What typifies the new breed of casinos? How does the new generation of casino sites launched since ’13 compare to the first generation of sites launched in the early 2000’s? Whilst every new casino tries to angle for a specific USP there are common trends that unify the newly launched internet casinos.
1. Instant Play Only
Back in the early days visitors to an online casino would be greeted by a huge ‘DOWNLOAD’ button emblazoned across the site. The first casinos were download casinos where the user would have to download the casino software onto their PC/desktop/laptop via an exe file. Over time casinos realized that people didn’t want the clutter of casino software on their hard drive and its icon taking up space on the desktop and developed instant play casinos.
This led to the likes of Microgaming and Playtech casino sites developing and promoting both playing types. Visitors to a casino would then be greeted by a ‘DOWNLOAD’ button and ‘PLAY NOW’ button for download and instant play. Now, all new casinos pretty much only offer instant play via the browser with download being phased out. This trend has also been accelerated by the rise of NetEnt casinos, more on which later. Another factor behind the rise of instant play casinos is HTML5, an all together better and more secure technology than Adobe flash.
2. Mobile Centric
Back in the mid ‘2000s playing games on your mobile would centre around playing snake. In the last 2010’s with smartphone technology and penetration casinos have to offer a viable mobile product either via mobile friendly (also known as responsive) site or via a native app. New casinos are increasingly developing their products with a mobile first mindset, with Leo Vegas casino being the best example of this and then working back to desktop.
3. Quicker On-boarding
Gone are the days of 30 fields to complete, now online sites are registering new players in under 5 minutes with minimal details. Normally just name, email, age and address are required. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the real ‘grunt’ work of confirming players is done upon first withdrawal with the player verification demands required by the UK Gambling Commission.
4. Multiple Game Providers
Back in the mid-2000’s playing at an online casino site was a one man show, generally playing on a Microgaming, Playtech powered casino or 888. With the rise of HTML5 it became possible to integrate games from different software companies under the same ‘gaming roof’. Witness Videoslots which has games from over 30 different companies. Players didn’t want to be restricted to the games from just one company and the industry reacted in turn.
Now all the big software providers allow their games to be integrated with other providers, Microgaming’s Quickfire software built on HTML5 allows for easy integration with other software providers, 888 now offers games from NetEnt etc whilst Netent gaming systems always being HTML5 based provides games from smaller companies.
5. Smaller Welcome Bonuses
This may sound like a negative development but the welcome bonuses of old – 200% up to £3000 were always completely unattainable. Now you can expect more realistic looking bonuses £100 up to £200 together with a batch of ‘free’ spins. One development which is negative though is the increase of play-through requirements from x25/30 to x40.