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Innovations in the online betting market

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Online betting is rapidly evolving. Just over ten years ago, playing in an online casino meant downloading a questionable software program to your desktop so you could play one of maybe a hundred run-of-the-mill fruit slots. Today, an online casino offers a world of slots and live casino games that look nothing like the classic fruit slots. The online betting industry is growing rapidly. Undeniable aided by the COVID-19 pandemic, Evolution reported a jaw-dropping 90% increase in profits over 2020.

Innovations drive any industry, but with the rapid growth of online betting in the last years, the cascade of innovations is more than impressive. Developers are constantly looking for the next big thing, and regularly propose new game mechanisms that should hook players even better. From Megaways to casual gaming and virtual reality, online betting will never look the same again.

Innovations in online slots

Several innovations in online slots have shaped the slots landscape in the past years. One of the most notable innovations are Megaways. Where a traditional slot offers 3 or 5 reels with 3 symbols on each reel and a fixed number of win lines, a Megaways slot generally offers 6 reels where the number of symbols on each reel differs per spin, ranging from 2-6. Combining these flexible symbols with a mechanism that gives a winning combination with each possible combination of consecutive symbols gives players a hypothetical 117,649 win lines. After introducing the Megaways mechanism, developer Big Time Gaming has licensed it to many other developers.

Another recent innovation involves Inifinity Reels, a mechanism where more reels are added to the playing area with each consecutive win involving the same symbol. This means higher wins are possible, as each subsequent combination adds to the current win.

These two innovations point to an overarching development: the potential for bigger wins. One example is developer Quickspin’s Sticky Bandits series. The first online slot, published in 2017, offered a maximum win of 739x the stake. Part 2, published two years later, offered more than double: 1,492x. With the third installment, players can win 22,428x their stake.

Innovations in live casino

This same development can be seen in the live casino, where players play classic casino games with a live dealer. Newer versions of classic games are quickly replacing the originals, all promising the chance of higher winnings. Lightning Roulette, the web’s most popular roulette version, implements multipliers that raise the maximum win from 35x to 500x.

Virtual Reality

Virtual Reality is the next development everyone is eagerly awaiting. The first developers have already dabbled in offering VR versions of their slots, but a breakthrough seems a bridge too far. Nevertheless, an online betting environment is a perfect venue for a VR experience: live casino games already bring the casino experience to your phone. The next logical step is to place bets in a virtual environment that truly brings your home and the online betting experience together.

Skill-based games

A final development is the blending between casual games and online casino games. Some slots already resemble mobile games more than the traditional slot machines, but aside from aesthetics, the games themselves are changing, too. Skill-based games, as the name implies, offer players the chance to influence the outcome of the game (within the borders set by the developer). This elevates slots from a mere passive event to an interactive experience where better players can gain on the house edge. These newer slot machines are already found in brick and mortar casinos, but trickling into the digital environment of online betting, too.

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