How the iGaming industry has grown over the last ten years
Since 2010, the global iGaming sector has changed immensely, reinventing itself after the early days of sportsbetting and poker. The last decade has seen global online gambling revenue more than double, from €21billion in 2010 to over €50billion in 2019.
Here we take a look back at ten of the biggest changes to help drive the industry forward to where it is today.
Blockchain and AI
The iGaming sector has always been closely linked to the software and technology industries, to the point where development talent is competing with Silicon Valley. More recently, the advances in blockchain and AI technologies have allowed for better logistics in the iGaming industry in many different areas.
One particular area is player protection, where Artificial Intelligence is employed with great effectiveness to put a spotlight on problem gambling and help users to be responsible. In a more regulated global environment, specifically in Europe, a future-forward approach to responsible gambling has become a business-critical requirement.
Of course, SiGMA Group has been at the forefront of the emerging technology boom since 2018 with the AIBC Summit, and has facilitated growth in the sector between iGaming and blockchain services.
Rise of live casino games
As broadband speeds have increased over the last decade, a multitude of live streaming video is now available to facilitate live casino games, bringing the entertainment and trust factor of live dealers and real croupies into the users front room.
In Asia, live casino games are the most popular form of online gambling, due to a different culture where trust is placed on the live element of having a real person spin the roulette wheel, deal the cards, or roll the dice. There are some brands which have large warehouse spaces filled with live streamed games tables, comprising some 10,000 live games at any time.
Following the opening of bank APIs with the UK’s Open Banking initiative, and the Europe-wide CMA Order and PSD2 back in 2015, the iGaming sector has seen a number of revolutionary changes in both payment systems and KYC registrations.
Through the users banking data now accessible via services such as Trustly’s Pay’n’Play technologies, users can get online and start enjoying iGaming entertainment in a fraction of the time, while the operators get more trusted KYC information in seconds rather than hours. It’s provided a huge leap forward for iGaming operators and players alike.
Gambling on mobile devices has come a long way since 2010, and it’s now largely a mobile first marketplace for online gambling. Brands like LeoVegas are putting the mobile experience front and centre, while the female market has proliferated due to mobile being a preferred platform for the fairer sex.
Sportsbetting has also benefited from the ‘always with you’ mobile approach, and with advances in technology and 4G data networks, in-play betting is now one of the most popular forms of betting for sports fans, whether at the game or in the pub.
As iGaming has become more mainstream we’ve seen so many new products come to market - cryptocurrency-based casinos, hyper casual betting games, fantasy sports at a new level and eSports, all colliding to bring new ways of playing to an evolving millennial audience.
Hyper casual games in particular are an area to keep an eye on – TronBet’s Moon is such an example, with a simple game mechanic integrated with crypto, and this game is absolutely smashing it at the moment. It’s the future!
US Gambling sector
After the hardline legislation in the US from 2001-2010, the recent repeal of PASPA and geo-compliance technology has helped open the doors to the variously prohibited US sports betting and casino marketplace.
While there’s a long way to go, it’s never been easier to implement online gambling projects in the United States, depending on location and approach. State-level legislation has made opportunities for online gambling platform to collaborate with land-based casinos a realistic possibility, although federal legislation still holds back a full repeal of the Wire Act restrictions on cross-border gambling. Something for the 2020s to look at.
Virtual reality sports betting
The sports betting sector has also benefited from the advances in AI and emerging technologies, alongside faster broadband and the increased processing power of our devices.
In the last few years virtual reality sports betting has seen huge growth in its popularity, with players enjoying football games, horse racing, greyhound racing, and other sports that no longer need to be live action to be engaging. Random number generators are used to ensure that neither bookmaker nor customer knows the result in advance, while better graphics engines provide gameplay that can rival watching the real thing.
Of course, virtual reality games can be played at any time, and as many times as the player chooses, making the fun last as long as desired, rather than just a Saturday afternoon.
A key part of the expanding global iGaming industry is the regulatory environment in which operators must run their businesses, bringing trust and transparency to the sector.
The MGA was established in 2001 to regulate the various sectors of the gaming industry that fall under the MGA's authority, by ensuring fairness transparency to players using gaming services, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering and to protect minor and vulnerable players.
The Authority was one of the first regulators to offer legislation that regulates the activity of online gambling companies and create a secure atmosphere for players. A comprehensive set of legislation, regulations and directives regulate the industry, starting with Lotteries and Other Games Act, 2001, and Chapters 438 and 400 of the Laws of Malta.
The online gambling sector in Malta has grown tremendously since 2001, with the industry generating over 12% of the country's GDP
Globalisation of the industry
There has been a divide between East and West in terms of cultural differences when it comes to the online gambling industry, but as technology and collaboration grows between European companies and the Asian sector, we’re witnessing a globalisation of the iGaming industry.
Alongside the meeting of minds between suppliers and operators from opposite sides of the globe, we’re also seeing regulatory bodies conversing and bringing each other’s regulations into line with each other. The attendance of PAGCOR (the Philippines regulatory body) at SiGMA’19 is testament to this growing union between East and West.
Naturally we’d also like to highlight the success story of SiGMA in the last decade. While we only started our iGaming event in Malta back in 2014, in just six short years, we’ve grown to become a global leader in the events space for iGaming, AI & blockchain, and emerging technologies.
In 2020, we’re also capitalising on our globetrotting experience with SiGMA Roadshows to host the largest iGaming, land-based gaming, and emerging technology event in Asia. SiGMA Manila and the concurrent AIBC Summit will take place at the massive SMX Convention centre in the Philippines on June 8-9, 2020. Reserve your place on our registration page now.
About SiGMA Expo:
The iGaming summit SiGMA is setting its sights on Asia. Our ground breaking Asian iGaming expo will be held in Manila, on the 8th & 9th of June 2020. SiGMA's largest venue to date will bring together high quality conferences and content, premium networking opportunities, and luxury networking event. 10,000 delegates from across Europe, the US, and Asia are expected to attend, making this one of the biggest shows to unite East and West in the region. To become a part of the fastest paced Asian iGaming event, book a pass or sponsor & exhibit.