Gambling has been a popular pastime for centuries – and now in the internet age, placing a wager is easier than ever. Online gambling also known as iGaming, offers a range of options for people who enjoy betting and gambling, without the need to visit a physical location. Indeed, many established physical casinos have had to make their games accessible online to engage with an all-new digital-first audience.
With the world of gambling entering the digital age, what are the differences between casino gaming online and the more traditional land-based casino and how do hosting requirements differ with gambling going online? Let’s explore.
Physical casinos have a particular atmosphere. The lights, the people it attracts, and the sounds of people winning big are all part of the experience for many casino goers.
Often the casino is just a part of a larger venue with nightclubs, restaurants, bars and theaters in the same building (or nearby), offering additional forms of entertainment. Some casinos will also host regular events such as poker tournaments, special time-limited jackpots, or even themed nights.
Casinos are often important to the surrounding community too, encouraging visitors to spend money, boosting the local economy. The venue also offers employment for local residents, which in turn stimulates growth for other local businesses. Similarly, casinos are popular venues for TV and film – many are able to rent themselves out as filming locations, creating another important revenue stream.
But it’s not all just work for the locals. Any citizen who lives nearby and enjoys gambling can drop in for a game.
An iGame casino is completely virtual – all the games take place online. This means that online casinos are hugely accessible to a global customer base (with a few exceptions).
For operators, the accessibility of online gambling is hugely important. Traditionally, gamblers must travel to a land-based casino, creating a potential barrier to participation. Because of gaming laws, land-based casinos are sometimes situated in remote locations, making them too far away for ‘drop-in’ traffic – a further barrier for many less-committed gamblers.
iGame casinos are never further than a few mouse clicks (or an app download) away. As a result, people can play casino-style games any place, any time. And because they are not limited by staff numbers or physical floorspace, iGame casinos can offer a far wider range of games and online gambling options.
iGame casinos are always-on and always available. So if you want to play blackjack (or poker, roulette, craps or any other table game), you just join a virtual session – there is always a table available so you never have to wait for a seat to become free. Just place your bet and away you go. And the same is true of the slots – you will never have to wait for someone to finish playing your luckiest machine.
In theory an online gambling system can serve an unlimited number of people and host an unlimited number of games. But in reality, virtual venues are limited by the server resources that run the games.
For casino gaming online to be functional and accessible, you will need sufficient server infrastructure to support your preferred number of players. You must also consider the resource impact of other back-end operations on the performance of an online casino gaming server, such as maintaining a user database.
Although most of the operations are virtual, the iGame casino will still need to ‘do’ many of the same things as their physical counterparts. Both types of casino are driven by data – they rely on information they collect to identify and reward their most valuable customers and to detect and prevent fraud, for instance. Either way, a solid online gambling system is needed to provide excellent service.
Taking a wider view of betting and spending trends also allows iGame casino operators to plan expansion and to maximize future earnings potential. In the online world, virtual casino operators can better understand how gamblers interact with their games and use those insights to further improve the user experience so that players keep coming back for more.
It’s also worth noting that many iGame casinos are working hard to replicate the atmosphere and excitement of a live gaming floor. They’re doing this by adding live streaming tables – you can bet on a real spin of a real roulette wheel for instance – closing the gap on physical casinos.
Hosting online gambling systems that provide a consistent, exceptional player experience is an involved process. You need to ensure that iGame casinos operate properly in real time, without lagging or crashing – otherwise players will lose trust and move to another iGaming provider. A solid online gambling system is the backbone of all excellent iGame casino experiences.
One way to improve performance is to ensure the data center hosting your online gambling system is geographically close to your players. This helps to reduce the time taken for data to travel between the casino and your players. To better understand the effects of latency, it helps to have an example:
Imagine you’re playing online slots. You place a bet and hit the spin button and you wait for the reels to stop spinning. You expect to see the result of the spin immediately – but instead the reels are still going so you don’t know if you have won or lost. This delay is caused by latency – the server hosting the game is located too far away from the player, increasing the time it takes for the game to ‘work’.
Understandably, latency is really frustrating for iGame casino customers. Poor latency will result in customers leaving for other sites that perform better. The key to an online gambling system’s success is keeping people on-site and coming back for more. Unfortunately a poorly performing gaming server host with high latency can damage customer trust, costing you dearly.
To learn more about online casino hosting and how we can help you get the infrastructure your players demand, please get in touch.