COVID-19 has massively affected the global gambling industry. And in a bid to counter its influence, governments worldwide issued social distancing guidelines. Hence, all land-based gambling operations like casinos, betting shops and others were forced to shut shop.
However, as the world slowly began dealing with the pandemic, some venues re-opened briefly depending on the local transmission figures. But the relief was short-lived as the brutal second wave of the infection struck. The gambling industry suffered heavy losses over the past few years. And it’s too early to predict the future.
But while land-based gambling operations suffered, iGaming picked up the momentum. And the industry is projected to grow at a rate of 12% between 2020 and 2025. Let’s take a quick look at what the experts predict for 2022.
The Impact of COVID-19 on the iGaming Industry
Compared to other industries affected by COVID-19, online gambling is the most resilient. Most iGaming developers have stayed afloat during the pandemic and made significant headway in terms of new products. You can find the most innovative online casinos by checking out this list of best kasyno polska.
As people continue to prefer remote working conditions, the need for online entertainment is at a record high. And while media platforms provide a much-needed respite from boredom, online slots and poker have grown equally popular.
The rise of eSports betting contributed massively to the overall hike. And although E3 2021 wasn’t hosted physically like every other year, the demand for sports betting remained high. Another contributing factor behind the rise of eSports betting was the lack of other sports betting opportunities.
As every significant sporting event remained cancelled or postponed for a substantial part of 2021, habitual punters turned to eSports betting to fuel their habits. While every casino in the internet offers some form of online gambling opportunity, sports betting operations are challenging to come across.
And as eSports entered the fray, significant development online casino was made to integrate the sport into the betting platform. Here’s an interesting blog if you’d like to read more about sports betting and its relationship with the gambling industry.
The Future of the iGaming Industry
Technology continues to be a key player in the evolution of the gambling industry. The pandemic explicitly displayed the problems created by the lack of human touch when you play online casino.
While live dealer games solve this problem to a certain extent, Virtual Reality is the only way forward. Researchers have made significant headway into perfecting the technology for mass implementation. However, it’s still a while off from entering production.
With VR, players can enjoy an immersive gaming experience without being physically present at the casino. According to initial projections, players will spend upwards of $4.5 billion on the new technology once it’s properly introduced.
Companies like AltspaceVR and BigScreen VR are working overtime to turn VR/AR into reality. And one of the largest iGaming developers, NetEnt, has already set up VR Live Casino for players to experience VR gambling.
Other Technological Improvements in the Pipelines
Besides VR/AR, blockchain and 5G connectivity are the top contenders for revolutionising the gambling industry. And while cryptocurrencies have been an integral part of the iGaming sector for a while, they are yet to be adopted by brick-and-mortar casinos.
Internet connectivity plays a significant role in modernising the online gambling industry. For instance, 5G revolutionised the way people gamble by boosting 4G speeds by 10x. While most countries are yet to set up 5G infrastructure, all leading nations have gone through with the setup.
What Does the Future of iGaming Look Like?
The online gambling industry is set to break previous boundaries by leaps and bounds. And while it’s yet to catch up with brick-and-mortar casinos in terms of popularity and revenue, the iGaming industry is headed in the right direction.
Based on research, we’ve identified the key sectors that will play a significant role in the future of the online gambling industry. These are:
- New global regulations
- The rise of eSports betting
- Technological advancements like VR/AR, 5G, and blockchain.
This article was brought to you by our guest author Jacek Michalski. He is a passionate iGaming expert with several fascinating blogs to his credit.