Casino Software and How It’s Changing the iGaming Industry
With all the juicy bonuses and flashy games thrown your way at every online casino, things like software and optimization will easily fade into the background. These wallflowers in the glitzy world of online gambling actually play a pivotal role without which all the razzle-dazzle would be a “meh.” In order to have all of the slot extravaganza, live dealer interaction, contact options, and payment methods running smoothly on your computer or mobile device, the casino needs to offer both a software system that will be processing its transactions and a license deal with a game developer to feature their games.
Sounds simple but it’s not. And it’s getting more complicated with every passing day as technologies are advancing at unseen pace and customers are becoming more tech-savvy, seeking not only optimized channels of distribution but also their integration for a seamless transition between the various platforms available.
Casino Software Can Make or Break It
Long cashout times and poor site quality are the two top reasons why people would stop visiting an online casino and this just goes to show how important software is. Operators are investing a lot of time, effort, and money in developing a flawless software platform that loads games lobbies instantly, processes payments fast and safely, and lets you contact customer care without a hitch. Limited selection of games and poor mobile performance on mobile devices would also deter players from using the website and this is where the choice of the right games developer becomes crucial. Casinos can either have their unique software developed in-house or make license deals with a game developer to feature their games. As you can imagine, the first option would require a lot more investment so the majority of casinos outsource their game platforms to casino software providers. If you’ve been playing at an online casino, you will surely recognize these top brands:
Playtechwww.playtech.comEstablished: 1999Location: Isle of ManGames: Over 500mansion casino
The reason why you will come across the same games over and over again at different casinos is the fact that software powerhouses like Playtech and Microgaming will offer their products to many casinos. Not only are their games abundant in all categories – from slots to table and cards games, but they are setting the industry standards for quality and pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in technology. Over the span of decades, features have been added and the precision of graphics and animations has been elevated to now allow a truly immersive experience.
3D games are becoming more and more widespread and virtual reality slots are already a thing, which is considered to be the future of online casinos. NetEnt are now tapping into the virtual dimension of casinos, having released their series of VR slots, and for years they have been introducing innovative solutions with the most exquisite graphics and advanced features in RNG games. They were also the first software developer to start launching all of their games to be compatible with mobile devices, including the first live mobile casino designed to cater to the needs of the tech-savvy customers, bringing a sophisticated live casino at their fingertips.
- RNG Games
A Random Number Generator or RNG for short is basically a computer program that generates numbers at random, guaranteeing that virtual games (games without live dealers) are not rigged. There are different kinds of RNGs, with the ones used by casinos called Pseudo Random Number Generator. This kind of software uses an algorithm and seed numbers. It produces new seed numbers every millisecond by using the last number or two produced and a mathematic operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, etc.) to create a new random outcome. RNGs are regularly testes by independent third-party agencies to ensure their algorithms are functioning properly.
- VR Casino Games
A relatively new addition to the repertoire of casino software developers, virtual reality games are ushering in a new era of online gambling. Virtual reality gambling gives gamblers the chance to engage in real-time multiplayer games and options to choose avatars and characters in an immersive casino atmosphere that stimulates the auditory and visual senses as they interact with other players thanks to chat and voice functionalities. Finding VR games is still relatively difficult but you can enter poker and blackjack tournaments, provided you have the necessary equipment such as a headset and a computer geared with a powerful CPU and GeForce GTX 970 or greater.
- Mobile-Friendly Games
Online casinos have been around for 20 years and as you can imagine – back in the day, no one was really particularly bothered with mobile optimization. As handheld devices were growing in popularity and capabilities, however, casinos realized it was time to make their websites and games compatible with tablets and smartphones. Since mobile devices don’t support Flash, operators that had been around longer were quick to give their software an overhaul and offer HTML5 versions of their websites, while up-and-coming online casinos were launched fully optimized. Now, almost all of the older more popular games have been redesigned, while new releases are built from scratch to be mobile-friendly.
- Live Dealer Games
After optimizing the games to look and play great on the smaller screens of mobile devices, the next big thing in online gambling were the live dealer games. Broadcast in HD streaming from professional studios that replicate perfectly the atmosphere of a land-based casino, live games offer a realistic and immersive experience with the cards being dealt by trained professionals often speaking different languages. Players can choose from a selection of games like roulette, blackjack and baccarat and play at different betting limits. Multiple camera angles, live chat options, and features like side bets and bet behind create the most immersive real-time casino experience online.
