If there is one trend we see with gaming experiences and graphics it is that they are constantly improving in quality, experience, sound and images. There has been a constant evolution of HD to Full HD all the way to 4K in addition to new surround sound and clarity. Furthermore, we have seen applications start off in 2D and have since moved to 3D, bringing the industry to a whole other level. Later, TVs and even new projectors offered glasses free 3D image viewing for compatible movies and TV shows, bringing new value to their products in an increasingly competitive market that is inherently reliant on value-added features and services.
The online gambling market is one that is growing and is starting to see its niche carved out via the devices that support it. Previously, there were less people to partake in casino gambling games that only supported Mac or Windows, as it constricted their playing to a set screen at a set location. This later changed as the introduction of smart phones entered the market around 2005/2006, bringing about a new wave of gambling possibilities for developers since the breakthrough of online casinos back in the early 2000s. Later, the iPad hit the market in 2010 followed by many other tablet devices supporting Android. These devices were introduced as the ultimate portable devices for gaming, reading and overall new experiences for the mobile user looking to stay connected in a new and sophisticated way.
Tablets created a new niche for the gambling market, most notably the casino slots sector, which many observers believe helped shoot the overall global online gambling market from $17.7 billion in 2006 to $33.6 billion in 2011, according to statistics from Statista. The market since then has only seen minimal growth each year, reaching only $39.5 billion in 2014, a far less jump compared with the 2006-2011 hike in figures.
This trend in fact is no coincidence and is largely attributed to the experience and exposure people have with the gambling market in conjunction with mobile devices. New devices such as smartphones and tablets spurred growth in the industry due to their convenience and ability to access information and games whenever and wherever. Most gambling companies over the 2006-2011 period were quick to pick up onto this and reacted by creating compatible Apps for iOS and Android. However, since then there has not been any new types of mobile compatibility or new devices to spur new demand in the casino world, something of which may cause the industry to stagnate over the coming years.
What the gambling industry needs to consider then is how it can take a more proactive role in creating demand and revenue. Currently, the industry is rather passive in that it waits for applications to be created and then waits for the gamers to enter. However, what it should be doing is to promote itself with vendors and other platforms to show the experience of what online casino games offer, and what exactly the value is other than 24/7 accessibility. Las Vegas does this in that if offers itself as an entertainment capital of the world rather than just a casino hub. The same train of thought needs to be applied to online casinos.
A great way to achieve this is to think about something ground-breaking, like cooperating with a vendor such as Oculus to bring about 3D games or virtual interactive casinos in which you can see live vendors, real-life casinos and even pretty cocktail waitresses walking around. Video games regardless if they play casino games now want these kinds of applications for other games so it is not ridiculous to think that other niches are thinking differently. Imagine being able to walk into a virtual casino in Macau that gives you access to play poker with locals, cash out funds at the cashier desk and play the local slots while hearing local sounds and seeing unique imagery? This is part of the overall gaming experience, and the one-screen 2D imagery found on all casino games has yet to change in the online world since its inception back in the early 2000s. Therefore, investing in R&D for such games as well as bumping up cooperation with vendors is a must if the industry wants to continue profiting and growing.
Online casino developers can also forge cooperation with TV vendors, pushing new 3D apps that bring casinos to life at one’s home entertainment hub. TV vendors are also looking to bring new value to their setups and thinking only of the hardware aspect is no longer a winning strategy, as the market is saturated and supply chains far too integrated to really define what products actually have value over others. Looking at the software aspect is now more important than ever and is crucial for all industries looking to stay afloat and provide value for their products.
Perhaps vendors are a bit hesitant to actively promote association with gambling, but the online world is not that much different than the premise in which a land-base casino operate. The concept simply needs to be introduced in a manner that audiences can connect with. For us, since there is a chance to make real money from casino games this in fact is far better a reason to play than other games that require an expensive box, controllers and CDs, all of which need to be purchased in person or online in addition to whatever shipping expenses are included. Online casinos need to push this more in addition to cooperation with cool and new niches such as 3D or virtual devices in order to stay afloat and maintain prosperity in the industry.