MOBILE & VIRTUAL REALITY TECH TO LEAD ONLINE GAMBLING GROWTH
- Mobile phones are currently the most popular device to gamble with
- Global wagers on mobile and online gambling services expected to grow from $553.8 billion to $946.0 billion by 2021
- Convergence technology to include improved platforms and internet-ready devices like smart watches, fridges, and televisions
- Virtual reality set to grow from $58.5 million in 2016, to just under $520 million by 2021
Online Gambling to Bring in $946 billion by 2021
Online gambling is on the rise and shows no signs of slowing. Predicted to be the number one form of gambling, the global volume for 2016 reached a whopping $45.86 billion for the whole industry.
Global wagers made on mobile and online gambling services is expected to grow from $553.8 billion to $946 billion between 2016 and 2021, according to in-depth Juniper research.
One of the most exciting ways for gamblers to bet online is through live casino games, which was majorly influenced by video and live streaming, and the growth of other gambling technologies and devices, like mobile phones.
Mobile Phones Are the Most Popular Devices for Gambling
With online gambling on a rapid upward trajectory, and four out of five adults in the UK owning a mobile device, it’s become the most popular way for users to gamble all over the UK, and across the world.
Mobile tech is already used in various industries across the board, including fintech and e-commerce, so it makes sense that mobile gambling is so popular. Not only is it easy and instant, providing access to the best online casinos and sites available anytime and anywhere, but mobile technology in general has far surpassed desktop use all over the world.
In America, 85% of social casino gamers now use their mobile devices to gamble with - a record low of 49% ever turning to their PCs. The rest of the world is on track to mirror the States’ mobile gambling popularity, and by 2018 the global mobile gambling industry is set to take 40% of the total online gambling market.
IoT and Convergence on the Rise
Casinos and gambling technology companies are aiming to make their betting tech not only easier to use, but rich in supporting multiple devices. For them to become “omni-channel” leaders in gambling, future technology would include improved platforms which extend to numerous internet-ready devices, like smart watches, fridges, and televisions.
Group Chief Technology Officer of GVC, Sandeep Tiku, hopes that in the next 12-14 months GVC will be one of these omni-channel leaders upon revealing their platform which, “…could be easily adjusted for different devices rather than being forced to develop ‘expensive front-end technology’ for each new device.”
With technology vastly different to what it used to be 10 years ago, it’s exciting to see how various gambling companies are using this to their advantage. Improved speed and stability, moving away from mobile-optimised sites toward dedicated mobile versions of the best casinos, and of course, omni-channel gambling, are all exciting developments for gambling tech.
Virtual Reality to Make Up 40% of Total Gross Gambling Wagers by 2021
Research by Juniper has found that virtual reality is the next big thing for the gambling experience, and other experts have made the same prediction. It seems that soon, a new stimulus will be available for gamblers online, and VR is expected to account for just under half of all wagers in 2021.
VR is already a big shaker in several industries, and its popularity in gambling is set to grow from just over $58.5 million in 2016, to just under $520 million by 2021.
This 800% growth for virtual reality gambling is expected to come from the casino space mainly, potentially offering gamblers immersive, real-world VR locations. But will virtual reality gambling exist without all the high-tech gadgets needed, e.g. goggles, to fully experience VR?
Games like Net Entertainment’s Jack and the Beanstalk already allow owners of the Google Cardboard tech to play in VR - the platform translates the images displayed on the screen to VR using a smartphone head mount. And while VR games and casinos already exist, there’s an exciting opportunity for growth within this new way of experiencing gambling.
Machines to Outsmart Smartest Humans Using AI for Gambling?
We’ve all heard the common threat that artificial intelligence and robots are going to take over most human jobs. What does that mean for gambling technology, and should we start worrying about the impact of AI in betting?
In January, Carnegie Mellon, a leading research institution in the US, paired their self-made AI agent, Libratus, against four of the world’s best professional poker players. Not only did it win, but it had no idea how to play poker when it first started betting. It learnt.
“The best AI’s ability to do strategic reasoning with imperfect information has now surpassed that of the best humans,” said Tuomas Sandholm, professor of computer science and co-creator of the AI.
Carnegie Mellon University’s head of the CMU Computer Science Department, Frank Pfenning adds, “…Imagine that your smartphone will someday be able to negotiate the best price on a new car for you. That’s just the beginning.”
Blockchain Technology Encouraging Trust and Innovation
One of the most ground-breaking technological innovations influencing the online community is, of course, cryptocurrencies, which have more than 3 million active users. Cryptocurrencies make headlines all over the world for the security and trust that comes with betting online using them, and are popular among modern gamblers who rely on their un-hackable technology.
Since 2014, bitcoin wagers have sky-rocketed to $4.5 Billion. From its decentralised system and the fact that no fiat money is used, to its protection of gamblers’ personal details and the ease of exchanging cryptocurrencies for goods and services, blockchain technology and gambling are two encrypted peas in a blockchain pod.
The secureness of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology have inspired numerous online casinos, like FortuneJack, the biggest bitcoin gambling site, to offer gambling with cryptocurrencies. It has also broadened the possibilities for innovation on these gambling sites. For example, the creators of DAOCasino have introduced smart contracts based on Ethereum technology, which they hope will increase the integrity of data on online gambling platforms.
In their whitepaper, the online casino details their protocol and how they aim to increase trust and fairness. By using decentralised PRNG for games - reliability is enhanced through Random Number Generation algorithms - they hugely impact the fairness of the platforms thanks to blockchain technology.
From blockchain technology’s effect on security and payments, to the effects of mobile phones and online gambling on video and live streaming, it seems the future of gambling tech will be advantageous to both the player and the industry.
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