All across the world iGaming is on the rise. In Portugal, the gambling regulator SRIJ reported increased revenues of €114.2 million for the last quarter. In the USA the industry has reported a 644% revenue increase and in the UK iGaming now accounts for over a third of the country’s gross gambling yield.
There are other examples too, we just don’t have the spare words, time, or inclination to list the hundreds of countries in which iGaming is thriving – suffice to say it is a long, long list. Despite this success, the industry is not resting on its laurels. In fact, there are many new options in 2022 that the industry is currently considering to improve its standing. In this article, we take a look at a few of those options. First, though, it’s time to answer the question on the tip of your tongue…
What is iGaming?
Jargon. That’s what iGaming is, complete and utter jargon made up by some white-collar executives who thought that ‘gambling’ was too controversial a word to use in their press releases and business plans. Essentially iGaming describes any form of gambling that is done online; sports wagering, slots, online poker, etc. It has nothing to do with gaming, video games, or free-to-play online games as the name would suggest.
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If it helps, think of it as iGambling rather than iGaming.
Right, now the admin is out of the way, let’s take a look at some of the innovations coming iGaming *sorry* iGambling’s way this year…
It’s impossible to go anywhere nowadays without hearing something, seeing something, or reading something about cryptocurrency.
Whether it’s an article in the newspaper about Ethereum, a commercial for crypto trading on TikTok, or a man with a beard in a coffee shop telling you about his favorite fair-trade beans and the crypto that he uses to pay for them.
Just like you and me, the gambling industry has found it impossible to ignore crypto in recent years and it looks like 2022 is going to be the year that industry big wigs do something about it.
Over the course of the past 18 months, a smattering of small providers has made news by allowing their punters to deposit and withdraw in crypto. In general, this has proved to be successful, resulting in securer transactions and increased publicity for iGaming.
Fresh off the back of this, expect to see a number of big-name providers jumping on the crypto bandwagon in 2022 after witnessing the success of smaller competitors in 2021.
According to a number of studies, esports is one of the fastest-growing leisure activities on the planet. At the time of writing, best estimates suggest that there are around 495 million avid esports fans around the world.
By the end of the decade, that figure is expected to almost quadruple to 1.9 billion; that’s 1.6 billion fewer than the world’s most popular sport – soccer. It’s no wonder then that the gambling industry is already making plans for esports.
In 2022 expect to see a concerted push from the industry to not only provide odds on esports bouts but to actively market it to their existing customers.
In the final quarter of 2021 15% of the US, population owned a smartwatch, representing a 30% increase from the previous quarter. The trend is clear; more and more people are embracing smartwatch technology.
This hasn’t slipped the attention of the iGaming industry. There has already been concerted efforts made to migrate quick and easy games like slots to smartwatches. If you think about it, gambling apps on watches are great for the iGaming industry.
The smartphone has already made it easier than ever before for people to gamble. Having those games on your watch makes it even easier. It could encourage players to have a quick spin of the slots in a queue or whilst waiting for friends.
Every article about the gambling industry for the past 5 years has involved some sort of mention of virtual reality technology. Up until recently most of the claims made about VR technology had been nothing more than fanciful.
In 2022 however, there will be a big push from the industry in terms of VR. Numerous prototypes have already been released to some degree of success by smaller providers and ambitious tech start-ups.
This year we’re going to start seeing some of the big boys getting involved in VR.
The biggest success story of iGaming in recent years has been the stunning uptake in live streaming technology. In 2022 there is going to be continued investment in live streaming technology from every area of the industry.
Consumer feedback suggests that live streaming immerses players in the action like never before. This immersion leads to longer playing times and in turn bigger revenues for the iGaming industry.
In 2022 we can expect to see live streaming become the dominant force both in terms of revenues and as a focus for marketing campaigns.