Online gambling has been one of the largest emerging markets since the advent of the Internet. Thanks to innovation, they are developing at an extraordinary rate. This segment is currently undergoing significant changes as software developers using the latest technology open up more and more opportunities for players.
2020 has shown us that the future is impossible to predict. As with other industries, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the gaming industry, its productivity, competitive landscape and future prospects. However, the online gambling industry continues to thrive despite the pandemic, and some specific industry trends are expected to become more visible in 2021.
The games range expansion
Nowadays, the gambling industry continues to develop and delight online casino fans with new entertainments. As before, the most popular are classic online gambling, but users have become noticeably more open to new experiments:
- Live games. One of the main disadvantages of online platforms is that they do not convey the real atmosphere, and that is why many users visit gambling establishments. However, now the online games developers, realizing the seriousness of this shortcoming, are creating live dealers games – these are “live” versions of games that are usually played in land-based casinos. Every year the number of developers offering live casinos is increasing, which means that the competition among them also increases. This, in turn, has a positive effect on the variety and quality of products.
- Virtual and Augmented Reality. Some of operators are already actively using virtual reality. Despite the fact that this technology is still relatively new, VR games simulate the real experience of interacting with a casino quite successfully. The live dealer is replaced by an avatar, while the table and casino environment are generated by the software. However, not all players at home have a special helmet or goggles, which greatly reduces the potential audience. If developers can find a way to create games that do not require a headset or special devices, it will stimulate the development of both gambling and live environment simulation skills.
- Virtual sports. This is another genre of gambling that is considered to be the fastest growing in terms of the new users’ number in 2021. Virtual sports are similar to bookmaker bets, but the player makes bets not on real matches, but on virtual ones. This significantly speeds up the expectations of the result and makes the process more dynamic.
The growth dynamics of the popularity of online gambling is clearly demonstrated by Shangri La of Michael Boettcher. At the time of launch in 2016, the site offered slots, live dealer games and classic sports betting. Nowadays the games collection has 2,000+ titles. The operator has formed a catalog from several dozen providers, which include not only giants of the gambling market, but also lesser-known developers. Here there are scratch cards, slots with skill elements, new games with odds bets.
The sportsbook has also changed. A full-fledged betting platform has been implemented on the site. Users place bets on any sports – from football, basketball and hockey to less popular games such as golf, cricket and darts. For users who prefer to bet in live mode, the corresponding section is available. It contains the events taking place at the moment. Now you can find virtual sports and e-sports here.
In addition, the site has an impressive collection of livecasino games presented by several dozen developers. All of them provide more shooting angles, additional options and a faster process than their predecessors.
Over the past 10 years, the gambling business has changed a lot. So, a considerable share of it was first taken by computers, and then by mobile phones: with the advent of smartphones, even more mobile versions of gambling appeared.
Nowadays, smartphones are indispensable in the life of a modern person, and more and more people are using mobile phones as a tool for entertainment. Thanks to mobile phone development , many players now prefer them to computers. But until recently, there was little reason for gambling providers to focus on such players, since smartphone technology was not as advanced as it is today.
Research has shown that by the end of 2021, the expected amount to be spent on gambling mobile applications will be around $ 106 million. With this, mobile gambling apps will also improve. Many experts argue that in the coming years, online gambling sites will increasingly focus on attracting players to their mobile apps.
So, Shangri La, said Darren Keane, the company CEO, has launched its own mobile application in 2021. The application retains all the same convenience of access to a wide games variety, full functionality and excellent graphics quality.
New options for depositing and withdrawing funds
Not so long ago, players had to rely mainly on credit and debit cards. But now all leading operators offer a wide range of deposit and withdrawal options on their websites, including e-money wallets and cryptocurrencies.
There is a clear trend that more online casinos will start accepting cryptocurrencies in the coming years. Even traditional online casino platforms have started to support encrypted payment options in addition to common deposits and withdrawals methods.
The reason for the increasing use of cryptocurrencies in gambling is due to the benefits that these digital currencies provide. The cryptocurrency is decentralized and all online transactions do not require any external platform, which is more convenient and faster than other payment methods (for example, transactions with local banks). Plus, every cryptocurrency transaction is encrypted, so you can rest assured that your transactions are safe and nearly impossible to hack or destroy.
In general, although most players currently do not fully understand how gambling sites work with cryptocurrency and are generally skeptical of the popular cryptocurrency Bitcoin, given the current global trends, it is expected that crypto casinos are likely to conquer the online gambling space.