Technology has completely changed the way the casino industry operates
Technology has changed many aspects of our lives. Buying goods and services today is much different than just a couple of decades ago. Communication is much easier too. Instead of making an expensive telephone call or sending a letter that would take days or weeks to arrive, we can make a free video call or send an instant message.
Technology has also had a significant effect on the casino industry, changing the way that games are played, making them more accessible to players, and offering a more personalised experience.
Digital Slot Machines
Casino games have remained fairly constant for well over a century. The classics like blackjack and roulette are several hundred years old, while the first slot machines began spinning their reels in 1894.
For the first half of the 20th century, these slot machines remained fairly consistent, operating a mechanical system that moved the reels. The large arms that were used to activate the reels led to the machines being called “one-armed bandits”.
However, in more recent years the slot machine has gone digital. Instead of physical moving parts, the reels appear on a video screen and a computer controls the outcome at fixed odds.
This has allowed slot machines to offer a more varied and engaging experience to players, with multiple pay lines and bonus games.
Up until the mid-1990s, you’d have to travel to a physical casino to play casino games. If you didn’t live near one or were unable to travel, you had to go without.
This all changed with the passing of the Free Trade and Processing Zone Act of 1994, which meant that online casinos could operate from Antigua and Barbuda while allowing customers from elsewhere in the world.
Suddenly, you could play baccarat, blackjack, and poker from nearly anywhere across the globe, without needing to visit Las Vegas or Macau.
Over time, the quality of online casino games has improved immensely, with better graphics, a smoother experience, and more varied games.
The internet has also helped online casinos to better serve new players that may not have played any of the available games yet. Despite being fun and exciting, a casino can be a daunting place to newbies, especially if they’re unsure of the lingo or the rules.
Online casinos are in a much better position to assist these customers, producing detailed guides on casino playing tricks that can help them learn about the games and feel more comfortable. For more seasoned players, educational content like this can deliver more advanced techniques that they can try out during their next gaming session.
Casino owners like to make sure that their venues are secure, protected from people not wanting to play by the rules, or criminals who want to take what isn’t theirs. Thankfully, technology has allowed casinos to better protect themselves, and in turn, offer a better experience for guests.
When you visit a casino, you will find that you’ll often have to travel down steps or an escalator. This gives the casino’s security cameras a better look at your face. These cameras are also fitted with facial recognition technology so they can check you against any databases of banned players.
Overhead cameras cover the entire gaming floor, giving operators a bird’s eye view of the whole casino. They can zoom in and out, follow players as they move around, and even rewind clips to get a second look.
These same camera systems can also be used to track loyal customers. By measuring their spend, casino operators can offer complimentary snacks, drinks, and other rewards to players who spend a long time gaming.
Using facial recognition, they can be greeted warmly on their return before they’ve even started playing again.
The industry is very competitive, so many operators offer generous sign-up and first deposit bonuses to new customers. Loyalty programs in online casinos also reward customers who stay with that casino.
Savvy players will jump from casino to casino, so online loyalty schemes are a way to reward those that don’t, giving them free spins, loyalty points, and other bonuses as they play more games.
The internet made casinos more accessible to players around the world, as they could wager on card and table games from their computer without having to travel to casinos.
While this was infinitely more convenient for many players, it still meant they would have to be sat at a computer desk, or have a heavy and often hot laptop on their legs instead.
Smartphones changed this when they became mainstream in the late 2000s and early 2010s.
Mobile casino apps mean that players can enjoy slots, blackjack, and other games from just about anywhere that has an internet connection. So whether they’re on the sofa at home, the train, the beach, or the park, people can play and bet on their favourite games.
In more recent years, online casinos have used another new technology to improve their offering. Known as live casinos, these new games use video streams to let players bet on casino games that are controlled by a real human dealer.
The dealer is usually professionally trained and located in a video studio with real tables and other equipment you’d expect to find in a casino. They talk to the players, deal cards, spin wheels, and tell them when to place bets, just like they would in a physical casino.
This creates a more realistic experience that is more engaging. Their popularity has been explosive, with most online casinos featuring them prominently on their sites.
The casino industry is one that embraces technology at every opportunity. Whether it’s changing the experience of land-based casinos or making online casinos more convenient and engaging, operators are always looking for ways to embrace new tools.