What Will Betting And Gambling Be Like In 2050?
There is little doubt that technology around the world is always advancing. This also applies to casino game technology, which has advanced in a huge way even over the past five or six years. Developers are always looking to the future and figuring out what route to take next in order to introduce people to an innovative new project. So, that got us thinking – what will gambling look like in the years and decades to come?
More so, what is gambling expected to look like in 2050? Will robotics and virtual reality (VR) take up more of a presence in this industry? How prolific will the online gambling scene be by that decade? And will physical betting shops still exist to visit and place your favourite sports wagers? Let’s take a look into the future and find out what intriguing and exciting innovations are already in the works and being talked about.
A Look Forward 10 Years
The gambling industry has gone through quite the dramatic change over the past 20 years, especially when it comes to the online scene. Way back in the mid to late 90s when the first online casinos became active, there was still a lot of uptake of gaming at land-based casinos. Players didn’t seem to instantly go forth with online gaming, and that was primarily because the range of games was smaller than that available at brick-and-mortar casinos.
If you compare that with figures of the number of people who gamble online today, you’ll very much see that these situations have flipped. More people spend their time gambling from home or on a mobile device, rather than going to an actual casino. UK industry statistics from the period between April 2019 and March 2020 clearly state that the online gambling sector is the largest by gross gambling yield (GGY). It comprises 39.9% of the overall market, bringing in £5.7 billion, which is an increase of 8.1% on the previous one-year period.
Therefore, it is clear that this is still growing considerably, and knowing just how much the industry has altered over the past 20 years, it is not uncommon to wonder how it will continue changing. Playing online games 10 years ago and then accessing the same game today tells you exactly about those changes. Graphics and animations are much better today, the inclusive special features in games are better, and the overall gameplay is of a higher quality.
It is thought that virtual reality will definitely have a much greater impact on the scene. In fact, VR is already available and active within the online casino sector. For now, it’s just not as readily available because not that many people have VR headsets to use it. The technology remains under development today, and while the necessary headsets are so expensive, the uptake in such is likely to remain at a limited figure. Yet, despite the issues centred on virtual reality casinos and games, the world’s first VR casino has already been launched! And as it happens, this has been around since 2015.
Some land-based casinos have introduced specific ‘VR Zones’ into their establishments, such as the Orleans Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. This marked quite the large evolutionary step for the VR technology when it was the first one to launch in 2018. Players opting to use this zone wear HTC Vive headsets and then have the chance to play a range of VR games in order to win credits for using on the slot machines in the casino. Some of the games operate as multi-player titles, giving gamers the chance to play against one another, rather than solely against the computer system.
While it is unlikely that more VR casinos will pop up until the various software issues surrounding the technology are worked out, it is not against the bounds of possibility to believe that by 2030, these will be a lot more widespread. And why wouldn’t you involve yourself in a VR casino once it is perfected? It will undoubtedly provide you with an enhanced gaming experience when playing from home. Imagine the possibilities.
VR Technology in 2050
While today, we consider it quite normal to access a casino and its games from a home computer or a smartphone, this will certainly be something of the past by 2050, without a doubt. Instead, there is the strong possibility that we will put a VR headset on and be in the casino itself. Well, a VR version of it, at least. In doing so, we will be able to walk around the casino building, stop at different table games and slot machines, and pretty much enjoy it as if on a night out at a land-based casino. And VR technology will become so high in its quality that it will be exactly like being in a casino, rather than a vision of some sort of pixelated gaming site.
With the introduction of 5G technology in many countries already, this is expected to improve the virtual reality experience for many people. Faster download speeds and shorter delays on video content will be experienced, while an increased level of connectivity will certainly enhance any casino visit. It was predicted that in 2019, Sony would sell 2.2 million VR units, and that that market was expected to ship around 6 million of them in total.
In 2021, it is thought that augmented reality and VR will merge in order to create a new user experience. Through this, any element could be virtually created or real, and the user wouldn’t know the difference. Then, virtual humans will be introduced to drive the use of VR in social interactions. Virtual humans will basically be created in order to keep us company, and these will doubtless find themselves be thrust into the VR casino world. And it is not just the software that is expected to advance, but the technology as well. So, VR headsets are expected to look like sunglasses by 2026, and interactions should be able to occur through handheld devices by the previous year.
Once 2050 rolls around, VR is fully expected to replace high street shopping. People will make all of their clothing, furniture and other purchases from home, trying on the clothes in a virtual reality changing room and being given advice from artificial intelligence (AI) shop assistants.