Integrating the Various Channels
Online casinos are keeping up with the times, catering to the needs of tech-savvy customers with multiple channels but there’s one business model that will incorporate them all in the ultimate experience that will facilitate seamless transition with a minimum effort on the part of the customer. The Omnichannel experience integrates all the channels used for distribution by the casino such as land-based gambling halls, a website, native mobile apps, and social media platforms. Gambling operators take into account the popular demand for continuity between these channels and are working towards an integrated approach to bring together these channels and devices that the customer will use to play.
According to a 2016 study, one of the main factors for customers in choosing a gambling site over another is the ability to bet offline as well. Casinos are now cross-launching games for gaming machines, desktop platforms, and mobile apps to live up to the standards and expectations of today’s customers, particularly millennials, who want to use both digital and brick-and-mortar outlets to gamble. These games have proven to be a great success, outperforming single-channel games.
How Omnichannel Changes the Gambling Industry
Since players use different devices to play on, operators have made sure to offer one-wallet systems that allowed them to play and make financial transactions using the same credentials online. Now, however, with a contactless payment card linked to their online account, they can play at land-based premises as well, while keeping their progress in the games, even earning bonuses. What does this mean for you as a customer? Even more convenience and effortless transition between channels and devices. Imagine you’ve loaded your favorite game on your phone and you run out of juice. Then, you can just reach out and grab your iPad or laptop and pick up right where you left off with all your wins and bonuses still where you last saw them.
Thanks to the Omnichannel experience, you will even be able to enter a land-based gambling hall and in a single swipe of a card, continue to play while keeping your progress. Omnichannel games are a thing now, merging the path of land-based, desktop, and mobile which used to go three separate ways. Software developers and gambling operators are now integrating them into a single engine for convenience and flexibility that only the cutting-edge Omnichannel software can offer. Slots, as well as table games like roulette, blackjack and baccarat are already available on shared content roadmaps, bringing the in-house experience to online customers.
Artificial Intelligence has Changed Online Gambling in Unseen Ways
None of these innovations like virtual reality games and Omnichannel would be possible without artificial intelligence. Although the true potential of AI in terms of analyzing information performing intellectual tasks and how these could change the iGaming industry, has only been exploited rather recently, it has been a part of gambling for a lot longer than online casinos have been around. Back in the 1960s, the first card counting method was invented with the help of an IBM 700 and its creator later designed a device he used to beat roulette, again with the help of computerized software device.
Advanced Technologies Mean Tailor-Made Solutions and Improved Gameplay
While these methods were invented to give advantage of the player over the house, AI has also been used to put players and machines on the opposite sides of the felt. The first software that allowed mainframe computers to play checkers against humans was developed more than 50 years and since then we have seen it become more and more sophisticated and capable of complex operations that predict players’ actions in order to create a tailor-made experience. Recently, however, not only has AI made playing computer games more immersive, but it’s proven to be so intricate that it has beaten the best players in complex games like poker and go. These kinds of bots may seem daunting for the online gambling industry, as their use begs the crucial question of information parity. With so much and so many sophisticated bots and algorithms being implemented, the prices and margins offered by bookies could be altered in a way that could change the industry altogether.
Limiting Gambling Addiction with AI
Compulsive gambling and betting are a problem that AI could help solve in a way that people haven’t been able before. Gaining immense popularity, gambling is a favorite pastime, becoming even a lucrative professional occupation for some but for others, it can turn into addiction. Scientists have found ways to implement AI in detecting pathological gambling addiction, recognizing the signs in players before it has turned into an unhealthy dependency. A team of London scientists and one of the leading software companies have worked in collaboration to develop a sophisticated platform that tracks players’ behaviors using inference mechanisms, neural networks, and random forest algorithms. One of the most advanced solutions in the industry, it is able to detect problematic levels of compulsive gambling, and casinos can analyze the data in order to decide whether to take preventative measures, applying limitations or even blocking accounts.
The Future of the iGaming Industry
Throughout the years, the gambling industry has demonstrated unmatched ability to adapt to newly emerging trends and cater to the needs of customers utilizing the latest innovations in technologies. It has already made a more than successful transition from land-based to digital and online, taking mobile optimization and real-time live dealer interaction in its stride. Now, it’s riding again the wave of the latest innovations introducing virtual reality games and utilizing artificial intelligence to map out an enhanced gameplay with improved features, out-of-this-world graphics and animations for a truly immersive experience. What the future holds for this behemoth of an industry remains to be seen but one can place a safe bet that’s it’s going to be big, offering the best software rendered by the ubiquity of technology.
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