The past two years have been very turbulent for various industries. The casino and betting sectors were not spared, something that is understandable. However, the far-reaching impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic may have catalyzed the growth of the online gambling sector as other industries suffered.
2021 was mostly about economic recovery across the globe. This was expected to have an impact on the iGaming sector especially as land-based casino operations began reopening their doors. While a bit of normalcy has been regained in some areas, we are living in something that is best described as a new normal.
For online gamblers, the new normal sounds like a good thing. The sector has been subject to massive growth. Still, if the dynamism of the sector is anything to go by, that was just the beginning. 2022 kicks off on a high note with a lot of optimism regarding the future of online casinos and sportsbooks.
A lot could happen during the year but as always, we can rely on current trends for a glimpse of what we can expect.
The Resurgence of Live Dealer Online Games
Live dealer games have been around for quite some time. Even so, the vertical seemed to have stagnated at some point as operators opted to capitalize on Artificial Intelligence and algorithms for their casino games. There are still lots of people who prefer casino games delivered in that format. However, live dealer games are where all the fun is at especially if you have ever visited a brick-and-mortar casino.
Having a real dealer takes the iGaming experience to a whole new level. The only drawback seemed to have been the technology that enabled the activity. This has, thankfully, gotten much better. Such things as high-speed networks, state-of-the-art studios and high-definition displays have improved immensely. So, applications that depend on these have taken full advantage of the advancements.
So, whether you prefer to play live dealer roulette, blackjack, or poker, you can rest assured of finding a high-quality experience. The technology aside, operators have also invested in training and educating their staff to deliver the best gameplay to the players.
Updated Regulations and Responsible Gambling
Online gambling’s growth rate has been so fast that policymakers have been having a bit of trouble keeping up. Various laws, regulations and frameworks need to be updated and 2022 is likely to see a lot of progress in that regard. This will not only ensure that financial crimes are prevented but also that the collection of tax revenue from iGaming is optimized.
Crime is not the only thing that we have to worry about in the coming years. The online space has made gambling services and products more accessible than ever before. As a result, cases of gambling-related harm have been steadily rising as more people indulge in the activity.
Across the world, there are plans for updated safer gambling regulations. These will shape the way operators design online gambling experiences and their advertising techniques. Perhaps the most impressive thing about this is the fact that even casinos themselves are doing their part when it comes to protecting the wellbeing of the users. For example, many casinos now give players info about safe gambling practices as well as self-exclusion options.
Online casinos were among the first businesses to jump on the cryptocurrency and blockchain bandwagon. Since then, both sectors have advanced immensely. Now that the technologies are on the verge of mainstream adoption, it is only logical that the iGaming industry will double down on crypto adoption.
This year, we will likely see even more gambling operators get in on the crypto craze. Players can look forward to enjoying a variety of perks from the move. These perks include incredibly fast payments, lower costs, and even anonymity in some cases. Crypto and blockchain will likely be subject to some regulatory measures now that institution interest is growing.
Soon enough, digital tokens will replace traditional payment methods. 2022 might not be the year that happens, but we expect the year to be when a lot of the progress kicks off.
One thing that barely gets mentioned is how hard brick-and-mortar casinos are working to return to normalcy. Online gambling is all the buzz right now, but the land-based gaming venues are not going away anytime soon. They are still an integral part of the retail gambling experience with lots of fans from across the globe.
After a tumultuous 2020 and an equally challenging 2021, the casino and betting venues are likely to keep trying to get back to how they were pre-pandemic. It will take some time and the recovery period may extend even beyond 2022 but its potential to be profitable remains very high. For that reason, it is unlikely that players and operators will give up on them. These will live and operate right alongside their online counterparts.