The online gambling (iGaming) industry emerged 26 years ago as a result of the Free Trade and Processing Zone act legislated by Antigua and Barbuda. The law authorised gambling businesses with a license to own a casino platform online and accept custom from across the world.
As expected, the new legislation inspired multiple opportunists, such as budding entrepreneurs and gambling companies, to take advantage. And be a part of what was destined to become, with the assistance of technological advancements, a prosperous industry.
Internet Access Develops
The progression of the internet, coupled with Windows 95 software provided by Microsoft, enabled desktop users to venture online, and explore a variety of entertainment, information, and, of course, gambling sites with ease.
As the speed of the internet and its graphics improved, iGaming platforms were able to provide a better gambling experience on desktop. Causing its popularity to increase.
iGaming Revolutionised by Mobile
During the millennium, mobile technology progressed immensely. Smartphones had bigger screens, better graphics, and they were faster than ever. With that, iGaming companies saw an innovative opportunity to provide casino games on mobile.
iGaming opportunities on mobile opened up the realms of possibility for users to play online wherever they chose. Plus, gambling on mobile phones meant those who didn’t have a PC, could also place bets online.
Today, the variety of games available on mobile is likened to that found in a land-based casino, from roulette to poker and live casinos available for viewers to play in real-time.
The casino experience available on mobile today is phenomenal compared to what it was years ago. Customers can play a range of the best roulette games, Gambling.com has listed the best sites known for their variety of roulette games. Players are even able to play dealer online directly and also socialise with other players online. Gaming on mobile today is arguably just as good as betting in person.
iGaming Legislation in the US
The rules regarding the use of iGaming vary worldwide. Attitudes towards gambling have changed over the years as countries and their governments weigh up the pros and cons of its use.
For instance, countries governed by Islamic law are often prohibited from gambling. North Korea has banned both online and in-person gambling, and so has Cambodia.
However, other countries choose to permit land-based and online gambling but regulate their use. The reasons are often due to;
- Prevent illegal gambling and criminals exploiting the gambling industry.
- To provide support and resources to those who are suffering from gambling addiction and encourage responsible gambling.
- To ensure gambling companies are offering a professional and trustworthy service to customers.
- To tax gambling activities and therefore push money back into their economy.
- And because the casino industry brings a wealth of new employment opportunities for citizens.
Countries that permit the use of authoritative bodies to regulate gambling online and land-based casinos include Canada, the UK and the US.
In the US, in 2018, the Supreme Court permitted each state to set its own rules on iGaming. At the moment, 13 states provide legal online gambling opportunities. Such as New Jersey, West Virginia, and Delaware. Some states restrict the iGaming genres available. For instance, Nevada permits online poker and online sports betting but not online casinos.
The Future of iGaming
According to Statista, the online gambling market share in the US had an estimated value of 45.8 billion dollars in 2017, due to a rise in iGaming providers and games. Plus, the expected advancements in gaming technology. And a market that’s gained prosperity by continuously adapting to the requirements of the internet, legislation and the expectations of customers. By 2024 its value is projected to reach 94.4 billion.
Several factors have contributed to iGaming’s progress online over the years. From Google’s algorithms demanding mobile-optimised sites, and for websites to adopt SEO practices to gain better rankings in the SERPs (search engine results page). iGaming sites must meet the demands of search engines, to continue providing a competitive gaming experience on the internet.
Moreover, the iGaming industry is thriving because it rapidly changes to facilitate the expectations and desires of its audience. With 70% of iGaming’s revenue generated from mobile users, a prolific amount of focus and research is invested in creating an optimum gaming experience on portable devices for users. UX, in particular, is a necessary criterion for iGaming sites to enhance the user’s experience and journey onsite.
Research and Data Analytics
Data and AI shall continue to make the most notable impact on the iGaming industry. With a mission to provide responsible gaming opportunities, within a safe and controlled setting online. Successful iGaming companies from the US continue to research for new innovative solutions based on their findings of customers’ behaviour and gaming experiences to improve their online services.
iGaming Companies Merging
Additionally, different iGaming industries are merging to provide an enhanced experience to users by combining research, technology, and gaming options to the public. Strengthening their position in the online gambling market by offering everything customers need under one roof. It’s likely more iGaming companies shall merge in the future to remain competitive.
Marketing Towards New Generations
According to research from Atlantic City’s Stockton University, iGaming will have to do more in the future to maintain the younger generations’ interest. As millennials and Gen Z, are not intrigued by gambling as much as older generations.
The research identified that the younger demographic loves gaming, just not necessarily gambling. Although the young generations will also happily invest in lucky dips/loots online – this is, of course, a form of gambling.
To attract the younger generation and maintain a steady flow of revenue; iGaming companies need to think about how they will adapt the gambling landscape to reach a younger audience before the influx of older avid gamblers begins to subside.
It’s unlikely the above challenge shall phase the success of the iGaming industry. Since its birth, alongside the internet, it has progressed with every wave. And so, users can expect the iGaming industry to evolve and strengthen much more over the next 26 years. Particularly with gaming technology such as wearable gaming tech, augmented and virtual reality, improved graphics, and enhanced personalised gaming experiences for players soon to be thrown into the mix.