Key Trends for Online Casino Industry
The online gambling industry has so far been a land of boundless opportunity. After being among the very first websites to appear on the nascent internet, the online gambling industry has grown steadily and consistently. It seems to be one of those truly recession-proof industries, or at least corners of it.
By the year 2020, the online casino industry in the US alone will be worth 60 billion dollars. The rate of growth has been greater than anyone anticipated, driven by a number of separate innovations all working together to improve the user experience when playing at online casinos. The following key trends are all driving this fantastic growth rate and will be vital for online casinos going into 2020.
Catering to Women
The online casino industry has historically been a male-dominated arena. This is in line with the rest of the industry, where studies show that most of the players are men. However, casino games are no longer restricted to the casino. For a long time, casino games were only available in physical casinos and as computer games. Both of these activities tended to attract more men than women.
In the case of both gambling and video games, a cycle has existed whereby male-dominated industries focus their products on male customers and therefore struggle to broaden their appeal to women. Fortunately, women are now much better represented in both arenas.
One of the most significant changes has been that women are no longer being solely portrayed as objects. It used to be common to see images of almost-naked women plastered around casino websites, and video games have an infamously rocky history with their portrayal of women. Both spaces are now more inviting and welcoming to women.
Another important development is that casino games have become available on social media sites like Facebook. This has brought them to the attention of lots of people who would otherwise not have encountered them.
As more women have shown an interest in these games, developers have started to pay attention. Of course, a general societal shift has helped to detoxify the online casino space of its lingering misogyny and most casinos are now offering a gender-neutral service.
Welcome bonuses are now standard issue at all online casinos. With so many different casinos all competing for business with one another, they’re all eager to find ways of distinguishing themselves from the rest of the pack. Developers like Microgaming account for the vast majority of games offered by all these competing casinos, meaning that their products are of more or less the same quality across casinos.
It is therefore via the welcome bonus that online casinos can really set themselves apart from their competitors. These welcome bonuses give players free spins, bonuses on their deposits, and a number of other incentives to encourage them to sign up and play with the casino.
Going into 2020, we can expect the microtrends that have emerged around welcome bonuses over the last few years. Not only are these bonuses becoming more generous, there are increasingly being linked to specific games. For example, there have been several players who have become millionaires on the back of free spins that they used with the Mega Moolah slot game. Subsequently, several online casinos have specifically mentioned Mega Moolah when promoting their welcome bonuses.
Mobile and Social
The nature of the internet and the way that people use it has changed significantly. The internet was once a preoccupation solely for geeks. Prior to that, it existed as research concepts at DARPA in the US and CERN in Europe. Today, social media is a huge part of most people’s daily internet usage. Having seen the popularity of the digital casino games that have been available through Facebook, online casinos were quick to introduce social features to their own games.
The rise of social media has coincided with the rise of the smartphone. Mobile web browsing has been around for ages, but it is only relatively recently that mobile internet browsing has been as streamlined as desktop browsing.
We can expect to see both mobile devices and social media continue to play a more prominent role in the way that online casinos provide their services to customers. Many of the top online casinos already have mobile apps for accessing their services, and we can expect some of the remaining holdouts to make the switch in 2020, especially as social features become increasingly integrated into these apps.
The online casino industry looks set to continue its prodigious growth rate into 2020. The above trends all represent some of the most important frontiers of the market as it currently exists. All of the trends above have been brewing for some time and are now beginning to take maturity and evolve into new concepts. The entire industry is set to enter 2020 on very strong footing indeed.