On Regulation and Innovation

25 years have passed since the makeshift launch of the online gaming portals in the 1990s. Indeed, it was in 1996 when InterCasino the first online casino launched. The industry now is about to enter the world of virtual and augmented reality as well as that of esports big time.  With a valuation of around 50 billion US dollars online gambling is not only entering a new development stage but building on the creations of its pioneering generation of innovative leaders. 

The industry’s competitive nature will drive this wave deeply into the space in a more agile way than that characterizing the foundational decades. Online casinos and bookies make use of different technologies to maintain customers and to attract new customers to this branch of the entertainment industry.  

As one of the fastest-rising sectors of the gambling industry online gambling has attracted many investors who bet on the ease of access as growth propeller. The result is a very competitive landscape. A process of permanent destruction of wealth takes place as many online startups fail to fulfill the promise. But this is balanced by the wealth creation of those outlets that learn to use technology as their growth engine. These are now adopting three technologies which are proving to fascinate baby boomers while attracting Millennials. These technology systems are:

Augmented and Virtual Reality (VR)

While VR was introduced to gambling in 2016 its growth curve only took a boost in 2019. There now are many VR casino games. Access to VR devices has up to now been a growth suppresser but as devices become cheaper more games will be available and with them more fans. 

Augmented reality is growing faster in online casinos. Some casino games create life like virtual casinos that allow customers to socialize and to play with live dealers thereby creating a feeling of being present in a casino. 

Live Gaming

This is now the trend when it comes to casino gaming online. Casino games with live dealers create in the players the illusion of actually being at a casino. Live gaming can also be translated into streaming games online. This enhances the number of customers and players for any casino.

E-sports

Esports are becoming more popular since William Hill the UK-based sports betting powerhouse entered the fray accepting wagers for esports. The sprouting of Esports tournaments has provided a growth impetus.    Counterstrike: GO, Call of Duty, League of Legends, and DOTA 2 are the leading esports tournaments.  

And while Esports is not as significant as yet in the betting industry its growth trend surpassed an annual rate of 6%.

The full impact of this technology wave could accelerate in the post Covid 19 world. Faced with the closure or limitations on physical facilities most bettors have raided cyber space where they are now finding new attractions never experienced before. 

Most these innovations have taken decades to enter gambling and could be traced back to the early years of the 21st century when globalization tied together diverse gambling geographies prompting operators to resort to innovations that could bring them closer to their customers while uniting their customers worldwide. 

Globalization in turn was sparked by regulatory developments. The unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act for example pushed cyber operators to develop markets in countries and regions away from the US. It also promoted an array of mergers and acquisitions in the industry that gave impetus to internet gambling. Several pioneering personalities are remembered as influential in this development stage of internet gambling. On such person is the founder of 5Dimes, Sean William Creighton. He left his lucrative US business to set shop in Costa Rica where he created a highly popular online wagering that outlasted him. Yet another and perhaps far a stronger influencer of the industry is Mitch Garber founding CEO of Harrah’s Interactive Entertainment a subsidiary of Harrah’s entertainment, the Nevada colossus that owns among other 80 gambling properties Caesars Palace. As leader of PartyGaming back in 2006 Mitch Garber withdrew from the US market to operate in other regions of the world while implementing a buy and build growth strategy. The company not only recovered its lost revenue due to UIGEA but became a global player. 

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