The noise surrounding the opportunities created by advancing technologies is one showing little sign of getting any quieter any time soon, particularly when it comes to the gambling industry.

Such developments are set to play a central part of many a discussion during next week’s SBC Summit Barcelona, with this no more evident that in a panel titled ‘Fit-for-what purpose… Online Casino – The CTO View’, which will close the first day (Wednesday 20 September) of the show.

Ahead of a conversation that will delve down avenues such as creating immersive experiences via VR and AI, future challenges and how the industry keeps up with evolving demands, CasinoBeats is live with a two-part preview special.

This will first see Julian Jares, CTO of Bingosoft, offer his expertise on a range of topics, before Isaac Sant, CTO of High Roller, steps into the hot seat next week.

CasinoBeats: What future opportunities/developments do you envisage being created due to advances in technology?

Julian Jares: I am a technologist, but also a technology fan. I love the VRs and the 3d printers and all of the niche technologies, I had an email before most of my peers had a computer. I saw a lot of products succeed, and I saw a lot of products fail. Still right now, I feel we are not at a gadget revolution, we are entering a backend revolution.

Most of the sites in our industry are huge monster platforms that where built when we didn’t have better options. Most of us are migrating our technologies to faster, leaner, more flexible and more scalable systems. This will make all of us faster to react and allow us to build better systems, with more engaging feature sets. 

I feel it is not a moment to look forward, but a moment to look sideways; we are building interfaces that are based on the venues, because we have a huge legacy backpack to carry. Mobile gaming, without this constraints, are building interfaces that are simpler, more engaging, and nicer to look at. The opportunity right now is in engagement, and user interaction.

CB: How realistic are these regarding wider adoption when it comes to issues such as costly set-ups? How much could these potential problems hamper adoption?

JJ: Right now there are two technologies that will dominate the near future: VR and AI. VR looks great, and allows for some really amazing user experiences, but it has two very very large drawbacks. The obvious one is that it’s expensive, and most people will not want to go into that expense. Remember the first iPhone was launched at $499 (roughly $633 in today’s values).

That is a large number but something people could afford. The current apple VR systems is several times that, and older platforms like Meta’s oculus, while less expensive, are just too niche for the mainstream. The main issue with VR though is that gambling is basically an anonymous, private experience.

Even the softer games with chatrooms will always use aliases, most people will not use their real names, and you don’t want or care to see people around you. In more social games like poker, VR is actually a drawback, not a benefit… you really don’t want people looking at your face when playing poker.

There is just so much to work out to make VR actually useful, that even people like Meta who bet the house on it, are now considering if that was a losing bet. Then there is AI, which has matured this year.

AI will give us endless opportunities, with AI we can know and understand the person behind the alias without really knowing them at all. The benefits in engagement are obvious, recommendation engines are happening everywhere, but the unexplored areas are where we will most benefit: detection of problem gamblers, safer gambling levels, deposit limits, gameplay limits, will allow us to be able to provide our games safely to people that will be with us for the long run, instead of the current sell/burn/recycle cycle that most companies rely on.

CB: If you had to back one specific technological advancement that will drive igaming forward across the coming years, what would that be?

JJ: That will clearly be AI, the opportunities provided by AI, we haven’t really imagined yet

CBYou are due to speak at SBC Summit Barcelona, what are you most looking forward to from your time at the event?

JJ: I love meeting my peers and learning about the differing points of view, the conference gives me the opportunity to get the conversation started.

SBC Summit Barcelona banner

Jares will participate in a panel entitled ‘Fit-for-what purpose… Online Casino – The CTO View’ on Wednesday 20 September at 15:40-16:20. They will be joined by fellow panellists Isaac Sant, CTO of High Roller and Jacinto Barbosa, CTO at Solverde, with Wesley Ellul, Chief Creative Officer of Quizando, on moderating duties.

SBC Summit Barcelona, taking place from September 19-21 at Fira de Barcelona Montjuïc, will bring together 15,000 delegates, offering them a platform to delve into the cutting-edge via a dedicated ‘Casino & iGaming Zone.’