The ubiquity of the internet and the rapid growth in the number of internet users worldwide has coincided with a rising interest in online gambling. As online betting has grown more refined and systematic, so has the number of bettors leaving the casino table in favor of online platforms.
Billions of dollars are gambled online every day. But the online gambling industry is not static. It evolves in line with changing technologies, opportunities, and regulatory environments. Let’s take a look at some of the trends that are likely to dominate the online gambling space in the coming months and years.
1. Post-COVID Momentum
Cell phones quickly supplanted fixed lines for one major reason – convenience. That convenience, together with the internet-readiness of smartphones, is at the heart of the growing number of online gamblers. That growth experienced fresh impetus with the COVID-19 pandemic as social distancing rules were enforced to contain the spread of the virus.
Many people who were regulars at a physical casino opted for online poker, online slots, link slot deposit pulsa tanpa potongan, online casinos and virtual sports platforms. COVID-19 may be with us for a while and there may not be a truly post-COVID-19 world for a long time. So, it seems as if online gambling will be around for the foreseeable future.
Nevertheless, as vaccines are administered to the majority of the world’s population, you can expect many of the movement and contact restrictions to ease. Still, the momentum in the shift to online gambling is unlikely to dissipate. Rather, online gambling will grow in sophistication, thus making it the more compelling alternative to physical gambling locations and drawing more players.
2. Virtual Reality (VR) Integration
Virtual reality is transforming how a lot of everyday activities take place and it appears online gambling is no exception. A rising number of online gambling platforms are incorporating VR. Online casinos with VR give players an experience that mirrors the environment of an actual casino.
Like online gambling in general, the growth in VR-enabled casinos is partly driven by social distancing requirements necessitated by COVID-19. No longer having the ability to visit their favorite casino, players are turning to VR-powered gambling platforms for a similar experience. More online casinos are bound to adopt VR, if only to keep up with what their competition is doing.
3. Cryptocurrency Adoption
Online gambling platforms already provide multiple options for depositing money into and withdrawing money from a player’s account. As cryptocurrency gains traction globally and increasingly obtains mainstream acceptance, online casinos are jumping on the bandwagon too.
Cryptocurrency has compelling advantages in terms of security and anonymity, something many players consider of paramount importance. In addition, cryptocurrencies are not subject to the sometimes punitive charges that would otherwise be levied on balances held by banks and other conventional financial institutions.
4. Accelerated Popularity of Sports Betting
Sports betting is not new. For decades at least, sports disciplines such as horseracing and boxing have been synonymous with betting. Other major matches in soccer, tennis, basketball, baseball, and more have also routinely drawn thousands of punters over the years. Yet, the number of people who were betting on tournaments was not representative of the number of people that wished they could.
In recent years, there has been an explosion of sports betting, especially in the developing world. That can largely be attributed to the proliferation of affordable smartphones, growing internet access, rising incomes, and the increasing number of online betting platforms. Also, given that there are countries that prohibit or limit gambling, online casinos have provided an outlet for players to access betting platforms.
5. More Testing
Online gambling is an increasingly competitive space. As the number of platforms increases rapidly, there is a need for each to distinguish itself from the competition. A key reason some players will be reluctant to join an online gambling platform is concern over whether they have a reasonable shot at winning. If a platform can prove that it gives players a decent chance, that will be positive for the brand.
One way to prove this is through an independent audit. Many online casino operators undergo regular audits of their games and their random number generator (RNG). The leading online casinos will often prominently display their audit results and the independent auditor. These auditors will only continue to grow in importance as more operators seek this vital validation.
6. Live Dealers
Online casinos provide a convenience that a physical casino does not. Nevertheless, online casinos do not score as well when it comes to human interaction. Many players still want to interact with a real dealer. This speaks to the fact that gambling has traditionally been a social activity.
When you walk into a casino, you run into dealers and casino staff as well fellow players. And while it’s usually all business from the get-go, it is interspersed with the dynamics of interpersonal interactions. There are people who go to casinos for this community feeling. Online casinos have not had that, but many are now integrating a real dealer to improve the service.
As online gambling platforms that have live dealers start to win the battle for customers, this wave could sweep through the industry as most operators adopt this practice.
7. Attractive Promotions
The increasingly large number of online gambling platforms are giving players a wide variety to choose from. This is certainly good news for players. But for operators, not so much. It is a constant battle for player retention. Unlike physical casinos where competition comes from nearby casinos, hundreds of competing platforms are just a click away in the virtual world.
In the fight to retain players, operators are offering bigger bonuses. For example, a platform may have no-deposit bonuses, allowing you to wager without depositing any more money to your gambling account. Another type of promotion is the low-wagering welcome that maximizes the odds of the player cashing out the bonuses.
Promotions are not created equal though, so you can expect a rise in comparison and analysis websites through which you can benchmark online gambling platforms against one another.
Like any other industry, the online gambling industry is constantly finding ways to improve itself. You can expect more emerging trends in line with evolving technology, laws and regulations, and player sentiment. These trends are bound to define online gambling now and in the coming years.