iGaming is on the rise, a global 100-billion-dollar industry that’s only getting bigger. Technology is becoming exponentially more important to all casinos, on the other hand certain technologies have always been the foundation such as slots machines.
Punters are now able to easily whip out their cell phones at any time to put a bet on the football, play a few rounds of blackjack or take a spin on the slots. Translating traditional casino functions and sports betting shops into purely virtual arenas is no mean feat, though. The tech infrastructure needed to not only develop graphics that work for mobile, but support near real-time operations and payments for iGaming is cutting-edge.
Let’s check out how it all works behind the scenes.
iGaming houses aren’t necessarily the ones doing the heavy lifting
The sites that people connect to, such as casinos or sports books, aren’t necessarily the folks behind the technology seen on their website. For instance, UK-based Gate777 are a partner with industry heavyweight provider NetEnt. Gate777 partner with NetEnt to receive a suite of games from the company, with NetEnt taking a share of each casino-winning play. NetEnt themselves aren’t providers to any end-users – they purely provide the platform for other businesses to utilize.
NetEnt is now one of over 200 suppliers of games to the iGaming Industry
The games themselves comply with industry regulations in each specific market, including security for consumers. They also provide the secure transactions backend and hosting for partners, with NetEnt processing “a total of 44.8 billion gaming transactions during 2018, with system uptime exceeding 99.9 percent on average.” That’s why partners seek out these sorts of suppliers.
Secure content delivery networks / data centers
One of the most important aspects of iGaming is being able to trust that the CDNs / data centers involved in the transactions are both highly secure in terms of data security, as well as protected from incidents such as DDoS attacks, which can cripple systems.
For instance, Loto-Québec, a Québec lotteries and gaming provider recently partnered with INAP’s iWeb to provide these type of services. The aim of the new deal is to provide peace of mind for both Loto-Québec and their customers when it comes to security and availability.
Kindred, another iGaming supplier and competitor to NetEnt, are looking to deploy “CockroachDB, the world’s first open source, cloud-native NewSQL database with multi-active capabilities” for global scalability across multiple different markets.
One of the difficulties in developing a legitimate iGaming site is integrating a full suite of payment gateways to support customers. That’s why iGaming providers often seek out the services of a payment processing provider or merchant. Instead of jumping through hoops for each payment type, a payment processing provider can organise these for the iGaming house.
For instance, Pay360 are providers of innovative and secure payment processing tech to its gaming clients. Payment types include credit and debit cards and alternative payment methods, such as PayPal. Pay360 has some neat tech under the hood, too – it doesn’t just process payments. They have built in automation for faster mobile top-ups, a sophisticated anti-fraud platform for security on the clients’ end, plus ways to identify and block customers’ abusing bonuses (through means such as IP and device linking), as well as identification for top players for targeted marketing efforts.
Payment processing can also include more traditionally volatile cryptocurrencies, which has become a popular way to play among a niche set of end-customers.
Responsible gambling technology
Self-exclusion and denying those banned from gambling works at land-based casinos often in combination with facial recognition technology to help identify when these people enter the establishment.
This type of technology can also be applied to online gaming operations, if biometric data is stored safely and securely.
But there are other ways to go about blocking self-excluded players from access to gaming activities.
For instance, Kindred have their own self-exclusion technology which includes account banning and IP tracking, but also has recently integrated Ganban, a technology which “block(s) access to over 30,000 online gambling websites, not only regulated gambling operators, but also unregulated ones.” These types of technologies are critical, as self-excluding at one online casino isn’t exactly effective if you can simply jump onto tens of thousands of other similar sites.
And that’s just the beginning…
We’ve only just scratched the surface of the technologies behind this 100 billion dollar industry, there’s plenty more to it! As you can see, the gaming houses themselves may not actually own much tech – it’s often outsourced from niche providers. As markets grow and become more regulated we’re likely to see even more specific niche tech providers coming into the space, too.