When Covid-19 hit and land-based casinos were forced to shut down their operations, there was uncertainty about how the industry would fair. As a result, most players moved to online casinos where they could bet on online casino games so that they could keep enjoying their favourite games when land-based restrictions were rife. For instance, in countries like Poland, gamblers switched to casino online PL platforms when forced closures were imposed on casinos countrywide.
Despite analytic predictions that gambling would decline after being hit hard by the pandemic, 2021 saw gaming revenues shoot to higher figures than pre-pandemic years. Now more than ever, the gambling industry has become one of the most lucrative revenue generators for jurisdictions across the world, especially as efforts to recover from the pandemic continue.
The adrenaline rush that drives punters and draws them to a casino (online or not) is fueled by the trends of the time, and today, all roads lead to technological advancements. With the boost in visitors for iGaming operators, they are continuously embracing the most innovative trends to keep up with the dynamic customer requirements. In 2022, some of the trends that are expected to shape the gambling sector are as follows:
Time has become even more of an asset of late. People are looking for ways to recoup the opportunities that may have been lost following the pandemic outbreak. Thus, as soon as lockdown laws were executed and sports events were cancelled globally, organizers and bookies had to find other avenues for players to bet. The next best thing was esports, a gambling vertical that had sort of been silently expanding in the shadows. Thankfully, stakeholders were quick to act as traditional sporting events and tournaments were immediately moved online. And even with the migration to virtual events, spectators could still access all the usual betting markets via their computers and smartphones.
Even though esports betting had existed for years, it had experienced strong opposition from all fronts for over a decade. Lawmakers in different gambling-legal regions across the globe had initially shot down any attempts to legalize it in their jurisdictions. However, with the adversity of the pandemic, there appears to be a volte-face shift in legislation. Many countries realized that they could be losing out on substantive sums of gambling revenue if they didn’t embrace esports betting. From the look of things, more regions will continue jumping into the esports betting bandwagon as the industry itself continues with its rapid growth.
VR and AR Casino Gambling
Virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) have gained traction in various fields, from construction to interior design to medicine to entertainment. In gaming, VR and AR are working on getting back the authentic brick-and-mortar experience for punters. The experiences in VR and AR are tailored to cater to different gamblers’ tastes, including a ‘Vegas’ experience that opens up lifelike environments for the ultimate player immersion.
Additionally, AR has ushered in the Metaverse, which casino providers have in turn leveraged to create the Casino verse, a metaverse for casino gamers. Here, punters can interact with fellow gamblers by sharing strategies while participating in live sports betting, among other real-time gambling events.
Payment via Cryptocurrencies
The value of cryptocurrencies increased in 2021 as more and more people decided to engage with them by investing and using them in their day-to-day transactions. As a result, the number of businesses accepting crypto payment methods has been going up, and online casinos are no exception.
All along, the main concern for online casino gamers has been the issue of data protection and privacy. However, given that crypto wallets already come with advanced security measures and most are implementing KYC protocols, they have become a safe and acceptable way to deposit betting funds at casinos. Additionally, crypto provides an option for users operating in restrictive jurisdictions or those looking for an anonymous way to deposit funds at certain online casinos.
Blockchain is being used in crypto transactions to maintain a decentralized public ledger, but in gambling, it also creates transparency in casino algorithms that determine the outcomes in online games. Better still, with the blockchain system acting as a watchdog for operators, it would be very difficult to cheat or hold onto payments for flimsy reasons.
The incorporation of more modern and convenient technologies into gambling has been pushed by punters’ needs to get more out of their experiences and developers’ desires to level up. As a result, traditional land-based casino operators have had no choice but to include online gambling in their services as a way of staying afloat and maintaining a steady income stream.
More mobile casinos sprang up in the last year than ever before. And so, with an increase in online gambling activities, it’s expected that casinos would take every opportunity to keep their clients happy. The Covid-19 pandemic has only proved how resilient the gambling industry is, and the fast-tracked disruptions in the tech world are sure to propel things even further. Indeed, it will be exciting to see how the online and land-based gambling industry will evolve in 2022 and beyond!