Online gambling has become increasingly popular over the last decade, with global revenue from the industry now standing at over $53 billion and growing yearly. This surge in popularity has been driven by various factors, from the convenience of accessing a casino from anywhere in the world to the wide selection of games and betting options available. As technology continues to evolve, so do global online gambling trends. From the rise of virtual and augmented reality to the emergence of cryptocurrency playing a more prominent role, there are some exciting advancements to look forward to in the industry. This article will explore the recent trends in global online gambling and the potential implications for players and operators alike.
Overview of the Global Online Gambling Industry
Online gambling is predicted to grow to over $90 billion by 2020 due to various factors, including the increasing popularity of smartphones, a continued rise in internet users, and the interest from venture capitalists to get involved with the industry. Two segments dominate the online gambling industry: poker and sports betting. The poker segment is the more mature of the two, generating over 40% of total revenue, with Asia being the largest poker market. The sports betting segment, by comparison, is growing much more quickly and is expected to overtake poker revenue in the next few years. Both segments have benefited from the rise of online gambling, and both will likely grow even more as the industry matures. The online gambling industry faces a significant challenge from emerging blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. While the online gambling industry has been around for decades, cryptocurrencies are only a few years old. Nevertheless, they have already begun to significantly impact the industry, especially in the sports betting segment.
Trends in Global Online Gambling
The rise of virtual and augmented reality technology has led to a growth in the number of online casinos offering virtual reality games to players. These games are played via a virtual reality headset or goggles and are a completely immersive experience. This technology has already been used in several casinos, here, which offer VR Roulette and VR Blackjack. VR Poker has also been introduced by the Grand Casino, demonstrating how quickly casinos are adopting the technology. This technological advancement, coupled with the rise in popularity of eSports and the increasing interest from audiences in the “live experience,” has led to a growth in the popularity of online casino live streaming. This technology has been used by many casinos, including Bet365, Bgo, and Sportsbet, with the latter having reported an increase in revenue of 50% following the introduction of the service.
The Rise of Virtual and Augmented Reality
Virtual reality has been around for many years but has only recently begun to impact the online gambling industry. VR technology allows users to experience games and content completely immersively, making them feel like they are actually present in the virtual environment. In online gambling, VR technology has provided a more realistic experience and offered more variety in game selection and betting options. The rise of augmented reality technology has led to the development and introduction of casino augmented reality games, allowing players to interact with and play against other players in real time. These games can be played on mobile devices, with AR technology allowing the player to see virtual objects on top of a live camera feed.
The Emergence of Cryptocurrency
Two of the most popular cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin and Ethereum, have revolutionized the online gambling industry. With transactions being processed almost instantly, there is no longer a need to wait days or weeks for a payment to be cleared. This has led to the rise of cryptocurrency gambling sites, with many of these platforms focusing on sports betting. The use of cryptocurrencies has made it easier than ever for players to make a deposit and place a bet and has allowed casinos to expand their audience to include those who do not have access to a traditional bank account. The rise of cryptocurrency has also allowed online casinos to offer customers more options for withdrawing their winnings. While most casinos only accept withdrawals to a bank account, a growing number are now offering withdrawals to a cryptocurrency wallet.
The Impact of Social Media
Social media has been an important part of the online gambling industry for years, with players using platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to interact with each other and discover new games. This has led to the rise of online gambling groups, with groups such as Social Slots and Poker Slam growing in popularity and offering players a place to share their experiences and discuss new games and developments in the industry. Social media has also allowed casinos to advertise their products to a wider audience, with several operators now offering free spins and other bonuses to members of their social media groups. Social media has also allowed casinos to offer a more personalized experience to their customers, with many now offering bots that allow players to interact with their casino, receive advice, and have questions addressed.
The Growing Popularity of eSports
The recent rise in popularity of eSports has led to an increase in the number of online gambling platforms offering betting on eSports, with many now offering a wide selection of games to choose from. This type of betting has been extremely popular in Asia for many years but has only recently become more widely available in the West. The increasing popularity of eSports has led to an increase in the number of online casinos offering live betting, with many now offering this as a regular feature. The popularity of eSports has also led to a growth in sponsorship deals in the online gambling industry, with many online casinos now offering special deals to eSports teams and players.
The Role of Mobile Technology
Mobile has quickly become the preferred method for many people to access the internet, with the number of mobile users now standing at over 3 billion and expected to increase in the future. This has led to a significant increase in the number of people gambling online via their smartphones and has allowed casinos to reach a wider audience. The rise of social media has also led to an increase in mobile gambling, with players now able to participate in group games and receive offers via their smartphones. Mobile casinos have also benefited from this increase in the number of people gambling on the go, with many now offering special bonus offers exclusively to their mobile users.
The Impact of Regulations
The gambling industry is heavily regulated in many countries, with the authorities in charge of casinos able to control the amount that players can win and the types of games offered. The recent emergence of blockchain technology has led to some regulators looking at potential new regulations for the online gambling industry. This is partly because most blockchain-based casinos are currently unregulated, but it is also due to the potential impact that blockchain technology could have on the gambling industry. Blockchain technology could potentially make it easier for minors to gamble online and will also likely make it easier for people to cheat in online games. One of the main advantages of blockchain technology is that casinos can be fully decentralized, and as such, there is no central authority in charge of regulating them. This has led to some regulators looking at ways to introduce new regulations and controls in an attempt to address some of the potential issues.
The Future of Online Gambling
The online gambling industry has come a long way over the past decade and is now worth billions of dollars. This trend will likely continue as technology advances, with the rise of virtual and augmented reality technology, the popularity of eSports, and the increasing use of mobile technology all set to play a role in the future of online gambling.