iGaming has become a popular industry for entrepreneurs over the last few years due to jurisdictions across the world legalizing and regulating the sector. In addition to its new legality, more and more bettors prefer to place their wagers online. For those looking to start an online casino or an online sportsbook, this article will help you understand some of the technologies you should look for when selecting your betting technology provider. Below are five technologies that every operator should utilize, in no particular order.
At the very minimum, iGaming operators should ensure that their platform is capable of utilizing cryptocurrency as a payment rail. Many operators now accept Bitcoin deposits, however fewer offer Bitcoin withdrawals. Even fewer betting technology providers allow operators accept cryptocurrencies outside of Bitcoin. The cryptocurrency market as a whole has a market cap of nearly $2 trillion dollars, with Bitcoin making up roughly 40% of the entire market.
It is crucial for operators to let bettors deposit and withdraw in their preferred asset (i.e. BTC, ETH) without forcing conversions to fiat. In addition to unnecessary new costs (conversion from crypto to fiat), forcing customers to convert their assets creates uncomfortable situations. As an example a bettor could deposit 0.1 Bitcoin which would convert to ~$4000, after a couple weeks of playing they are now at $4200. However if Bitcoin rose in value in that timeframe, that bettor will recoup less than their original deposit (0.1 Bitcoin) despite winning their wagers.
In addition to providing a payment rail more and more bettors prefer, cryptocurrency is also a necessary component for supporting on-chain wagering. For more on cryptocurrency, you can read our article here.
In the early days of iGaming, bettors needed to either download software or play on clunky web applications. Since smart phones became popular globally, global web traffic has become dominated by mobile users. In 2020 for instance, over 68% of the world’s web traffic stemmed from mobile devices.
With mobile users making up so much of web traffic, it is crucial that online casinos sportsbooks are able to provide their users with a platform that can be easily accessed and interacted with from mobile devices. If your technology is not friendly for mobile devices, you are missing out on a large pool of potential customers, particularly in middle-income or developing countries where share of web traffic is even more dominated by mobile phones.
When combined with payment rails that are also mobile friendly, such as the use of cryptocurrency, a mobile bitcoin casino is a powerful vertical for customer acquisition & retention in an industry that is notoriously competitive.
Read more on the importance of mobile in iGaming here.
One of the biggest concerns for bettors is whether or not they are playing a fair game. Efforts to provide a fair gaming experience have been ongoing for a long time now, with the industry standard being to have your games certified by 3rd parties in order to provide bettors with peace of mind. Nowadays, there is a new way of ensuring a fair gaming experience using Provably Fair technology. First introduced in the cryptocurrency community, Provably Fair gaming is now becoming more prevalent in the iGaming industry as a whole.
Thanks to Provably Fair betting technology, bettors are now able to independently verify the results of their wagers on games that utilize the technology. No longer do players have to worry over whether they were cheated by the house, or if they lost fair and square.
At Lion Gaming, we ensure our games are Provably Fair through the following method:
- First the deck is shuffled server side, and then presented to the bettor with a hash of the shuffled deck before any wagers are made.
- Whenever a bettor places a wager, they provide a client_seed to the operator, this is generated randomly in the bettor’s browser or they have the option to select it by hand.
- The client_seed is then used to reshuffle the deck in a deterministic way leveraging the Fisher-Yates shuffle algorithm.
- At the end of the game, the initial shuffle is revealed, allowing the bettor to verify that they were presented with a valid hash, and that the deck was reshuffled in the correct manner. Since the operator does not know the value of the client_seed until the hand is dealt, there is no way for the operator to manipulate the outcome of the game.
For more on Provably Fair, and how Lion Gaming uses Provably Fair technology in its casino suite, you can read our article on Provably Fair gaming here.
On-chain wagering refers to wagers that occur over a blockchain, such as Ethereum or Avalanche. On-chain wagers provide the ultimate peace of mind to bettors since they are executed via smart contracts. Through the use of smart contracts, bettors are ensured that the operator is liquid and capable of paying out wagers. This means that bettors do not need to worry about the operator not paying out on a jackpot win. Since these wagers take place on a blockchain, the bettor is also issued a public receipt that is immutable and permanent, meaning that the operator cannot simply pretend to have not accepted the wager. When combined with Provably Fair technology, online casinos and sportsbooks are able to provide bettors an experience where the bettor does not have to have any trust in the operator to know that they are playing a fair game and will be paid out.
The benefits of smart contracts are also extended to operators. Because the rules are pre-set for smart contracts, there is no risk of a game malfunctioning since the contract will only execute based on those pre-set conditions. Since transactions take place over the blockchain, there is no risk for chargebacks or fraudulent transactions since transactions in cryptocurrency are not reversible.
Find more information on how Lion Gaming utilizes this technology in our offerings, you can read our article about on-chain wagering here.
Casino & Sportsbook
In the past it was common for iGaming operators to choose to specialize in either offering a casino product, or a sportsbook product, but not both. While some operators still elect to only offer one or the other, offering a dual solution is becoming more prevalent. Offering both verticals is crucial for customer retention, as many bettors enjoy wagering on both casino games and sports, and not just one or the other. If an operator does not offer one of the verticals, they are risking losing their bettors to operators who provide a more convenient platform that is a one-stop shop.
To learn more about why casinos should offer a sportsbook vertical, you can read our article here.
If you want to start a crypto casino, or a a traditional online casnio, we strongly recommend you read our article on starting an online casino and review our checklist on questions to ask potential betting technology providers. Contact [email protected] for a free consultation on starting your iGaming business today.