Will Augmented Reality change the future of Online Betting?
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Online gambling is one of the most fluid and dynamic industries in modern times and one that is profoundly receptive to developments in the latest technologies. The gambling environment has changed dramatically over the last two decades, with the switch being made from gambling in person at the nearest casino to gambling online from the comfort of your home. At the end of 2017, the mobile gambling industry was worth an estimated £100bn and it’s no wonder that this has become such a popular consumer choice thanks to the ever-changing advances in science. In recent years, companies such as Volkswagen and Google have taken advantage of augmented reality (AR) software incorporating it into their cars and building wearable tech, propelling this futuristic technology into the mainstream with investments reaching $1.1 billion in 2016 with that figure rising daily.
The gambling industry, in particular, has always been a pioneer, being among the first to adopt new software to meet its consumers continuing demands. It made the successful transition from in-house gambling to online betting seamlessly and with great success and has remained ahead of the technology curve by introducing portable gaming direct from your smartphone, accessible from almost anywhere. Following the optimization of their sites, their content is available across all device types and operating systems. Due to their success in other applications such as the popular Pokémon Go, the gambling industry has been quick to express interest in this revolutionary technology and is now turning to augmented and virtual reality to further enrich the experience of its customers.
Augmented reality provides a multi-dimensional way that consumers can interact with online casinos, providing a tailored user experience, generating a greater sense of excitement and thus appealing to a wider clientele. Betting sites can personalise content and market it to an individual who can then employ viral augmented reality marketing and share it with other users, making this a highly accessible and sociable form of entertainment. Companies will also offer the user the ability to personalise their online environment by being receptive to their gaming preferences. The consumer could walk into their very own customised casino and play only the games that they want from roulette to blackjack. They can control everything about the environment they see from the theme of the casino to the music that they hear when they walk in, making this exclusive technology highly engaging for consumers and extremely lucrative for online gaming hosts.
Across Europe, countries such as France are keen to start using innovative technologies to appeal to a more diverse audience and keep abreast of the market changes happening in other areas of the world. France has a regulatory body known as ARJEL (the ‘Regulatory Authority for Online Gaming’) that controls and monitors online gambling operators, ensuring anyone who offers betting services are approved to do so. France’s most popular betting events are horse racing and unsurprisingly cycling with betting increasing during the Tour de France. The countries gambling industry has gone from strength to strength with many anticipating ARJEL taking a more relaxed approach to allowing more online gambling retailers the chance to join the list of approved operators.
In contrast to France and other European countries, Germany has a different take on online gambling. Whilst betting online can take place, certain interpretations of German law would indicate that gambling is illegal. However, no one has ever been prosecuted for placing a bet online. Casino sites are currently unlicensed and so most Germans wishing to place bets online turn to legitimate and trusted sites operated in the UK. Despite this, the German gambling scene today is worth an estimated EUR 16 million with sites such as Quasar Gaming proving to be particularly popular.
Online casino developers are always striving to improve the design of their games, making them in higher definition, using innovative camera techniques all with the aim of providing a more immersive and stimulating game and this has been the push to incorporate 3D environments into their games through augmented and virtual reality. This endeavour is not without its challenges; online casinos have had to invest more money than ever into ensuring that player’s winnings are secure no matter what currency they are playing with, even the recently introduced cryptocurrency. A modern market shift has seen an increase in players using currencies such as Bitcoin as they have the advantage of not requiring any bank details to be given to the casino hosts.
Augmented reality will combine real-world events with additional digitally created elements, providing heightened sensory inputs and the feeling that you are actually in the casino, with the turn of your head you will be able to have a different view of the game and you will be able to move between tables and interact with dealers. This innovative technology can also be used in other forms of betting from horse racing to football. Using your mobile phone, you will be able to make bets mid-game simply by holding your phone up to your television screen or computer and you will be given the latest odds on a player, their current rankings and overall position in the league allowing you to gamble in real-time.
The future of the online gambling industry is constantly evolving and look sets to be an infusion of several factors. Silicon Valley AR creators are predicting that augmented and virtual reality coupled with the latest advances from companies such as Google who develop AR wearables and hardware will completely change the way we interact with our world and how we view entertainment in general. As the industry grows, the way consumers interact with the technology will change, with more individuals being drawn to the innovative ways they can play. These 3D environments created by online casinos will completely revolutionise the online gaming scene as we know for many years to come. Augmented and virtual reality technology is the future of gambling, I would bet money on it.
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