The Growth of the Online Casino Market in 2023

Jonatan Parski CEO

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The Growth of the Online Casino Market in 2023

The online casino industry is now almost 30 years old. The first one in history, called Intertops, was launched in 1994. It was the dawn of the commercially viable Internet, and dial-up noises (which today sound, somehow, vintage) could be heard in almost every household during peak time. The Internet was tremendously limited compared with what we have today, and so were the computers; smartphones were still a Jetsons’ thing.

Anyway, the passion for gambling was there. In fact, it has been there for a long time. The first casino in history accepted its first bets in the 17th century in Venice. Soon enough, there were casinos (or “small houses” in Italian) all over Europe. If we were to talk about early references to gambling in human history, we’d find it in pretty much any ancient civilization.

So, Lemmy Kilmister wasn’t wrong when he said that “the pleasure is to play, it makes no difference what you say.” The thrills of risking into the unknown are enough to keep the taste for gambling alive across the centuries. Also, it’s more than enough to fuel a market eager for tech innovations in a time when tech innovations get outdated within a blink of an eye. In this article, we’ll talk about the steep market growth of online casinos and what’s behind it.

Stepping Up The Game

When Charles Fey created the first slot machine at the end of the 19th century, he probably wasn’t aware that his invention would be all over the world 100 years later. The early “one-armed bandits” became complex video slot games, no longer constrained by physical reels. Today, online slots are all over the place and, quite often, make up for the majority of the gaming portfolio of an online casino.

However, there was an abyss between casinos and casino enthusiasts before Internet times: distance. One would have to travel to a city with a land-based casino if one happened to live in a place without it or, worse if one lived where casinos were forbidden.

Online gambling bridged this gap spectacularly well, and it continues to do so. By now, we can agree that the taste for gambling has a nearly timeless presence in human history. So, any technology that makes it more accessible is bound to increase the number of people engaging with it.

Technology Of Fun

Also, since we’re talking about technology, we should remember we live in a momentous period. Here are some of the technologies that simply didn’t exist in the past decade or so.

Smartphones And Tablets

Maybe, you’re old enough to remember the thick-as-a-brick Nokias, with the square and entertaining snake game. If you’re not, well, those devices would never be able to access an online casino.

Although IBM took the first kicks in the field with the Simon Personal Communicator (SPC) in the 90s, the first smartphones as we know them today would only reach the shelves between 2007 and 2008 (iOS and Android devices). The first mobile casino apps were launched in 2008. Today, pretty much every online casino offers mobile-friendly games.

4G Internet

4G Internet was first made available to the public in 2009. We don’t need to spend too long on technicalities here. The increase in the speed was enough to simply leapfrog from the old 3G MMS messages into video calls and live streaming. While we’re still living the advancements brought by 4G, an internet with 100x more traffic capacity is becoming more widely available: 5G.

Mobile casinos represent an increasingly larger fraction of the online gaming market. The expansion of smartphone ownership and mobile internet coverage surely contributes to market growth. While 5G coverage still has a lot of room for expansion worldwide, 4G is more easily available, and it’s enough to allow you to engage with live dealer casino games or live sports betting, for instance.

Live Streaming

Live dealer games couldn’t exist without live-streaming technology. Likewise, live streaming could never exist without an internet fast enough to support the nearly instant transmission of large amounts of data.

Thanks to 4G internet, live dealer games are available even via mobile devices. This particular technological development turned out to be very profitable for online casinos. Live dealer games make up about 50% of sales in most online casinos today.

Mobile Devices With Pc-Like Processing Capacity

There were times when desktop and laptop computers could do things that no mobile device could. Nowadays, unless we’re talking about highly specialized tasks, there’s nothing a decent smartphone can’t provide to the commoner: social media, web navigation, video calls, emails, online shopping, iGaming, and the list goes on.

In 2022, over 80% of the global population already had a smartphone, which tells much about the potential market for mobile-friendly online casinos. Most mobile gambling sites don’t even have apps; you can access them via a mobile browser just as you would from a computer.

