The online casino business is a booming business. It has been growing ever since the first online casinos appeared on the international online gambling market in the late 90s. While the trends are changing, the growth seems to be continuous, and the value of global gambling is estimated to reach 92.9 billion U.S. dollars by 2023. There are multiple factors behind this growth and in this article, we are going to take a look at these factors.
We had the opportunity to discuss these driving forces with Dutch iGaming expert Jered Beugelink so read on to find out what to expect for the rest of the year 2022.
Localized casino content and game products
The online casino industry used to be available mainly in English and a couple of other major languages. If a punter from a small language country wanted to play casino games he/she could come across English and perhaps German or Spanish language content. Now, the situation is completely different. The beste online casino Nederland offers its content in Dutch as well as the languages of the countries they are operating in. Players can jump on a chat and expect a Dutch/Finnish/Hungarian-speaking customer support agent to be available.
Game instructions and menus are also translated to all operating languages so that players would feel more at home, and they can be sure that they don’t misunderstand something.
Live dealer games were a big hit in 2020 and 2021 and their popularity continues this year. We can see a big change in the availability of live dealer games in different languages too. Some casinos now offer live games in Dutch whereas before, only major languages – like English, Spanish, Hindi, Italian and German – were available.
VR gambling products started to be a thing just a couple of years ago and while certain demographics welcomed the idea of this most immersed version of online gambling, it didn’t yet take off. VR equipment is expensive and simply, not everybody is interested in virtual reality. People who enjoy traditional gambling products don’t necessarily see any added value in VR gaming.
However, when Meta announced the creation of Metaverse, experts started talking about the opportunities of VR gaming again. Its biggest potential is in online poker. Through the VR version of the game, players could observe each other’s body language, could communicate better and it would eliminate the countless clicking and tapping players have to do on desktop and mobile devices. While it is unlikely that Metaverse gaming is going to become a significant player in the online casino business in 2022, we expect to see more and more of it in the coming years.
Sports betting opportunities
Sports betting was kind of on hold in the past two years due to the coronavirus lockdowns and sports events being canceled. The best online casinos did try to replace betting on sports events with virtual sports and esports, but they couldn’t really compete as many players still question the integrity of computer-generated events.
Now sports betting is back on track with FIFA World Cup taking place this year, as well as all the Formula 1 and MotoGP races (just to mention the events that are the most-watched in the Netherlands and Europe). Micro-betting is on the rise, where players can bet in-play on the next red card, next goal, fastest lap, etc.
The greatest technological advance this year in terms of sports betting is the potential of smartwatches. Betting operators such as Unibet, Ladbrokes, and Playtech have created betting apps for Apple watches. Betting is even easier and more convenient this way and it is not only sports betting sites but also casinos offering totally new slots on this platform. Game producers also started to create titles for smartwatch users. There are design problems to overcome though as smartwatches come in different shapes – it is difficult to create games that fit all smartwatches. Yet, the possibility is clearly there, and we expect to see more smartwatch gaming in the future.
There are many driving forces that contribute to the growth of the online casino business this year. New sports betting products, localized iGaming platforms, content, and Metaverse gaming are some of these forces.