It’s an exciting time to be working in online betting and gaming. With the US sportsbetting market opening up (following 2018's major US senate ruling), eSports gaming growing rapidly and technologies like artificial intelligence, augmented reality and blockchain gaining traction, it feels as if the industry is on an upward curve.
The numbers are telling the same story – the online gambling industry was worth $41.78bn at the end of 2016, but set to hit $80bn by the end of 2020, with a whopping 11% of total internet traffic coming from online casinos.
The result? Opportunity abound for skilled igaming and sportsbook professionals. Here are just a few of the trends we’re seeing driving this growth – do any of them resonate with you?
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7 Inspiring Trends in iGaming
Take your pick of these tech and market trends in online gambling, providing ample inspiration for professionals in gaming and gambling.
01 Artificial Intelligence (AI)
Artificial intelligence is making sense of the wealth of data created by online gambling, through intelligent insights and automation of decisions. Applications of AI in betting and gaming are wide-ranging; from setting odds accurately, to providing targeted offers to customers, to identifying patterns of problem behaviour. Companies who can leverage these techniques in the right way stand to gain a lot.
02 Payments and Cryptocurrencies
Cryptocurrencies and online gambling seem to be the perfect match. Digital currencies like Bitcoin, Litecoin and Ethereum have proved popular amongst users; deposits and withdrawals are often easier, plus they benefit from universal recognition, increased anonymity and enhanced safety features. Operators are winning too, since by passing cash-handling commissions allows them to cut costs and improve profit margins.
03 Blockchain Technology
While cryptocurrencies are the original and most well-known use case of the blockchain, its potential goes much further. Blockchain technologies are being deployed in the online gambling sector to increase transparency and trust – such as creating accurate and secure user databases without requiring users to give personal information, or marketing solutions that solve the problem of affiliate fraud. There’s huge potential here for the operators willing to innovate.
The esports boom shows no signs of slowing down. Building on the explosion in titles like Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and DotA 2, many new titles are rapidly gaining in popularity, and the industry is awash with sponsorships from big-name brands like Red Bull, Nike, and Mercedes Benz. The ever-growing popularity and hype surrounding esports has already made waves in betting, with all major operators showing keen interest in the space.
05 AR & VR
As virtual reality and augmented reality technology is becoming more advanced, companies across many sectors are showing interest. In the gaming and betting industry, the use case is clear – enabling operators to offer a more memorable, immersive experience. From virtual casinos, to displaying live player stats just by pointing your phone at them, the opportunities are endless.
06 Emerging Markets
Whilst the gaming and betting industry might be growing globally, companies are eyeing up the chance to dominate developing markets like Africa, India and Latin America. In Africa, a new generation of tech-savvy millennials are coming online, and even though several African countries still need to regulate gambling, African millennials are showing just as much appetite for online betting as their Western and Asian counterparts. In Latam, Colombia seems to be leading the way, having recently overhauled regulation of their gambling industry, seeing seventeen companies so far receiving licenses to operate there.
07 US Market (Post PAPSA)
Much attention of the online gambling sector been focused stateside following the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, which has liberated the market and created massive opportunity for sportsbook. However, it still remains to be seen what US customers are demanding, and how best operators will manage regional and demographic differences to deliver a great experience.
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