According to numbers from Statista, the global online casino market value in 2020 stood at a whopping $227 billion. The same report says that there were more than 4,800 business establishments employing more than 1 million people in that year.
Geographically, the European market is the largest, with a 52% market share. The Asian Pacific region is another vast gaming market owing to popular gaming destinations like Macau and Singapore. And, of course, North America holds its own, thanks to the presence of popular casinos in Las Vegas.
There is a reason why gamers are playing casino games online in droves. First, there is the factor of convenience. Obviously, you’ll need a mobile phone or computer with an internet connection to play casino games online.
In a nutshell, you don’t need to play games in an in-person setting when you can have it all right at home. No wonder 17% of the 1.6 billion international gamblers play online, according to reports.
Another major trend in the fast-rising online casino industry is the use of cryptocurrency payment. Typically, the best online casinos allow gamers to deposit and withdraw using digital coins like Bitcoin, Dogecoin, Litecoin, and more.
If you’ve never used digital coins to play casino games, then you’re missing a lot. First, virtual currencies expose you to low transaction charges as there are no banks or middlemen. Also, gambling with digital coins is anonymous and faster compared to traditional gambling.
Last but not least, cloud gaming, sometimes called gaming as a service, has revolutionized the industry a great deal. With cloud gaming, gamers only need a reliable internet connection and have fun without purchasing expensive hardware. All in all, there are many industry drivers in the growing online casino industry.
One thing is certain; the online casino industry is yet to reach its peak. The main challenge affecting this industry is the varying legal issues in different jurisdictions. While most countries are friendly to land-based casinos because they promote tourism, the story is different with online casinos. Some countries like the US, India, Cambodia, and Japan are lukewarm to online gambling.
Meanwhile, cryptocurrency use is still a hot topic among industry stakeholders. Whereas most offer one or two digital coin payments, many are skeptical about this payment. But to their defense, cryptocurrency volatility is an issue. For instance, Bitcoin (BTC) has traded between $30k to $65k this year alone.
And as expected, Covid-19 has hit the global casino and sports betting market so hard. Most land-based casinos closed shop at the start of the pandemic, with almost all sporting events suspended. But although most players moved online, the numbers have not been as strong as before. That’s probably because players are also facing harsh financial times.
Looking at 2021 and after, the potential of online casino gaming will grow tenfold. This is mainly down to the increased internet penetration globally coupled with rapid urbanization. Currently, the 5G rollout is gathering pace, with big popular cities worldwide already connected. And that’s not forgetting that Wi-Fi connectivity is more common in remote areas than ever before.
In addition, most countries are taking the necessary steps to legalize online casinos. In New York, for example, Governor Cuomo recently announced plans to license multiple online casinos in the state. Across Europe, Ukraine, Greece, and Germany are some of the countries that have revised their gambling laws in 2020 to include online betting.
Overall, the growth of the online casino industry will not slow down anytime soon. Improved technologies alongside more regulated markets opening up will likely introduce more expansion going forward. The online gaming industry is definitely full of surprises.