Tech Meets Gaming: Innovative Trends & Advancements Since gaming became an industry, technological developments and advancements in gambling have coincided.

From cogs and gears turning slot reels to early printing presses creating card decks, electricity powering brick and mortar casinos, computers revolutionizing gaming, RNGs, the internet, and now ever-increasingly intelligent software that allows partially limitless potential for game technologies. Technology and gaming are intertwined industries.

Online & Mobile Gaming

Gambling has evolved from brick-and-mortar casinos to online and mobile gambling platforms, accessible 24/4. From a more straightforward, land-based industry, which tended to be localized, it is now borderless (although somewhat complex gambling licensing rules in some jurisdictions prevent this entirely), tech-driven sector, created by code and delivered using computers, mobiles, or tablets.

Computers started the action, with the first online casino launching in 1994, but by 2003, the first mobile casinos were ready to roll (despite frequent glitches). Mobile gambling has continued to rise in popularity and technical specs since, with three-quarters of 18-34-year-olds using their mobile devices to lay bets in the UK. Mobile gambling has been nothing short of a tech-based revolution for the gambling industry, allowing gamblers to play with complete convenience and flexibility.

Nowadays, online casinos are mobile-ready, optimized for any device, and provide a seamless gambling experience. Mobile apps also exist, which offer the same product via downloadable iOS or Android applications.

Live Streaming, AR & VR

Technology is critical for game design and product development. Consider the move from 3-reel slots that had a physical arm to online games software, Megaways, Gigablox, live streaming, AR, and VR.

Technology has created ever-illusive boundaries to the limits of online real-money gaming, with those developers brave enough to keep pushing rewarded the most. Three of the most significant current tech-driven gaming trends include augmented reality, virtual reality, and live gaming. Interestingly, all bring the player closer to a real-life casino or gaming experience, recreating brick-and-mortar casino ambiance and games. 

Live streaming first took hold in the form of live dealers, then live game shows, and has now developed into live streaming slot games with bet behind options for consumers who can stake and join in the action as they watch one player spin the reels.

As tech improves, players are continually seeking new experiences. This has created a fast-paced games industry, with hundreds of suppliers creating new products. Review sites look at what is available, providing a collection of the latest new slot sites that offer innovative features, bonuses, and games.

Moreover, with increasing 5G capabilities, experts predict that the connectivity tech boost will increase the streaming trend and multi-player gaming, improve VR and AR capabilities across mobile, encourage operators to create better apps, and reduce in-play lags.

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Blockchain, Crypto & Improved Payments

Tech-based developments in secondary industries used by the gaming sector, like finance, have also influenced the industry. Crypto, blockchain, and faster, more improved payment methods are the perfect examples.

The creation of blockchain technology and crypto has created a new casino sector, crypto casinos, that service a mostly offshore, autonomous clientele (crypto casinos are not licensed in the UK as they do not meet KYC and Source of Funds criteria, and therefore, AML laws that ensure gambling remains crime-free).

As well as offering an alternative payment system, crypto casinos tend to be tech-forward platforms, with other tech features incorporated, like the ability to save your favorite games, look at your betting stats, try out different types of gambling, etc. 

As increasingly sophisticated payment solutions have risen in popularity, the online payments market has become more competitive, with more options now offering same-day payouts and some options specifically targeting gamblers (Skrill advertises bonuses and has a sports center with tips and updates). The trend towards faster, more competitive, secure, and user-controlled payment methods will continue, especially if governments/licensing regimes regulate new currencies like Bitcoin.

AI & Machine Learning

AI and machine learning are among the latest and most substantial technical advancements in the gaming industry. Operators implement these in multiple ways, but they are most prominent in responsible gambling, threat protection, and player insights.

Better Targeting

Gambling companies use AI to collect large amounts of data and analyze it. Previously, systems possessed different data collection and processing capabilities. This allows operators to better monitor players and target products, games, and bonuses to them, enriching online entertainment sessions. It’s also being used in support to deliver human-like responses to queries and direct players to on-site resources.

Responsible Gambling

Operators are also employing the extensive data processing capabilities of AI and machine learning to analyze behavioral data and highlight at-risk players. This allows for automated interventions/suggestions of responsible gambling tools/resources or information. 

Responsible gambling is a complex area, with interventions often requiring skillful and human handling; AI can easily flag potential cases of gambling harm, thus providing a short list of accounts requiring further investigation. As the capabilities of AI increase through continuous machine learning, technology will continue to be instrumental in player safety.

Fraud Detection

The gambling industry is also using AI in fraud detection. This includes hacking attempts, bonus misuse, and risk assessment. Pattern association is used (as when operators are looking for gambling harms) but with different benchmarks. This time, it detects unusual activities that suggest fraud or hacking and prevents further action before damage occurs. For example, either automatically responding, blocking account access in suspected brute-force attacks, or flagging instances for further human investigation in more complex cases.

Fairness & Testing

The gambling industry has incorporated technology to ensure fairness for decades. This lends the industry legitimacy and has become a core part of licensing regimes worldwide. Without RNG and game testing, how would consumers be assured of a fair product and that the game isn’t rigged?

Online casinos and games are built using software and tested using technology in software labs. Usually, this involves simulating play millions of times, recording and analyzing the results to ensure the software, payouts, and casino RNG perform as intended.

Tech, Borders & the Modern iGaming Workplace

Technology, especially the internet, has created mass scalability across different geographic regions for multinational operators like FanDuel, LeoVegas, and DraftKings. This has increased the trends towards big brand dominance and global, remote workforces. It is only possible due to constant technology innovation that facilitates cross-border trading and team management.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, technology became a lifeline for many companies, speeding up the transition towards remote workforces, with multiple new apps springing up to provide the required services to manage a remote workforce effectively. The improvement of such technologies allows gambling companies to operate globally and recruit talent from a much larger talent pool.

Concerns Regarding Modern Ethics & Misuse of Data

Online gambling companies use tech in many areas – gambling platforms, games development, payment solutions, safer gambling tools, monitoring of player behavior, targeting products, game testing, and compliance.

As technology continues to dominate and outpace regulation, many have concerns regarding its misuse, especially regarding data protection.

While data protection rules still govern what companies can do with consumer data, the pace of technological development continues to present an ongoing challenge for regulators in the UK and globally.

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