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The tech industry is always evolving, especially in the leisure sector. Leisure tech is big business; that might be the latest games console or mobile gaming platform. Many of the big innovations in tech come in that sector – VR headsets, for example. With the video game industry predicted to be worth $256bn by 2025, it’s easy to understand why tech companies focus their efforts on it. If you create a hit in the video game industry, it’s a license to print money.

The iGaming sector is a smaller part of the video game industry but is highly lucrative. By iGaming, we mean things like online casinos, online poker and such; it’s an industry where customers put money in with a view to taking some out, and it is very valuable indeed. Because of the nature of the industry, with money being wagered, it had revenues of $198bn last year, expected to rise to $339bn by 2027.

As with video gaming, that means focusing on tech advancements as developers try to outdo each other and grab lucrative market share. In this article, we’ll look at just some of the tech trends to keep an eye on in 2023 around the iGaming sector.

Crypto

Crypto isn’t a new innovation – in fact, given the recent crypto crash, it could be seen as yesterday’s news. However, that’s not the case in the iGaming industry; crypto is seen as a tech innovation which could help further the industry. This is evident in the online poker sector, where crypto might be the key to increased legality. In the US, online poker is heavily regulated, but crypto in online poker circumnavigates some of the barriers in place. That’s because technically, the games are not played with real money; thus, they are in a grey area in terms of the law. Also, with crypto being decentralized, there’s no middleman taking a cut from payments, which means more money in the industry. Therefore, developers will likely exploit crypto in 2023 despite the crash.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual reality has been around in gaming for many years; indeed, the first VR headsets appeared in the 80s for the Sega Master System in the form of 3D glasses. Today’s VR headsets are far more advanced and improving all of the time. The iGaming industry is likely to seek to exploit this with the ability to create virtual worlds for you at home. They could put you into a real-life casino in your own home or around the high-stakes poker tables of the Bellagio in Vegas. Indeed, titles such as PokerStars VR have already done similar, creating a virtual casino for you to enjoy. Augmented reality is a little different; it merges your location with a degree of VR, creating a hybrid. The iGaming industry could leverage VR to put a dealer in your kitchen, albeit through a screen, and it’s more cost-effective than VR software as there’s little rendering of backgrounds to consider.

Live Games

Finally, at a basic level, iGaming companies will leverage 5G technology to offer more live games. We’ve already seen this recently; ever since the pandemic, there’s been an increase in the number of games offered with live dealers. These are really simple; a developer fills a room with hundreds of live dealers playing poker, roulette and anything else they like, and you can sign in and stream those games, interacting with the dealers. In terms of tech, it’s nothing new, but in 2023 5G will be much more commonplace, meaning stable connections and HD feeds. That alone enhances the iGaming experience, and it’s something developers are likely to focus on, given how popular they’ve become.

By Ban