Annually, e-SEE holds a web-conference where various role players in the technological sphere in South Eastern Europe are invited to discuss a particular issue. 2018’s conference, in particular, was centered around e-gaming and online casinos for real money and took place earlier this year.
The conference turned out to be a bumper event, with some of the most famous e-gaming software creators invited to take part and present on some of their newest technologies and developments. Below, we’ve have a look at some of the key points from this year’s conference.
All of the biggest software providers to the big online casinos were invited to present at Web Conference 2018. These included RealTime Gaming (RTG), NetEnt, the world’s largest supplier of online gaming and sports betting software, Playtech, Microgaming, Betsoft, International Game Technology (IGT), Evolution Gaming, the Stars Group, Novomatic, NYX Gaming and several others.
The Newest Technologies
As can be expected from a conference of this magnitude, a host of new technologies was discussed and presented. Many of these related to game design and animation technologies, with a key theme around many of the bigger presentations relating to the core tenets of gaming success – game design and animation and interactivity, showcasing the many ways in which technology and progress were being pushed to the limit to provide the most in-depth gaming experiences for casino lovers in 2018 and beyond.
Specifically, with regards to interactivity, many of the biggest gaming developers placed special focus on mobile gaming and it appears likely that this is an area where rapid growth is likely to be seen in the next few years.
A particularly interesting development was in the acknowledgment of the importance of adding a skill-based element to casino gaming. A key aspect of the keynote address was the rise in Millennial gamers and the importance this generation placed on skill playing an element in the outcome of the casino experience, rather than just dumb luck. The brightest participants of the conference were iGaming soft providers. So let’s get to know them better:
- Novomatic Casinos for Real Money Presented on Web Summit 2018
- Online Initiative 2018 – Evolution Gaming Casinos for Real Money
- The Stars Group Casinos for Real Money 2018 in Web Session
- Playtech Casinos for Real Money on Online Summit 2018
- NetEnt Casinos for Real Money – Summary of Online Meeting 2018
- Overview of IGT Casinos for Real Money on Online Summit 2018
- Microgaming Casinos for Real Money – Online Summit 2018 Overview
- Online Summit 2018 Overview – RTG Casinos for Real Money
- Web Initiative 2018 Overview – NYX Gaming Casinos for Real Money
- Betsoft Casinos for Real Money Overview on Online Summit 2018
Video Gaming Machines (VGMs) have been rolled out by several software providers globally and focus on thematic experiences that combine the best graphics on the market with a storyline and prizes based in part on the player’s skill. It is very likely that this technology will begin to really take off over the next few years as it is adopted by all of the heavy hitters.
Finally, security technology was also a key aspect of the presentations at this year’s Web Conference, with many of the speakers looking at a variety of different security measures to increase the safety of the gaming community as more and more of its business moves online.
Some of these measures included biometric identification, particularly at the stage of transferring money, which goes hand in hand with an increase in mobile technologies running biometric identification features. Other important security technologies that featured prominently were an increase in cloud security protocols, loT security (which is the IT security that protects devices that are connected via a home network) and mobile security protection.
VR Casinos for Real Money
Despite it floating around the gaming world for the last three years, VR is still seen as a very futuristic technology. That said, a reported 33% of gamers have access to VR tech in some form, with this number likely to increase. As such, VR casinos were always likely to be the next step in the gaming world.
They were looked at in depth at the conference in all their forms – the technology behind both mobile headsets and specifically designed VR simulators is being tweaked to allow for VR casinos. NetEnt’s speaker looked into the success of expanding Gonzo’s Quest into the VR space and how this could pave the way for a full-fledged VR casino experience in the next 18 months.
Going in hand with VR Casinos, the Augmented reality was also a key focus of 2018’s web conference. Whilst still in heavy development, some exciting potential developments in the AR space were mooted, with a fun presentation given on table games played via AR through the help of specialized glasses and gloves to enable interactions. This is clearly going to be an exciting space in the online gaming industry over the next few years.
Facebook Casinos for Real Cash
Social Media is huge and pervasive and there have long been attempting to incorporate the Facebook and Twitter communities into gambling for real money. Social Gambling is still relatively new, although it is believed to be worth over 5 billion dollars as an industry by the end of this financial year.
Social Media casinos differ from regular online casinos in that they are housed via the software of the particular social network. In most instances, they are free to play casinos, with no risk of winning or losing. However, they provide gamers with the option of purchasing more chips or being able to bet with increased freedom, as well as several other customizable features.
Whether or not social media casinos will be used primarily as a marketing tool for games developers or as the primary business in their own right was not clear from the conference but, with an estimated worth moving into the billions, rest assured that there will be much development in this space going forward.
Popular Bonuses for Players
Online casinos are known for their player bonuses and this is something that binds them together. Some of the most popular bonuses are free spins, match bonuses, VIP gifts for high rollers and membership points.
Free spin promotions are extremely popular and one of the first bonuses that new players look for before signing up for a new online casino. These free spins can be given out ad hoc, with some online casinos offering them as an incentive to play, before even depositing any cash, whilst others give them away in addition to the welcome deposit bonus or merely as a reward for being a member for a certain period of time.
“Free spin” is shorthand for free access to a game, with the term spin used, as these bonuses are often (but not always) limited to slot machine games. Free Spins usually come with a play through a minimum, requiring winnings from the free spin to have been wagered a certain number of times before it can be withdrawn.
Match bonuses or deposit bonuses are the other big incentive offered by online casinos to entice new players, with many offering to match up to and beyond double the player’s first/second/third deposit with the new casino. The same play through rules as those that apply to free spins usually apply to match bonuses.
Gifts for High Rollers
High rollers are rewarded very handsomely on land-based casinos and the same is becoming more and more prevalent with online casinos too. The gifts offered will depend on affiliations between the online casino and land-based businesses but can include stays at linked resorts, match deposits, free spins, electronics and vouchers, amongst other gifts.
A key aspect of the success of online gaming and online casinos is the ease and safety of paying.
The standard payment options include VISA, Mastercard, Maestro, Neteller, Skrill, EasyPay, PayU, WebMoney, Moneta, GiroPay and a host of others.
Cryptocurrency has been the word on everyone’s lips over the last 18 months and this phenomenon was not ignored at 2018’s web conference. Many of the online gaming giants have added functionality so that gamblers can pay and withdraw using cryptocurrencies of their choice.
The difficulty associated with cryptocurrency mentioned at the summit was, in particular, its volatility and the impact this has on certainty as to bet sizes and minimum deposits and maximum withdrawals. That said, cryptocurrency is here to stay and it is clear that the biggest gaming software developers are committed to ensuring that the facility is available when needed.
All in all, Web Conference 2018 on Casinos for Real Money was a great success. Many exciting developments can be expected over the next 18 months in this sphere, particularly with regards to new technologies and how this will improve the player experience. It’s going to be an exciting space to be involved in and will likely contribute enormously to the global electronic database.