In 2018, high technology played an important role in the development of the gambling industry. The most significant changes have affected Live casinos and VR projects, although advanced systems have been introduced in land-based gambling establishments. So, in Spanish casinos they began to install cutting-edge facial recognition systems, and in Las Vegas, robots are now able to stop a robber or find a car lost in the parking lot of a gambling establishment. 2019 promises to be no less full of bright events in the gambling industry. But the main trends will be connected not only with high technologies. Switching from PC to IOS and Android platforms In 2017, Statistica conducted a survey and found that 10% of people regularly use smartphones for gambling and sports betting. In 2018, casino operators published more data, according to which more than half of the customers of virtual gambling establishments use mobile devices for entertainment. In the new year, this figure will only grow, as will the amount of time that owners spend on smartphones. The number of official websites where it will be possible to download an application for an online casino bypassing Google Play will increase, as will the number of mobile versions of slot machines from popular developers. Artificial Intelligence and Multilingual Live Casinos In December 2018, Russian-speaking gamblers more often than ever before typed the phrases “live casino” and “live casino” into the search engine. Online establishments with real dealers operating in real time are becoming popular all over the world, so in 2019 the owners of the gambling business will develop this area even more actively. Live casinos will move in several directions: improving the interface, expanding the assortment and switching to a multilingual interface – all this will attract more visitors. Platforms for innovative projects are already being released by Medialive Casino and NetEnt. Casino representatives also plan to introduce artificial intelligence that will be able to authorize the user by voice and compile an individual list of games for each gambler. Gamification of slot machines In 2019, the number of slots that use elements of traditional online games will increase. Such applications have a well-developed story and graphics, carefully selected sound effects, the ability to choose tasks and even accumulate points, which in some cases can be exchanged for prizes. Many major developers have interactive applications: Max Damage from Microgaming, Mars Attacks! by Blueprint Gaming, Steamtower by NetEnt, Viking Runecraft by Play’n GO and others. The most popular will be free video slots and sites that contain demo versions of popular slot machines. The developers are well aware that now online players are looking for an alternative to classic slots, in which you just need to press a button and hope for luck. Blockchain technologies in virtual and land-based casinos Blockchain casinos will be another trend in 2019. In 2018, the price of bitcoin dropped from $20,000 to $3,800 per coin, but Spencer Bogart, a partner at Blockchain Capital, assures that this is a temporary phenomenon. The market will stabilize after the launch of cryptocurrency futures on Nasdaq and Bakkt. In 2019, gambling operators will continue to introduce blockchain into virtual casinos and will enable gamblers to pay with cryptocurrency. The technology is considered promising due to the transparency of all operations, simple and fast payments, as well as minimal fees for depositing and withdrawing. Cryptocurrency wallets allow players to maintain their anonymity, but for now, direct payments with bitcoins can be made mainly in poker and roulette. Slots on the blockchain platform are under development. On the other hand, some land-based casinos allow their visitors to exchange cryptocurrency for real gaming chips that can be spent on any gambling entertainment, including slot machines. Legalization of online casinos and tightening of security measures In 2018, Sweden abolished the state monopoly on gambling. At the end of December, authorities issued licenses to 28 companies, including GVC Holdings, Svenska Spel, Betsson and Kindred. Belarus followed the example of Sweden. President Lukashenko signed a decree according to which all online casinos in the country will be legalized in 2019. A similar law was adopted in Buenos Aires and Pennsylvania. In Japan, Brazil, and many US states, online gambling legalization laws are under development or under consideration. Licensing and taxation of gambling activities has a positive effect on the enrichment of the state treasury, therefore it is considered a promising direction. Authorities allow online casinos to officially operate in the country, but at the same time tighten the requirements for the processing and storage of players’ personal data. In some countries, they plan to use hi-tech developments to control operators and players. In Belarus, owners of land-based casinos must install video surveillance systems that will monitor the game and pay out winnings. In other countries, they plan to use fingerprints, biometric passports or the visitor’s voice to authorize users in virtual casinos.