Three Online Gambling Trends to Bet On in 2015 and Beyond
The online gambling industry is going from strength to strength, and is expected to be worth $41.4bn by the end of 2015. The excitement of a flutter combined with the convenience of technology has made for a heady concoction, but new trends are emerging that could see the market truly go ‘next level’ in terms of player reach and profit. In this blog we take a look at three top developments for online gambling in 2015 and beyond: the continuing rise of mobile; the evolution of social gambling; and the potential of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The Rise and Rise of Mobile
Mobile is fast becoming the channel of choice for busy punters looking to gamble on the go. By 2018, the amount of bets placed via mobile devices is expected to reach $100bn, with 164 million people using mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets to place a bet, visit a mobile casino or buy a lottery ticket. There is clearly a strong business case for mobile gaming – in fact, from an investment perspective it is a pretty safe bet for gambling brands looking for future growth opportunities. Whether you opt for a mobile-optimised version of your desktop site or develop a dedicated mobile app, it’s important that you offer your customers a functional, easy-to-use, engaging and, most of all, secure gambling experience. Payment security is, of course, vital. Don’t take a gamble ─ use a platform developed specifically for the gaming industry. The best platforms manage every step of the transaction process, from player registration through to withdrawal, with a full end-to-end audit trail, single sign-up process and optimised acceptance rates.
Alongside mobile, social gambling has been described as one of the next revolutions in online gambling. It’s not hard to understand why. Facebook users, who think nothing of spending real money on ‘extra lives’ in Candy Crush Saga or on ‘Farm Cash’ in Farmville, are already comfortable with the idea of free-to-play games featuring microtransactions and provide a rich source of customers that could boost growth rates for real-money gambling (RMG). While it’s true that these social gamers are paying in return for content rather than the chance to win big, it is not a huge stretch of the imagination to think that social gambling could be just as appealing to social gamers given the right format, design and game experience. Some of the most well-established platforms have millions of registered users all used to their look, feel and game format – surely it isn’t too big a step to RMG?
Bitcoin: ‘the Payment System the Gaming Industry Has Been Waiting For’
Virtual currency Bitcoin is gaining popularity with online gamblers and with benefits such as easy and fast withdrawal, verified and tracked payments and improved experience compared with RMG, it’s easy to see why. The benefits for operators are huge: no chargebacks, no transaction fees, wider reach, and ease of set-up make Bitcoin a very attractive option. At the recent ICE Totally Gaming event, which dedicated a day of seminars to Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin entrepreneur Roger Ver described Bitcoin as ‘the payment system the gaming industry has been waiting for’ and said gaming companies should ‘all be scrambling to implement it’. In his keynote, Halsey Minor, chief executive officer of cloud wallet platform Bitreserve, explained how cloud technology, when applied to digital currency, can deliver unprecedented transparency across payments to prove solvency and assets. According to Minor, this fosters a level of trust and convenience that has never been seen before in the gaming industry.
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