According to statistics shown by a 2020 research study, the mobile gambling industry is said to be worth about 59 billion U.S. dollars. This trend is seemingly on the rise and forecasts have shown that this value is bound to double in the upcoming years. This growth is seemingly due to several factors such as the increasing affordability of smartphones, the availability of high-speed internet, and finally the targeted increase of online casinos among various demographics.
In this article, we’ll be discussing at great length the impact technology has had on poker as well as which technologies have aided the industry’s growth.
The poker industry has without any doubt faced many shifts. These shifts were largely due to the rigid rules governing the game that were imposed by states and federations to regulate it. They made it rather difficult for the industry to triumph as many casinos were forced to shut down in the early stages.
Now, however, the tech industry has realized what a goldmine iGaming is. So much technology investments have been made to the industry much so that it has surpassed the National lottery market for example. Leveraging technologies such as data science, artificial intelligence (AI), cloud computing, blockchain and cryptocurrencies, augmented reality, virtual reality, and live dealer games, the industry has scaled greatly.
With data science, casinos are able to customize each user’s experience. With artificial intelligence (AI), there is a significant boost to customer service delivery such as automated chatbots to provide solutions to their users. Through cloud computing, the security of the user’s on their sites can be guaranteed. Through cryptocurrencies, users can be assured of the security of their payments. Poker industry experts have written a comprehensive crypto poker guide here.
Through augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR), the gaming experience is heightened, as players can be immersed in a virtual playing room that gives the feel of a real brick-and-mortar casino. Finally, with live dealer games, the online gaming experience feels more realistic. Players can chat amongst themselves and the dealers.
Now that we’ve discussed the technologies, let’s discuss their impact in detail:
Ever-Increasing Digital Platforms
Social media platforms have contributed to creating awareness about several online gambling games. The influence this mode of communication has on the younger demographic contributes to how various gambling platforms grow their audiences to promote their tournaments. Studies show that the average social media user spends about 144 minutes across 8 social media and messaging apps daily.
Poker players have dedicated forums, groups, pages, and subreddits dedicated to helping amateurs and professionals develop their poker skills. The exposure this provides allows for the easy dissemination of information, with the details spreading like wildfire.
Easy-to-use Payment Platforms
Once upon a time, the inaccessibility to credit made several poker companies shut down. However, with financial institutions being backed by technology, payments can be processed in seconds, credits can be easily verified allowing cash to be made readily available.
Poker sites now accept deposits from virtual currencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum. They also accept deposits from several online wallets and credit cards. This makes the games easily accessible to interested parties.
Technology has also made it possible for players to customize their own physical playing rooms to enjoy their games better. With large screen displays enabled with improved performance functions such as high-resolution images and videos, and sound audio quality, players can view in detail the poker game.
With smartphones becoming cheaper, and more people gaining access to fast internet, players can play from any place. This improved gaming experience is a major reason why poker is seemingly on the rise.
Freedom to Play Anywhere & Anytime
Traditional brick-and-mortar casinos were often constrained by time. They opened late and games ran at odd hours of the night. Both the casino and players didn’t have the luxury of choosing when to play or when to open. Now that technology has helped with the evolution of online poker, people can play games 24/7 from anywhere in the world.
Players are also able to choose the level of intensity of the games they’d love to play. In a traditional poker game, it was just your luck if you were an amateur playing a high-stakes game. Now, newbies have the option to play as many low stake games as they’d want. They can also tap into multiple rooms, playing as many games as they’d like all from the comfort of their mobile device.
Technology has indeed helped to reduce both the operating costs of running casinos and the expenses attached to visiting a casino for players. The energy bills for their flashing lights (lol), salaries paid to their staff, rent, security, and insurance are just a few costs casino owners incur. Poker players would also save on the amount they spend traveling to casinos, the betting costs are also reduced because they now get access to endless bonuses online, they also do not have to pay for the overpriced food and drinks served at casinos (you know it’s true).
Variety of Games
When playing online poker, players now have access to a variety of poker games. Typically, most traditional casinos only offer Texas Hold’Em poker games. However, with online poker, players can play other forms such as 3- Card Brag, 5- Card Stud, Omaha, 7- Card Stud, and Razz.
This level of access to variety ensures that players can build up their knowledge, gaining the extensive skill to help them calculate moves and read their opponents better.
Easier to learn
learning how to play poker in a brick-and-mortar casino can be intimidating to some. The stakes are high, you’re pitted against pros, and you can only learn by watching or losing your money. However, with platforms such as YouTube or Twitch, players can learn from industry experts who are willing to share their knowledge. Twitch is one of the most popular ways for beginners to learn the game, and as a testament to the fact, traffic to Twitch poker is up 16% since last month. Also, you can play for free via phone apps to help hone your skill without risking a cent.
With all the points discussed, we can agree that technology has given a great contribution to the rise of the gambling industry. In the next few years, players can expect technology to affect many areas of iGaming: Creating awareness about the games, the ease with which it is played, and the customized user experience.