Trends in gambling in 2024 will increasingly focus on increasing the exposure of gambling business online. Then, if two important ramifications are to be made, online gambling will take off in the area of Esports and the Meta-verse. And mobility and social media will remain two tools through which operators will keep us anchored to their platforms for as long as possible.
Investment in online is starting to pay off
I was reading a news story recently that said Atlantic City was performing amazingly, practically record revenues in 2023 with the help of increased online exposure for casinos here. Basically, retail is being helped by online to increase its revenue. 46% of total gaming revenue for 2023 on the US East Coast was from online gambling conducted over the internet. So online investment is starting to pay off. And here too, US authorities have gradually allowed more and more states to build modern legislation allowing licensing in areas other than the traditional Las Vegas, Atlantic City and tribal gambling.
The US gaming industry’s bet on innovative new gaming products for the internet gambling and sports betting markets has begun to pay off and help land-based casinos survive and even grow a new generation of players. Last year, internet gambling brought in more than $1.9 billion to Atlantic City, up nearly 16% from the previous year. That’s huge. Consider that before the pandemic, this revenue stream didn’t exist on the East Coast gaming corporation’s profit and loss statement, now casinos like the Borgata or Hard Rock Casino earn hundreds of millions of dollars from online gambling business.
Esports betting to gain a bigger market share
Generation Y and especially Z spend much more time in front of the computer than previous generations and are much more familiar with technology, practically growing up with technology. These generations of people are the players of the near future. Many of them play everything from Counter Strike to Dota 2 on their computers and they are very good at it. The popularity of these computer games has grown so much that these two generations – Y and Z – are betting more and more on who will win the next League of Legends world championship than on popular sporting competitions like football or tennis.
Esports has become a culture unto itself, with prominent online communities and dedicated events. Well-known streamers and online personalities swarm around the phenomenon. Players have become celebrities who broadcast their games live, and fans from around the world join forces to support their favourite teams and players.
People started betting on esports the moment players turned professional. Young people, who until recently had been playing for fun, began at some point to prove their skills for money, first in local competitions and then around the world on streaming platforms. Sponsors were attracted by the popularity of these competitions among young people. The competitions were bigger, with more spectators and internet viewers, all driving things towards professionalism.
People were attracted to bet on esports because of the variety of games available, varied betting types, stats and analysis at their discretion (we’re talking computer geeks, though), large tournaments and the emergence of professional leagues. Plus, it’s a much more dynamic environment here.
The Metaverse will become increasingly popular in 2024 among gamers
In the article Gambling in the Metaverse published recently in Casino Inside I said that fantasy is becoming increasingly appealing to internet users / betting and casino enthusiasts. Why? Because it offers a fully immersive experience that can’t be matched in the real world. Which means that through an avatar you can interact with other people, socialise with them and have fun with just a few clicks.
As legislation in landbased and classic online (let’s call it that) is tightening, in the fantasy world things are far from KYC or state regulation. Here in the Metaverse, there’s more blockchain technology and a lot of respect for identity privacy.
Metaverse casinos operate on decentralized networks, can be accessed using Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality devices, and players can experience the services of a land-based casino without having to leave the comfort of home. The graphics, the design of the virtual world you enter when playing at Metaverse casinos is very important to be attractive, practically able to duplicate reality in the smallest details.
Gaming in the fanatasy world allows the incorporation of video game elements or a much greater gamefication of games than in the usual online environment. From a visual point of view, from a game environment point of view, playing casino games in the Metaverse environment is much more customisable, which makes the gaming experience more attractive from this point of view. The player can make settings that can satisfy different preferences and create an atmosphere unique to him. The level of customisation also increases player engagement and enjoyment. The gaming experience in the Metaverse is far superior to that of classic online.
I think the main strength of fantasy is that the avatar protects you from indiscretions and (pre)judgments and relieves you from the anxiety of your own personality or the environment you come from.
Mobile gambling and social media
Let’s not forget mobility. People have got used to mobility, they prefer to have more and more fun on their mobile. You see them on the subway, on the train, in waiting rooms, many take a break to play on their mobile phone or tablet. 5G has made smartphones more powerful, they have faster mobile internet, uploading and downloading data is now ultra-fast, reducing those delays and providing a fast and seamless connection.
Online casinos have made significant investments in the development of mobile platforms and have created user-friendly apps.
In addition, many online operators have started to integrate this mobility with social media. We know how often we access our mobile networks from our mobile phone and how this allows operators to find ideas to connect us to the various messaging platforms simplifying game selection and cash deposits. Online gambling operators offer us all the convenience we need to stay connected to our favourite games.
Online gambling in 2024 will be about discretion, convenience, gamification, socialisation and mobility. We’ll see by the end of this year what mattered more to people.