In March 2022, Reportlinker published the results of a study on the topic “Global Casino Market in 2022–2026”. The main emphasis was laid on the trends of the gaming industry and the impact of the new strain of COVID-19 on the sector.
Bullet points in the Reportlinker report:
The gambling market will grow by 38.2 billion dollars over the next 4 years. The average annual level of capitalisation during the forecasting period will be 3.97%.
The growing popularity of online gambling, as well as the liberalisation of the regulatory framework and increased interest in eSports betting, will become the impetus for the growth of the casino industry.
The research covers 25 global software vendors. These are Flutter Entertainment Plc, Evolution Gaming Group, Betsson AB, Playson Ltd, and other international corporations. Each of them has diversified its activity during the pandemic by expanding the product range.
The spread of Omicron and other strains of coronavirus will not cause much harm to the casino niche. The market has already adapted to quarantine restrictions during previous outbreaks, so it is easier for it to adjust to new changes in the global economy.
The driving force behind the market will be the development of gambling in North America. Authorities of the country are gradually legalising online entertainment. Slot machines, lotteries, and betting options are becoming more and more popular. A third of the revenue will come from the European continent and another 25% — from operators from Southeast Asia and Australia.
The land-based gambling sector will not return to its pre-quarantine profitability anytime soon. According to the American Gaming Association, in 2021, casino revenues decreased by 31%. Analysts predict that the situation will start improving only by the end of 2024 if there are no new lockdowns.
This is the simplest and most obvious way, which was extremely effective during hard lockdowns. Operators that launched or expanded their online offerings not only did not lose a stable income but also increased their revenues.
Owners of land-based casinos can place live studios in their gambling halls and organise streaming in Full HD format. Content with live dealers will attract a solvent audience and help entrepreneurs to retain loyal customers who have been visiting the location for many years.
Businessmen should definitely add the following positions to their gaming site:
Live blackjack, roulette, poker, and baccarat are very popular with the audience. Users prefer the live format because of the authentic gameplay, good payouts, and the highest image quality.
The decision to install live dealer solutions will bring you profit thanks to the side betting system and multi-game support (up to 12 participants at one virtual gambling table)
Participation in a lottery drawing is a quick and easy way to try your luck. Manufacturers offer raffles and scratch cards (rounds with instant results). Both options can diversify the catalogue of casino owners
VR and AR slots
During the pandemic, people were more interested in playing games based on virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality.
Innovative content improves the user experience, increases the engagement of customers, and the dynamics of the gameplay
Products based on this technology conform to the Fair Play principle and are characterised by non-standard mechanics and voluminous graphics.
The content supports bets in different crypto tokens (Bitcoins, Altcoins, etc.) and such an option as playing at low limits
Providers can diversify their catalogue of offerings by integrating the following solutions:
eSports bets. During the pandemic, when most competitions were cancelled, bettors turned their attention to eSports. Its disciplines please users with a wide variety of spheres, a large selection of bets, and the frequency of competitions. The organisation of eSports events almost does not depend on external factors, including quarantine restrictions.
Virtual sports. Such entertainment as 3D simulators of horse racing, dog racing, football, basketball, hockey, and other team sports are popular with players. The software is characterised by excellent high-resolution graphics and a system of main and additional bets.
Drawings on TV. This content is a combination of traditional casino games and betting options. Such classical entertainment as, for example, the wheel of fortune or blackjack acts as the basis of the product. It also provides for a variety of bets on outcomes and intermediate results. The developer organises round-the-clock broadcasts of TV games from professionally equipped studios. Rounds last 15–30 seconds. It is also worth noting that users are offered a flexible loyalty program with pleasant bonuses and good prizes.
Despite the income deficiency in 2020–2021, offline casinos continue to operate. Most of them cooperate with the hotel and restaurant businesses.
Key trends in the field of land-based gambling:
New safety regulations. Protective measures include the requirement to wear masks and gloves (for both casino visitors and its staff), as well as the need to place temperature checkpoints at the entrance and use decontamination equipment.
