- In Portugal, at the end of last year, a budget plan for 2018 was presented which included some amendments to the country’s online gambling laws. Of most concern was the legalisation and international liquidity for different iGaming and betting services. The Iberian Peninsula officially opened the gambling market for international operators two years ago. The market had been regulated a year before that. Earlier this year, Portugal entered into a shared online poker liquidity agreement with France and Italy.
- In the USA, with only four states currently offering online gambling, there is still yet no national legislative framework and the way forward is unclear. Currently, online gambling is legal and regulated on a state level in New Jersey, Delaware, Nevada and Pennsylvania.
- There are still many grey areas in developed countries regarding online gambling and still much work needs to be done in this regard. Countries like Germany, Sweden, Netherlands, Australia, Japan, Mexico and Brazil remain grey markets to date but there are changes on the way. The German Interstate Treaty on Gambling is due to come into force at the start of 2018. Netherlands and Sweden are also heading that way, possibly around early 2019.
Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies
There are already casinos both land-based and online, that accept bitcoins as a payment method and then convert it to another currency for playing purposes. If confidence in cryptocurrencies increases throughout 2018, more and more casinos will accept this form of payment. In the near future, Bitcoin casinos could start using more of their Provably Fair games concept as well as a means of attracting players. Provably Fair requires a mechanism to allow players to confirm the fairness of the game.
Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality
Augmented Reality is a technology that overlays a computer generated image to allow for a composite view for the player. Virtual reality is three dimensional and works through a computer generated simulation that a user can enter by using special gloves and a helmet
Virtual Reality technology in existing games has become more and more popular with new integrated graphics and better quality overall. For 2018, the gaming ecosystem will keep growing and become more innovative, adaptable and accessible. However, Virtual Reality is limited by its hardware and for this reason many players are considering Augmented Reality as it has no limitations and can even be used with a smartphone.
Gamification and Personalisation
The one area of online gaming that is currently in development is personalisation. Bonuses, rewards and specials tailor-made to the player’s preferences instead of generically. These offers have proved to be so successful that greater personalisation will likely become a standard feature at many online casinos.
For a personalised customer experience, companies have been using big data analytics which is the process of examining large data. This is to determine patterns, correlations, market trends and other useful information. Innovative technology continues to be at the forefront of growth and expansion in the online gaming world. Online casinos record every little bit of data they collect from players. Besides the personal information like age and gender, they also record data like which games they prefer and how long they spend on each machine. 2018 will see more personalisation and two way communication.