What is the IoT
IoT stands for the Internet of Things. It is a term that describes physical objects that can embedd technologies for sensing, processing and exchanging data with other systems and devices through public or private wireless or cellular networks, with data often transiting via the Internet. They can be everyday household items like a kettle or oven to sophisticated industrial tools.
How big is the IoT market
More than 22 billion connected IoT devices are expected to be in use by 2025. That number is expected to almost double by 2027. Every second, 127 new devices are being added to the network. IoT-enabled devices can be professional/industrial equipments but also consumer products. This last category includes gadgets like smartwatches, kettles, door cameras, heating thermostats but also cars. In the future, it is expected that 70% of all cars will be connected to the internet.
Harnessing the potential
The potential of the IoT is also being harnessed in the gambling industry. Casino companies all over the world are utilizing the technology for advertising, personalized marketing, and to enhance the overall customer experience. Machine to Machine (M2M) communication removes the need for human interaction. By collecting data rapidly from smart gadgets, the algorithms can make lightning-fast ‘decisions’ about what to show the customer. All the data collected is transmitted to central servers for processing in the blink of an eye.
Wearable technology enhances the experience
Wearable devices are becoming increasingly popular. Take smartwatches, for instance. They were first introduced in the early 2000s and were, as all new technology tends to be, niche in their early years. However, they have become increasingly widespread as people use them to monitor their health and run dedicated apps connecting to the internet to offer a dynamic experience.
The mobile casino industry has not been slow in developing apps that allow people to have a flutter from their smartwatches. Gamers and gamblers no longer need to take their phone out of their pocket. Everything they need is on their wrist in plain sight. The apps offer all the functionality of a desktop browser version. Depending on which app is downloaded, gamblers have the same games and payment options as they would do elsewhere. So, they can play on the move at their choice of PayPal, credit card, Interac, and iDebit casinos Canada.
Virtual reality and online casinos
IoT technology is making serious inroads into the gambling industry. For example, players not in the brick-and-mortar casino can be virtually transported to a venue by live dealer rooms. These allow customers to join in casino table games in real-time, 24/7, alongside other players. This experience will be further enhanced over the coming years by virtual technology headsets and lighter-weight glasses. These wearables will make players feel physically present at the casino.
IoT means that for online gamblers, there are no compromises. The only precaution is that they must be in a province with a regulated market, like Ontario, when accessing commercial internet casinos. It is easy to check that you are playing legally. All reputable operators will proudly display their licenses which they have obtained from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario – AGCO.
Land-based casinos have also been quick to adopt IoT technology. For example, using smart lighting and smart mirrors in casinos has reduced the need for security staff on the casino floor. These devices, together with IoT cameras and door locks, feed information back to a central security room or hub in the casino. The hub could even be an off-site facility covering several establishments. In addition, motion sensors pick up any unusual activity, which can be monitored in real-time on screens.
While central security via wired CCTV is not a new concept, the ability to do so wirelessly is a huge breakthrough. In addition, the cameras and motion sensors are now so small that they are unintrusive and difficult for criminals to evade.
The currency of the land-based casino is the chips. These have intelligent technologies embedded within them. This is commonly RFID technology which allows any casino to identify them as authentic and valid. All information from the chips is fed back into the casino’s central processing system. The chips collect data and can be effectively immobilized if there is a security breach.
There is no doubt that there are security and privacy risks inherent to IoT. Each customer has a personalized profile unique to them. On the plus side, this allows the provider to offer only relevant marketing and gaming materials. On the downside, the casino stores an enormous amount of incredibly valuable information about each player. Not only does the provider need to comply with data protection laws, but they also must be constantly vigilant against cyber-attacks and breaches.
The future of IoT in gambling
It is believed that IoT in the gambling industry is only in its infancy. There are so many opportunities that have yet to be explored. Placing bets via our smart speaker or TV is set to become commonplace. Playing casino games in the metaverse could become standard as we embrace the latest technology. Personalized marketing will hope to attract and retain more customers to the platforms. The next big step could be the amalgamation of off- and online casinos so gamblers can play with each other in real-time in and outside land-based establishments.
The possibilities are only limited by our imagination.