Reorganisation of the play space. These are changes to the layout of the gambling halls to make sure that social distancing is possible. Operators can increase the distance between card tables and land-based slot machines, install additional screens made of acrylic glass, and equip new gambling halls or rooms where games with live dealers are broadcasted.
Introduction of digital technologies. Casino visitors can control their stay using mobile check-in and check-out, which reduces the busyness of the staff. Entrepreneurs offer contactless payment and booking services provided via smartphones and organise uninterrupted gameplay from any part of the gambling establishment. Content with virtual bets is played on sportsbooks, bar counters, smart TVs, and tablets in hotel rooms.
Mergers and acquisitions. During the pandemic, it was mostly large firms with multi-million dollar financial reserves that survived. Representatives of small and medium businesses need to team up with well-known corporations to stay afloat. This is the path followed by the Entain gambling company. Its shares were bought by the MGM International holding at the end of 2021. More acquisitions and mergers are expected in the coming year.
During the pandemic, the number of active users increased by 2.5 times. On the one hand, this contributed to the capitalisation of the online casino business, and on the other hand, it increased the number of customers.
Specialists of the medicine faculty of the University of Lund (Sweden) highlight several indicators of the manifestation of problems with gambling:
Economic instability. During a time of mass unemployment, many people are increasingly turning to gambling as a source of income. Basically, they try to solve personal financial problems with the help of slot machines or lotteries but, in the end, they become overly indebted.
Negative emotional background. Loneliness, boredom, stress, and depression are the feelings that many people experience at home during quarantine restrictions. Casino games are becoming a way to reduce anxiety and monotony and cope with loneliness and a bad mood.
Lack of a clear work schedule. Many companies switched to a remote work format. In practice, this means more time behind the monitor with intrusive advertising of gambling entertainment, as well as the lack of strict control.
The spread of Omicron and other strains of coronavirus will further increase the number of people who suffer from gaming addiction. To prevent this from happening, the governments of many countries are imposing new restrictions and implementing the principles of responsible gambling.
Main innovations in the European market:
The Spanish authorities have reduced the advertising time for gaming to 4 hours: from 1 am to 5 am. Marketing activities should not be aimed at attracting the attention of minors.
The Belgian gambling regulator announced a limit on deposits (500 euros per week) for all local gaming sites.
The UK authorities have made it mandatory for all operators to check the creditworthiness of customers before accepting their bets. In the country, it is forbidden to play with borrowed funds, as well as to use credit cards to pay in online casinos.
The Latvian regulator has prohibited all types of gambling (slots, bingo, lotteries, and betting) until the coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
The following well-known corporations are regularly making contributions to Anti-COVID-19 foundations:
Scientific Games, one of the most successful manufacturers of software and slots in the US, donates more than 1.5 million dollars every month to specialised medical institutions. The money is used to purchase medicine and modern equipment (ventilators, oxygen regulators, air recovery systems).
Hillside (International Gaming) LP, a betting provider from the United Kingdom, transferred more than 10 million pounds to the British Health Institute.
Meridian Gaming Group, one of the largest online gambling platforms, has committed about 10 million dollars to fight against the virus. The funds were transferred to more than 350 specialised institutions in Europe, Latin America, and Africa. These are national hospitals, blood donor centres, gerontological clinics, and social welfare organisations.
British public TV company, ITV, donated 3.3 million dollars to the National Health Service of the UK. The money was raised from the launch of Virtual Grand National, a 3D royal racing simulator.
Casino projects have carefully prepared for the emergence of new strains of coronavirus in 2022.
Most operators have taken the path of business diversification. Many have shifted their focus to the online environment since this niche has shown a stable growth in incomes over the past few years.
It would be a good decision to expand the product range. Operators can add live content, lottery software, Blockchain slots, and games based on virtual (VR) and augmented (AR) reality to their online casinos. Betting platforms should also be improved by integrating 3D sports simulators and eSports betting.
In the land-based gambling industry, providers are introducing new safety procedures, reorganising the gaming space and using digital technologies in order to minimise the interaction between casino visitors and staff.
The described niche actively supports the health care sector. To purchase medicine, equip medical centres, and finance social welfare organisations, donations are used.