The casino industry is often cited for its resilience and consistency in the face of a changing entertainment landscape. Take someone from the 1930s and put them on a casino floor today, and they would know how to play most of the games. Ask the same person to load up and play Read Dead Redemption 2, and they would flounder.
And yet, it’s something of a myth to say that the casino industry is recession-proof and that operators are guaranteed to turn a profit. The industry has concerns, and, like most other industries, the biggest fear revolves around the future and the industry’s place within it.
The casino industry, however, has been very proactive in future-proofing itself, and it should look forward with optimism. If you were to visit any of the massive iGaming conventions, like ICE London or G2E, you would see an industry embracing technology and innovation.
Global eco-system of games
It’s an exciting time, especially in the online arm of the casino industry. Today, you can access live roulette in Canada through your smartphone just as easily as you can play multi-million-dollar jackpot games in New Zealand through your PC. A truly global industry ensures a fertile eco-system for innovation. In the last few years, we have seen huge advances in the technology that brings VR and AR casino games, 3D games, interactive games and even skill-based games.
One of the challenges that the casino industry faces comes from an unexpected rival – the video games industry. As most people are aware, the latter has become more monetised of late, with gamers encouraged to dabble in everything from loot boxes to eSports betting. Indeed, take a typical millennial, and they are likely more aware of skin betting than they are with the rules of blackjack.
That challenge, however, has been met head-on by the software developers and website operators who move and shake the casino industry. Games have become more diverse in terms of gameplay and presentation. For instance, if you compare two popular casino slots like Starburst and Kingdoms Rise: Guardians of the Abyss, the differences are as stark as they are between Tetris and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare.
Gaming becoming more social
A word, too, on the social side of casino. If you log into a casino site today, you will find a raft of games with chat options. But more importantly, there is a social element to the live dealer casino games. These games, with real action streamed from studios, have opened up a new frontier for community-based gaming. Perhaps this is best summed up by the rise in popularity of live slot machines; literally, communal games, where everyone wins and loses as one.
Indeed, it should be noted that casino game players are carving a niche for themselves on social media. The likes of YouTube and Twitch TV will have dedicated casino streamer channels, with 1000s logging in to view players play high-stakes games for real money.
For the industry, it’s all about future-proofing in terms of changing tech and evolving tastes in entertainment. Games like roulette, poker and blackjack might be considered timeless, but it would be careless for the casino industry to rely on that alone. As such, the industry is pouring money into new tech, new games and ideas. It doesn’t want to be caught off guard, and it seems like the entire landscape will continue to evolve across the new decade.