Dmytro Ternovyi
Online marketing enthusiast and technology writer
Business

Take a Look at this Year’s Major Trends in the World of Online Gambling

Online gambling has grown into a multi-billion dollar industry, and it looks to continue on its path towards a 66bn USD valuation by 2020.

An increase in smartphone devices, along with legalization and regulation, has seen the demand for online gambling products grow exponentially over the past few years.

And with that in mind, we predict 2017 will witness a few key trends to further its growth, marketability, and popularity.

Here, we take a look at six of those key online gambling industry trends.

1. Bitcoin to become gambling currency of choice

At present, there are a few options when it comes to the currency you can gamble with online – the most popular being the US dollar, the Euro, and the British Pound Sterling.

You can deposit and withdraw money in your preferred currency, however this does not make the most sense from a business perspective for the operators.

They must contend with conversions – which can attract fees – while the risk of devaluation can also mean uncertainty when it comes to forecasting and growth planning.

For those reasons alone, experts are suggesting that digital currencies such as Bitcoin are the better option for online gambling transactions. This is due to the fact that they’re wholly independent from central banks, and therefore immune from certain dips in the currency market.

And they also offer more protection when it comes to identity theft thanks to their anonymous networks.

2. More work towards fairer worldwide regulations

As it stands, the growth of the global gambling industry is being held back somewhat due to inconsistent legislation and regulation.

This means major operators must carefully select their target markets based on the rules and procedures for doing business, as opposed to focusing on the potential for revenue and brand awareness.

Currently, laws across most European countries allow for regulated online gambling. However, it’s a different story when it comes to the US; many states have made online games of chance illegal.

What’s more, high levels of taxation have put off many operators from entering certain jurisdictions, limiting business opportunities, prospective gamers, and revenue streams.

We expect industry leaders to continue to lobby for a fairer and more consistent approach to regulations that are presently stifling growth.

3. Mobile & Freemium established as key business models

2017 will also see the popularity of mobile and freemium gaming models grow further.

The number of global smartphone users is expected to climb well beyond 2.5 billion by 2020, offering online gambling operators the opportunity to tap into an ever-expanding market.

And we expect these savvy operators will continue to attempt to coax new players onto their platforms by utilizing the popular freemium model used by other online gaming sectors and software platforms. Effectively customers will be given the chance to ‘try before they buy’ with free bets and signup bonuses.

4. eSports to bypass the 1bn USD mark

According to a number of industry experts, this year will see eSports (competitive video gaming) break the 1bn USD mark.

With such a valuable product and marketplace, it will only be a matter of time before online gambling services look to cash in on this lucrative new sport, adding yet another revenue stream to the mix, and gaining access to a brand new audience of gamblers in the process.

What’s more, there will be sponsorship, advertising, and exclusivity rights up for grabs, meaning the savviest of operators can quickly corner the market in eSports gambling.

5. Online & Offline operators and platforms will merge

In the early days of online gambling, the internet was look upon with suspicion by traditional gambling operators.

But those days are long, long gone.

Brick-and-mortar casinos and gambling businesses are trending towards both an online and offline presence, and this year will see many more incorporating online gambling activities under their established brands.

6. Mainstream VR and AR gambling will edge closer

Finally, we expect to see Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality to edge closer to the mainstream in general, with VR and AR gambling in particular growing in popularity.

It already bodes well for the future of the industry that a number of developers are working on a range of VR gambling platforms, including virtual casinos, slots, blackjack, and poker.

We expect online gambling operators will look to augment their existing sites and apps with VR and AR products, allowing their customers to gamble in a virtual environment. And we are also looking forward to new and innovative gambling businesses entering the market by specializing exclusively in VR and AR gambling apps and platforms.

Immersion and interaction will be taken to the next level thanks to VR casino games in particular, capturing the buzz and excitement of real-world casinos in a virtual world. Players will have the opportunity to explore, chat, and gamble, and all without leaving the comfort of their own home.

What’s more, the advent of VR gambling technologies will further improve the already popular virtual sports betting market. Many gambling sites already offer their customers the opportunity to place wagers on virtual sports such as soccer, horse racing, and motor racing.

VR will enhance this experience by creating immersive stadia in which customers can sit and cheer on their favourite virtual teams to victory, all while betting in real-time.

How Can BetOnVR Help?

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