Advancements in technology have had a major impact on society over the past few decades, helping to transform most aspects of the way people live their lives. Tons of industries have enjoyed massive growth due to technological innovations, with the gambling sector undoubtedly one of the most noteworthy. The days where people were limited to visiting land-based venues to play casino games or bet on sports are long gone, with digital technology changing the landscape.
If you have signed up for an account with an online casino in the UK, you will understand the impact digital technology has had on the gambling industry in recent years. The global online gambling market is currently valued at around $70 billion, perfectly highlighting how popular the sector has become.
With analysts forecasting that annual revenues will grow by double-digit percentages over the next few years, the success story looks set to continue for some time yet. But how has technology impacted casinos in the UK? Read on as we take a closer look at the how things have developed and what the future may hold.
Bonuses & promotions
The growth in popularity of online casinos in the UK has been aided in no small part by gambling operators offering players lucrative bonuses and promotions.
With traditional casinos hindered by higher operating costs, online sites have taken advantage by expertly leveraging freemium marketing techniques to their advantage. Matched deposits and free spins are amongst the ways online casinos strive to entice new players into signing up for an account. Technology also provides casinos with the ability to personalise the promotions they offer to existing players, thus enhancing their enjoyment of playing on the site.
Selection of games
Limitations in floor space mean that traditional casinos are restricted to the number of table games and slots they can have in their venue.
Online iGaming operators have no such hurdles to overcome, with the internet providing endless space within which online casinos can grow. This point is hammered home by statistical reports that estimate there are currently more than 15,000 different slots games available on the internet.
With new titles hitting the market at a rapid rate, it is unlikely to be too long before this tally powers past the 20,000 mark and beyond.
One of the main ways technology has impacted casinos, both in land-based venues and online, is the gameplay experience provided by the different games.
This is showcased to great effect by slots games, which are now unrecognisable from the first-ever machine launched in the United States during the 1890s. The Liberty Bell had just three reels, five symbols, no additional features and a 50 cents jackpot – a concept that would be alien to modern slots players.
With multiple reels, loads of features, bonus levels and the chance to win seven-figure jackpots, online slots games are one of the most immersive pastimes around.
Smartphones & Wi-Fi connectivity
Increased smartphone usage and improved Wi-Fi connectivity have contributed massively to the growth of online casinos in the UK.
According to the UK Gambling Commission, the total gross gambling yield for the remote betting, bingo and casino sector was £6.9bn from April 2020 to March 2021. People currently spend an average four hours per day entertaining themselves on mobile devices, highlighting how integral they have become to daily life. With the rollout of 5G Wi-Fi technology expected to further growth in the online casino industry, the mobile boom should continue for the foreseeable future.
Digital technology has driven a major shift in the way people pay for goods and services, meaning that cash payments are becoming increasingly rare.
While early digital payment methods were blighted by security issues, the modern landscape is a much safer and trustworthy environment. Debit cards are still popular with casino players, but many have switched to digital options such as PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, Apple Pay and Google Pay.
With open banking methods such as Trustly making waves in the casino industry, technology will continue to power online payments for many years to come.
Advertising & marketing
As we alluded to earlier, online casinos in the UK have boomed on the back of operators using freemium marketing tactics to grow their businesses.
By advertising on digital media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, online casinos have been able to change the demographic of people who play games online. Females have increasingly latched onto online casino games in the UK, with research showing that they account for around 33 percent of the total number of players.
With digital technology providing casino operators with the ability to harness data more effectively, the industry is only going to continue in one direction.
Technology & casinos – The final word
The last couple of decades have witnessed a seismic shift in the way people entertain themselves, with technology unquestionably the key driving force for change.
It is unlikely that things will stand still in the online casino industry over the next few years, particularly with game developers continuing to innovate. Virtual reality (VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) have been widely forecast to be the next emerging technologies to have a major impact on casinos. From game experiences to enhanced customer support functions and more, VR and AI are likely to become commonplace in the industry by the end of the 2020s.