The casino of today doesn’t look or feel strikingly different from that of two decades ago. Preserving the traditions that have made casinos a booming business throughout the industry’s history is always a top priority for game designers.
With that being said, the tides are turning and casinos are slowly undergoing a transition into a new era. An increased emphasis on technology, visually-pleasing games, and full-immersive experiences are all on the horizon in the not-too-distant future.
In this article, I’ll go over six ways casinos will change in the next 20 years.
1 – Sportsbooks Will Be Everywhere
Sports gambling has taken off in the past 10 years. Okay, let me re-phrase. “Legal” sports gambling has grown immensely over the past decade. What once took place behind closed doors is now happening out in the open, and why wouldn’t it? Plenty of money is available to be made by taking bets on the public’s favorite sporting events.
We still haven’t reach the point (yet) where every casino in every state has legalized real money sports betting, but it’s headed in that direction. It’s not a stretch to say that within the next 20 years, every gaming establishment will be able to take bets on sports.
If you’re thinking that in-person sports betting has no value when it’s available online, you’ve probably never been to a sportsbook. Betting on games with dozens of like-minded individuals— not to mention a wall of TVs with every sporting event imaginable—is an experience that can’t be replicated at home.
This may be a reality for you already depending on the state in which you reside. If it is, just be happy that the barriers that often stood in the way of sports betting have largely been removed. If your state still hasn’t legalized sports betting, keep an eye on the legislation. Chances are, it’ll be fully legal soon.
This means that it’s a good time to brush up on your sports handicapping skills. You need to be prepared to take advantage of legalized sports gambling to increase your profits.
2 – Seamless Entertainment
For many casino visitors, entertainment isn’t just expected to come from gambling. Things like shopping, restaurants, live performances, and more, are all part of the overall casino experience. Today, designers are looking to bring all these components together to create a more immersive experience for visitors of all types.
The idea behind this shift is that it’s better and more profitable to keep all the casino’s offerings accessible, and most importantly, visible. Once a patron is aware that a restaurant, bar, or retail shop exists, the chances they’ll spend money is infinitely higher.
Some companies are taking things to the next level by going outside the traditional forms of entertainment that have been seen in casinos for years. For example, some places have even started to incorporate zoos full of exotic animals as part of their pitch to potential customers. Can’t get that experience playing on an online casino, right?
Expect the casino of the future to look more like a “general entertainment center” than simply a gaming establishment. When everyone in your group has something to keep them occupied for long periods of time, the house wins.
The inspiration for this concept is undoubtedly the “resort” style experience that Las Vegas casinos, and other international casino locations, have had success with in the past. The goal is to draw in people that may otherwise not be interested in making a trip solely revolving around gambling, drinking, and live shows. Instead, there will be an emphasis on relaxation and wellness, and even recreational sports like tennis and golf.
As the saying goes, “If you hang around the barbershop long enough, eventually you’re going to get a haircut.” Only in this case, it’s, “If you hang around the casino resort long enough, you’re going to start gambling eventually.”
3 – Online Casino Investment
What’s the best way to get people to utilize the casino? Bring it to them in their own homes! By eliminating the need to get in the car and drive, park, walk around, and deal with other people, gaming companies are hoping to increase engagement with gamblers.
On the surface, it might seem like casinos that own and operate multimillion-dollar gambling palaces would be against developing platforms that, in many ways, discourage people from visiting their casinos. But data has suggested that people who want to visit the physical casino will still go even if there’s an option to bet online.
In short, casino patrons are there for the experience, not just the gambling.
By operating online gambling sites, casinos essentially are opening up new revenue streams that they wouldn’t have had access to previously.
4 – Prioritizing Hospitality
Due to rise of online casinos, physical establishments need to try harder than ever to create an unforgettable experience that has visitors wanting to return for more in the future.
From waitresses to hotel accommodations, design aesthetics and more, casino-owning companies are pouring millions of dollars into transforming the look and feel of their buildings. For example, a representative from a major casino company who is in charge of designing the gaming floor has mentioned that their goal is to “lighten” the spaces, meaning less heavy reds and blacks, and more of an “Apple store” feel, as he described it.
The new generation of gamblers is here, and it’s clear their aesthetic preferences are different than those of the past. Expect to see a more modern looking gaming floor in the coming years.
5 – Video Games
Video poker, slot machines, and other digital offerings have been available at casinos for most of the past decade. These segments are expected to grow heavily and new video-based games are being developed right now that casinos are banking on to become major draws for younger audiences.
Now, some gaming companies have started to offer more skill-based games as an alternative to traditional chance-based options that have dominated the space for centuries. One such game is the addictive, viral multiplayer Fortnite.
It should be mentioned that for the time being, these are primarily still offered only online. With that being said, it’s only a matter of time before these games make the jump from home computers and video game consoles to the gaming floor of your favorite casino.
6 – Virtual Reality
Imagine playing a game of poker in a smoke-filled room with some sketchy characters. Or perhaps taking in a game of blackjack at casino overlooking the French Riviera. In the near future, you’ll be able to enjoy experiences likes these (kind of) by utilizing the virtual reality (VR) technology casinos are experimenting with today.
Virtual reality is building on the philosophy behind online casinos and taking things to the next level. Some casinos have already begun to offer their members a way to visit the casino without ever leaving home. Of course, there are still some aspects that can’t be shoved into a VR platform, but the idea of playing at your local casino right from home is a reality that is going to be widely available as the technology continues to become more accessible to the masses.
Developers have already released versions of table games and slots that give players a life-like casino experience. You can walk through different rooms, chat with patrons, and even interact with staff such as dealers through your headset.
If there was ever an invention that said “the future has arrived,” this is it.
Casinos have been due for a design overhaul for some time. As technology continues to become an integral part of everyone’s life, gaming establishments will have to keep up in order to maintain their role as a necessary destination for those looking to be entertained, and of course, to try to win money.
There’s no question that the transition is going to be challenging for casino purists who are fans of the more traditional experience, but gaming companies are betting on the next wave of gamblers picking up the slack.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. …