THERE IS NO doubt that technology has enabled the casino industry

In this age of social networking, motion controlled gaming and wireless everything, are online casinos losing touch with what many players sought in the first place - a more convenient and accessible alternative to visiting a traditional bricks-and-mortar casino?

THERE IS NO doubt that technology has enabled the casino industry, both offline and online, to provide its clients with an increased variety of game choices, as well as enhanced game play and, theoretically, a better experience. Yet, the rows upon rows of slot machines, the motley crew seated around a blackjack table, and the not-so-ambient sounds of jackpot alarms and coins pouring out of machines into plastic cups are still what casinos are all about. That's what the public perceive, and so that's what they expect. Yes, online casinos offer the same odds as Las Vegas or Macau and your winnings can still be converted into cold, hard cash, but the incessant pursuit of technological advance by online gaming software companies could result in them not seeing the wood for the trees.

Battle of the brands

In today's market, it often appears that online casinos resemble a collection of video games rather than the selection of old favourites you might find in a traditional casino. With their enormous downloads, lengthy video introductions and complex bonus games, could it be that online casinos are moving away from merely simulating a bricks-and-mortar casino experience to something entirely different? Something possibly irrelevant to anyone over the age of thirty?

There is, undoubtedly, a demand for new and different variations of games, but it is the classic casino games that remain the most popular with the consumer, certainly over an extended period of time. Trends and fads are fleeting and, whilst I suppose the trick to extended success is to keep up with these trends and fads and even invent new ones where possible, there is something to be said for single-minded simplicity done very well. Whilst bells and whistles are part of the gambling experience, surely there's a point where it all gets too much for the man or woman in the street and the simple pleasures of gambling are lost?

Stemming from this apparent shift by the majority of the software companies, a set of unique opportunities arise for online casino operations to buck the trend and bring online gaming more in-line with the traditional bricks-and-mortar experience. Perhaps some of the exact same slot games that players might know from their last trip to a land-based casino? Or being given the option to select which specific slot machine to wager on? Or being able to view the payout history of specific roulette tables or slot machines before playing?

There are online casinos out there offering these features, and they are contributing to a renewed interest in mirroring a real casino experience - which is arguably what players want the most. No superheroes, no ten-minute video clips, no keyboard-bashing bonus games... just pure, unadulterated, old-school casino fun.

Now all we need is a cocktail waitress handing us drinks.
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