iGaming in the US broadly falls into two categories; online casinos and sports betting. Although online casinos have been legal in some states for more than ten years, it is the changes to the law around sports betting in 2018 that shook the industry up.
The US has changed from a country where casino gambling required a vacation to Vegas or Atlantic City to one where there are now legal online casinos operating in six states. In addition, it is expected that several other states will change the laws around this. Sports betting is now widespread across the country, and a good percentage of the states have online sportsbooks operating. While a referendum in California rejected it last year, New Yorkers can now place their sports bets online.
Tech Innovations In iGaming
Value of online gambling
The US online gambling market was valued at $57.54 in 2022. With a compound annual growth rate of 11.7%, the market is expected to be worth almost three times as much by 2030. Online gambling is big business. While the foundations for its legalization lie in with the Legislature, tech has made it possible, and tech continues to deliver growth through constant innovation and application.
The recent growth is in no small part due to new markets opening. For example, Michigan is the latest state to operate a legal and regulated online casino market. However, it is accessibility that has revolutionized online gaming.
Smartphones allow people to play games and gamble on the go. With a powerful machine in our pockets, many people who would never have set foot in a traditional casino or bookies are now trying out casino games and having a flutter. In addition, the technology means that browser versions are optimized for smaller screens, and several online casinos in Michigan have native apps for iOS and Android.
You cannot mention mobile games and then not talk about the tech networks delivering them. The speed of the data and broadband networks makes the revolution possible. Fibre optic cables provide lightning-fast broadband, and 5G mobile data networks have increased on-the-go access speeds in ways that would have been unimaginable only a few years ago.
3D animation and improved graphics
The hardware and connectivity improvements increase opportunities for fun and easy-to-play games. Huge strides have been made in graphics and animation in all forms of entertainment, including movies and gaming. For example, casino software developers have used the same technology to transform online slots. 3D animations make them much more immersive, and themes, storylines, and narratives keep the player engaged.
Cloud gaming and storage
Accessibility to the cloud has changed our relationship with gaming and entertainment. What we used to be able to play or watch was restricted by the storage on our device and our download and upload speeds. The cloud allows us to stream content from a central server directly to our mobile devices without downloading them. This technology enables players to access thousands of games.
One of the exciting changes in the world of online casinos is the advance of live-dealer gaming. Again, this would not be possible without the broadband and data speeds that are now available to us. However, this technology does allow people to experience live casino games in real time 24/7. The way in which the studios are set up means that there are multiple camera angles, and the experience replicates a real-life casino.
While VR is not available to all casino players, its future impact on online gambling will be extraordinary. Online gambling through a VR headset allows players to experience the sights and sounds of a brick-and-mortar casino from their own homes. In addition, it will enable them to be inside the virtual casino playing alongside others at the poker tables or roulette wheels.
If VR is still a little way off in terms of availability to everyone, AI is very much part of the current iGaming world. Machine learning allows the algorithms behind the platforms to help you navigate the sites faster. By knowing what you want from your previous actions it can also make recommendations to you. AI also helps keep you safe as unusual or suspicious activity can be picked up rapidly. This helps prevent the hacking of your account. Finally, AI chatbots can help guide players through FAQs and connect them with live customer service operators when required.
Data drives online casino platforms. Without data and tech, there would be no iGaming. Big data is now an essential part of the online experience. Casinos collect data on you all the time and can offer you a personalized experience. For example, your homepage will display games and features that interest you, and you can tailor the information you receive.
As we spend more time online, hackers are more motivated to get hold of our data and financial information. There is a constant battle raging between trusted institutions and cyber criminals. The data security experts always have to stay one step ahead to keep your account safe. Facial recognition and two-factor authentication are the latest advances to ensure only you can access your account.
In conclusion, the landscape of iGaming in the US has undergone a transformative journey, primarily shaped by the legalization of online casinos and the pivotal changes to sports betting laws in 2018. With a market value projected to triple by 2030, technological advancements have played a crucial role in this industry’s evolution.
Mobile gaming, fueled by powerful smartphones and advanced connectivity, has made online gaming accessible to a broader audience. From improved graphics and 3D animation to the advent of cloud gaming and live-dealer experiences, technology continues to enhance the player’s experience.
The future holds promising developments, including the potential impact of Virtual Reality (VR) and the current integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in enhancing user navigation, security, and personalized gaming experiences through big data analytics. As iGaming expands, staying at the forefront of these technological innovations ensures a secure, immersive, and tailored gaming environment for players.