- July 21, 2021
- Posted by: Admin
- Category: Funding trends, Technology
The online gaming market is fast-moving, full of innovation and evolution, and one of which may be hard for investors to keep track of.
Across the United States, laws and regulations are changing to allow providers to set up and operate, with online poker and sports wagers two areas seeing lots of change. Thanks to the recent pandemic, revenue is on the rise, with the industry worth $1.9bn in 2020. That is only going to increase as regulations change, and it could do so by as much as 17.32% by 2026.
“The current rate of expansion for regulated sports betting in the United States supports the idea that there is both an audience and a financial incentive for states when adopting the practice,” said Scott Manford, CEO of a major online provider. “Sportsbooks operate at much lower margins, and legislators are quickly catching onto the fact that taxable revenue from virtual casinos could dwarf that of the sports wagering markets.”
Whilst revenue is on the rise, it might not be as simple as getting on board with a single provider. Even boom industries have their losers, and for investors, it is important to keep an eye on future trends and get on board before they become mainstream. What are the major trends to be keeping an eye on over the coming months and years?
Here are a couple of growth areas that could well see big returns for investors
Cryptocurrency is certainly a divisive subject, with 2021 seeing a turbulent spell for the headline currency, bitcoin. However, blockchain has many benefits that suit the online casino world, including anonymity but full accountability and the absence of a middle man, such as a bank, taking a cut. Crypto casinos have sprung up, which take payment only in online currency, facilitating parts of the world where cash gaming is not allowed. While the wider future of cryptocurrency is always a topic for discussion amongst observers, it appears to have a much clearer pathway within the online casino market.
Online poker as a genre has already experienced boom and bust once, thanks to the poker boom at the turn of the century and the Black Friday crash a decade later. Texas Hold’em is perhaps the best known poker variant, and it has remained popular despite the industry crash more than 10 years ago. Poker, therefore, has a dedicated player base and firm footing within the online casino industry, and changing circumstances are fueling a big push in the future. In 2021, legislation is changing, and the respected nature of tournaments such as the World Series of Poker means it will always be seen as being a ‘proper’ sport or pastime. Player numbers are on the increase as laws and regulations relax, and with interest remaining strong after the pandemic, online poker will go from strength to strength.
Quite where virtual reality fits into the online casino industry is unclear right now, but there’s little doubt the technology does have an application of some sort. The concept of being able to step into a physical casino without leaving your home is one worth exploring, and it may even pave the way for physical locations to get in on the online market, creating their exact layout virtually for players at home. If this does pave the way for big operators of physical casinos to enter the market, investors should pay very close attention.
There are always innovations within the online casino industry, some of which work and some which do not. For instance, online gamers will be familiar with the term ‘Slingo’, a game that is a cross between a slot machine and bingo. That’s widespread and popular now, and the next trend could be I-Slots. I-Slots, like Slingo, have been engineered for online casinos and bring together the typical slot experience with an online adventure of sorts. I-Slot stands for an interactive slot and may deliver a story-driven narrative or dress up the gameplay as more than a simple slot machine.
Investors would do well to keep an eye on the developers of I-Slots because if they take off in a big way, those developers will scale up quickly.