Depending on who you ask, the casino industry is on the cusp of a new era of disruption, with new technologies – VR, crypto, blockchain, the metaverse – said to be capable of changing the industry irreversibly.

Indeed, proponents of some of these technologies believe the disruption will perhaps even exceed that of the 1990s,

when the first online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker sites appeared on the internet.

While that’s a bold statement, and maybe one that is a bit too ambitious, there is still little denying that change – in some form – is coming.

Casinos Avenue has reported on new technology and how it is set to disrupt the online casino industry.

But while casinos and, importantly, regulators would be foolhardy to dismiss the benefits of these new technologies, there should also be some resistance to the idea of completely breaking with tradition.

Traditions built up over decades

In the 90s, when the first internet casinos appeared, one of the most integral aspects of their ethos was to uphold the values of the industry they wanted to digitalize.

This manifested in everything from RNG games having the same house edge as their real-world counterparts

that one might find in the Bellagio to fostering a sense of blackjack etiquette on online platforms by offering players the chance to tip dealers in live games.

Of course, there is nothing to say that new types of casinos, be they based on the blockchain or in the so-called metaverse, will break with those traditions.

But it’s worth noting that many of the customs, characteristics and conventions of the casino were built up over decades, centuries even.

Consider the idea of a VIP casino, for example. We all know that you can head to a swanky casino resort –

say, the Bellagio or Casino de Monte Carlo – but we would argue that the online VIP casino experience has made a fair stab at reflecting what it means to be a high-roller.

Online casinos offer a range of services to VIPs, and it might surprise you just what high rollers can benefit from online.

Special conditions and bonuses, sure, but also stuff like invites to prestigious events.

The point, as such, is that the traditions of the casino have transferred from the offline world to the online one.

And they have added a richness to casino culture that makes it so much more about the winning and losing of money.

Consider the language of roulette, with phrases like orphelins or voisins du zero, or the superstition of the $50 bill (considered a bad omen by some). These are all cultural signposts fostered over the years.

The imperfect game is perfect for some

The fear for some is that the sense of history might become lost in a wave of new technology.

Those involved in blockchain projects are capable of creating games with perfect randomness (one noted cryptocurrency project claims to have created the world’s first truly random number generator)

and transparency, but there is something lost in the pursuit of the perfect game.

Roulette is (mathematically) an imperfect game, so much so that even great mathematicians like Alan Turing spent years trying to work out a system to beat it.

The Enigma code genius ultimately failed, but the key is that he believed it was possible.

This has created what we might call the culture of roulette; the idea that there is something ethereal behind the numbers and mathematics.

The point, as such, is that casino games are about much more than the odds. Yes, we know that there is the advantage of the house whenever we place bets.

Players know that they are more likely to lose than win, yet they play anyway. This is an important part of the culture of casino.

It becomes a game (in the metaphorical sense) between the players and the house, with the former somehow trying to beat the odds.

The movement known as web3

i.e., the next generation of the internet, is based around the idea of decentralization, meaning there will no longer be central control points like governments, banks, and even Google.

This will lead to more player-versus-player games facilitated by decentralized blockchains.

Sure, that might sound like a win to players if the house edge becomes zero, but an element of romance is also gone, that sense you are taking down the “big guy”.

None of this is meant to sound like a warning. Roulette will probably be around 100 years from now when most casinos – both online and offline – are something that we cannot even picture today.

Yet, there should be an understanding that some of the traditions of the casino are worth protecting.

Casinos should change to reflect the time, of course, but there is also a responsibility to protect the industry’s history and heritage. Operators and players should both remember that.