The online gambling industry is no stranger to numerous technological innovations. Over the years, there had been countless improvements, upgrades, as well as new trends and platforms coming out. Today, iGaming is a tapestry of modern games built with the latest tech, but still reflecting the heart and imagination of days long gone.
One of the trends that caught on but never really went under the spotlight until recently is casino streaming, i.e., live gambling streams. What are live gambling streams and are they really that popular?
What Is Casino Streaming?
Simply put, live casino streaming is a live stream of an ongoing casino game. Viewers can access the stream through a video link that shows a casino table in real-time. More often than not, the streamer – who's also a player – is actively participating in the round.
Essentially, casino streams entail watching a person playing a gambling game in live mode on a streaming platform.
The most common platform for live gambling streams are YouTube and Twitch, just like for any other type of gaming streams.
Commonly Streamed Gambling Games
The gambling sector is a diverse ecosystem brimming with all kinds of games. There's literally thousands of casino games on the market, each with something unique that players might like – from old-school video slots with 3×1 reels, to state-of-the-art live casino games built for niche audiences.
In other words, there's nothing you might want to play that isn't already out there (and in several versions, too).
Therefore, when experienced tech-savvy players decided to switch to Twitch and turn on their cameras, they faced a choice of the games they'd like to stream. As it turns out, most gamblers go for online slots, as they are the most colorful and attention-grabbing of all games. Plus, slots are the biggest casino game category, and new slots are being launched every single day.
Besides slots, streamers also enjoy broadcasting table games. Classic gambling games, such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat, and poker, are the staple of land-based casinos, as well as the first thing that comes to mind when someone says ‘casino'.
Hence, it is also quite common to see players streaming gameplay from classic games such as blackjack, poker, and roulette. Moreover, table games exist both in RNG and live mode, so it's not unusual to see real-time live casino games with real dealers streamed too.
In fact, it seems that live casino streams are becoming increasingly popular, especially amongst younger generations of players, given how veterans aren't as tech-savvy as the younger generation.
The Evolution of Gambling Technology
Gambling has been around since the dawn of civilization. So, to say that there have been many developments so far would be an understatement.
In the last couple of decades, we've seen a significant change in the way we perceive gambling thanks to the internet. Internet casinos shifted the perspective and opened the door for a deluge of changes and upgrades, allowing producers and game-makers to really get creative and think outside the box. Streaming is probably not the peak of ingenuity, but it is a popular trend that has a lot of potential on a global scale.
It emerged as a niche within the larger realm of online streaming platforms. High-speed internet, hi-tech streaming technology and platforms, and an overall zeal for gaming streams were a powerful cocktail that inspired content creators to explore new avenues for engagement. A combination of live gambling with interactive elements was too good of an opportunity to let it pass.
And that, dear players, is how live gambling streams came into existence. Players turned streamers saw and used the opportunity to play on a bigger scale and share their experiences with viewers eager to enjoy gameplay in real-time. Although many started as amateurs with a funny hobby, they soon transformed into a full-fledged online community, entertaining both players and watchers alike. The peak of streaming was back in 2010s, but due to inexperience, malpractice, and irresponsible gaming, many streamers faced controversy. Today, the stigma is still there, for sure. But it's much easier to enjoy fair and reasonable gameplay than ever before, thanks to numerous initiatives from gambling authorities and streaming platforms.
Interactive Experience as the Keyword
The key question all players ask, even with the controversies and legal issues, is this: why is streaming so popular?
The keyword is interaction. More specifically, the interactive experience that ties it all together.
Unlike traditional casino gaming, where players are often limited to their own screens, live gambling streams represent a community. There's a communal platform where players and viewers can gather and enjoy the same content. Moreover, spectators can also engage with streamers and fellow ‘watchers' via live chat, which is an amazing social benefit online casinos generally lack. That chat becomes a nexus where gambling enthusiasts from all walks of life gather to discuss playing strategies, share reactions and opinions, and overall build a sense of community.
