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What does Web3 means for the iGaming Industry?

If you speak to certain people, they will tell you that we are on the cusp of a new era of the internet – the so-called Web3 era. Sometimes referred to as Web 3.0, the decentralized internet, and many other things, it is defined several factors, including blockchains, DeFi, cryptocurrency, the metaverse, and much more.

We mentioned “certain people” above, and the term is deliberate as not everyone believes the change will be a stark one. Moreover, people will have different concepts of what Web3 is; not everyone will, for example, share Facebook’s vision for the metaverse.

To appreciate Web3’s ideals, however, you must consider what Web1 and Web2 are. The former is the static internet (websites, emails) founded in the 1990s. The latter is the current era, defined by mobile internet, social media, and Big Tech.

iGaming benefitted from Web1 and Web2

So, if we are to understand the impact of Web3, let’s look at a sector that has existed and benefited from Web1 and Web2 – the iGaming industry. The broad term for online betting and casino, iGaming began in the mid-1990s when internet casino websites went online.

By the mid-2000s, the iGaming sector was able to use all the aspects of Web2. Casino accounts could be accessed on smartphone, tablet, laptop, PC. It could also use social media to market and advertise, and there was the organic element of an iGaming community. People would, for example, swap gaming and betting tips on websites. In short, it has an eco-system.

Today, therefore, you can access and deposit at an online casino in Indian Rupees, and play whenever and wherever you like. 4G/5G connections and the cloud meant that many did not even have to worry about WiFi. That’s key to understanding the change between Web1 and Web2. There is no longer a sense of being static.

Metaverse will have huge impact on iGaming

So, what does Web3 mean for iGaming? As we said, people have different ideas of what this new era of the internet will be like. But broadly speaking, the iGaming sector will have the most interest in Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of a metaverse for work and entertainment. Meta (which we now call Facebook) will be pushing to sell us hardware to make this a reality.

The idea of VR online casinos is not a new one. In fact, it has been predicted to be an endpoint for a long time. The thoughts are that we will eventually be able to strap on a VR headset and immerse ourselves in a virtual casino world. Imagine, for example, a poker game where all the participants are sitting around a virtual table. It’s not that difficult to conceive.

People already beginning to work in the metaverse

But perhaps the interesting aspect is the idea of working in the metaverse. Today, we see casino croupiers working at online live casinos. The next stage will see people appear as avatars in these virtual casino settings. Again, this is not inconceivable. In some early iterations of the metaverse, people are already being paid to appear as avatars.

Some of the concepts of Web3 will be challenging for iGaming, however. A decentralized internet, by its very definition, means that it is away from central governance. There will be questions over regulation of betting and gaming. Most people believe that some sort of oversight of gambling is a good thing for player safety, and the last thing we would want to see is a wild west era of unlicensed casinos and betting platforms.

There’s a whole host of other stuff that will impact the iGaming sector, ranging from how payments are transacted (DeFi, crypto) to the software 

infrastructure a platform is hosted on. Moreover, there’s even a question of what sort of devices we will play on: The iGaming sector was one of the most adept at understanding the rise of the mobile internet, but, for example, Apple’s vision of Web3 seems to be linked to the idea of wearables like smart glasses. Should developers build the next generation of casino games for computerized glasses?

In the end, though, while Web3 has challenges, it should also be embraced with excitement. Even if the predictions don’t come around as planned (and they probably won’t), we are entering a new era of technology that offers new and better experiences. For the iGaming sector, it’s time to start anticipating those changes and being ready to adapt to them when they occur.  


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