The global iGaming and land-based gaming industry continues to grow. Based on revenues alone, it’s expected to yield $263.3 billion this year, posting a 5.6% year-on-year rise. The value of the market is projected to be worth upwards of $153 billion by the turn of the next decade.
This is largely due to the continued dynamism and innovation from iGaming technology developers and providers, who consistently seek to push the creative boundaries. As we move into the second half of the year, now is the ideal opportunity to discuss some of the commercial trends turbocharging growth in iGaming across all its guises.
Payment processing and payment choice is one of the most pertinent areas behind the sustained growth of the iGaming market. There has always been a need for robust payment providers, even more so in iGaming markets which are just starting out and require stringent regulatory frameworks.
With more iGaming markets becoming increasingly localized in their approach to regulation, it opens the door to local third-party payment providers which offer digital wallets designed to add a layer of protection between player funds and their bank accounts. Today’s consumers appreciate the value of frictionless experiences, in all types of industries. The integration of services like Google Pay and Apple Pay with iGaming operators goes a long way to improving the ease of use for players.
One of the biggest drivers of iGaming revenues this year is game variation. In fact, this is likely to be a key driver for several years to come, as more players seek to switch up their casino gameplay. Even the longest-standing casino table games like blackjack have experienced new and intriguing variations, captivating and maintaining the interest of multiple target demographics. For instance, there are sites offering blackjack online with tables labelled as “high-roller” games, reaching out to those with the deepest pockets who enjoy betting big while staying in control.
It’s a similar case with roulette, which arguably rivals blackjack as the most played casino table game. The emergence of live casino technology has enabled casino operators to integrate new real-time game dynamics, like the ability to randomize and increase the potential multipliers for landing on an individual number.
A growing number of iGaming software providers are starting to dabble with the use of augmented reality (AR) to deliver new layers of immersion to live casino games. A prime example of this is the MONOPOLY Live gameshow. One of the most iconic figures from this world-renowned board game is Mr. MONOPOLY himself and he appears in the live casino studio of MONOPOLY Live.
Mr. MONOPOLY sits there waiting for you to trigger the bonus round, at which point he jumps up from his virtual seat to take you on a journey to the virtual bonus board. There is a benefit to AR over virtual reality (VR) as this moderate version of Extended Reality doesn’t require the creation of a completely new, simulated game environment. There also happens to be a growing number of AR-focused startups to call upon. AR helps to enhance the real-world game studio. This fusion of real and virtual worlds is still likely to be the most cost-effective way for iGaming operators to entertain players too.
One of the biggest ways in which iGaming operators look to drive player engagement over the short-to-medium term is through the gamification of their casino titles. A growing number of online casinos are leaning more heavily on their jackpot games to reconnect and motivate users to return and play.
Another facet, specific to slots, which is fast becoming a popular addition to the game libraries of online casinos is slot tournaments. Players are given an allotted time to try and win as many spins as possible and move their way up a real-time tournament leaderboard. The higher they move up the leaderboard, the bigger the prizes become.
The iGaming industry is notoriously competitive, with new entrants arriving on the scene with every month that passes. Established operators need to consistently adopt these latest trends to stay ahead of the curve and motivate casual players to become regulars and regulars to become loyal brand advocates.