But it's more than just a digital waterhole for casino enthusiasts. It's not uncommon to see players gather in real life on events and meetups with fans, followers, and fellow players-turned-streamers.
Legal Issues and Controversy
The impact has been grand, but it is not all rainbows and butterflies.
Over the years, many platforms for streaming introduced strict guidelines that saw the limitation and then outright bans on gambling streams. The reason is simple: gambling is a dangerous activity that can easily result in many harms for the player. Hence, players who are at risk should have some increased control over their gambling activity, something that has not always been as strong as it is today.
Luckily for all, gaming authorities work hard on creating a safe place for all players and mitigating the risks of gambling. Efforts such as bans on credit card gambling and VIP bonuses in the UK, limitation of casino payments for certain banking services, and increased control over all activity of the operators are just some of the ways gambling institutions are trying to protect the players.
Moreover, all punters, both those who gamble and stream, as well as those who only watch, are advised to look only for licensed casinos that abide by strict rules and laws issued by governing bodies.
Responsible gaming is, and always must be, the number one priority for all parties involved. That is why so many new streamers make a conscious effort to promote responsible gambling practices to their audience. They also emphasize the importance of bankroll management, using limits for betting, and understanding each game thoroughly before engaging in wagers.
Their commitment to ethical gaming goes well with the industry's goal of lowering the risks and harm that can befall the punters – and thus creating a safe environment for everyone involved.
Streaming and Its Impact on the Industry
One immediate way that live gambling streams have affected the industry is bringing more attention to casinos worldwide. Not that gambling needs a marketing strategy, of course. However, streaming appeals to a certain demographic, to a specific group of potential players who, having been exposed to live gambling via broadcasting, might now decide to join the scene by themselves. Hence, more reach translates into new players, and that's something all casinos, land-based and online, aim for.
An increased interest in casino and casino games also helps game-makers gauge the audience reaction to new releases. In addition, they can see what attracts the biggest audience, in terms of themes, features, and add-ons, and then plan the roadmap accordingly.
Through it all, players and spectators alike get to experiment, mix and match, and learn through broadcasting. Naturally, the majority of spectators watches it for the plot, but streaming is also a fantastic way to learn the ins and outs of a certain game. This often helps potential players build skill and proficiency before they decide it's time to play on their own. Through streams, punters gain insights that might affect their future gambling choices.
Streamers also get something out of this, and it's not just growing their fanbase. Often casinos get in contact with players for a collaboration that would benefit both parties. Streamers thus get sponsorships, merch, and exclusive content access that not many players get. This way, all parties in the streaming process get something solid – casinos get a new audience, game-makers get market insights, players build skill, and streamers gain support and sponsorships.
Can I Become a Casino Streamer?
Yes, you can become a casino streamer quite easily.
The process has only a handful of big steps, so it's not difficult to launch a career in gaming streaming in no time.
Here are the main steps:
- Create an account on a streaming platform that you like
- Acquire gear and equipment for streaming, such as a mic, or a camera
- Pick a casino you want to play at as well as the game you want to play
- Register/log into the account, open the game and start streaming
Don't expect to gain popularity overnight. The path to fame and lucrative deals is long and you need a lot of patience to build the community around your streaming. Should you decide to speed up the process, you can also get into contact with the casino, and once you get the deal, share the news with your community.
A piece of advice here: if you want to get a better deal, make sure you've already created an audience that trusts and follows your content. Also, don't hide from them that you have a deal with the casino, because transparency and responsible gaming is a key element in streaming online casino games.
There's no doubt streaming is quite in vogue right now, but streaming casino games is a different story altogether. There's a lot of potential there, but more importantly, there are so many ways to enjoy – both from a player's and a spectator's perspective. You can get entertainment as well as useful knowledge about gambling through watching casino streams.
As we watch the trend continue to evolve, it will be fascinating to see how it could shape the future of iGaming and its facets.