Since we were compelled to stay at home for the last two years to comply with new health standards and social distancing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, a new routine influenced many of our everyday behaviors; and many of us were looking for fresh entertainment options after spending so much time inside, exploring endless streaming catalogs, playing the same video games, and going through several social media feeds.
Therefore, online gambling, or iGaming, has become an alluring choice for both casual and high-rollers, with the availability of online casinos and sportsbooks being higher than ever before. The chance to play classic games like blackjack, roulette and baccarat, as well as place wagers on major events like the Super Bowl and the Stanley Cup, has enticed bettors from all over the world, and the sector has grown considerably in recent months.
When online casinos and other gambling platforms initially surfaced in the mid-1990s, there were few dependable and trustworthy alternatives, game selection was limited, and financial transactions took weeks to process. However, the introduction of new security standards and technological improvements in recent years has enabled operators and software providers to launch safer platforms, with a variety of games and sports betting markets, as well as payment methods that are processed almost instantly. What was previously thought to be a malicious operation has evolved into a popular hobby and an important segment in the online entertainment industry.
With this quick growth in the past two years, it’s safe to say that the iGaming industry still has a lot in store, and the following trends are expected to surge in 2022, bringing players new opportunities to enjoy the best of online entertainment.
Virtual reality gaming
Although virtual reality is still expensive, it is growing much more popular, with consumers enjoying the immersiveness and interactivity provided by these gaming experiences, made possible by flawless graphics and audio design.
VR casino games are expected to grow in popularity as headsets and other technology become more affordable to average consumers. Newer consoles, as well as greater connectivity via 5G, will make virtual reality streaming more accessible to gamers. If the success of augmented reality gaming serves as any indication, virtual reality casino games will only enhance the player experience and participation.
Virtual reality casinos initially emerged in the early 2010s, with only a few operators offering these experiences at the time. However, as virtual reality devices became more popular and affordable, the number of virtual reality casinos boomed, and there are now a multitude of trustworthy alternatives.
With the widespread use of streaming technologies, live dealer games have been steadily growing in popularity, and that trend is expected to continue in 2022.
When the first live games came up, even though it consisted essentially of dealers being streamed in real time to your device, these gaming experiences demonstrated how iGaming was becoming more interactive. With technology improvements in recent years, however, these games became much more interactive, and the game selections quickly increased.
Today, apart from classic games like blackjack and poker being available with live dealers, operators like STS Canada also offer live game shows, one of the hottest trends in the iGaming industry in the past year, which include games such as Deal or No Deal and Monopoly Live.
Betting with cryptos
Blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies have become somewhat of a frenzy in the online world in recent years, and with this surge in popularity, several industries and organizations began accepting cryptocurrencies as payment methods, and one of the first to do so was iGaming.
Because cryptocurrencies are among the most secure methods of performing online financial transactions and provide considerably faster processing than traditional payment methods, many iGaming platforms rapidly began accepting them, thus drawing a whole new generation of clients.
Faster transactions are the most attractive aspect of betting with cryptos. Conventional banking deposits and withdrawals may take several days to complete and become available to consumers. Cryptocurrencies transactions, on the other hand, make funds available nearly instantly.
A new focus on social responsibility
The iGaming industry understands the significance of protecting players’ well-being and is dedicated to creating methods that encourage users to play responsibly.
Underage gambling and responsible gambling are prominent topics, and innovative artificial intelligence is already being employed by several companies to identify problematic patterns and behaviors.
There’s also awareness that for many players, iGaming is a social activity in which they compete against friends, relatives, and even strangers from all over the world. Therefore, developers are working to improve the social side of it, as well as the sense of community among players.