News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Oct. 22, 2020: 2020 will always remain in history books as the year which disrupted the normal way of life. Most people existing today have never faced a pandemic that forced borders, schools, some hotels, nightclubs, casinos, and other social places to be closed.
On the other hand, the pandemic has also given birth to some winners (those who adapted quickly and took their activities online). The online gambling industry has been one of the biggest winners during this era. Experts are forecasting that the economic effects might not fade away any time soon. The big question is, will the gambling and betting industry remain the same? The following are some of the trends that will dominate the online gambling and betting industry in 2021.
Increase in social and mobile gambling
Gambling companies have been reporting increased profit margins from increased betting activities. A good number of those who gamble use mobile phones and apps to access the betting sites. Not everyone has access to a computer, so casinos are likely to tap into this market. 2021 will be the year when casino companies will invest more to make their sites mobile-friendly. The move will see more people play classic games such as book of dead from their mobile devices, even when they are on the move.
The online casinos are also likely to apply in-game models to increase their revenue. The players might pay a small fee, which will be replicated in a better gaming environment. The betting companies are also likely to personalize customer experiences using mobile-specific bonuses, skins, and boosts.
Crypto payments and blockchain will reshape the space
When blockchain came into the limelight more than a decade ago, not many people knew it had so much potential. Crypto payments have been in place in various online casinos for some time now. Some of these casinos do not include bonuses when people use crypto as their payment options. This limitation has limited the number of people who use crypto because bonuses come in handy. We expect that 2021 will be the year that these casinos give bonuses to those who use crypto payments.
Expect more sites that only work with crypto payments next year. Blockchain-based games are also likely to get to mainstream betting sites in the coming year. The online betting sites will also be looking forward to leveraging on blockchain’s power in areas such as transparency, accounting, and immutability to make their sites more efficient and secure.
Cut-throat competition will face this industry
Gambling and sports betting has always been a controversial issue in most countries. We have seen cases where some states allow betting, while others cannot hear any of it. For instance, in the US, only 17 states, including Washington DC, have legalized sports betting. The move has been made after years of discussions on the ethical issues around gambling and its effects on the mental well-being of those involved.
The news of legalization was welcomed with joy by gamblers in the United States. Big brands such as Fox Sports, ESPN, and NBCSN, are ready to make boss-moves in the online sports betting niche. Small brands are thus finding it hard to compete with big brands who have the financial muscles. Expect the big brands to develop their betting sites, which they link with their existing businesses.
Focus on responsible gambling
One of the most pertinent issues of discussion is what becomes of those who lose large chunks of money through online gambling. We have heard of cases where losers sank into depression; others started taking hard drugs while others commit suicide. There are also cases of people turning to crime and petty theft, as they are addicted to gambling.
Various stakeholders are coming up with programs that promote responsible gambling. Some online casinos have measures that allow users to set the maximum they can lose in a day. Countries like the UK already have measures in place that are enforced by the UK Gambling Commissions. Some countries like Australia do not allow affiliates to advertise betting and gambling activities within their bodies. We expect more of such programs that promote responsible gambling to be put in place come 2021. Gamblers are expected to stake what they can afford to lose and still take care of other bills.
Augmented and Virtual Reality will utilized more
These new technologies have been in use in the gaming industry for some years now. However, they are still a new concept in the online casino world as it is less than 5 years since they were introduced into this space. The two technologies make a live casino more realistic, which improves overall client satisfaction. AR allows clients to ‘walk’ through a virtual casino, and they can see other people’s avatars, who can either be sitting at virtual machines or walking around the casino.
2021 will be the year we expect mixed reality, a combination of augmented and virtual reality. The overall experience is likely to increase the uptake of online betting. The two technologies will also open up tens of other opportunities that were unavailable in the past.
Esports will be huge
Most people turned to video streaming sites such as YouTube and Twitch when Covid-19 ravaged different economies. A league of professional video gamers is now on the rise. This niche started as a fun way of passing the time, where friends could come together and compete for fun. The players then started placing bets and taking advantage of the internet space to play remotely.
We now have a dedicated team of fans, professional players, sponsors, and advertisers who are investing their resources in the e-sport niche. We expect that the niche will get more exposure, which will increase the revenues generated.
There are a lot of things that we can expect in 2021 that will make online gambling better. Expect social, technological, and structural changes that are aimed at making the user experience better. Those companies that are not ready to embrace the trends are likely to get faced out unless they learn how to embrace changes.