Even though technology has already changed the world almost beyond recognition, the last word on our technological future has not been spoken. Developers and designers constantly invent new gadgets, electronic devices, and technological strategies that drastically transform our user experience, often so quickly that we do not have time to master a novelty before its newest version comes in. No sooner the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, for example, got announced that the concept design of its successor – the Galaxy Z Flip 2 – already appeared. Users have not yet acquired complete knowledge of the new phone’s features, but Samsung is already tantalizing them with its newest version. And god only knows what new carrot Samsung will dangle in front our eyes once we have purchased the Galaxy Z Flip 2.
The technological developments that we have been witnessing is not only quick but also pandemic. Every industry is being transformed by technology, not only the communication sphere. Take gambling, for example. Seasoned gamblers, playing before the technological revolution, know how much they had to adjust to reshaped gambling. The most drastic change was brought by the internet. Since the late 1990s, the gambling industry went online. Then, bookmaking companies realized the potential of online betting and launched online bingo and poker websites. Given the online alternative, most of the gamblers started wagering through the internet instead of going to brick-and-mortar casinos.
In Finland, where gambling is considered the Finns’ civic duty, people play less in land-based casinos than they bet online. This happens partly because there are only two casinos in Finland, Helsinki Casino and the PAF Casino in Mariehamn, the second of which is so small that experienced gamblers do not even consider it worth their attention. By contrast, there are numerous new online casinos – uusi kasino – in Finland, both licensed and unlicensed, which offer poker games, scratch cards, lottery, sports betting, esports, roulette, and themed slots. Kassu and Casino Gods offer 1300 games for desktop computers and 800 for mobiles. Lapalingo.com invites players with the even richer selection of 1500 games for desktop computer and 1000 games for mobile devices.
A rich arsenal of games is not the only reason why players bet from the comfort of their homes rather than go to land-based casinos. Online casinos also offer more generous rewards. For one thing, online casinos allow players to try games for free, which land-based casinos never do, always requiring them to make initial deposits. For another, online betting websites give a generous amount of welcome bonus designed for those who has just signed up, which gamblers can use to play all available games. Online casinos also have special deals that allow players to boost their bankroll and play longer. Those users who frequent an online casino receive loyalty schemes, various bonuses, and exclusive offers.
The second innovation that has transformed the gambling industry is smartphones. They have made gambling portable. Equipped with smartphones, gamblers can now make a wager from any place in the world. Whenever they are, the gambling service is delivered to them though web browser and dedicated applications. Equally convenient is that gamblers can play any casino they want through their mobile devices. Although the Finnish government encourages its citizens to gamble on local licensed websites, the Finns can visit any unlicensed foreign website and make a bet there. The most popular foreign websites in Finland today are 888sport, Betway, Bet365, and SpeedyBet. Websites of these companies have mobile versions that can automatically be delivered to players upon request.
The latest technological innovation in the gambling industry is Virtual Reality. It combines features of land-based and online casinos: the sophistication of the former and the efficiency of the latter. By bringing these two types of casino together, developers and designers have created a unique experience which gamblers can gain through the PlayStation VR or the Oculus Rift. With the help of these technologies, users can enter the simulated environment of any land-based casino they want, be it Helsinki Casino, Olympic Park Casino in neighboring Estonia, or even WinStar World Casino in Oklahoma, the biggest casino in the world. Though located in front of their computers at home, gamblers will feel as though they are immersed in the 3D world of their chosen casino and will interact with its environment. They will feel as though they are indeed playing inside the casino’s physical walls.
As technology develops further, we can expect other innovations in gambling. The gambling industry is eager to continue serving players’ interests and will make sure to integrate any technological novelty that will appear in the world in the near future.