Cryptocurrencies

If you’re a pizza lover, maybe you have already spent a considerable amount on your favorite branches and flavors. Maybe, you have even paid extravagant prices for your favorite slice. Yet, your most expensive pizza will hardly come close to Laszlo Hanyecz’s order. Back in 2010, he traded two Papa John’s pizzas for what then looked like a figment of his imagination: 10,000 Bitcoins.

The same value today would have made Laszlo a millionaire. Cryptocurrencies used to be a thing for tech enthusiasts but are now taken seriously worldwide. There’s an increasing number of “cryptocasinos” out there, where cryptos are the only accepted payment method. Many online casinos are now also offering this option along with more traditional payment methods.

Come As You Are To The Online Casino

If you stop casually at a street shop to buy something that doesn’t accept your debit card, you won’t spend long talking to the salesperson; you’ll simply move on to the next shop. Your approach to online casinos will likely be the same: if they don’t take your card, e-wallet, or crypto, you’ll just look for another place to play, and they know it.

So, the most competitive online casinos will offer the widest possible range of payment methods. Online payment methods like e-wallets and cryptos are a bankless alternative for those players who want to keep their private details private. Those options don’t require sharing any sensitive information and are increasingly popular among online gamblers.

The online casinos accepting the widest range of such payment options have the upper hand compared with those that don’t. Besides, an increasing number of online casinos are now HTML5-based. It means you don’t need to download an app or additional plugins to access them; you can play using any web browser, mobile, or otherwise.

What Will The Casino Operations Management Industry Be In The Future?

The iGaming industry is constantly under transformation. If the “pleasure to play” sung by Motorhead didn’t fade away, the demographics did change, both online and land-based casinos. According to recent studies, Millennials and Gen-Zers (born between 1981 and 2013) aren’t as interested in gambling as the older generations.

It means that classic online casino games of pure luck, like slots, are losing appeal among younger players. Slot machines are still widely popular, but about 70% of their players are above 55. Millennials and Gen-Zers hardly seem interested in such games.

Younger players don’t seem very excited about tossing a coin and hoping for the best, but they love skill-based games. The trend shift didn’t go unnoticed by the iGaming industry. New gambling options include racing, shooting, and card games. We can expect a CAGR of 12.97% from 2021 to 2025 in the casino management system market; it’s significant growth for such a short period.

How Big Is The Growth For The Online Gambling Market?

You might have noticed an optimistic tone if you’ve followed the latest online gambling news. Such optimism is, by all means, justifiable: more countries are passing favorable laws for this market. Besides, recent market data points to a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7% between 2024 and 2030. In 2022, the global market value of the online gambling industry crossed the $63 billion mark.

Online casinos are also much more reliable today, and online security is a top priority. Most online casinos have bank-level security for players’ personal information and assets. Improving security systems helped create an overall feeling of safety about online gaming, resulting in an increasing number of players in recent years.

How Big Is The US Online Gambling Market?

Online gambling was born in the United States, and it’s getting stronger every day. American laws can be confusing, and the legislation towards it can change from one state to another. Utah and Hawaii don’t allow gambling at all, be it online or land-based. Still, it’s a rapidly growing market, with an expected CAGR of 9.2% between 2023 and 2028, reaching a market size of $9.3 billion during this period.

Conclusion

New online gaming models, such as the so-called “freemium games,” are also expected to contribute to the market growth of online casinos. Freemium games are “free to play” (or F2P) games where money isn’t necessarily involved. However, players can improve their experience by buying in-game items. For instance, there are poker sites where you can buy chips with real money, but there’s no real money involved in the gameplay.

Mobile ownership and internet coverage numbers are also on the rise worldwide. More mobile phones with the Internet mean more people will have easy access to the online gambling market, resulting in even larger audience numbers. Those numbers also suggest that there’ll be an increasing demand for iGaming products. After all, “accessibility” seems to be the primary keyword when we talk about expanding the online casino market, followed by “security.”

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Chantelle

Chantelle started her career in IT before eventually finding her way into Marketing. This eventually became her passion, along with Digital Marketing, SEO, and Brand and Web Development. Today, she helps businesses find their voice and grow online.

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