For many people in different countries, the ability to bet on online slots or on the outcome of a sporting event has become a favorite hobby. The development of digital technologies and the Internet contributed to the natural transition of gambling to online. It is because of the connection of online technologies with recreation that they were given the name iGaming.
The term iGaming can be used not only in a narrow, but in a broad sense. In a narrow sense, the term iGaming refers to online bets on the outcome of a game of chance using electronic means. That’s why we say that “i” in iGaming means “internet”.
More broadly, the term iGaming encompasses a range of games including casinos, sports betting, sweepstakes, lotteries, bingo and card games. That is, when using this term in a broad sense, we mean an industry that spans several online verticals, including various entities in these verticals.
For example, an online casino gaming software company is part of the larger iGaming market.
Unlike games of chance, the outcome of which is strongly influenced by RNG or fortune, there are so-called games of skill.
The gambling category includes online casinos, online sports betting, sweepstakes, online lotteries, bingo, fantasy sports and eSports.
Skill games include card games (poker, blackjack, bridge, etc.), as well as chess, backgammon and other games, the outcome of which is more influenced by the mental abilities of the player than by chance.
The popularization of the Internet has made it possible not only for local, but also for foreign operators to provide players with online gambling services.
In turn, the legislative bodies of different countries are trying to keep this type of activity in their field of vision, and in this regard, they establish their own rules for regulating the iGaming industry.
The person in charge of the iGaming business is the operator whose activities are to carry out day-to-day operations and marketing in order to offer online bets to end users.
In many countries of the world, the government is in charge of regulating the legal activities of online gambling operators. So, in Europe the list of such countries includes: Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Sweden, Finland, Norway and others.
These geographically regulated markets often require local licenses. That is, along with land-based gambling, each online gambling provider must have a license that allows them to provide services to players in a certain country.
For example, in Lithuania, before an operator is allowed to run an online gambling website, it must have a certain number of active land-based gambling establishments in the country.
In some countries, for example, in Israel, a complete ban on gambling has been introduced. Other countries are neutral, that is, they do not prohibit or allow online casinos. For example, in the Netherlands until October 2023 there were no bans or rules for iGaming, however, after the introduction of legislation, the market of this country became regulated, and online casinos were recognized as legal.
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a strong impact on all spheres of life and activity of mankind throughout the planet, including the gambling industry.
During that period, all land-based casinos, bookmakers and gaming halls were closed, and sports events on which players could bet were suspended. However, for online gambling, the coronavirus has caused a sharp increase in demand. While many industries remained at the stage of deceleration or complete shutdown, the gambling industry received such a “bonus”.
Statistics showed that in 2023 the global online gambling market was estimated at more than 70 billion US dollars, and analysts predict steady growth in the long term.
Thanks to the rapid development of mobile technology, iGaming has become more attractive to players compared to traditional land-based casinos. And players have the opportunity to choose from a variety of themes, cutting-edge graphics, animations and modern soundtracks.
Long before the COVID-19 pandemic, the market saw an increase in the popularity of smartphones with improved Internet access, which continues now and has prospects for further development. Mobile device owners are getting new opportunities to get new sensations to the usual experience, and VR / AR technology can complement online betting.
Today, one of the leading live casino providers, Evolution, which previously released a virtual reality product based on the popular slot machine title Gonzo’s Quest, continues to explore the application of virtual reality technology.
Today, there are more and more technologies that will contribute to the growth of the online gambling market in the near future. These include:
Currently, there are two types of online casinos that use the capabilities of this technology: crypto casinos with the integration of crypto payment systems and casinos based directly on the blockchain.
In the first case, the online casino accepts the following types of currencies for deposits and withdrawals: Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), Bitcoin (BTC), along with fiat currencies.
In the case of a blockchain casino, transactions using cryptocurrency are carried out without the participation of intermediaries, that is, directly between the player’s crypto wallet and the blockchain through the game. The technology provides fixation of game results and excludes any influence on them. In addition, the blockchain works with maximum anonymity, since when registering an account in a casino, the user is not required to provide personal information.
Thanks to the use of blockchain technology, withdrawal processing is almost instantaneous, with no delays to start betting.
In addition, iGaming operators that support cryptocurrencies have the opportunity to offer gamblers the lowest commissions for depositing and withdrawing funds, because they work without intermediaries and decentralization.
Streaming and social networks
iGaming consumers are in high demand for live streaming and video content because live streaming gives users the opportunity to watch their favorite streamer bets in real time and watch the highlights of the game with them.
In turn, streamers are also making efforts to make the broadcast spectacular. They choose slots that offer frequent bonuses and generous payouts, and also stir up interest with their emotions during the broadcast.
This approach helps to attract user traffic to an online casino, especially if a given operator and a specific streamer interact as part of an affiliate program. The task of the streamer is to post information useful to the players on their page. For example, these can be operator rating indicators, which are interspersed with advertising banners and links to the partner casino website.
However, not all streaming platforms support gambling ads. So, in 2023, videos and broadcasts containing promotional codes and referral links to gaming sites were banned on the Twitch platform. While the platform has ordered streamers to remove such content, casino streaming has not completely disappeared from the platform.
As a tool to attract a young audience and maintain the level of interest in the game, online casinos add elements of gamification to the gameplay. Recall that the term gamification refers to the addition of additional opportunities for involvement and loyalty inherent in the video game industry. This can be character selection, quests, level rewards, and more.
Using gamification increases the level of retention of players by motivating players, and depending on the choice of mechanics or gamification tool, it satisfies different needs of players.
For example, participation in a tournament gives the player the opportunity to compete and become the first among others in order to take first places in the success table and receive various bonuses from online casinos.
The ability of the player to choose the character himself allows him to introduce personal preferences into the game, which increase his interest in the game and involvement in the gambling process.
They are fun and interesting missions with transitions from easier to more difficult levels. The player who successfully completed all the tasks of the quest receives a prize that maintains satisfaction and motivates them to continue to stay in the game.
Gaming graphics and 5G
Now HTML5 is widely used to create slot machines. HTML5 slots feature fast-loading, small-sized games that work on all platforms. However, HTML5 is not the only engine that is used in the development of slot machines. A lot of attention is paid to the Unity game engine, which is used to develop 3D game content that is popular in mobile and desktop games.
Download speed is essential for player retention, so 5G technology makes this possible and is one way to make your casino or sports betting experience run smoothly.
Developing along with technology, iGaming opens up new opportunities for gambling lovers.
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