|Wednesday, 15 February 2017 01:47|
For over a decade, the iGaming industry has been growing in size and value year after year, becoming one of the most lucrative areas of investment for both new and established gaming businesses alike. In fact, a recent forecast from Statista suggests that the total value of the online gambling market will hit a whopping $56 billion by 2018 – more than double the total value reported in 2009.
The industry is also incredibly diverse. It’s composed of a broad range of providers – sports bookmakers, poker rooms, online slots, bingo sites and lotteries, to name just a few. All these providers are continually looking for ways to improve their services, gain an edge on their competitors and secure a bigger share of the market wherever possible.
But for all their differences in service and approach, the thing that unites every successful iGaming business is their commitment to innovation and being at the forefront of new technologies. For instance, a major factor in the incredible growth that we’ve seen over the past ten years is the huge strides that have been made with mobile devices and internet connectivity. Due to the sheer convenience and ease of access that 3G-ready smartphones and tablets afford us, consumer demand for iGaming services has skyrocketed.
Why take a trip down to your local casino when you can get the same experience from the comfort of your sofa? With this question in mind, let’s delve a little deeper into the remarkable innovations that have fueled the iGaming revolution, as well as casting an eye to what’s currently on the horizon.
Getting Topical – Tailoring Themes to Different Tastes
"The £250,000" (CC BY 2.0) by Ben Sutherland
You’d be forgiven for thinking that a game like bingo is a fairly one-dimensional pastime. More often than not, real-life bingo played at your local bingo hall is just that; but the same rules don’t apply once the game makes the shift into the digital world.
Online bingo site Sun Bingo is a characteristic example of an operator which is seeking to buck the trend and create a more immersive digital gaming experience than ever before. Their complete catalogue of topical bingo games – which includes officially licensed games such as Deal Or No Deal – is certainly impressive and aims to cater to different players with different tastes.
More than this though, Sun Bingo recognise the importance of expanding into different areas of iGaming in order to maintain growth within an industry that is incredibly competitive. In addition to their primary bingo game, players now have the option to play online slots, blackjack, roulette and plenty more engaging casino games. The combination of sharp, colorful graphics and sleek functionality in each of these games is partly what turns one-time visitors into regular players.
Making the Most of Mobile
"Person looking at smartphone in the dark" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Japanexperterna.se Over the past five or six years, smartphones and tablets have become a huge part of our everyday life – in fact, the number of smartphone users will reach nearly 223 million people in the USA alone by the end of 2017. That’s over two-thirds of the entire population of the country.
This fact definitely isn’t lost on bookmakers and online casinos, most of which are starting to invest more and more into developing a high-quality mobile experience for their customers. Responsive mobile sites and dedicated apps are becoming less of an option and more of a necessity, mainly because they allow people to log in and play their preferred game on the move. Or anywhere with a decent signal at least...
Virtual Reality – An Eye to the Future
"Virtual Reality Demonstrations" (CC BY 2.0) by UTKnightCenter
Although virtual and augmented reality technologies (VR & AR) are still very much in their infancy, the future looks bright for businesses which are already looking to involve this technology in their plans for game development. New VR headsets hit the market last year (namely the Oculus Rift and Google Daydream), which has led many developers to turn their head towards creating games for pretty much every conceivable genre out there – and iGaming is no exception.
Imagine an online poker room that you can walk into yourself using a customizable avatar, have a drink at the bar and play with other card players from around the world. Well, you may be slightly surprised to hear that type of game is already out there – and we expect many more to follow suit in the very near future. Given the vast potential of VR games, it's safe to say we're only just scratching the surface right now.