With the global online gambling industry estimated to be worth over €54 billion annually, projected to grow to €85 billion by 2024, things have come a long way since the early 90s when the first iGaming licences were granted.
In 2020, thanks to increased digitalisation, developments in technology and connectivity, and of course, the advancement of cryptocurrency and blockchain, it is set to be an exciting and progressive year. Over the next 12 months, we can expect to see further collaboration between those developing emerging technologies and existing online casino and betting platforms.
Here are some of BDO Malta’s predictions for what lies ahead in 2020;
Virtual Reality-Based Gambling
Virtual reality, or VR has seamlessly transitioned from science fiction into everyday life and is being increasingly implemented into a number of real-world uses. Healthcare, education, HR, retail and even treatment for PTSD are all utilising its benefits, but the world of online gaming is another sector where it is flourishing. VR can be used to significantly enhance the user experience for casino users, meaning it is more immersive, more realistic, and increasing player loyalty. Over the next year, the demand for VR casinos is expected to increase and more and more providers are expected to adopt the technology to keep up with their competitors.
Cryptocurrency is set to dominate the iGaming payments landscape over the coming months. The UK Gambling Commission just announced all payments via credit card for online gambling will be banned as of April, meaning the role of crypto in paying for bets could be amplified. Many users prefer the level of anonymity that crypto withdrawals, deposits and purchases can offer and its security benefits also provide a notable incentive to users and operators alike.
Decline of Bricks and Mortar Casinos
While there will always be some demand for land-based casinos, the accessibility and convenience, as well as anonymity of online casinos is set to contribute to a stratospheric increase in popularity. This is already evidenced as land casinos have started to feel the impact of digitalisation in the form of a decrease in foot fall in recent years. Access to casino games via mobile, tablet and PC will continue to be the most popular method to gamble, and land casinos will see revenue and customers dwindle.
High-Tech Slot Games
The newest generation of online gamblers are young, tech savvy and have high expectations. As a result, casino operators need to respond by providing games that are capable of catching their attention, and most importantly keeping it. The result is new and improved slot games that also offer an element of skill. Younger users require that kind of stimulation and demand higher levels of engagement than older users- keep up or lose out in 2020.
More Live Dealers
Operators have long-known that live dealers are a big draw for online casino users but in 2020 this demand is set to increase. Offering a more realistic and immersive experience as well as a social dynamic craved by younger users, casinos with live dealers can expect to see an increase in user numbers over the next 12 months.
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