The iGaming world is always in rapid flux and new topographical features emerge from its shifting landscapes almost constantly.
All the very latest trends and developments in the sector will be discussed at SiGMA 2014 by our top-notch speakers. In this article, we review some of the more long-standing developments in the iGaming that are likely to push the centre of gravity of the whole industry in a completely new direction and feature heavily at the upcoming Summit of iGaming in Malta.
Undoubtedly, one of the major trends in iGaming is the rapid uptake of mobile gaming among casual and dedicated players.
In fact, mobile gaming is set to explode at double-digit rates and capture 40% of the online gambling market by the year 2018, when the number of mobile gambling users is estimated to increase by a hundred million.
Despite these projections, laptop and desktop computers are still the most common devices used for online, gambling, but, as already stated, the rise of mobile devices, such as smartphones and tablets, is imminent and inevitable.
A development that is exploding in parallel with that of mobile gaming is social gambling, which, despite not being a new player in the iGaming arena, is still resisting efforts by operators to successfully monetize it.
Players in the millennial demographic are the most powerful drivers of activity in social networking and, consequently, social gambling. Engaging these groups is especially important for operators, particularly because of their high levels of mobile usage as well.²
The growing acceptance of digital and cryptocurrency online is another trend with significant ramifications in the development of both mobile and social gambling.¹
These are exciting times to be in the iGaming business. Pioneers in the industry are increasingly searching for the next hotspots of remote gaming where they expand their influence and increase their market share.
The Asia-Pacific region is showing signs to be the next online gambling and betting honeypot. In Australia the sector has grown by over 30% annually. Having surpassed EMEA in 2008, Asia-Pacific is the US’s rivalry as the biggest online gaming market and is likely to overtake it at some point in the future.
Taxation and Regulatory Frameworks
Europe has so far took a leading role in regularizing online gambling, but as more countries start regularizing and licensing remote gaming operators, individual nations have to combat the insidious loss of tax revenue to offshore operators by enacting ‘walled garden’ regulations.
This strategy, however, is not expected to be sustainable as it effectively stifles industry growth and more innovative methods will have to be adopted in order to relieve the pressure to interconnect and share liquidity with other countries that legalize internet gambling.
Online gambling as an entertainment and leisure option for the vast majority of people is a highly discretionary form of spending, therefore it is exquisitely sensitive to fluctuations in economic confidence and conditions.
Thankfully, the industry can be certified as rebounding fast from the slow-down it experienced between 2009 and 2011, at the heights of the economic recession in the US and Europe. Although, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers (2014), its growth isn’t dramatic enough to be classified as a revolution, there is indeed an evolutionary process in full-swing which promises to reshape the iGaming industry significantly over the next five years.
Do you want to stay ahead of all the key development and trends in the world of iGaming? The Summit of iGaming in Malta (SiGMA) 2014, which takes place between the 30th of October and 2nd of November, is the your ticket to the latest knowledge that will shape the industry in the months and years to come. Register now.
- 1. yStats.com (2014). Global online gambling and betting market 2014. [Link]
- 2. PricewaterhouseCoopers (2014). Playing to win: The outlook for the global casino and online gaming market to 2014. [Link]