The online gambling industry has grown significantly in the last decade, and the future of iGaming in 2023 and beyond looks bright. Many new areas are legalizing online gambling where it was previously prohibited, making it a rapidly growing industry.
Add this to technological advancements, and you’ll understand why the online gambling industry is forecasted to grow by over US$120 billion in the coming years.
iGaming operators are expected to follow specific trends and develop their software to suit the technologies available. Technology is the force that moves the iGaming industry forward. Some of this may include VR, which will create a new gambling experience. Other trends may consist of new markets and expansion in others.
Here are some top trends to look forward to in the future of iGaming as players place their bets and play their favorite casino games.
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What is the iGaming Industry?
Before discussing trends, you need to understand the iGaming industry. ‘iGaming’ refers to games where you place bets on the internet. This is an umbrella term for all online gambling activities, including online slots, sports betting, card games and lottery-type games.
The iGaming industry is the entirety of the business surrounding online betting games. This includes online casinos and developers responsible for creating the games for these casinos.
Top Trends in iGaming
As technology improves, the future of iGaming has a few key trends that it will likely follow. Undoubtedly, the iGaming industry is set to grow in the coming years, but what exciting trends can you expect? Let’s look at a few of the predicted trends in the future of iGaming.
Casinos Will Continue to Move Online
There’s already been a significant tendency for casinos to go online, and many areas have recently regulated online casinos.
This trend will likely continue in the future of iGaming, with more online casinos starting, further burdening brick-and-mortar casinos. Many more prominent land-based casino brands have already started moving their games online. Those that have yet to start online operations will undoubtedly soon follow suit.
Along with these trends, mobile gambling has also become very popular, with casinos that offer mobile-friendly platforms seeing a significant increase in players. Most people have access to smartphones, and there’s increasing sophistication in casino game gameplay on these devices. It allows different audiences to access games. They only need their smartphone and an internet connection to enjoy everything the iGaming industry offers.
Cryptocurrencies Will Integrate More
Cryptocurrency has been gaming in popularity for the past few years. The iGaming industry has not been immune to this.
Cryptocurrency and the future of iGaming go hand-in-hand. Many casinos have started accepting cryptocurrencies, and the iGaming industry should become more integrated with cryptocurrencies in the coming years.
Players can use cryptocurrency as their primary payment method when playing at crypto casinos, which means deposits, withdrawals, and purchases are made using this currency. This is advantageous for players for many reasons, including the speed of transactions. Many also consider crypto gambling a safer alternative to gambling with fiat currency.
Cryptocurrency has allowed for the development of new games which are only accessible at crypto casinos. More developers will likely create new games that focus on cryptocurrency, such as ‘crash’ titles like Spribe’s Aviator and Pragmatic Play’s Spaceman.
Licensing and regulation of these casinos will need to catch up, as there are currently no laws regulating cryptocurrency. Blockchain technology offers many benefits to the iGaming industry, including added security, and legislative bodies should soon start working on regulations to include cryptocurrencies for mainstream iGaming companies.
The Popularity of Live Dealer Games Will Remain
Live dealer games combine the convenience of playing at an online casino with the excitement of a live casino dealer. These games give players an interactive experience, communicating with the dealer and other players.
The increasing popularity of live dealer casino games can be seen throughout the iGaming industry, and many developers are starting to create exciting games for live online casinos.
It’s safe to say that the popularity of live dealer games will remain the same, if not grow exponentially, in the future of iGaming. Many players in different areas are excitedly looking forward to mobile-first live dealer experiences.
AI Will Strengthen the iGaming Industry
AI is a controversial topic as it continues to astound people with its capabilities. Almost every industry will benefit from the significant impact the refinement of this technology offers, with the iGaming sector being no exception.
Combining AI and machine learning promises many benefits for the future of the iGaming industry. It will help with better customer service through automated chatbots and create a highly personalized gaming experience.
Artificial intelligence will also help to secure the iGaming industry. It can add extra security through automated firewalls to keep player information safe. It can also help to flag high-risk behavior and fraudulent transactions.
Virtual Reality (VR) Should Take Off
Virtual reality’s immersive gaming experiences will create new opportunities for the iGaming market. Some casinos already offer players the option of becoming part of a virtual environment in their games.
The gaming industry is still experimenting with VR games and virtual worlds. Soon, we should see real-money games with augmented reality.
On the other hand, many players don’t see value in virtual reality gaming in the future of iGaming, stating that the high prices involved with setting it up are unnecessary. Meta’s unfortunate drop in shares in late 2022, for example, also didn’t help people get more on board with this trend in iGaming.
Stream Betting Will Move from Twitch
Did Twitch ban gambling? Technically, no. The platform banned streaming gambling sites that don’t hold the necessary licensing from regulatory bodies, which is the standard for the iGaming industry. Unlicensed sites are unsafe, and the lack of regulation allows for illegal and unfair practices. This ban was brought on by several controversies, including streamers admitting to scamming users.
Regardless of why the ban on unlicensed sites occurred, stream betting will move from the Twitch platform and find a new home as part of the future of iGaming streaming. There are numerous other platforms that streamers are considering, with Kick being the leader in the race. Time will tell if this platform will sustain the expected demand for stream gambling.
The Cementing of Emerging Markets
A trend in the past few years has been the emergence of new markets in the iGaming industry. While this trend should continue, as many areas are changing laws surrounding online gambling, emerging markets will also be cemented. In the future of iGaming, more players from new regions will join the industry.
In fact, the iGaming industry should double its revenue in the next seven years. The world of iGaming is constantly evolving with new technology and legislation put in place. These aspects play a massive role in the expected growth and iGaming trends.
In Europe, many new regions are also accepting legislation to legalize online gambling. Some of these include Bulgaria, Greece, and the Netherlands. Similarly, South American countries are also changing their perspective, with Brazil alone set to add at least $10 billion to the iGaming industry by 2025, with rapid growth expected in these areas.
Combining emerging areas with new technological advancements means endless possibilities for the iGaming industry. We’ll see growth in the iGaming sector as a definitive trend. Many new markets accept online gambling in their areas, adding billions to the revenue annually.
Live dealer games have been popular for the past few years, and players will continue to play these games which allow for an interactive experience. We should also see more iGaming companies developing games for live dealers in the future of iGaming.
New technology and the emergence of AI allow for personalized gaming experiences and better customer service. Artificial intelligence also adds to online gaming security, flagging fraudulent and high-risk activities. Cryptocurrency offers many of the same benefits, along with faster transactions and the development of new games. This is attractive to players around the world.
The future of virtual reality is still up for discussion. New technology allows VR to create exciting and immersive experiences, not just better graphics. However, many players feel the upfront costs don’t justify the gaming experience.
Regardless of which iGaming trends show themselves in the future of iGaming, we know there’s no end in sight for the growth of online gambling. People love betting on their favorite sports teams and playing casino games online. New technology forces every iGaming business to improve their games to keep up with the changing landscape. This means online games are of higher quality and offer new and distinctive features.
There is no doubt the future of iGaming in 2023 and beyond is bright.