The online gambling industry experienced a lot of change in 2018 and one can expect a similar trend in 2019.
The present decline in popularity of land-based casinos is understandable. First, the new generation of players is more drawn to the online environment which offers a wide selection of games that incorporate state-of-the art technology and customized features, compared to the traditional land-based set-up where choices are limited.
Second, online jackpots are significantly larger and players can enjoy these games from the comfort of their own homes or wherever they are via mobile applications.
The millennial market is what pushes industry leaders to keep pace and bring in innovation and the latest technology to the online casino market. It is worth-noting that the 18-35 age bracket is mainly responsible for the growth of online casinos, which currently stands at 17.8 percent.
Digital gaming providers like NetEnt, Realistic Games, International Game Technology (IGT) and Microgaming have all stepped up their game in order to attract a younger customer base, launching new products that look to cater exclusively to the younger generation. Online gaming operators are now forced to think out of the box, adopt new technology and take risks with unique online slot themes in an effort to keep their existing player base and attract new players.
As we enter into 2019, we believe that some of the below trends is what will impact the online gambling industry going forward:
Virtual Gambling
Virtual Reality (VR) is the future of online gaming, and we can see this new technology being incorporated into the casino gambling experience in the coming months. The launch of VR systems Oculus Rift and GameFace could very well be the trigger point that will spur other online gaming operators to come out with similar products to allow players to enjoy the same authentic actual-venue casino experience right from the comfort of their own homes.
Pop Culture Integration
The creativity in many of the online slot games today show that slot developers are no longer restricted to just one area. Today, we have slots that incorporate popular movies, hit TV shows, world music, sports, and other forms of entertainment that complement the players’ passion for gambling.
We can expect to see more of these themed slots this year as well as new ideas being tested. Players are in for a more personalized experience with the introduction of new gaming algorithms.
 Enhanced Security
While the advent of new technologies has paved the way for positive developments, criminal activities and other forms of cybercrime are also on the rise. Thus, gaming software providers have been working to incorporate extra security measures into their products to protect players and ensure a safe and secure gaming environment.
For 2019, the online casino industry will be open to implementing new technology that will enhance the protection of customer information. Fingerprint mapping can also be introduced so that players will no longer need to key in their log-in credentials.
More Games for Mobile Users
With more than 50 percent of online casino players logging in through their smartphones, gaming firms will likely come up with more products and games that are highly optimized for mobile devices. Online slot developers are putting an emphasis on developing games that cater to the mobile user as one can see from the latest release from Elk Studios which is the Champions Goal online slot game.
Games developers will most likely release more smartphone-optimized games this year and will focus on technology that will ensure that mobile players get to enjoy these games without unwanted interruptions which can often be caused due to a system crash.
Cryptocurrency Games Will Gain More Prominence
Popular digital currencies like bitcoin have now become more mainstream in the online gambling environment. Online casino operators have been quick to embrace digital currencies as it works well for their players who are hesitant to do their transactions via traditional banks. Expect more online casinos to offer a variety of digital currency options which will enable players to safely monitor and make financial transactions through blockchain technology.
The new blockchain technology will also benefit players and online operators in general as it reduces the risk of money-related crimes. Cryptocurrency has built-in security features making it difficult to counterfeit.
The online gambling industry is expected to do a lot better in 2019 as gaming regulators around the world prepare to legalize online gambling in different countries and tap into this multi-billion dollar iGaming industry.

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