The iGaming industry consists of online casino and poker games and digital sports betting. It’s currently valued at approximately $72.02 billion and is set to top $127 billion by the year 2027.
The astonishing growth the industry has experienced in recent years has been due to the increasingly widespread adoption of internet connectivity and advanced gaming technology. Although the earliest iGaming platforms pre-dated video gaming as we now know it, it’s the ongoing development of technology over the past two decades that has prompted the global boom in online casino and poker activity. This has, in turn, given rise to new types of iGaming experiences such as live dealer games and platforms. Additionally, more and more casino operators are integrating futuristic tech like Virtual Reality, and several mobile sports betting apps have successfully launched.
In this article, we’ll be taking a look at the technology that’s powering this multi-billion dollar industry and future-proofing it for the decades still to come.
OCR Technology and Live Dealer Games
Live Dealer gaming is a popular segment of the online casino market, transforming digital devices into functional and immersive casinos. As well as recreating the look and feel of brick-and-mortar establishments with clever sound and visual design, live dealer games feature professionally trained croupiers across everything from online blackjack to roulette and poker. As with real-life casino gaming, in live dealer games, it’s the responsibility of the croupier to collect stakes and payout winnings. However, in an online casino, there’s a need for technological intervention between the virtual tables and end gamers.
In previous years operators would’ve relied on a technology called Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) by implanting tiny microchips into the cards used during a live dealer game. The dealer controlling the game would then scan each and every card they were going to use in the game, therefore enabling both the dealer and casino platform to keep track of which cards had been dealt where.
Recent advancements have left RFID obsolete – at least as far as online casino gaming goes – and instead, OCR technology has been integrated. Standing for Optical Character Recognition, OCR tech allows online casinos to access real-time card data and improves the gaming experience for digital users. By using the technology to monitor the live dealer gaming room, including capturing raw game data such as cards and symbols, casinos can instantly cross-reference a rapid response database and display the results onscreen for the players to analyse. Players are able to make better-informed wagering decisions and operators have a detailed record of all the action that’s occurring.
The Algorithm behind Slots Games
Slot machines are by far and away the most popular game at online casino platforms. Their metamorphosis from one-armed bandits to digital gaming experiences is all down to something called the Random Number Generator. RNGs are prevalent across the gaming industry as a whole: any time a random event occurs in a video game, for example, it’s because of the use of an RNG in the game’s code. Casino games, however, use something called Pseudo-Random Number Generators, which ensure random outcomes without the need for external input.
In order to ensure fairness in games, online casino operators integrate random number generators into games like slots, as well as any card or table game that isn’t controlled by a live dealer. The RNG itself is a software algorithm that produces long strings of randomised numbers that can be called on at any time during a game. When you spin the reels of an online slots game you’re triggering the RNG to produce a randomised output, which is the result of the spin.
Because online casino gaming, much like brick and mortar gaming, involves real money, licensed operators are required to have their RNGs tested periodically to ensure fairness across the board.
Keeping iGaming Platforms Secure
All iGaming platforms and apps, whether operating in the realm of casino gaming or offering mobile betting odds, store and process sensitive customer data, so there’s a distinct need to keep this information safe and secure. To meet strict legal requirements about the processing and storing of such data, operators use data encryption across their sites in the form of Transport Layer Security (TLS). The efficacy of website encryption is further strengthened by extensive Know Your Customer (KYC) processes, which are becoming increasingly more advanced as operators seek out new ways to prevent cyber attacks. AI processes are integrated into some KYC checks and two-step verification is now standard. Most iGaming regulators require operators to create and implement robust data security policies that make use of digital technologies and customer verification. The UK Gambling Commission requires license holders to conduct regular audits across their Information Technology systems, using the ISO 270001 standard as a framework.