It’s easy to forget sometimes, but online gambling hasn’t really been around for that long. The first companies started springing up in the late 90’s, as home internet connections became more commonplace. Today, an enormous number of web pages compete for the attention of online gamers, and it is truly a jungle. Competition is fierce, with many offering free casino games, but what can we expect to see in the future? We’re going to look at a number of possibilities, including:
- How transactions are set to change
- New systems of wagering
- How regulation may affect the industry
The Irresistible Rise of Bitcoin
Unless you’ve been living (and gambling) in a cave for the last ten years, you’ll be aware of Bitcoin. This foremost cryptocurrency is anonymous, decentralised, and rapidly gaining popularity. More and more transactions every year are carried out with Bitcoin, and it is increasingly becoming an option for online gaming. The anonymity and convenience it offers are perfect for the online gamer. Does that mean we can expect companies like Skrill and Paypal to take a back seat in the years to come? It’s certainly a possibility. Then again, with no deposit bonus slots, you can get money for nothing.
Blockchain technology is decentralising sports betting
The same technology that makes Bitcoin possible is also starting to gain traction when it comes to online sports betting. There’s nothing especially new about trying to create a p2p setup for sports gaming. Online company Smarkets have made their name by providing a platform for peer to peer wagering, rather than running everything via a bookie. But Blockchain technology could potentially change the way sports betting is conducted for ever. A decentralised system allows punters and markets to control things, rather than depending on a bookmaker who takes a cut of the losings. Given that sports tipsters have recently come under scrutiny for deliberately pushing sports punters into losing the wager, it’s no surprise there’s an appetite for change.
Increased Regulation Is Inevitable for the Industry
In the UK at least, it seems unlikely that the industry will continue as it does now. While Australia and Scandinavia are perfectly happy with a soft touch approach to the subject of gambling regulation, in this country, things are set to tighten up. Tony Blair’s gambling utopia failed to materialise. What we received instead was a proliferation of high street bookies and online sites, all utilising increasingly underhand tactics to hold onto their customers. A heavy crackdown on marketing techniques seems inevitable, as well as far stricter monitoring of self-exclusion practice. Coupled with an EU directive in 2018 that will require double-opt in policies for online marketing, the days of bombarding ruined gamblers with offers of free spins may be over.
So it’s clear that the landscape is changing, but that’s nothing new really. The bricks and mortar casinos of the past successfully survived the arrival of online gaming, with many of them actually investing in an online presence. With the advent of decentralised systems, coupled with increased regulation, there will indeed be many changes expected in the industry. But the punters will always be there, waiting.