Technology & software

Divergence and alignment: How the iGaming industry lives with its traditional rival

iGamingIn business, including much of the retail industry, the key term of the 21st century has undoubtedly been “digital disruption”.

The process of taking new technology to upend an existing industry has caused plenty of pain for traditional industries, but also plenty of gain for consumers. Thankfully, most businesses are aware now that old methods might not be enough to maintain profit in the face of a digital revolution. A good example is high street bookshops creating social spaces in order to offer something different in the face of a challenge from online booksellers. Which could be the case with iGaming

Yet, one industry that seems to have co-exited peacefully in face of a digital challenge is the casino industry, specifically the land-based one. Very rarely have we seen over the last couple of decades reports of casinos facing difficulties due to digital disruption. In fact, both the traditional casino industry and iGaming industry have been trundling along nicely.

Industries overlap somewhat

There are many reasons for this, of course, including the fact that there is some overlap between the entities that power both industries. Moreover, there is also the fact that a trip to the casino has always been about more than simply going somewhere to play casino games. Like the aforementioned bookshop with a café and poetry readings, the land-based casino is a multi-faceted experience, one where games might only be a secondary consideration.

Yet, there is always scope for a challenge from digital startups and established games developers in the online world. We have seen the gauntlet thrown down already with live dealer games like the ones here at, which streams real casino games by using real dealers in studios and console technology. It’s arguably the most important innovation in iGaming over the last decade.

Live casino online has been around for a few years now, however, and it is undeniably popular. Yet, once again, it has not really dented the land-based casino industry. Yet, one can now see a shift in emphasis among games developers, and it could precipitate the biggest challenge yet to the traditional hubs of casinos in Las Vegas and Macau.

Shift in emphasis from iGaming operators

You see, in the past online casino developers were always obsessed with the idea of replicating what went on in “real” casinos. That’s part of the reason so much effort has gone into live dealer technology. Yet, with that tech, iGaming operators have realised that they can go in a different direction altogether; not replicate the traditional casino industry, but to offer things that it cannot.

What this means is a push towards VR, AR (Augmented Reality) and MR (Mixed Reality) gaming. Events like the Global Gaming Expo (G2E) and ICE are full of exhibitions showing the latest tech for VR, AR and MR, as well as other related technologies. The software developers are really trying to focus on this in a big way, because the iGaming industry is hugely competitive within its own boundaries; remember, online casinos license games from software companies.

Yet, there is also an acceptance within the land-based casino industry that they too must try to bring technology to the gaming floor. Indeed, the big resorts like Caesars Palace and the MGM are often the first to showcase these games. They know that the push to get millennials in through doors will require more than free cocktails and swanky surroundings.

In that sense, we will see more alignment with these two industries. Except, it will no longer be iGaming operators looking to emulate the traditional casinos, but the other way around.