6 trends to look out for in the online casino industry
Monday 21st December 2020
2020 has been an interesting year for online gambling with it becoming the first option by default for many. Over in the US, online poker rooms and casinos amassed a massive $402 million from April to June, which is the highest profit ever recorded. We still don't know how this will affect the market in 2021, but we can expect online casinos to retain and convert a large portion of their current audience.
Online casinos were also in the middle of a technological transformation before the crisis and it could contribute to accelerating some of these advancements. Here are some trends to look out for in the online casino industry-leading into 2021.
The global crisis has not only sparked interest in online casinos but in cryptocurrency as well. Bitcoin experienced it's biggest surge since its December 2017 rally. Cryptocurrency seems to be tailormade for the gambling industry for a variety of reasons, and regular casinos are advised to take notes.
For one, these casinos allow players to completely circumvent 3rd parties and legacy systems. This means faster payments and deposits. Transaction delays are one of the most common reasons for complaints about traditional online casinos, and cryptocurrencies casinos are much more efficient in that regard.
Also, crypto casinos allow players to avoid rules in their jurisdictions and keep their winnings away from the state. This is major in jurisdictions where online gambling is strictly forbidden or in counties where the monetary system is broken.
Easier Signups and Registration
One of the ways that the industry seems to be reacting to crypto casinos is by making the sign-up process as easy as possible for new players. More casinos are allowing players to sign up using their mobile banking credentials, for instance. These allow players to identify themselves and make initial deposits almost instantly, rendering the traditional KYC process obsolete.
We can also expect to see more gamification in online casino games. Gamification was a tool that online casinos used to differentiate themselves. These will often offer players a chance to level up during games and get rewards for specific accomplishments. Some will have elements that rely more on skills than luck. These not only make the traditional pokie more interesting, but will put some of the power in the hands of the players.
We can also expect more online casinos to start featuring eSport events now. This is especially true when considering that eSports was one of the sports that was able to pivot and adapt the best during the recent pandemic. The eSports market only continues to grow with the total viewership expected to reach 646 million worldwide by 2023 according to Newzoo.
VR and AR Betting
One of the things people have against online casinos is that they have difficulty replicating the feel of real casinos. The social aspect is what is missing for many. But with recent advances in virtual reality, we're seeing online casinos that are truly committing to the format. This could lead to others following suit.
Most of these casinos use sets like the Oculus Rift or others like the Samsung Gear VR. More options are to come and these casinos will only continue to improve over time.
Augmented reality may have a lower barrier to entry, however, and could become a major point of focus for casinos and developers before VR. Augmented reality is perfect for online gaming and creates a much more immersive experience without the need for additional hardware.
Mobile Gaming Still Going Strong
Mobile gaming isn't going anywhere, and online casinos seem to finally take mobile players more seriously. While it wasn't uncommon for online casinos to only offer a partial selection to players or stripped-down versions of their games not too long ago, we can say that mobile is now a priority for most of them.
This was to be expected with mobiles taking over PC as the medium of choice not only for navigation, but for gambling also. While the older generations will still sit down in front of their PC to play, millennials seem to prefer playing over their devices. And it's perfectly understandable considering how convenient they are and the increasing range of top-notch mobile gaming options available.
The online casino industry is one of the most dynamic, and the recent events could end up being what it needed to make it's push into the mainstream. We can expect these changes and many more next year, so we suggest you stay tuned.