The World Wide Web was just in its infancy when the first legal gambling site went online in 1996. Twenty-three years later, online gambling has exploded from a few sites doing tens of thousands of dollars in business to tens of thousands of sites generating almost $60 billion in annual revenue.
The world has certainly changed. And there’s more to come.
Online Gambling Will Be Legalized and Regulated by Most Governments
Online gambling not only is here to stay but every year more people come to the table. There will come a day when online gambling will equal or overtake all other forms of entertainment. Online gambling generates a massive amount of tax revenue – too much for governments to pass up. Over the next years, more and more governments—state and national—will legalize online gambling.
As online gambling becomes legal, regulated, and safer, more businesses will enter the field. But traditional businesses also will develop wagering versions of their own products, such as video games.
Online Gambling Will Become Easier and More Integrated
As of 2020, online gambling is considerably more inefficient and cumbersome than on-site gambling. Sign-ups, deposits, bonuses, and withdrawals are all time-consuming steps gamblers don’t face in land-based casinos. For example, often you can wait weeks or months for your winnings at an online casino when at a land-based casino you normally can pocket your winnings in second.
The ultimate goal for online gambling is to create an experience identical to that of a land-based casino: you enter, put your money down, gamble, and walk away with your winnings.
Expect online gambling to become more integrated with payment technologies and another commerce tech, making it as easy and “instantaneous” as buying a book or toaster at an online retailer. You will go to a site or launch an app, take a few spins or play a few rounds, and your financial accounts will be credited or debited immediately. No deposits, no bonuses, no rules; just wagering, playing, and paying.
Online Gamblers Will Have More Information and Resources
Online gamblers have great advantages over land-based gamblers. They can take their time. They can consult resources while they play. More importantly, they can use a computer to calculate probabilities and make predictions. Expect to see software resources developed solely for online gamblers to use while playing games. The software will follow the game, calculate probabilities, and suggest optimal bets, bluffs, and game play. Every online player will become a “pro.”
This will dramatically change online gambling. If every player is armed with predictive software, all players in a poker room will be more or less equal, turning the game into one of nearly pure chance. Blackjack players will be able to instantly calculate payback based on the rules and reject games with lower RTP, or Return to Player. The predictive (and card-counting) software will allow them to play the game at the highest RTP possible.
Online gambling could soon evolve into “my computer against your computer.” Games and online gambling sites will have to change dramatically to maintain profitability.
Games Will Change Dramatically
It is quite possible that the biggest online gambling games in ten years won’t be anything like land-based casino games. Take slots, for instance. Despite astonishing technological and graphical innovations, slots still work and feel more or less like the first slot machine – Liberty Bell – did in 1896.
As games become more immersive and active to hook more people into the “zone” that keeps a player at a machine, the more they will deviate from their historical counterparts. They will build in more variety and complexity in order to frustrate predictive software. The major gaming software manufacturers are already developing virtual-reality versions of games, but this is just a medium. Expect games to include more puzzles, activities, social groups, and video-game play to entice players to stay online longer.
You can also expect to see the distinction between video/mobile games and in-person casino games begin to blur. As legalization and revenues increase, game manufacturers will develop “dual-use” computer games that have standard computer versions and separate versions that involve wagering.Imagine Angry Birds or Candy Crush with a wagering component!
Betting Minimums Will Fall
The geometric growth in players and gambling sites means one thing: online sites have to cut margins to compete for new players. For instance, online slots sites offer slot applications with substantially higher RTP percentages than land-based casinos. This cuts their profits, but they make it up with increased player participation.
Raising the RTP percentage is one way to attract players. Lowering betting minimums is another.
Expect to see a large number oflow-wager, low-RTP games, some with minimums so low they will qualify as “micro-wagering,” where players bet fractions of a cent. A micro-wager game will allow a gamer to play all day for a loss of a few dollars, an acceptable loss for just about everybody. Multiply that by tens or hundreds of thousands of users, and you see the gold mine for the online casinos.
When online gambling crosses that low-wagerthreshold, it will become something everyone will be doing.
And we’ll look back to 2020 and say, “Remember when . . .?”