How gambling went digital and its importance to the industry
Nothing is safe from disruption, including gambling. Here’s how it’s making its push into the digital frontier.
When it comes to adopting new and emerging technologies, few industries do it faster than operators in the gambling industry. Nowadays many companies in a variety of sectors endeavor to keep up with developments in tech and online for survival, but the casino industry has always been the pioneer of many new innovations. The gambling industry is a great example of how businesses managed to quickly harness the potential of the digital age in order to survive and thrive.
Falling Footfall and the rise of Online Gambling
In more prosperous times, casino’s were the epitome of sophistication, luxury, and status but as the world economy shrunk and consumers began to feel the pinch, footfall began to drop. Brick and mortar gambling establishments such as casino resorts and bingo halls were forced to close down or consolidate due to the decline. The drop in numbers was the result of falling incomes as well as lifestyle changes influenced by the internet.
Thankfully for a number of operators in the gambling industry, they were quick to spot an opportunity to reconnect with their former customers on new platforms that people were now using. Not only did digitizing their games and availing them online help operators to reconnect with their loyal customers, it also opened up their potential audiences massively. An example of this would be leading slot manufacturer Aristocrat getting a foothold in the online gambling sector with the release of moneygaming, a digital version of the land-based game.
Mobile and the Digital Boom
While it can be argued that the internet is the foundation of most of the technology we know and use today, the real digital boom occurred when smartphones arrived. As mobile phones become smaller and faster, people could now browse the internet without the need for a desktop computer or laptop. The ubiquity of mobiles and the potential they represent in terms of reach and revenue to companies could not be underestimated and so a plethora of services and products have been born as a result. As usual, casino operators were also at the forefront of this new digital revolution.
Casino games and gambling providers were once again quick to realize the potential of mobile platforms and were amongst the first to offer their services as apps in digital stores. In addition to this, and in contrast to many big companies through to smaller companies, gambling operators also quickly optimised their websites for mobile. This mobile-first approach ensures that players, the majority of whom access the internet on smartphones and tablets, can get the best experience possible as they enjoy their favorite online casino games.
Nowadays gambling fans can start playing in a virtual casino at the simple tap of a screen and it is this speed and convenience that has helped the industry to retain its users. At the same time, recognizing the importance of mobiles allows users to enjoy the best possible experience for thei particular device; – a move that is a great example many other industries would do well to follow.
Looking ahead, exciting new trends such as virtual reality and augmented reality harbor even bigger things for the gambling industry. Many providers in the sector are already embracing these new and emerging technologies, VR in particular so that they can remain at the forefront of innovation and their industry. That is how, and why, gambling went digital and current trends suggest that the status quo will remain for many more years.