There’s no denying that the year 2020 has brought tumultuous news, trends, and patterns to the national gambling industry. From the closing of just about every casino nationwide to the insurgence of online gambling ventures and the burgeoning virtual gaming community, it seems like nothing is certain and that the gambling sector is continually evolving and adapting to changing external stimuli.
What does that mean for the future of the gambling industry? While it will undoubtedly includes electronic means, including interactive engagement, smartwatch gambling, and even virtual reality — all while relying on the ever-increasing dependency on cryptocurrency — the gambling industry as a whole is on the verge of an entirely new experience.
So, are interactivity, cryptocurrency, virtual reality, and smartwatches the future of gambling? Let’s take a look at some of the possibilities and what the future may hold for the gaming industry here in the United States.
If there’s one lesson the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, it’s that many gamblers will seek out alternate gambling outputs to place their bets no matter what — namely through online gambling. According to Michael Caselli, Chairman of Clarion Gaming, terrestrial casinos “are finding that online players are continuing to play online, while land-based players are migrating online, sometimes for the first time.” This shift depicts a seismic change for the entire gaming industry, and many casinos are trying to adapt to this new landscape.
The need to adapt to the post-COVID-19 world can also be seen in brick and mortar casinos’ approach to this “brave new world” as well. For instance, what has traditionally been a cash-based business has now begun to move to a digital payment model. In fact, government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) have even recommended a “tap and pay” model to limit the handling of cash as part of preferential hygiene measures due to the coronavirus.
Not only that, but according to a June 2020 report from the American Gaming Association, 59% of people who visited a casino within the past year said they are less likely to use cash in their everyday lives because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, “customers uneasy about using cash on the gaming floor due to health or safety concerns should have an alternate payment option available to them,” the group advised. It’s clear that the digitization of transactions could be a pivoting point for casinos moving forward.
While it’s clear that the gaming industry is quick to adapt to the ever-evolving changes and betting landscape that they are presented with, there is another front where they are making moves to stay ahead of the competition — one of which is the realm of virtual reality, or VR.
VR gaming, sometimes referred to as augmented reality gaming, lies at the precipice of the future of all video game platforms. As such — and combined with the newly-established COVID-19 regulations — it only makes sense that casinos and other outlets would try to capitalize on this emerging technology. Through a combination of headsets, sensor gloves, and more, VR technology allows users to engage and interact inside an online reality that’s hosted within a realistic, 3D environment. This makes it possible for players to compete against each other, all in the same forum — whether it be roulette, a virtual poker table against other VR players, slot machines, blackjack, or a host of other games. With VR gaming, the entire casino experience can be brought to the comfort of one’s own home where they can interact with other players from around the world.
As VR technology evolves, develops, and adapts, it will take augmented casino gambling to the next level. This includes not only an enhanced visual element, but will also be able to provide sound accompaniment that can allow players to engage with each other — and objects — in this brand new virtual environment. According to some sources, these could even allow players to look at cards, press the buttons on a slot machine, and more. However, the potential surge of VR gambling introduces the question of whether traditional land-based casinos will see a reduction in attendance, post COVID-19 and the ensuing quarantine. However, only time will tell.
Way back in 2015, tech companies were already predicting the future of smartwatch applications — namely, gambling. Casino apps were already front of mind half a decade ago, and given the current coronavirus climate, they’re even more prevalent today. In fact, smartwatch technology is yet another recent breakthrough that is slated to transform the industry.
Smartwatch gambling offers a range of benefits for users. Not only does it feature the typical advantages of bonuses, loyalty points, free money, and other promotions that many online casinos offer, but it provides them in a non-intrusive way that’s simple, streamlined, user-friendly, and highly intuitive.
Moving forward, we can expect to see an increase in the number of apps and other platforms being created specifically for smartwatches. According to a recent survey performed by online industry tracker casino.org, over half of gamblers nationwide have made the switch to online gaming, and smartwatch gambling seems to be the wave of the future.
Regardless of what the future holds for our country’s gambling sector, you can rest assured that we at CCGNJ will be here providing industry news as well as support, treatment, and hope for problem gamblers in and around New Jersey.
If you or someone you know is dealing with disordered gambling, please contact us today. Don’t struggle with your problem gambling another minute longer— call 800-GAMBLER right now.