The changing and ever-growing landscape of digital entertainment is making it easier than ever for people to access their favorite films, TV shows and games. With faster internet connections and the growth of the smartphone, a world of streaming is just a couple of taps away.
The wider industry’s pivot online has created many opportunities for some of the biggest names operating in that sector while it is also having a profound effect on our city centers. Those changes could be felt for years to come as consumers find new ways of accessing their favorite entertainment.
In this article, we will explore changes to casino entertainment sector and consider the impact in tangible terms on our urban landscape.
The gambling sector
The gambling sector globally is worth billions, with traditional staples like blackjack, roulette and poker remaining at the forefront of contemporary gameplay. However, those traditional titles are complemented by other games that are helping the industry reach new audiences.
While card games may suit traditional players, games like bingo and slots help casino brands connect with a broader audience. Both games have spawned almost innumerable spin-offs to help meet demand, with new games like bingo slots merging the two. Practically every aesthetic is reflected in the games being published. From Ancient Rome in Centurion Maximus Winnus through to titles based on cult films, like Spinal Tap. Slots and bingo games in particular are a perfect match for modern lifestyles as the rounds are quick.
This rich tapestry of games makes up the world of the modern casino, which is enjoyed offline and online – in cities and on devices.
The Traditional Casino
Internationally, the casino has been a key part of the entertainment landscape in major cities across the world. Standalone casinos are often found dotted around the perimeter of city centers, easily accessible by car or taxi, while others are in closer proximity to the main shopping and bar districts.
Larger facilities, which often include a hotel, bar, restaurant, spa, and even cinema and retail offerings, are often located more remotely and are a favored vacation getaway destination for millions each year, particularly across Europe.
It is these larger complexes that will arguably remain a more evergreen feature of urban and rural environments, although standalone facilities have also evolved to offer a more well-rounded entertainment experience to guests.
Facility owners and casino brands are investing more resources in developing amenities like cocktail bars and restaurants, alongside the staple offering of games like blackjack, roulette and poker. Being able to appeal to a broader audience, including less experienced players, is crucial.
The introduction of online casino gaming around the mid-1990s represented a major step-change for the industry, and this sector has evolved to offer an experience so authentic that it is able to compete with the traditional land-based casino.
The rise of online casino gaming has helped the industry to engage with new players, but it has also created a new medium for existing casino attendees. Many casino regulars will complement their hobby by also playing online, enjoying the action through their laptop or smart device, with the latest phones capable of delivering 4K video.
For casino regulars, the introduction of live video technology is helping to deliver a truly immersive experience. The player is paired with a live croupier or dealer, instead of just facing off against an invisible computer opponent.
It is interesting to monitor how traditional bricks-and-mortar casinos have reacted and adapted to the emergence of the online casino. It will be interesting to monitor how that relationship progress, and whether or not the two spheres can continue to complement and benefit one another.