Behind every layer of an online casino is innovation. Whether it’s the way the casino offers tailor-made bonus games or the payment systems used by players to deposit, the technology behind each layer continues to improve. Although there are a number of tech innovations we could cover, we are going to look at those that focus on the players’ most important features—the games and gameplay. In collaboration with Playtech and Evolution, we’re going to look at how these brands are using innovative tech to engage the online gaming industry.

Live Casino Gaming

The live casino scene is not new, but it is well worth highlighting because the way this iGaming vertical is evolving is impressive. Over the past few years, we have seen many innovative features added to traditional table games and game shows.

In the early days of live casinos, this niche was predominantly table games with fairly straightforward gameplay similar to their land-based counterparts. The difference, of course, was that the game used a webcam to stream live dealers, delivering results in real-time using real cards and dice. Perhaps the most innovative features at this time were side bets, which added a little more entertainment.

One major bottleneck back then was internet speeds. Yet, today, this is no longer an issue thanks to fiber optic network infrastructure and 5G mobile connections. Game developers now have fewer constraints, which gives them more wiggle room to create more innovative live dealer games.

Multiplier roulette games like Mega Fire Blaze Roulette by Playtech and Lightning Roulette by Evolution have become a new fad. Players can win 2,000x to 10,000x multipliers on these game titles. As multipliers were clearly so very popular in roulette, Evolution started the trend of adding them to other games like Lightning Blackjack and Lightning Baccarat.

Wheel of Fortune games are another casino game style that has evolved dramatically. Rather than the old-style games that deliver multipliers for landing on a number, newer releases now come with bonus rounds and 3D animated augmented reality characters. This all started with Evolution’s Monopoly Live. Mr. Monopoly stands next to the game show host, and when the bonus round kicks off, he takes players around the famous HASBRO London Monopoly Board.

Monopoly Live was so popular that it won the EGR Operators Game of the Year Award. Thanks to its release, Evolution Gaming’s competitors, Pragmatic Play and Playtech, released their Wheel of Fortune equivalents, Sweet Bonanza CandyLand and Adventures in Wonderland, respectively. Today, more than ten live casino Wheel of Fortune game shows with bonus rounds available at live casinos!

Innovation in Online Slot Reel Mechanics
Much like live casino gaming, online slots have continued to evolve. As with live casino games, we can look back at the evolution of online slots, starting with early 3-reel classic slots with 1 pay line. In the first, let’s say, two decades of online slots, the biggest changes we saw were additional reels and more pay lines. Bonus features also began to evolve, as did the animations and graphics.

No-pay-line slots are one of the latest trending reel mechanics. Around 2010, an increasing number of online slots began using 243 Ways to Win before upping the ante to 1024 and 2048 Ways to Win. Next came Megaways with over 100,000 Ways to Win and shape-shifting reels that would randomly produce 2 to 7 symbols per reel. Next came Cluster Pays slots, which are also no pay line slot games, but rather than using symbols lined up along consecutive reels, combinations payouts come via clusters of 7+ or 8+ symbols gathered on adjacent positions anywhere on the slot game’s grid.

After MegaWays and Cluster Pays, you had to wonder whether the online slot industry had outdone itself. We though surely, there are no new ways to reinvent reel mechanics. Well, we were wrong. Yggdrasil and NetEnt came out with Infinity Reels and Infireels respectively. These are both the same reel mechanic, just each brand names them differently. Each time a player lands a winning combination, the game adds a new reel. As the name implies, this can continue an infinite number of times with players reporting winning streaks that have produced 100s of reels!

AI Enhances Responsible Gaming in Casinos
A growing number of tech companies supply online casino platforms with algorithms that detect changes in player behavior. These companies are now beginning to integrate AI into their algorithms. Now, this may sound invasive, but actually, the way AI interacts with players gives casino members a more personal touch.

We need to look into problem gambling behavior signals to understand how this tech works. One of the most common traits is chasing losses. It could be raising their usual bet sizes in search of big wins to compensate for losses. Another trait is multiple deposits shortly after the player has been on a losing streak. Traditionally i.e., before AI, the responsible gambling algorithms would trigger alerts to spot changes in player behavior. At this point, a customer services rep will contact the player by email or phone.

AI is enhancing these algorithms by becoming personal assistants built into online casino accounts. Companies like BetBuddy owned by Playetech, are one of the leaders in this tech. It uses machine learning to create predictive analysis that first spots players potentially at risk. Now, here’s the clever part: The AI algorithm then interacts with the player while he or she is playing online. The AI assistant lets the player know he or she is on a losing streak and offers advice on the best course of action to avoid further losses.

The result is that most players feel like they are getting a personal service while the casino is proactively encouraging sustainable growth on all its player accounts.

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