There has been a lot of growth in the iGaming industry over the past 12 months. Lots of new players have been driven towards online casinos thanks to worldwide events. The upwards trend of growth is likely to slow down but is set to continue to some degree.
The rapid increase of new users will no doubt fuel innovation and new trends in the industry but what can we expect to see in 2021? The following article will outline some of the expected trends we are likely to see as the year progresses in the iGaming space.
Smartphones have transformed how we consume media and play games and that is no different for online casino games and the like. Mobile use is only set to increase as users increasingly opt to play games on their handheld devices. Over half of internet browsing and gameplay is now conducted via a smartphone or tablet.
Nowadays, most new casino games can be played on mobile devices without the need for any download. These can be accessed via a browser and played as the developer intended. The trend towards mobile-optimised content in iGaming will continue.
Given the number of people preferring to play games on their phones, online casinos have little choice but to find a way to optimise their sites and titles for mobile use.
What’s more, smartphones increasingly have features like facial recognition and biometric checks that will negate the need for manually set passwords. In this field, smartphones have an advantage over desktop computers or laptops as they are far easier to programme these sorts of mechanisms. Being able to verify yourself to make a quick transaction by holding your thumb against your mobile device is convenient and easy for the user.
Virtual reality has been around for a few years now but it is fast becoming a household piece of tech. VR headsets are increasingly popular and are only becoming more advanced and more affordable as time passes. Facebook is the latest big-name company reportedly investing in VR to develop new technology.
The online casino industry is rarely far behind and we could see the first popular VR online casino games coming our way very soon. Developers are keen to employ VR aspects in their games.
Online poker has been earmarked as a potential game that could be improved by the inclusion of virtual reality. This would naturally help with the immersive aspect of the game and could create a more realistic setting that has a closer feel to a brick-and-mortar casino from the comfort of your own home. This would be a huge advantage given the current worldwide pandemic but would also have limitless possibilities in terms of setting and visuals.
Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are fast becoming a well-known and accepted form of currency across the globe. Online casinos are perhaps ahead of the curb in terms of embracing cryptocurrency and that is a trend only likely to continue. Bitcoin has been the poster boy for crypto up until now but there are others making a name for themselves like Dogecoin that may soon become a regular in the online casino industry.
There are plenty of advantages to using crypto in online gambling. These currencies come with reduced transaction fees and often have higher deposit and withdrawal limits. In addition to this, they are oftentimes the fastest method of withdrawal and can provide full anonymity for the player. Furthermore, welcome bonuses and promotions are regularly more favourable if you choose to go with crypto.
Given the number of perks to using crypto, it is a reasonable expectation to expect to see these becoming more widespread in online casino play during the course of 2021.
Esports was already a fast-growing market but the pandemic has only helped accelerate this further. The absence of professional sports for a period of 2020 meant that many turned to Esports for betting markets.
With the spotlight on Esports, the industry gained many new fans and continued to grow. The number of titles that professional players now compete in is only expanding with something for everyone from FIFA to League of Legends to Free Fire.
Big-name advertisers and sports teams have been investing heavily in Esports recently and growth is only set to go one way. In terms of online betting, the number of markets available is increasing and the amount of sportsbooks taking bets on Esports is expanding. 2021 is set to be a huge year for Esports and the sky is the limit.