The global iGaming market is one of the biggest segments of the gaming industry. Having undergone extensive expansion over the past half a decade, it now stands as a highly innovative and profitable sector. According to analysis, iGaming is well on track to being valued at £153.89 billion by 2028 and, in many territories, is outperforming the brick-and-mortar real money gaming market by a considerable margin.
One of the key developments to have strengthened iGaming’s dominant position over the years is the expansion of the sector across several US and international states.
Following the Supreme Court’s decision to reverse the PASPA bill, states, including New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan, were given the green light to launch a complete portfolio of iGaming activities, including remote casino and poker gaming and sports betting. This has, in turn, boosted the profile of international operators, with the likes of Draft Kings being able to reach new US-based audiences with their extensive sportsbook offers and free bets.
Furthermore, there’s also been an increase in iGaming expansion in developing nations, with remote poker tournaments being held in India, and several countries in Latin America legislating a host of remote gaming activities.
A Burgeoning Industry
2022 was yet another positive year for global iGaming. The implementation of new technologies, as well as developments in other gaming sectors, generated a major surge in interest among consumers.
Advanced tech, including VR (virtual reality) and AR (augmented reality), continued on its path towards mainstream iGaming adoption. Several developers launched exclusive real money games in the virtual space. Meanwhile, the growing popularity of eSports – professional video gaming – opened up new betting opportunities that digital bookmakers took full advantage of.
Fantasy sports gaming was also a popular trend in the industry in 2022, as traditional sports betting operators dove into the digital landscape and offered punters innovative new ways to support their favourite sports teams.
Then, there was the ongoing integration of cryptocurrencies and blockchain tech within the iGaming sector. Several new operators emerged in 2022 that accepted cryptocurrencies as a valid payment and withdrawal method, some even allowing gamers to purchase crypto on their platforms – bypassing the need for crypto exchanges.
Looking Ahead to 2023
Like all digital tech industries, the iGaming industry is no stranger to rapid transformation. Emerging trends can have an industry-wide effect. So, what’s in store for iGaming in 2023?
In response to expected new regulations, player security and maintaining high levels of responsible gaming will likely be top of the agenda for iGaming brands operating in the UK and EU.
The EU has released details of its new regulatory environment that will govern operators of any real money gaming activity (including bingo, lotteries and competitions, as well as the big three segments) in member states. The new regulations will ask operators to comply with stricter anti-fraud checks, improve their data security protocols, and enforce tighter levels of customer protection.
With major iGaming showcases set for the end of January and the beginning of February (SiGMA Africa and ICE, respectively), we can also get a glimpse of the new tech launches that will either dominate or reshape digital gaming over the coming twelve months.
The integration of real money casino gaming with messenger and social media apps is an emerging trend that numerous developers will likely attempt to capitalise on in 2023, particularly since the likes of the cross-platform IMS Telegram are already on board.
When attempting to predict what will impact the industry this years, we also need to take into account the influence of consumer tech trends on iGaming. CES 2023 debuted several new pieces of tech that may well see iGaming operators needing to improve on game development in order to keep up with the increasingly advanced video gaming sector.
The combination of brand-new hardware, next-generation processors and GPUs, and a return to crystalline visuals in the form of OLED monitors, leaves players seeking immersive, cutting-edge gaming experiences. While some operators have already jumped ahead of the curve by providing live casino games in cinematic quality, a number of platforms still provide half-decade-year-old games that are seriously in need of a refresh.