2020 is upon us and it is as good time as any to take a closer look at the trends that will be shaping the gaming industry in this and the upcoming years.
After two decades of incredible growth, fueled by technological advancements, the iGaming industry isn’t showing any signs of slowing down. In 2017, the entire sector was worth almost $46 billion.
By 2024, it is expected to reach whopping $94 billion, almost doubling in size in just seven years. The trends that will be powering such an incredible growth are similar to the other sectors of the gaming industry, but with specific twists, characteristic of iGaming. Let’s see which are the most dominant.
New Gambling Regulations
We are seeing the implementation of new gambling regulations across the board. This trend started a few years back and even places traditionally friendly to the iGaming operators, like Malta, are either contemplating or introducing regulations that will affect the everyday operations.
With the European Organization for Gaming Law pushing for stronger anti-money laundering laws, financial regulations will be tightened.
Many countries will open their national markets to foreign operators, which will increase the competition and further drive up the cost of business. Of course, players will only benefit from these changes, as the safety and overall conditions improve.
Increasing and Maintain The Players Base
Keeping the number of players increasing is imperative and the most important condition for the continuing growth of the iGaming industry. This is the main challenge most operators are facing and will continue to face in the future.
Due to the fierce competition, the players are extremely fickle and have no trouble jumping ship in search of best casino bonuses elsewhere. This leads to increased cost and, paired with new regulation restricting advertisement, may prove to be a major difficulty for the majority of the online casinos. This will lead to a shift in how they acquire new and retain old players.
Increased Number of Women Players
While there are already several casinos catering specifically to women, we expect to see a growing number of them in the future. This will affect a lot of things in the iGaming industry, like game design.
We are already seeing this in some countries like the United States, where women players make up around 40% of total players count.
The industry will benefit from this, as the revenues will increase significantly, but will also force casinos to pivot more to their new female players, adapting to their needs and wants.
Introduction of VR And AR Technologies
VR and AR technologies seem to be around the corner for the last decade, but somehow, we still haven’t seen massive implementation. The limiting factor, especially for VR, is the price of the equipment needed for the end-users.
While it has dropped significantly, a good VR headset can set you back a couple of hundred dollars, if not more. Cheap substitutes simply don’t offer the full experience and so people are staying away from it.
This, in turn, affects the game developers, who don’t implement it in their games because of the lack of audience. Hopefully, this circle will be broken once the cost drops further and more people can afford to buy it, enticing software companies to create applications for them.
AR is in a similar pickle. With the massive success of Pokémon Go, it would seem that the AR is finally headed for a breakthrough, but those hopes fizzled out, as there were no follow up apps that would use the technology.
Both VR and AR have a huge potential for use in the iGaming industry, and some experts claim that their time is finally coming. Still, we choose to remain cautiously optimistic about them, after so many similar announcements in the past.
Online Sport Betting
After the Supreme Court ruling lifted the federal ban on sports betting, its value has been rising by leaps and bounds. In 2019, the legal sports gambling reached $10 billion, and a large chunk of it is done online.
It is not something online casinos can ignore, especially since the majority of experts agree that the rising trend will continue and even pick up the pace. We can expect to see more integration between classic online gambling and betting in the future, as operators strive to provide a full experience and offer more choices to their users.
While this is already the case in Europe, the American market is just catching up but is expected to become a major battlefield for clients and their bets in the near future.
The iGaming industry has always been dependent on its growth in technological development. In fact, its whole existence is based on the invention of the Internet, so it is no wonder that in future the industry leaders will continue to seek their edge in new and emerging technologies.