Technology continues to have a fundamental effect on the way that many industries operate.
An example in point is the casino business which has managed to thrive over the past year despite the fact that many bricks and mortar premises have remained shuttered, with their doors locked for months on end because of the global pandemic and resultant government restrictions.
Instead, they have harnessed the power of the internet to go online, in the process tapping into a new customer base, many of whom have turned to gaming as a source of entertainment, but also as a way of alleviating the boredom and stress of lockdowns.
Certainly, all the new online casinos in Canada, such as those listed here have realised the benefit of having an online presence, not just in terms of broadening their product offering, but also to offer improved levels of customer service as well.
And the investment involved has paid off – many online casinos recorded record revenues and profits in 2020.
The ubiquity of smartphones mean that people now have access to online games wherever they go in the world, liberating them from their desktops. And now that smartwatches have taken off in big numbers, the possibilities have been expanded. Smartwatches that support casino games can be expected in the near future.
Undoubtedly an empowering factor has the roll-out of faster internet speeds, with the expansion of 4 and 5G networks. This is essential, for instance in online in-play sports gaming, where the odds are constantly changing.
Virtual (VR) and Augmented (AR) Reality are also expected to play an increasing role in the online experience going forward. Now remote users will be able to get the experience of being in a land-based casino with audio and visual effects, and some entrepreneurs are even experimenting with olfactory effects as well.
Live dealers are related to this. Increasingly online casinos are using live dealers in their games, realising that people who are at home or on the move enjoy the interaction with a real person rather than a computer-generated avatar. During the pandemic poker enthusiasts were able to form online poker rooms, continuing to enjoy their favourite game, whilst remaining safe at the same time.
Another advance that is being embraced is cryptocurrency. Although they have long been viewed with suspicion, the reality is that they are becoming more mainstream, as evidenced by the recent decision of Elon Musk’s Tesla company to buy US $1.5 billion of Bitcoin.
More and more outlets are now accepting such currencies as a method of payment, and the online casino business is no exception. Operators have realised the benefits in terms of customer convenience of accepting them as well as the online safety and protection offered by the blockchain technology which powers man of these alternative currencies.
Meanwhile machine learning, artificial intelligence and advances in big data processing means that casinos are now able to learn much more about their online customers than ever before, enabling them to offer promotion and bonuses that are much more personalised and targeted.
Online casinos have learned a key lesson – embrace all that modern technology has to offer, or risk being left behind.