Within just a few clicks, players can now find themselves in a virtual casino. Gone are the days of travelling across the country or having to play slot games in person. With online gaming, players can access casinos from their smart devices – wherever they are in the world. The future of the Hollywood casino world is online as the industry continues to boom as players switch to online gaming.
The pandemic saw a turbo-charged growth for the online gambling industry as casinos closed their doors and players found themselves spending more time indoors. It’s not by accident that more players than ever are deciding to play online.
In 2020, the online casino industry was valued at $59 billion – with its value predicted to rise to $93 billion within the next two years, according to Statista. This statistic suggests a 50%+ market growth by 2023, making it the perfect time for players and casinos to make the switch online.
We’re looking at the growth of online casinos and why players are making the switch from brick-and-mortar casinos to the virtual world that is right at their fingertips.
The accessibility of online casinos
Unless you live in a major city, the chances are that you don’t have a local casino. Some states – such as Utah – don’t have any at all. With online platforms, including apps, casinos have never been more accessible to users who are of legal age. Whether you’re looking for slot games, bingo, or online lottery tickets, players can access everything they want from the comfort of their own homes.
Online casinos and slot games don’t face the same legal complications as their in-person counterparts. Every operator depends on the requirements of their specific state, but most states and countries have updated their regulations to include the legislation of online gambling with licenses for operators.
Without questions about legality, players are often more comfortable playing online than in-person. In 2019, 73.5% of online gambling in Europe was taking place in the regulated market – i.e., operators that are fully licensed. This share is expected to jump to over 80% by 2022 as operators continue to apply for licenses and players become more educated on spotting legitimate online casinos.
Sign-up bonuses and incentives
While there’s still room for growth in the online gambling space to maximize its potential, players continue to sign up in their thousands every day. With incentives like a sign-up bonus and free spins, players are rewarded more than ever for their online gaming.
All it takes is one digital advertisement of a sign-up bonus or loyalty incentive for a player to make the switch to online gambling. These sign-up bonuses not only incentivise players to switch online, but it often gives them an opportunity to experience gameplay with low risk, usually betting with their free credit.
Low-cost threshold of online casinos
Unlike their physical counterparts, online casinos are a low-cost way of gambling. With the help of free games and bonus spins, the financial barrier to accessing online slot games is significantly lower than in traditional casinos. Physical casinos don’t typically offer their players incentives to keep playing and have higher thresholds for players to join poker games.
Digital operators allow players to deposit a low minimum amount to play with a financial risk that they’re comfortable with. With the help of sign-up bonuses and referral programs, players don’t have to make the same financial commitment with online games.
In-play sports betting
One of the most popular forms of gambling online is sports betting. With the convivence of apps, sports fans can continue to bet throughout the game in real-time. Americans alone placed almost $35 billion on sports bets in 2020, with the growth of the industry largely due to the continued accessibility to betting around-the-clock and during gameplay.
90% of sports betting in the United States was done online, suggesting that there’s no slowing down of online casinos, poker, and betting solutions. Sports betting is popular across the board, including in Europe where it makes up 41% of online gambling. Casinos follow behind with a 34% market share, while poker and bino make up 5% and 4% respectively.
The expansions of mobile apps
While most online casinos continue to operate primarily through desktop websites, there’s a growing switch to mobile apps or offering a dual-platform service. Mobile betting through apps is expected to overtake online betting through desktop computers by 2025 with a market share of 58.2%.
Mobile apps are a win-win for both operators and players, allowing them to access their free slot games and casinos at any time. Whether they’re commuting or on their lunch break, players can pull out their phones and make a bet or play a casino game at any time.
Endless choice of gameplay
As more casinos make the switch online, players are given endless choices over which games they can play. Whether you’re looking for blackjack, poker, slot machines, or roulette, players are guaranteed to be able to find a platform that will work for them. Most operators either specialise in a niche or create an all-inclusive platform that gives players access to every form of gameplay.
The future of online casinos
The future looks bright for online casino operators as growth is predicted to continue at an accelerated rate as operators continue to expand their services and players make the switch to digital.
The real potential for the future of online casinos is their ability to market their games to players who wouldn’t typically visit a traditional casino. Targeting this demographic allows online platforms to tap into a larger customer base than their brick-and-mortar counterpart.
With digital marketing, sign-up bonuses, gameplay incentives, and mobile apps, both operators and players are benefiting from the growth of online casinos. For casinos to capitalise on this potential growth, they need to be taking proactive steps to tap into this lucrative and ever-growing market that is set to experience turbo-charged growth in the next two years.