People love casinos. There’s a reason places like Las Vegas are such popular tourist destinations, and it’s not just the Cirque du Soleil shows (although most of those are pretty awesome). Casinos have slowly spread in number and popularity across the United States—first by using loopholes in the law to establish casinos on Native American land or by hosting casinos on river boats, but even brick-and-mortar casinos have gained more acceptance with cities like Detroit embracing them.
As casinos in general have gained broader acceptance and popularity, the internet has created a whole different form of gaming with online casinos or internet casinos. While online casinos are increasingly popular around the world, the legality of online gambling in the United States is murky, and is largely decided by the individual states.
For those who can legally use the sites, though, online casinos continue to push the envelope of technology to ensure a safer and more exciting experience. Most modern gaming websites are equipped with technologies which make them safe for users and add to the excitement. Online casinos rely on a variety of technologies designed to ensure customers are secure and satisfied. According to HolyMoly, there are some common technologies used across gambling websites to secure and enhance the experience:
Most online casinos are available on smartphones and tablets now. Some platforms are available through a mobile browser, and others have mobile apps available for iPhones and Android devices. With mobile gaming, you can play anywhere and anytime. All you need is a mobile device and an internet connection.
Although the experience is not happening in real life, live dealers are really popular among many gaming participants. Live streaming technologies give players an opportunity to feel like they are in a real casino. Live gaming is also more social than other sections of an online casino.
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) used to transfer the data from the real live dealers to the participants online. To create a live casino experience, sites need a camera, at least one live dealer, and a monitor that allows them to view the table the way online players see it. The most important element, however, is the Game Control Unit (GCU), which encodes and decodes data between the dealer and players.
The rules of online games with a live dealer are the same as those with virtual or machine dealers. The main advantage of a live dealer is that the results of a game are determined by a human, rather than a machine. It also allows players to get a more authentic feeling of taking part in the action and excitement of a real, brick-and-mortar casino.
Random Number Generator
All your favorite slot games have one primary thing in common under the hood—a random number generator (RNG). The ability to generate random numbers helps to ensure that games are fair and that only your luck matters in determining the result.
The reality, however, is that computers are not capable of generating truly random numbers. They use a pseudorandom number generator that relies on an algorithm to create something as close as possible to true random. The pseudorandom number generator (PRNG) uses an initial “seed” value that is then used to generate a sequence of numbers that approximate random numbers.
SSL (secure sockets layer) is a standard encryption protocol used online security across the entire internet, and online casinos are no exception. On the contrary, they probably have more need for a secure, encrypted connection than most websites. It is not impervious to attack or compromise, but that little padlock next to the address in your web browser generally indicates that the data you share with that website is encrypted as it travels across the internet and protected from compromise or exposure.
Cryptocurrency continues to gain popularity and is slowly becoming an accepted form of currency in many different areas of everyday life. Most online casinos accept payments using standard payment methods like Visa/Mastercard, Skrill, Neteller, PayPal and others. More progressive gaming websites, however, also offer the ability to deposit and withdraw Bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. Cryptocurrency payments are anonymous, and ensure a level of secrecy about your activities.
Virtual Reality casinos are a new trend in gambling. Slots Million was the first casino where you could play with Oculus Rift goggles and have a more immersive experience that approximates what it’s like to actually visit a brick-and-mortar casino. They are expensive for now, but the VR experience is unforgettable. As VR gains steam, you can expect more online casinos to embrace it.
It’s hard to say what online casinos—or the internet in general, for that matter—will look like 5 or 10 years from now. If you want to see what sorts of technologies might make it to mainstream devices and platforms, though, pay attention to online gaming and online casino sites. They have a vested interest in pushing the envelope for online security and enhancing the performance of the online experience, so they tend to be the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” for emerging technology trends.