Back in the late 90s when online casinos first started appearing, the uptake was good but not great. Yes, the experience was different and allowed gamblers to get their casino fix from their gigantic home PC, but of course the graphics were quite primitive and the whole social experience was missing.
Fast forward 20 years and the entire gambling industry has transformed completely, with a stunning array of high quality online casino games that give physical casinos a run for their money. With half of the UK’s population gambling regularly and around a third of those gambling solely online, web-based casino gaming has become a massive industry worth £2.6billion, with exciting new experiences now appearing thanks to consistent demand for new ways to play.
The biggest factor in the online casino spike however is the introduction of smartphones into our daily lives. Instead of having to be at home on a PC, gamblers can now play on the commute to work, whilst out shopping or out with friends. The improved technology now found in the majority of Apple and Android devices is quite phenomenal, with solid state memory, powerful miniature processors and integrated graphics cards pretty standard with newer devices.
Phones also do plenty of other jobs than just make calls. They are now our Sat-Navs, our diaries, our cameras, our gaming devices and even our credit cards, with high speed internet connectivity helping us to access more and do more from a single device.
Online casino gaming has benefited massively from this improved access, with players now able to enjoy their favourite games without having to head to the local casino. Although the ‘traditional’ online casino experience has become an incredible experience with top-notch graphics and smooth, fast-flowing gameplay, increased numbers of players are looking for the more convenient option by playing live casino. Immersive roulette enables players to get closer to the action than ever before. Every spin of the wheel is captured in high definition at over 200 frames-per-second. The camera view switches mid-game enabling you to keep track of the ball as well as the suspense.
Live casino solves the lack of social interaction that can sometimes happen with online casino gaming. Instead of a piece of software running a table game, a living, breathing professional dealer is beamed directly from a physical casino, running the game and providing players with a human opponent. Thanks to HD streaming and high quality sound, a more realistic casino experience is achievable, even on smaller smartphone screens.
The human touch
The other big difference is the lack of a RNG (Random Number Generator). This is how games like virtual slots and roulette wheels work, with random number sequences providing what will appear on the reels or wheels. With live casino, the dealer controls which cards are drawn, when the ball is dropped or whether to hit or stick during a game of blackjack, creating a more ‘human’ gambling experience. The real decks of cards and the physical roulette wheel mean that players can employ strategies. If they’re clever enough they could even try card counting when playing blackjack, this is impossible when playing with a RNG.
Live casino technology
Improved technology has ensured that the live casino experience leaves players with the opportunity to interact with the dealer and other players. While playing roulette, the players watch via three separate cameras, the shots include an overview, close-ups of the table and finally a ‘picture-in-picture’ of the game.
All of this is done via a live stream. Technology has also made a Game Control Unit (GCU) possible, every table must have a GCU for the game to be possible. This device encodes the video that is broadcast, it assists the dealer in the running of the game wherever they are in the world. The studios are located worldwide, Evolution Gaming have studios in Belgium, Malta, Latvia and Spain. All of the studios use Optical Camera Recognition, this technology records every minor detail, even the shuffling of the cards, and it is streamed live to players around the world.
Rendering an image is the process of generating an image based on three-dimensional data. The images being produced are completely imaginary, this process allows online casinos to create a scene that looks realistic to the online players. Through implementing this, online casinos have complete control over how the scene is depicted. The impressive graphics make for a true and immersive gaming experience. This is similar to blue-screen technology, whole interiors of casinos can be designed, including branded environments. The casino entrance, the lobby, the casino floor and the tables can be ‘blue-screened’ so players feel at home. This impressive technology is the choice of many, it is cost-effective and has resulted in online casinos being the closest thing to a land-based casino that a player can expect to find.
- Half of the UK’s population gamble regularly.
- Web-based casino gaming has become an industry worth £2.6billion.
- Phones are capable of performing a huge array of tasks.
- The human touch that online casinos provide encourages players to return, players can interact with the dealer, increasing the competitive nature of the game.
- The human dealer now controls the game, this is an improvement on the previous RNG technology.
- Online casinos are now capable of capturing 200 frames-per-second at a range of different camera angles.
- Evolution gaming have studios worldwide, players can watch them live wherever they are in the world.