Gambling is one of the fastest growing sectors of the entertainment industry. Not only have games of chance been popular around the world for centuries, but the internet has also opened up many new opportunities for expansion.
The online casino industry has been quick to embrace new technologies in order to improve the player experience and they have certainly reaped the benefits of being so forward thinking.
Live casinos are one of the most exciting developments in the online casino world in the last decade. They have had a major impact on the casino industry — both online and land-based.
In order to understand why live casinos have had such a major impact and how they have changed the gambling industry, we need to first look at what exactly live casinos are and how they work.
What is a live casino?
What sets a live casino apart from the rest of the online casino world is that it involves live dealers. With live casinos, a real dealer is present and dealing actual cards. Live casino games are usually classic casino games such as blackjack, poker and roulette. Recently they have also expanded to include games that are similar to gameshows.
The rise of live casinos are most likely a response to customer feedback that indicated a desire for a greater variety of games and for the online casino experience to more closely mimic the experience of being in an actual land-based casino.
How do live casinos work?
Live casinos function thanks to multiple advanced technological systems. The cameras are the most readily apparent of these as players wouldn’t be able to see the dealer and the cards without a series of high-quality cameras that provide multiple angles of coverage.
Less obvious, but absolutely essential, is optical character recognition (OCR) software. OCR software is what allows the cards that are being used by the dealer to be read and translated into digital cards that the players can interact with. OCR software is also what allows live casino games to take place in real time.
Lastly, there’s the in-studio monitor. This is connected to the chat function enabled within the game on the player’s interface. This allows players to chat with the dealer by typing what they want to say into the chat box. The dealer can then read these on the monitor and respond. This brings the interaction one step closer to the in-person experience.
All that’s missing, and we’re sure it’s just around the corner, is a VR component to make the experience fully immersive.
More competitive with traditional casinos
One of the biggest impacts that live casinos have had on the industry is that they have made online casinos more competitive against the traditional land-based casinos.
For many old school gambling fans, online casinos felt too isolating and simplistic. They were too far removed from the actual casino experience. Live casinos have brought the land-based casino experience online and made online casinos appealing to a wider demographic.
It is obvious that this strategy has worked. We are now seeing nearly all the big traditional casino brands, such as MGM and Caesars, creating their own online casinos in order to remain competitive.
New and more varied games
Initially, live casino games were fairly limited. Each online casino would offer one or two varieties of poker, blackjack and roulette. As demand has increased, the number and variety of games have increased as well.
There are now tons of different styles and themes for each of the classic table games. More surprisingly, perhaps, is that there are now games created specifically for online casinos. Many involve spinning wheels or lottery-style games.
Push towards AR and VR
Augmented and virtual reality are some of the hottest trends in tech today. The popularity of live casinos has spurred the online casino industry to invest more heavily in AR and VR tech and to work towards integrating them into the gambling market.
Prior to the rise of live casinos, there was little call for VR in online casinos. There just isn’t that much that VR could have added to the slot machine experience. With live casinos, the VR and AR opportunities are much broader.
In the coming years, we are likely to see live casinos that have a VR component. Instead of simply logging on and choosing their preferred game from a list, players will be able to walk through a casino environment and feel fully immersed in the experience.