Online casinos have grown rapidly in the last decade. According to research firm Statista, the iGaming sector makes more money than Hollywood ($8Bn) and the music industry ($31.2Bn) combined.
The industry generated over $90 billion in 2023, a 30% growth rate in the past five years. Increased legalization in North America, Europe, South America, and Asia are some of the reasons for the sector’s rapid growth.
While government support is great, here are some other factors fueling the growth of online casinos.
Increased Global Internet Penetration
As access to fast Internet and mobile payments increases, so does the growth of online casinos. People need reliable Internet connections to browse the Internet and play online slots smoothly.
Around the world, governments and private investors have been making tremendous efforts to spread Internet access to remote areas. In India, Internet penetration has more than doubled in the past five years.
In China, 73% of the population has access to the Internet, a 40% growth rate compared to statistics in 2010. South Africa, another emerging gambling market, has an Internet penetration rate of 70%.
Now, Internet access isn't the only reason people are playing online casino games. More forces are propelling the iGaming sector. Continue reading to learn all about them.
In many new gambling markets, mobile is the device of choice for the majority of online casino players. Smartphones make it easy for millions of people to play casino games. They're cheap, portable, and powerful enough to handle the most sophisticated online casino games.
Mobile casino gaming began long before the onset of the first iPhone in 2007. However, people didn’t own mobile devices powerful enough to run slots in the early 2000s.
The mobile casino sector skyrocketed in the 2010s. It grew at such a fast rate that by 2016, more people were gambling through smartphones than through desktop and laptop computers.
Smartphone's popularity led to inventions that have made the devices powerful enough to handle complex photo editing, video games, AI, and social media apps. You can also play your favorite casino games on a low-budget smartphone device.
Crypto and Blockchain Support
Lately, many online casinos are accepting Bitcoin and Ethereum payments. This is interesting because Bitcoin has been around since 2009. Yet, most gambling sites have always sidelined it.
What changed? After experiencing a price correction for two years, Bitcoin is surging again. Traditionally, crypto's demand increases with price growth. now that it’s gaining its value back, expect more crypto casinos to open.
The best Bitcoin casinos also accept Ethereum, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, USDT, and other popular coins. What's more, these sites are generous with bonuses. They can award you up to one full Bitcoin as a welcome reward. For reference, one BTC costs $40,000 at the time of writing.
Beyond crypto support, Bitcoin casinos also offer games built on the Blockchain. These slots are 100% provably fair, meaning you can verify the fairness of a game. Some of them have incredibly high payouts, meaning they’re worth checking out.
VR and AR
Gaming experts have been calling VR and AR the future of gaming for years. Unfortunately, we don’t have many games that support either technology just yet.
The main problem is that Virtual Reality requires the use of expensive headsets to work. Apple is working on creating the next generation of VR headsets. But it says the devices could cost as much as $3400.
Meta already offers a few options for people who love VR gaming. The devices are much cheaper— they cost between $250 for Meta Quest 2 and $999 for Meta Quest Pro.
While VR’s biggest limitation is the cost of equipment, Augmented Reality has an even bigger problem. People seem to have lost interest in AR games. Yes, Pokémon Go was a big hit. But since then, few AR games have succeeded.
Although AR and VR have issues limiting their success, they still have a market. VR slots such as Jack and the Beanstalk, Starburst, and Thunderstruck II are immensely popular.
When it comes to important technologies shaping up iGaming, Artificial Intelligence ranks at the top. AI plays a role in almost every aspect of the online casino space, from game development to marketing.
Today’s software developers are using Generative AI to revolutionize game development, casino marketing, and customer service. For the uninitiated, Generative Artificial Intelligence is a branch of AI that allows you to create images, videos, texts, and audio content on command.
You can describe to AI the kind of slot you want to create. And AI will respond with thousands of helpful ideas in seconds. It could also generate the graphics, soundtracks, and videos you might require to create the game.
In other words, Generative AI is cutting down development costs and time sharply. What’s more, it is advancing games by helping developers create characters with complex qualities.
Enhanced Safety and Trustworthiness
Another factor boosting online casinos is their increased efforts to become safer and more trustworthy. You see, everyone wants to spend their money on a safe and reliable platform.
When you deposit money at an online casino, you want to be assured you won't lose it. Online casinos provide safety by encrypting their websites. They also allow you to safeguard your account with passwords, pass keys, and two-factor authentication.
Then there are other industry practices such as data privacy and regulatory compliance. The best gambling sites all have licenses showing their legitimacy. Some of them also have certificates from independent auditors that provide further proof of trustworthiness.
Online casinos also show their trustworthiness by working with reputable payment providers, software developers, and website designers. When a casino is safe and legitimate, its chances of growth are high.
Online casinos are soaring because of a combination of important factors. There's government support through legalization and creating a stable business environment. There's technology through inventions like mobile gaming, crypto, and digital security.
Lastly, iGaming is growing because of the industry’s commitment towards providing, safe, enjoyable slots and table games.