For now, most of these are simply predictions for the VR world, but many of them could actually become a reality. And imagine that technology being applied to the casino gaming world. It would pretty much render physical establishments useless, especially in terms of high street bookies, which are already suffering from a dramatic decline in people using them and closures as a result.
Blockchain Technology More Prevalent
We have all seen how blockchain technology has already entered into the casino sphere, with many platforms now not only accepting cryptocurrency deposits and withdrawals but providing all of their services through such. Bitcoin casinos are highly popular with people who are either restricted in the payment methods they can use or those who don’t like using cards or other payment methods at gambling sites.
In the next 10 years, online casinos and bingo sites are very likely to embrace blockchain technology on a higher level. There may still be some scepticism at the moment regarding this technology, but the online casino world can only benefit from its further incorporation. The structure of blockchain means that public supervision occurs on all transactions, and should more operators embrace it, casino businesses essentially become quite transparent. This decreases the risk of manipulation, and it is said that those sites already operating on the blockchain have 0% house edge. That works nicely in the favour of players.
It wouldn’t be a leap of the imagination to expect to see all casinos either being wholly integrated into the blockchain or heavily relying on it for their services. And this would in turn render those casinos who don’t want to advance with the technology in the dust. Of course, there is always a route to take forward, or a route to stand and stagnate. It is in the hands of the casino operators themselves as to whether or not they proceed with the advancements of technology.
The Sports Betting World to Benefit from VR
When it comes to the sports betting, virtual sports and eSports worlds, it is prevalent to note that the COVID-19 pandemic has actually accelerated the appreciation of the latter two. Due to the fact that many sports events were cancelled during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns, bettors turned their attention to virtual events and eSports gaming wagers as an alternative. This sparked a massive rise in the number of people who not only enjoyed it for the first time but continued to enjoy it even when sporting events returned.
During lockdown, we got to experience a virtual Grand National, Formula 1 events crafted virtually and other events such as fantasy boxing matches organised by the World Boxing Super Series. If we were to jump forward by 30 years to 2050, then it is likely we would see both virtual sports and eSports dominating the scene. Technological advancements will essentially phase out the necessity of betting on actual sporting events. And while it’s true that these will most likely still exist – after all, we’re sure that football fans will still want to attend events and see their favourite teams try to win – potentially, people will watch them through a VR headset. It certainly won’t be beyond the bounds of technology for people to attend their favourite horse races, football matches, cricket events and so on via a VR headset, rather than be there physically.
What’s to stop there being a sports betting kiosk, or several of them, within the virtual reality world where players can walk up and place their favoured wagers during a game or event? In fact, as land-based sports betting shops are very much phased out and online sportsbooks look to new ways of drawing people in, this sort of VR sports event experience is certainly likely to happen.
It is thought that every sport currently existing in the world will also have a massive eSports version for avid fans to access. And the likelihood is that this virtual gaming version of the sport will eclipse the actual sport when it comes to popularity. As a result, huge stadiums will be filled with fans wanting to see their favourite eSports heroes taking part in events. The Intel Extreme Masters World Championship of 2017 has already enjoyed huge success, with 173,000 people cheering on their preferred teams.
It is also thought that eSports competition will enter into the Olympics in due course. The IOC President Thomas Bach has already brought up the subject, pretty much stating that it is not a matter of if, but when eSports are introduced to the Olympics. Potentially, this will occur before 2050. As it happens, games that are played as part of eSports competition don’t really fall in line with competitive real sports as far as the Olympics values are concerned, so it will be intriguing to figure out how this will take place.
Without a shadow of a doubt, technology in 2050 will be so much more advanced that we will greatly benefit from it as bettors. Casinos and sports betting enthusiasts will be able to enjoy their favourite betting options, but simply put, it will be heavily possible from a virtual reality standpoint. Through this medium, more people will be able to be connected with not only their favourite games and such, but with each other. The virtual world will likely provide a great location to interact with other casino players or sports bettors.
Is this a good thing where the gambling operators are concerned? Well, potentially there will be some resistance to adapt to these changes in the initial stages, as is always the case when such alterations take place. Operators will likely question whether or not they can make this type of entertainment profitable enough for themselves. However, by 2050, the majority of us will most likely be spending our time getting our entertainment from the VR world. Betting companies have the option of helping to make it work or disappearing from existence.