COVID19 has affected the iGaming industry like all other industries. But unlike most industries, this was not a negative effect: During the quarantine period, the online gambling market grew beyond expectations, reaching a size of around $ 70 billion. Analysts expect this figure to be around $ 93 billion in 2023. The more we stay at home, the more we play and spend more time on bally free slots online, so this growth is not surprising.
The COVID19 period has also identified some key points for both the online and land-based gambling industries: These show what players and companies alike can expect from the future of this industry. Below, we list the most important of these points for you.
Online Gambling Will Be the New King
In fact, we always knew this fact, but we understood it clearly at the time of the epidemic. If you visit Las Vegas these days, you can stroll through the streets almost without encountering anyone. 130,000 of 150,000 hotel rooms are empty and casino capacities are limited to 50% within the scope of epidemic measures. However, even without this limit, it is not possible to say that the casinos will be full: People no longer go to casinos due to both economic difficulties and epidemic. Las Vegas’ crowd was largely driven by tourists, and now tourists prefer to keep up with social distancing rather than leaving their homes. But that doesn’t mean they don’t play: They just prefer online casinos to play. Free slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, sports betting, etc. All these activities have a record number of players, but everyone plays without leaving their home.
The epidemic showed that the future of the gambling industry is in online casinos, making us realize that land-based gambling will be less and less preferred. A certain number of tourists will always be available, and certain areas will always be of interest, but land-based gambling has long since passed its golden years. We think that the biggest players in the industry will focus their activities on online gambling in the near future: This could lead to unexpected developments in terms of legalized gambling.
For example, it is now a very serious possibility that gambling will become legal at the federal level in the United States. The legalization of gambling in Nevada was due to financial difficulties in the state, and the federal government had to agree to legalize gambling only within Nevada so that it would not turn into a ghost town. The same can happen in 2021: The decline in land-based gambling will force companies who can afford to lobby to work to legalize online gambling. Online casinos have much lower running costs and can reach a much larger audience. Therefore, there are many features that will allow large companies to maximize their investment. We witnessed the kingdom of online gambling in 2020, and we expect it to become legal in many countries, including the USA, by 2021.
You Don’t Need to Be in a Casino to Visit a Casino
Live casino technology is not new, but we realized how important it is for the iGaming industry during the epidemic period. This technology allows you to participate in live streaming from a real casino from anywhere in the world. The dealer is real, and table mates you see on the screen are players like you: You play all card and table games in real time. In other words, you can get the authentic casino experience from the comfort of your home. During the epidemic period, the popularity of live casino games has grown significantly and has made online gambling companies realize an important fact: Games that also offer a social experience will always be more popular. We expect this situation to have many consequences. First of all, we will see more live casino providers in the market. There are currently two big companies, Evolution and Ezugi, but this number will increase in a short time. In other words, the casino buildings will continue to exist, but there will only be dealers in them: Players will be connected from their homes.
In addition, we expect a change in game types developed. Classic casino games (slot machines, video poker, etc.) always offer the same experience no matter how advanced graphics and features they have. In other words, we’ve actually been playing the same games for almost 20 years. Live casino games are also much more innovative as they offer a social experience: Players prefer to do it against a real person, not against the computer, for example, if they are going to play blackjack. So, in the near future, we can see that even well-established companies that were not interested in this technology until now will start developing live casino games.