Online casinos continue to evolve in fascinating ways, as technology advances and new trends emerge.
In recent years, we’ve seen mobile casinos gain more and more traction as customers choose to play casino games on their smartphones and tablets rather than their computers.
We’ve seen live dealers become increasingly prevalent as brands aim to bring the social aspects of brick-and-mortar casinos into players’ homes via cutting-edge video streaming software.
But what industry trends can we expect to see in 2021?
Virtual Reality will Become More Popular
Once upon a time, virtual reality (VR) was the stuff of sci-fi fantasies. We’d all watch The Matrix, The Lawnmower Man, and other VR-heavy movies wondering when we’d have a chance to step into virtual worlds.
And now, finally, VR technology is available for games consoles, computers, and smartphones. You can don a sleek, futuristic headset, load a game, and become immersed in it like you always hoped to in a matter of moments.
Obviously, VR technology’s affordability and popularity make it a shoe-in for online gaming brands. A small number of gaming sites have already taken advantage of virtual reality to gain a competitive edge and deliver a more distinctive experience to players.
At present, though, you can play a modest selection of virtual-reality titles. These include Gonzo’s Quest VR, Jack and the Beanstalk VR, Starburst VR, and some other releases tailored to this cutting-edge gear.
But in 2021, VR will become less of a niche market and more of a common fixture at iGaming sites.
This will extend beyond video slots and into live dealer games, placing you into a virtual environment rather than simply presenting it to you on a 2D screen. That will increase the social atmosphere of certain games and maximize the level of immersion developers can achieve.
Casinos will Place a Stronger Emphasis on Live Dealers
Live games feature on many gaming websites in 2020, but that looks to become even more popular in the coming year.
Whether combined with VR technology or played on a standard device, live titles offer a more sociable, realistic gaming experience than simply playing solo. This is particularly appealing with the pandemic leaving so many of us reliant on online video technology for human interaction!
Brands will start to implement extra live dealer releases into their virtual casinos, either operating from a real brick-and-mortar casino or a studio designed to resemble one. Most players would agree that the dealers’ location doesn’t actually matter — as long as a studio space looks authentic and captures the atmosphere of a genuine venue, they’ll be happy to play.
In short: software developers (NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, etc.) will continue to invest substantial funds into high-end live dealer casino releases in 2021, and iGaming sites will pay well to include them in their portfolios. Click here if want to find a complete list of live casino sites that are available in 2021.
More iGaming on Smartwatches
Smartwatches are now affordable and easy to find at retailers the world over, just like VR headsets. They seemed beyond belief at one point, but now they’re easy to take for granted.
But for online casinos, smartwatches offer an exciting new way to reach existing and new customers alike. Some sites (e.g. Mansion Casino) already provide smartwatch compatibility, but they’re in the minority.
However, many other brands will start to target smartwatch users in 2021, and enable customers to switch from one platform to another seamlessly. Players should have the flexibility to access their account on their watch, their phone, their tablet, etc. without disruption.
According to Mena Casino, it’s paramount that “casinos provide smartwatch users with a well-designed interface that allows for hassle-free, intuitive gaming.”
They emphasized that “customers don’t want to sacrifice quality of experience to enjoy gaming on the latest devices — they expect to have both”.
Cryptocurrencies will Be Accepted at More Online Casinos
Cryptocurrency users have been limited to a fairly small selection of crypto-friendly gaming sites in the past few years. But as Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum, and other digital currencies become more mainstream, we can expect to see more online casinos accept them.
This is a fantastic development for gamers who rely on cryptocurrencies exclusively when playing slots, table games, etc. online. They’ll have a wider variety of casinos and experiences to play, at their convenience, instead of essentially settling for sites that fail to cater to their preferences in other areas.
The most attractive qualities of cryptocurrencies’ are the lack of centralization, increased privacy, and processing speed. The more iGaming brands that realize this in the coming year, the more choice crypto users will enjoy.
And let’s not forget: online casinos who accommodate numerous cryptocurrencies will have more opportunities to diversify their customer base and appeal to new demographics. As with VR implementation, casinos embracing cryptocurrencies will gain an edge in an incredibly competitive industry.
Wider Availability of eSports Betting
Video games have come a long way since the days of Super Mario Bros. and Sonic the Hedgehog (though those classics are still as awesome as ever).
Now, people don’t just play alone or with a couple of friends for their own amusement — millions of viewers will tune in to watch teams compete with each other on various games. Overwatch, Counter Strike, League of Legends, and Dota 2 are just some of the major titles played in leagues.
Yes, eSports betting is available at some online casinos, but it’s likely to become much more prolific in 2021.
Even some sites that don’t offer a sportsbook alongside their slots, live games, etc. will start to incorporate eSports betting into their portfolios.
This makes life easier for fans who want to wager on their favorite teams while taking a spin on, say, Starburst or playing a few hands of Blackjack. They may not need to create and maintain accounts at multiple casinos any longer — making their gaming experiences more convenient than ever.
These trends indicate real, ongoing transformation in the online casino industry as brands leverage the latest technologies to maximize immersion, convenience, and user experience. Companies will continue to explore exciting new opportunities to compete, delivering gaming options that drive their audience numbers higher and higher.
With the reduction of land-based casino gaming, we will see more social activity between players.
Bingo is a game that already utilizes this feature and we could see the social aspect move to other
games like casino slot tournaments. Texas holdem are also expected to grow bigger in 2021 after
been in decline for many years. Casino has for a long time had problems to connect people around
playing but with the recent development in slot tournaments and live casino it is now easier to play
together. Players want to feel like they are enjoying the experience with others. In Covid-19 times
the implementation of more social features will make a more attractive proposition for players. We
expect that this trend will keep being strong even after the pandemic. People want to interact in a
social environment, both offline and online.
Many new casino sites have many new and innovative ways of letting people connect while playing
online. Most of the new online casinos have live casino, slot tournaments, bingo and different kinds
of poker games. All in where you can be social with the players that are playing simultaneously. At
CasinoViking UK you can find some of the best new casinos that are available in 2021. We always
prefer to play on the latest casinos to get innovative new features.
And one thing is abundantly clear: 2021 should be a very good time to be an iGaming fan.