a multi-billion-dollar global industry.
Opinions are mixed as to who takes the crown for the very first online casino. The first opportunity to play real-money games online came about in 1994, when Microgaming launched the first software. However, Cryptologic was the first company to launch an online casino in a format we would recognise today, including an integrated payment system, in 1996. Whichever can be said to have created the first online casino, both companies set the ball rolling for what would fast become one of the world’s favourite pastimes – online gambling.
Today’s online casinos are already unrecognisable when compared to these early versions. Software developers today are able to recreate the experience of a live casino using an armoury of technologies that can make the online player feel as if they are standing at the roulette wheel being cheered on by a crowd. This list featuring the best online casinos shows a range of options for the consumer, with modern technologies ensuring multiple immersive gaming options.
One of the biggest challenges facing developers in the online casino industry has been how to make players experience the same thrill as a live casino while playing online. Over the past decade or so, this has been achieved through live dealer games. With live play, users can play in real time with real dealers calling the shots. Chat facilities integrate the social aspect of visiting a physical casino, while the real-time play ensures consumers are caught up in the pressure of having to place their bets and hope for the best in a limited time span.
Artificial intelligence is being used by multiple online casinos to improve the player experience by analysing data taken from customer behaviours and translating this into special offers and new games tailored to meet specific demand. Ai is also being used to improve customer service, ensuring all player needs are met and all queries or complaints are dealt with promptly for a smoother playing experience.
Payment security was once an issue that prevented many people from venturing into the world of real-money online play. Concerns over data protection and fraud have more or less been eliminated today through the implementation of secure payment technologies across online casino websites. All customer data is protected through a range of technologies including SSL encryption and firewalls to provide that essential peace of mind required for making deposits online.
Virtual reality has a long and rich history, however recent advances in technology is improving the online casino experience .Many online casinos are now able to offer their users a truly immersive experience that takes the games to a whole new level. Rather than imitating the live casino experience, players can now feel exactly as if they are at a brick and mortar venue while playing from the comfort of their own homes. Gadgets such as VR/AR headsets and 3D gaming tables allow players to submerge themselves in the casino environment, without ever having to leave their living room.
Anything people like to do online today they also like to be able to access from their smartphones. Casino operators today ensure that their platforms can be accessed from a wide range of platforms and devices, drawing in new players with the added convenience of being able to play their favourite games, from wherever they happen to be at any time of day or night. Exciting software and technologies such as live play and VR are already beginning to be implemented into mobile. Cloud streaming is another relatively new advance that facilitates playing games online from a desktop or mobile without having to go to the trouble of downloading an app.
Cryptocurrency and Blockchain
The recent explosion in popularity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has led to several prominent online casino operators accepting payments made in cryptocurrency. For many, this adds a further layer of security when it comes to making payments online. Blockchain is also being used to underpin a variety of online transactions to improve cybersecurity for online players.
For many, a trip to a live casino is about more than just gambling. People want to experience the luxury and the glamour alongside gaming. Concierge applications allows players to experience the same level of care and pampering as high rollers would expect at some of the world’s top casinos, accessed through an app. While these services are currently only available at live casinos, the player experience is enhanced through having a virtual personal assistant taking care of their every need throughout their stay.
As technology advances, so do the number and type of applications of that technology within the multi-billion-dollar online casino industry. With gambling laws being relaxed across the US and other areas of the world, more people are able to access their favourite online real-money games. Increased customer numbers equal increased demand for innovation, meaning things will only continue to improve.