Over the past few years, online casino platforms have gone from being a relatively small niche back when mobile gaming first emerged following 2008 into one of the most played niches available, welcoming a huge demographic of both younger and older players alike and spanning across the world too.
Many of the biggest options and biggest operators can be found here with premium services, but with an estimated hundreds of millions of active online users to gambling and betting services, what has spurred the growth in such a short amount of time, and is this same growth sustainable?
Changing legislation making services more accessible – Whilst this has been a major change aimed particularly at the US market since 2018, it has also been something seen across Europe and the rest of the world too. For the US market this has simply been allowing a large number of operators to set-up shop in various states, and also attract interest from international operators including those predominately in Europe too and has been responsible for the biggest launch of online services yet – but the growth isn’t limited there.
For European operators the change has come simply through adjustments in existing regulation as online gambling has been legal for quite some time, the UK is a particular case to note here as the UKGC continues to make changes to services including payment method adjustments and pushing updates for specific gaming types to make them more user friendly. Both are factors that have contributed in a very large way to the increased player numbers, and the growth seen at online casinos as a whole.
Accessibility has improved dramatically too – Whilst legislation is only one part of the equation, having the facilities to actually get players on board is another thing entirely and this is where a wide number of operators have been more successful too – whilst most online casinos are still very much rooted in a direct website approach as apps have yet to be come normal, mobile compatibility and cross-platform use has allowed the growing audience to play these games without really worrying about what hardware their running, and not see any change to performance either.
Apps may be on the horizon in the future with recent app marketplace changes that may mean profits aren’t directly impacted, and apps may be the direct future for online casinos as a replacement to websites.
Changing views for online gambling – Availability for services will only take them a certain way and the way the public and players view gambling as a whole has also seen an impact on the growth too – in recent years player sentiment has only improved and suggested that there is growing support for the operators that have emerged and the suggestion that end users are becoming more comfortable with gambling online – a survey conducted in the UK has shown this more than some others with a public sentiment change after a previous survey suggested most individuals would support a complete ban on gambling, something that has since adjusted with a new survey closing this gap.
Whilst there is still a grey area here particularly with services and how they restrict users as a form of protection such as Gamstop, but as a whole public support is growing in favor of the casinos and the operators.
Competition and variety have been just as impactful – In order to thrive and grow, any service needs a healthy amount of competition to improve on not only what it’s doing poorly, but also what it’s doing well – land based casinos may often have the advantage of being so widely spread in many different locations that potential players often don’t intersect but the online space is very different here and the competition has helped many of the bigger operators improve over time.
With a large amount of variety in gaming developers too, many of these services will often house thousands of different playable titles from the big favorites to some more independent and individual options that may only appear on particular operators’ radars. The variety and competition has only helped lead to a bigger and better online gambling market and will continue to be one of the driving forces behind its success too.
With a host of changes only coming somewhat recently in the grand scheme of things particularly where legislation is noted, so there is still a lot of time before things settle down and the full scope of change can be realized, with most states for example having already legalized and changes in Europe remaining consistent there may be a bit of a slow down in change, but change will still come all the same.
Similarly with commission based adjustments, operators are still evolving to meet the new demands and the new changes that are expected of them particularly when it comes to delivering games in a more fair manner and delivering changes to options such as payment methods, and these changes will continue to emerge over time as the audience and expectations grow and adjust with the new market evolving – especially given the primary gaming audience has moved away from a younger teen male audience and more towards an older audience that are predominantly women and will change all aspects of how these services are delivered from aesthetics through to the way these same games are advertised.
It’s an exciting time to be involved in the online gambling market regardless whether as a player or an operator, opportunities are growing extremely quickly and the online space is perfect for new players to become involved and the mobile market is a great fit for the more casual play style these games offer too – with an estimated three billion global active gamers, there is still a huge pool and opportunity to grow from, and if the stats are to be believed then this growth shows no downwards trend, and only continued growth if the current figures move in the same way they have been for a number of years.