In 2020, the value of the global online gambling market reached a staggering $66.7 billion. Over the next 5 year period, that is 2021-2026, the online gambling market is expected to exhibit a robust and impressive annual growth rate. The popularity of online casinos has increased over the last year and there are many reasons for this, one of which is the affordable high-speed internet and internet-capable devices.
AR & VR enabled live dealer games
Live dealer games are one of the most popular attractions of online casinos – turning over millions of dollars every week. The live dealer experience is actually an example of augmented reality – an enhanced version of the real physical world. Over the next few years, most experts think that AR and VR will be integrated into the online casino experience at a deep grassroots level. By the end of 2021, both AR and VR capable technologies are going to close up revenues worth $20 billion in the overall gaming and gambling industries of the world.
Casinos in the US and Canada have started to develop online wings and, thanks to emerging technologies, have been able to make them feel more like the real thing. AR and VR technology can be used to construct a 360-degree immersive experience that lets players enjoy an authentic casino experience from their own homes. Some online gambling sites have launched VR versions of their games which can be played with the help of VR tech like an Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, Oculus Quest, HP Reverb G2, Sony VR, etc. This creates a truly immersive experience and is probably only to become more widespread.
App compatibility of major casinos
Another major trend is the issue of app compatibility. In 2021, a very large chunk of online casino users prefer to use their phones while gambling online. To them, app compatibility is very important – which is why the large online gambling players in the industry are working very hard right now to develop apps. The end goal of these organisations is to come up with versions of their product that are compatible with major phone software systems like Android and iOS. By coming up with a mobile app, market penetration of the casino will also increase exponentially.
Adopting cryptocurrency as a mainstream payment mode
Invented in 2008, BitCoin was the first major player in the world of Cryptocurrency. Rising from virtual anonymity, the value of the BitCoin has increased rapidly over the past few years. Right now, one BitCoin is worth around $53,000. Other cryptocurrencies have also entered the scene, such as Ethereum, LiteCoin and DogeCoin. In the past few years, online casino users have started to prefer using cryptocurrency to keep all of their transactions anonymous. Slowly but surely, one can expect most online casinos to start using crypto as a mainstream payment option.
Exploring the ‘Freemium’ monetisation strategy
The freemium pricing strategy is one of the most successful and widespread pricing strategies in the world of apps and software. Many analysts think that the freemium model can also be implemented with ease in the online gambling market over the next five years. Online casinos can start offering some games for free upon sign-up. The more advanced features of the same games can only be accessed if the player makes a deposit or signs up for a paid subscription. The removal of the usage barrier could attract lots of new players to the casino.
Teaming up with sports teams
In the United States, many of the major NFL and NHL franchises have directly teamed up with platforms that provide online sports betting. Teaming up with sports teams and sponsoring them is the natural next step for a lot of online wagering platforms in the world. Even in India, fantasy cricket franchises like Dream 11 and Mobile Premier League have teamed up with the Indian Premier League (IPL) to provide gaming options to cricket fans. Teaming up with sports teams can lead to an increased amount of awareness of the product among hardcore sports fans.
For the 2019-20 season, 9 out of the 20 teams of the English Premier League (EPL) teamed up with betting providers. Even 17 of the 24 Championship teams had teamed up with some of the most well-known online gambling providers in the UK. Reportedly, the casinos spent a total of $330.5 million in securing these deals with the teams.
Summing up the trends
All in all, it is safe to say that VR and Cryptocurrency are the most exciting trends that are going to shape the online gambling market for the foreseeable future. The freemium model and sports franchises are some other trends that you can expect to see.