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Online casino games: the technology that makes them tick



Thanks to huge advances in digital technology, the online gambling industry has boomed in recent years. The latest estimates say the global online casino business is worth more than $40 billion a year.

Online betting has certainly come a long way since the world’s first online gambling event – it was a simple but exciting method of buying tickets for the Liechtenstein International Lottery in 1994.

Since those early internet days, restrictions have gradually been relaxed in different countries. At the same time the demand from players has grown for internet games like poker, sports betting and casino games. The latest trends include playing high-tech video slot machines online. They have become the most popular gambling game across the world.

The industry is still developing across the world at different speeds. Technology is booming but different countries still have different laws about allowing their citizens to have access to gambling sites.

There’s clearly however a growing demand from players for more and more forms of betting action that is accessible online through their mobile devices. As the demand has soared – and so has the technology.

With big profits available, major online casinos have been able to fund sophisticated advances in the systems behind their offering. They are able to offer very advanced games on their websites and enable users to download apps that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.

One of the biggest areas of technological progress has been in security for these sites. Gamers are understandably concerned about protecting their money and their personal banking information.

A lot of work has been done to make sites more secure. The reputable online casinos typically use one of these latest security systems:

  • Encryption software to stop outsiders reading the details of your personal data or financial transactions
  • ID verification to safeguard your account using photographic documents like passports or driving license to protect access to your personal data – and to prevent under-age players gaining access to the site
  • End-to-end scrambling of data technologically known as end-to-end encryption reduces your data down into unbreakable chunks of code
  • Two-step verification adds another stage of entry to the site to prevent hackers and thieves. Often this could involve sending a unique code to your mobile device just to double check you are actually the account holder
  • TLS is a type of very advanced data coding. If you see it on a site be reassured. It is now used by major online banks. TLS is one of the latest and best ways to protect your financial data

The rise of mobile devices has been the real fuel to the rocketing of the online casino industry. Players can now bet from anywhere at any time.

Casinos have also concentrated on improving the mobile gaming experience to attract new players. The improvement in graphics and animations has been remarkable.

At the same time there has been a rapid improvement in online payment services. Providers like PayPal, Neteller and Skrill can offer their customers rapid and secure payments and withdrawals over the internet.

Compare today’s technology with the original gambling machines shows how far and fast the progress has been. Early slot machines were mechanical devices that relied on physical strips of symbols mounted on reels.

Electronic and digital slot machines increased the allure with brighter displays and the use of far more symbols and combinations. It made the games much more alluring to players.

Today’s online version of slots in comparison can use virtual reels with unlimited number of symbols. This makes for infinite combinations and constant variety for the players. At the same time it means online casinos can experiment with different odds and paybacks.

Leading online operators are already working on the next stage in technology. Expect to see advances in artificial intelligence being applied to online betting. Casinos could use AI to personalise the gaming experience or to spot cheaters or hackers.

Gaming software developers are already well used to using the random number generator (RNG) algorithm to drive their online offerings, like blackjack, video slots and roulette. The casino will then employ the latest HTML and Java technology to create the games themselves.

Today’s RNG systems are driven by computer microchips that are programmed to produce huge amounts of random numbers. It is possible for a chip to generate several billion random numbers in a second.

In terms of a virtual slot machine for example, the RNG will determine the symbols shown on the reels when they come to rest. The technology is able to ensure the odds are precisely calculated for each spin of the reels.

Players can’t predict any pattern. Any sense that the machine is going through a ‘hot spell’ is purely in the player’s imagination. The device itself is purely following the outcome of its RNG system.

And the reels aren’t actually spinning – the RNG system has already decided the outcome the second the player presses the button.

In terms of technology though, each side is pushing the other forward. As more gamers get attracted to online casinos, operators are able to fund more technological advances.

This makes their gambling sites slicker and more appealing. So they in turn end up attracting more players.

With this win-win situation, expect more and more exciting advances in online casino technology.


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