New Trends That Will Shape The Casino And Gambling Industry In 2022
The online gambling industry is currently worth more than $66 billion. By the end of 2023, the global market is expected to be worth more than $92. However, any operator that wants to profit during this period of rapid growth will need to integrate new technologies and embrace emerging trends to thrive.
One of the most crucial aspects operators need to focus on is the rise of mobile-only users. However, things like virtual reality technology and cryptocurrencies also need to be considered. Furthermore, the betting odds landscape is changing, with esports fast becoming a favourite for everyday users.
Let’s explore some of the most important trends that will shape the gambling and casino industry throughout 2022 and beyond.
The Rise in Esports Betting
Esports betting is set to become a staple of the online gambling sector.
Soccer, horse racing, and cricket dominated the online gambling market until relatively recently. While these sports are likely to remain the most popular choices for online gamblers, the esports market is becoming increasingly lucrative. In 2019, esports betting revenues reached around $8 billion. By 2020, these esports betting revenues had swelled to more than $14 billion. Revenues are expected to get even dizzier heights going into 2022 and beyond.
Audience interest in esports events has been growing for many years. In 2021, esports events brought in more than 470 million international viewers. This is a marked increase in 2019 statistics, with overall viewing numbers set to rise to almost 580 million by 2024. Betting on sports has also enjoyed continued growth, with revenues soaring at an average rate of 8.5% annually.
How Many People Bet?
According to a recent Gambling Commission report, it’s estimated that around 10% of UK adults have placed at least one esports bet, with as many as one in the three men under the age of 24 having staked a wager on an esports fixture.
Historically, virtual sports games like FIFA have proven popular with the betting crowd. However, esports staples like League of Legends, Counter-Strike: Global Offensive, and Call of Duty are also popular. As coverage of esports events increases and audiences grow, expect even more money to be wagered on the outcomes of these virtual match-ups.
Improved Mobile Betting Platforms
As mobile gambling becomes the norm, expect more platforms and promotions geared strictly toward those playing on their smartphone.
The first online casinos were reasonably limited in terms of game offerings, with interfaces tailored toward desktop devices. Over the past decade, a significant number of users have been using mobile devices exclusively, heightening the demand for mobile-friendly platforms. While some sites are fairly adaptive, allowing mobile users to access standard platforms via their smartphones or tablets, the best operators have created individual mobile apps and platforms from the ground up.
A Mobile-friendly Casino Site Should Fulfil the Following Criteria:
- Be compatible with standard mobile operating systems, such as Android and iOS
- Offer stripped-back interfaces with easily navigable content
- Include easy-to-ready pop-ups that don’t impede and play
- Deliver swift loading times across all games and content
- Provide an exceptional choice of games that have been developed with mobile devices in mind
Going forward, expect more casino operators to offer apps and mobile versions of their standard desktop site. Rather than provide a stripped-back alternative with a limited choice of games, these mobile versions will include full-featured titles that hold their own against their desktop alternatives. For existing mobile platforms, expect more titles than ever before, with an increased number of video slots and live dealer experiences.
Integration of Virtual Reality
Virtual reality and augmented reality technology look set to transform the online casino world.
Virtual reality technology has been around in some form for many years. However, it’s only recently that virtual reality technology has become affordable enough for the average consumer to afford. This rapid rise in accessible VR tech has significant implications for online gambling and immersive play experiences.
Certain casino operators already offer virtual and augmented reality experienced alongside their usual game offerings. Many significant developers like NextGen and NetEnt have already produced VR-based titles, with more developers set to follow suit. Over the next year, expect a substantial rise in the number of VR-enhanced live dealer experiences and table games. VR games will likely be as commonplace as video slots and sportsbook betting in just a few years.
Stricter Gambling Regulations
Expect a renewed focus on safer gambling and improved regulations in 2022 and beyond.
Safer gambling has long been at the forefront of the online betting market. Pretty much every facet of the online gambling experience is shaped by regulation, with many platforms having to play catch-up. In 2022, expect operators to respond more proactively to ever-changing regulations.
How Will Be the New Regulations Checked?
Rather than revising existing products to fall in line with newly introduced regulations, operators are now making safer gambling a staple part of development. To ensure that operators are up to date with each new rule imposed, industry experts such as KingCasinoBonus must analyse each casino site based on a clear and unbiased criterion. Such a clear guideline is necessary to transmit transparency to users and empower them with the essential knowledge to make wiser financial decisions.
In the United States, it’s estimated that as many as 10 million people can be classified as problem gamblers. To offset the change of online casino users falling into this category, operators are responsible for tackling problem gambling.
At a minimum, operators need to be fair and transparent, making things like play and wagering restrictions evident to customers. More operators are also now making use of pop-up reminders to ensure users aren’t wagering beyond their means. Many operators are also actively encouraging users to set deposit limits. Going forward, expect most major operators to embrace and promote a responsible gambling philosophy.
Adaption of Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies are likely to become the currency of choice for many people who gamble online.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin have been around since 2009. Other blockchain-based currencies like Dogecoin and Ethereum have joined the fray in recent years. Anonymous transactions make crypto-assets particularly appealing, but this prevents some unique challenges for the online gambling sector. Casino operators need to adhere to strict know your customer (KYC) requirements, making gambling with digital currencies quite complex.
That being said, there’s a natural appetite for cryptocurrencies amongst online gamblers. It’s estimated that as many as 75% of bettors are familiar with cryptocurrencies, which is a higher proportion than the general population.
Most Popular Cryptocurrencies
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Tether (USDT))
- Solana (SOL)
- Binance Coin (BNB)
Although there are significant challenges in making cryptocurrencies the payment method of choice for online gambling, crypto-assets offer many benefits for the games industry. A shift to blockchain-based currencies would mean that the restrictions of typical financial institutions don’t bind operators.
This would speed up transactions and onboarding processes and level the playing field. When dealing in crypto, operators and developers wouldn’t need to worry about complex pricing and payout structures that incorporate multiple world currencies and exchange rates.
The future looks bright for the online gambling and casino industry. Global revenues are expected to soar in 2022, but operators looking to capitalise on this growth will need to embrace new technologies and trends.
One of the most exciting gambling developments of recent years has been an increased interest in esports. Although not a staple of every operator, esports odds are quickly becoming a firm fixture of many online sportsbooks. Virtual reality experiences are also likely to become a standard offering of many online casinos, particularly when it comes to enriching live dealer games and classic table titles.
Operators must provide mobile-first platforms with more users than ever using mobile devices exclusively. Most significant operators already offer mobile-centric platforms, but you can expect the overall number of exclusive mobile casinos and apps to rise in 2022. Finally, cryptocurrencies are expected to become more commonplace. The anonymous nature of crypto assets makes using them for gambling a complicated issue. However, the benefits for gamblers and operators alike are huge.