The iGaming industry is experiencing a significant transformation in 2023, with new trends emerging in the areas of regulation, technology, player behavior, and market expansion. This article explores these trends and their implications for online casinos, lotteries, and sports betting.
Regulatory Shifts and Market Expansion
Regulation is a key trend in 2023, with more markets worldwide expected to become locally regulated. Countries like Germany, Sweden, and the Netherlands are withdrawing from their registrations with international gaming authorities, indicating a shift towards local regulation. This trend is driven by the desire for increased control over the iGaming industry, ensuring that it operates within the confines of local laws and regulations.
In North America, states like Ohio, Maine, and Minnesota are set to go live with regulatory frameworks. This development is significant as it represents a growing acceptance of iGaming in the region, opening up new opportunities for operators.
In South America, progress is being made in Peru. The country is expected to become a key player in the iGaming industry, with its rich cultural heritage and passion for sports and gaming.
In Canada, the province of Ontario has already gone live, and the industry is closely watching Quebec and British Columbia. The success of Ontario could act as a catalyst for other Canadian provinces to open their doors to legal online sports betting and casino, and to welcome additional licensed brands.
In Latin America, Brazil presents a significant opportunity with a potential iGaming revenue of $4.4bn by 2026. The country’s large population and passion for sports make it a prime target for iGaming operators.
Technological Innovations and Player Behavior
Technological advancements are driving changes in player behavior. Operators are shifting their focus from product-centric to user-centric business models, with a strong emphasis on personalization. This means tailoring content, communications, bonuses, and other aspects to player preferences and behavior.
Mobile and smartwatch versions of casino and sports betting projects are gaining popularity, providing easy and quick access to online gaming functionality. This trend is driven by the increasing ubiquity of mobile devices and the convenience they offer to players.
Live dealer games are becoming increasingly popular, especially among crypto users. These games combine the feel of both online and offline gambling, allowing players to enjoy all the benefits of playing at home while also getting the visual experience of watching a dealer deal cards or spin the roulette wheel.
In sports betting, 66% of bets are placed during live events, emphasizing the need for high-quality live broadcasts. This trend is driven by the excitement of live events and the opportunity they provide for in-play betting.
Cryptocurrencies and Payments
Cryptocurrencies are gaining wider recognition in the iGaming industry. Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin remain the most demanded among crypto players, and USDT is expected to be an upcoming trend. Operators are integrating digital coins as a payment option to tap into new audiences and attract crypto-oriented gamblers.
In terms of payments, operators are focusing on providing an abundance of well-established payment options and localizing financial modules. The integration of Apple Pay and Google Play is seen as a way to boost online gambling businesses. This trend is driven by the convenience and security these payment methods offer to players.
Gamification and Original Content
Gamification is a significant trend in 2023, with operators using it as a player engagement tool. Cryptocurrency and NFT are expected to underpin the financial systems in meta-casinos, simplifying the withdrawal and depositing process. Operators are also expected to rely more on jackpot campaigns to attract and motivate players. These campaigns can create a sense of excitement and competition among players, increasing their engagement and loyalty.
Original content is becoming a growing trend, with most tier 1 operators investing in producing proprietary games to differentiate themselves in the market. This trend is driven by the need for differentiation in a highly competitive market. By offering unique games that can’t be found on other platforms, operators can attract a dedicated player base and increase their market share.
Security and Data Privacy
As the iGaming industry grows, players are increasingly concerned about data privacy. In 2023, the emphasis will be on responsible gambling practices and improved fraud prevention with advanced ML-powered tools. These tools can help operators detect and prevent fraudulent activities, ensuring a safe and secure gaming environment for players.
Operators are expected to strengthen their verification quality with additional analytical tools and services for checking documents and identifying destructive patterns. This can help ensure that only legitimate players are allowed on the platform, reducing the risk of fraud and enhancing the overall security of the platform.
The iGaming industry in 2023 is characterized by regulatory shifts, technological innovations, changes in player behavior, and an emphasis on security and data privacy. As the industry continues to evolve, operators need to stay abreast of these trends to remain competitive and meet the changing needs of players. By doing so, they can ensure their continued success in this dynamic and rapidly growing industry.