Online Gambling Trends
The coming years bode well for the gaming industry. According to the experts, this field will keep growing and all its participants are going to enormously benefit from the coming boom.
(Due to the quickly changing situation in 2020 the forecasts made by experts in 2019 will have to be significantly revised. Overall, the circumstances are highly favorable for the industry. According to Google, the number of visitors to online gambling sites has dramatically increased in the last months)
From 2020 gaming will continue its triumphant advance, there's anticipated market growth in the United States and Asia, and legislations of many countries adapt, giving more leeway to the new booming industry.
Currently, due to the coronavirus pandemic and mass quarantines across the world, services providing entertainment online became even more important. Land-based casinos are closed, and there's no telling when they will reopen and whether they will ever be as popular as before, considering changing people's habits and their fear of social interactions and crowded places that is bound to last for a long time. In this situation, we can expect that all the brick and mortar casino regulars will end up on the internet giving the online gambling industry an additional boost.
Among the most distinctive trends are presently: the growing number of gamers accessing online gambling sites from their phones, the use of VR and AR, the application of artificial intelligence, changing gambling laws, and the use of cryptocurrencies.
The use of mobile phones allowed to hugely expand the gambling site's audience. Plus, now people play more casually. With mobile devices, it is possible playing on the go, while committing to work, standing in queues, basically at any time because we always carry our phones with us. The casual nature of gambling from one's phone attracts people who wouldn't consciously be lured into this kind of activity, it just helps killing time.
According to industry experts, more than 1 billion people use their smartphones to play in online casinos. As there are more and more people surfing the internet, market forecasts predict a consistent growth in demand for gambling sites.
Gambling Laws and Regulations
It can be expected that with the increasing popularity of internet gambling the number of scams and hacker attacks on online casinos will grow as well. Subsequently, it can lead to tightening of gambling business regulations, which can temporarily hinder the industry growth.
Although the United States has overall strict laws regarding online gambling, some of the states such as Nevada, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware, recently softened their stance on the issue, which can give a powerful boost to the gambling industry. Other states like Michigan, Kentucky, and West Virginia, where online gambling was previously banned consider the legalization of the activity.
Meanwhile, there remains the problem of the cross-border and cross-state nature of online gambling, as of the internet itself, so it's easier to introduce a law than to enforce it.
Still, there are perennial concerns about people falling victim to gambling addiction, the involvement of minors in gambling, and other potential issues that can negatively affect society.
In order to operate legally, online casinos are usually required to conduct "know your customer" (KYC) checks to prevent cases of fraud, identity theft, and other possible violations and transgressions.
Facial Recognition and Artificial Intelligence
An important trend of online gambling is the application of face recognition to check that the customer really is who he claims to be. In general, internet casinos are required to conduct customer checks to ensure that there are no underage persons in the casino, and to prevent fraud and identity theft.
Face recognition can also be used to identify the signs of developing a gambling addiction. The face recognition software coupled with artificial intelligence can identify the signs of inadequate behavior, excessive player's excitement and agitation, or note changes in a person's behavior.
Artificial Intelligence can assist in conducting effective targeted marketing campaigns, offering a user those products and services the system can with a high degree of probability predict would be favorably received by the user.
Another application of Artificial Intelligence is chatbots that can assist players answering their questions and thus reduce the load on the human support personnel. Currently, AI-powered online assistants can hardly be distinguished from their human counterparts, and they are capable of solving quite complex problems.
Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR)
The use of VR and AR is an important and remarkable trend in online gambling. Online Casino visitors are, no doubt, may miss the atmosphere and ambiance of real land-based casinos, they might miss the thrill of social interactions, and the feeling of immersion and presence.
With VR the game producers recreate a real vibrant atmosphere of the real casino. A player can wander around the halls marveling at the interiors. Virtual Reality can mimic the environment of real existing casinos or some unusual and fantastic environments.
Another benefit of VR based online casinos is the players' ability to get as close to real interaction as possible. Apart from creating a convivial mood, it can make the gaming process more interesting since observing the opponent's movements and gestures a player can guess his intentions, which can be important for example in poker.
Cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin, and Blockchain
Blockchain has proved itself as an ingenious novel tech guaranteeing high reliability and security of its operations. The Blockchain-based apps bring stable incomes to their developers, and the transparency of operations contributes to the trust fueling the wide adoption of this technology. Also, many casinos among substitute payment options currently accept cryptocurrencies.
Among the important advantages of cryptocurrency payments are the following:
User identity protection. Since all the crypto transactions are not linked to the identities of users performing them, casino players can remain anonymous.
Transaction speed. Blockchain-based transactions lack transfer delays characterizing many traditional money transfer systems. All operations are conducted instantaneously.
Low transaction fees. Bitcoin and other major cryptocurrencies have relatively small transaction fees compared to the traditional banking systems and money transfer operators.
Growth of Gambling Market
The profits of online casinos show a consistently growing trend during the last years. Currently, the UK online gambling industry generates 2.6 billion in revenues and this number is likely to get bigger soon.
According to forecasts, the European gambling market is expected to grow from 19.9 to 24.7 billion euros. Online casinos comprise 32% of the overall gambling market with their share expected to increase. Harsh competitive environment compels European gambling sites to specialize, at the same time favoring games most in-demand among gamblers.
Currently, with broadband high-speed networks, it's increasingly more convenient to access services located at the centralized cloud servers ensuring higher performance and processing capacities. As communications are getting more reliable and robust, and cloud technology has reached maturity, the paradigm of software as a service makes it unnecessary for gamers to invest in top of the line expensive equipment. Additionally, it highly benefits smartphone users, with heavy and power-intensive computations shouldered by powerful remote servers.
Also, centralized data storage can be another important advantage since cloud services can ensure much more advanced means of data protection, and the possibility of data leaks or theft is much lower than if it was stored on user's personal computers or phones.
Cloud services are gaining popularity in all spheres, and online gambling is no exception since this technical approach allows internet casinos to vastly expand their audience reducing hardware requirements without sacrificing quality.
An important emergent trend in online gambling is live dealers, where the game is broadcast from a real casino or a studio, and games are hosted by real people. There are several reasons why this type of casino is significantly more attractive to gamblers than the standard software only based solutions.
First, certainly, live interaction with a real person makes the experience much more thrilling and engaging. The social element plays an important psychological role here. Second, many players distrust software algorithms, which is understandable since nobody really can tell for sure how they work. In this sense, an actual person spinning the roulette wheel can give players an assurance that the system isn't rigged to keep them from winning.
The live dealers casinos are gaining popularity since internet communications became fast enough to support high-quality live broadcasts. Considering the preference they get among players such gambling platforms have a significant competitive advantage although it's more difficult to run them, and they require much more substantial financial investments than the software only casinos.
Changing Marketing Tactics
Traditional marketing such as indiscriminate ads and mailing lists are becoming less and less effective, so marketing specialists adapt, inventing novel methods, and approaches. Marketing nowadays is getting more organic and embedded in the environment of users' social interactions, as well as it is more targeted, aimed, and tailored for the specific audience and relevant to people's current internet activities.
An important role in promotions is currently played by social networks and messaging apps. Influencer marketing and viral content make the promotion campaigns look natural and entertaining, lacking the repelling effect of the traditional ads. On the other hand, ad placement is optimized to reach the target audience, taking into account the content of the pages where ads are placed, or supplying relevant promotional content to the result pages of users' search requests.
Changing in Consumer Gambling Habits
With the advent of new technologies and online gambling, both demographics and the psychological portrait of a typical gambler changed. People visiting online casinos are not the same people attending land-based casinos. Many people play causally between other activities, and the percentage of online women gamblers is significantly higher than those visiting traditional brick and mortar casinos. Casual online gambling, not being time-consuming, makes this form of entertainment available to categories of people who don't normally gamble. An additional benefit for many is the ability to play anonymously, as well as the accessibility of online casinos from any point in the world.
With so many different types of people getting involved in gambling the expectations for the gambling sites are changing with many players seeking more sophisticated and themed experiences relevant to the popular cultural trends. As a result, gambling businesses are compelled to constantly improve and adapt, taking into consideration the nuances and quirks of their clientele.