Global Online Casino Industry Trends for 2017

It’s no secret that the Internet has massively changed the way we do many things, from shopping to driving, banking and everything in between. This shift has penetrated the way companies do business as well, forcing many industries to accept and adapt to these changes. One such industry that has seen significant growth thanks to the Internet is the gambling market. According to numerous surveys, reports and statistics, the igaming industry is one of the most lucrative sectors in the world. Online gaming has become a billion dollar industry, and if you think that is an exaggeration, let’s take a look at some numbers. According to industry experts, the US is poised to enjoy earnings of over $7.4 billion in 2017 from the online gaming industry . It should be known that the US gambling market accounts for only 30% of the global gaming market. That being said, with the advancements in modern technology comes a number of trends and concepts that online casinos have adapted to improve their user base and attract a new generation of players. Some of the most interesting and attractive features and market trends for 2017 and into 2018 include expanded markets and new technologies.
Virtual Reality
Whether virtual reality gaming is truly the way of the future remains to be seen, but what we do know is that it is gaining in popularity in recent times. Online casinos may have started out as a convenient way to enjoy some gambling without having to visit a land-based casino, but these days competition is stiff, with most gaming platforms wanting to stand out by offering the most realistic online gambling experience. Live casinos continue to be all the rage for players wanting a more traditional gaming experience while VR technologies seem to be attracting new-age players with an interest in all things digital. Launched in 2016, many casinos have been implementing pages on their site complement the VR experience. Players must wear a pair of VR goggles while playing for a significantly improved viewing experience and immersive, 360-degree gaming. The jury is still out whether virtual reality online casinos are the industry’s next big thing and whether it will catch on, but with the industry moving ahead as it has, players will soon be looking for something completely different and virtual reality gaming may just be the answer.
Better Banking
As everything moves online, there is an increased need for more secure, safe and reliable banking. Everyone is aware of the lurking dangers of unsecured banking, and since all withdrawals and deposits are done over the Internet at online casinos, these platforms have had to improve their deposit and withdrawal services. In addition, there has been an increase in alternative payment services that are both private and secure, most notably Bitcoin, the cryptocurrency that has taken the digital world by storm. Many online casinos have been embracing Bitcoin as the financial alternative of the future, while others are slowly joining the party. We expect the Bitcoin revolution to grow in the coming years and for the majority of top casino brands to capitalise on this innovative alternative to traditional online banking.
Women Gamblers Increasing
In 2015, 40% of all US gamblers were women, of which, the majority prefer to gamble in private. The emerging online gaming market offers women a venue to play for real money online in their own homes or on their mobile devices to achieve this aim. Various online casinos have attempted to garner this market share by either designing their websites to be more appealing to women or, as in the case of casino brands like 888Ladies, building entire platforms for them.  The game developers are also increasingly designing the games, in particular slot games, to be catered towards women gamblers.
 
Marketing and Penetration
Online casinos have placed a lot of focus on marketing and expanding their presence.  This trend has been accelerating for some time and as the market grows, both organically and through new jurisdictions, this will continue. More countries are beginning to regulate the online casino industry meaning that markets like the US are slowly opening up and there are indications that expansion may accelerate in the near future.  The US has lagged behind other western countries, like Canada and the UK, in their approach to gambling online. Online casinos use affiliates and information websites to expand their client base as well as using traditional and online marketing strategies.  According to PWC, the anticipated gaming industry growth is expected to be maintained at between a 5.5-10.2% annual rate for the next five years.  

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