In the early days of online casinos, simply providing players with digitalised versions of roulette, blackjack, and slots that they could play in the comfort of their own homes was enough for online casinos to succeed. But as the industry has grown exponentially in the 25 years since Microgaming developed the first-ever online casino platform, the type and quality of games on offer has also expanded. Abundance and variety has become a key selling point for online casinos, as they aim to attract as wide a player demographic as possible. With numerous new genres of game already added, what could online casinos seek to appropriate next?
Bingo and Scratch Cards the Latest Games to Transition
In the short but explosive history of online casinos, one of the most notable things has been the rise of slot games. Click on any online casino and you will find yourself presented with hundreds of options based on everything from television shows to Greek gods. Slots have given developers a platform to shine, and opened up the doorway for a greater number of smaller companies to get in on the action and compete with the industry heavyweights as well.
But now that a landing page with a wide variety of slots has come to be the norm and is expected by online casino players, operators have had to think outside the box and diversify their offerings even more. This has brought about a rise in lottery games online. There are dedicated lottery sites that specialise in the lucky ball draw, and these have enjoyed great success. For this reason, many online casinos have extended their sprawling libraries to also include bingo.
After bingo came scratch cards. Physical versions of these have been popular for many years, even among people who don’t play on other gambling games. By introducing scratch cards to online casinos, operators have been able to broaden their player base even further. Scratch cards online now come in a vast range of themes similar to those found on slots pages. There are games like Hot Safari, Break The Ice, and Queen of Gold, all with attractive thumbnails to entice players.
ESports Effect Could Inspire More Crossovers
After having seen online casinos appropriate a vast number of games and add them to what has become the expected online casino catalogue, it would be foolish to think that they would stop there. Of course they are going to continue evolving and adding more games to their libraries. But what could be the next step?
One area that could have an influence on future online casino games is the growing eSports industry. Competitive gaming was worth more than $1 billion in 2020, and this figure is shooting up rapidly. Some land-based casinos have realised that eSports will be hard to ignore, and have begun to provide gambling for this form of entertainment alongside their normal services. The marketing strategy is that eSports fans may come to engage with eSports and then find themselves tempted to play the casino games.
One way to attract this crowd to the casino games even more effectively would be to introduce gaming options on the casino floor or, in the case of online casinos, their webpages. One way that this could happen could be it the introduction of skill elements to the slots, perhaps when the player triggers a side game. Another option for online casinos could be to take an eSport like Hearthstone and think about ways to involve a betting element. Of course, they would have to go into partnership with Blizzard Entertainment if they wanted to pull this off.
The online casino industry is constantly progressing, and operators are always working on ways to bring in more players. Looking to the booming eSports industry could be the next step for expanding online casino game offerings.