It seems hard to believe that the online casino industry has only been in existence for a little over two decades. In such a relatively short space of time, enormous strides have been made both in the choice and quality of games on offer. But, impressive as it may have been, maybe we’re on the verge of even more exciting developments in the very near future. These are driven by a number of factors. But surely the most important of these is the desire of players for novelty and new experiences. This has been the catalyst for many of the developments that we have seen over the years, with casino operators fighting for market share in what is a very competitive sector.
In the early days of online casinos, the games on offer were inevitably fairly basic. At a time when the industry was just finding its feet, the best that was on offer was a selection of the sorts of computer games that captured the essence of roulette, blackjack et al., but without meeting its full potential. But, before long, the live casino arrived. This aimed to recreate a more realistic casino ambiance by live-streaming games, run by real dealers, to a player’s PC or mobile device. By digitizing the action, it allowed the game to be played online.
Bingo with a difference
Now, among the many games in the sights of operators, is bingo. To make them even more engaging, players have access to things like jackpot slots, progressive slots, and slingo games at Betfair, and other leading sites. This is an ingenious coming together of bingo and slots games – hence the catchy name. Instead of the numbers being called out, in Slingo games, they are delivered via the spinning reels of a slots game.
This is a more captivating way to provide the numbers and it also allows for the inclusion of various special rounds and bonus features within the game, adding a whole new dimension to the old favorite. It also means that the games can be themed in the same way that slots are. So you could find yourself playing along to a popular TV show like “Deal or No Deal” or “Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?”. There are also Slingo games that take their inspiration from some of the top slots titles like “Starburst” and “Rainbow Riches”.
An element of skill
It makes perfect sense for casino operators to do this, as slots are by far the most popular games on their sites, not to mention the biggest money earners. However, they tend to be played mostly by older people and it’s by encouraging the twenty-somethings and above that sites will continue to thrive.
One of the key ways that some sites are trying to draw in new players is by adding an element of skill to some of their games. The thinking is that this is a generation that has been brought up in the first real era of video gaming. So if elements of these are incorporated into more casino games, it should make them even more appealing to this particular demographic. There’s plentiful evidence from no less an authority than Nielsen that video gaming is a central part of millennials’ media consumption. So incorporating certain features like challenges that need to be overcome to claim a cash prize is something of a no-brainer.
Fortunately, the technology is now available for programmers and developers to do this. So many industry observers are expecting that more and more skill-based slots will soon be appearing on casino sites.
VR comes of age
But perhaps the most exciting area of tech that is set to transform the online casino experience is virtual reality. In the five years since the establishment of Oculus Rift, it would now seem that VR is firmly established, and starting to extend into many areas. While online casinos are yet to fully take the plunge, the prospect of players being able to find themselves immersed in a different world is an irresistible one. Whether the surroundings are a Vegas-style casino or even in one of the worlds evoked by a slots game, it will represent a quantum leap forward for casinos and players alike.
Most exciting of all, it’s not a question of whether this will happen, it’s just a matter of when.