Over the past 20 years, the gambling industry has been in a state of constant change. Emerging trends are taking over the market quickly, leaving traditional forms of gambling behind. By introducing the latest trends to the market, gambling companies make betting attractive to the younger public and thus spread their influence.
According to statistics, online gambling has already taken over the global betting market. Moreover, in 2017, the online gambling market generated £4.7 billion in the UK alone. Evidently, the online gambling industry is on the rise, and it shows no signs of slowing down any time soon. But what changes are we to expect within the online betting market in the UK?
1. More people bet to on e-Sports
The first change in the UK online gambling industry has to do with the increasing number of people betting on e-Sports. Betting on e-Sports emerged just a few years ago, after the inception of the first major e-Sports tournaments. According to supercasinosites prize pools for modern-day tournaments continue to grow, as is the e-Sports fan base.
Back in 2016, an estimated 300 million people watched e-Sports. According to experts, however, this number will grow to over 427 million by 2019. Of course, as the number of fans grows, so does the yearly revenues of this new and emerging betting market.
In 2015, the global e-Sports industry generated about $325 million. But by 2020, the market is expected to grow to as much as $1.5 billion, which will certainly influence the e-Sports betting market.
In the UK, an estimated 8.5% of all gamblers wagers on e-Sports. According to statistics, the majority of e-Sports punters are males aged 25 to 34; still, 42% of punters are females. Unlike men, who tend to bet on e-Sports with real money, women prefer to wager using in-game items.
At present, an increasing amount of UK bookmakers have started to accept e-Sports bets. Finally, there are even e-Sports casinos, where you can bet on a number of games, such as Dota 2, League of Legends, and Call of Duty.
2. Introduction of cryptocurrencies
Even though online gambling has taken over the industry and e-Sports has grown in popularity, new forms of currencies have remained largely frowned upon. As a matter of fact, cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin might be the ideal solution to gamblers’ and operators’ online transaction problem.
Using fiat money to make a casino deposit can take as little as a few hours or as long as one week, depending on the chosen payment method. Virtual currencies, on the other hand, allow transactions to be made immediately. What is more, cryptocurrency transactions come at low or no fees, as they do not work with an intermediary. Of course, reduced transaction times and lower fees are great, but they are not what makes cryptocurrencies ideal for betting. Rather, it is the level of anonymity they provide.
Cryptocurrency casinos already exist, but their number is very limited. Nevertheless, their number is likely to increase in the near future, as cryptocurrencies are being used by more and more gamblers.
3. Big brands could merge
First introduced in 2001, fixed odds betting terminals (FOBTs) are common in betting shops all over the UK. According to experts, however, they can cause a gambling addiction, which is why Parliament decided to reduce the machines’ maximum stake.
Whether the reduced maximum stake of FOBTs will help beat gambling addiction or not is still impossible to say. What is certain is that big brands are likely to merge in an attempt to compensate for the losses in their land-based establishments by introducing more profitable online gaming measures.
As you may know, GVC Holdings already merged with Ladbrokes Coral in March 2018. Moreover, William Hill, which is one of UK’s most profitable bookmakers, is said to have negotiated with the Stars Group on a potential omni-channel platform back in 2016, but the talks seem to have failed. According to analysts, we are likely to witness more big brand merges in the near future.
4. VR casinos to become more popular
If you like the look of today’s casinos, you will love the look of tomorrow’s VR casinos.
Whereas VR technology remains relatively new and unpopular at the moment, estimations predict that the VR gambling industry will undergo a growth of about 55% between 2018 and 2022. So, what makes VR casinos better?
Essentially, VR technology allows you to walk in an online casino, play a diversity of games and potentially win a lot of money – all from the comfort of your home. What VR gives is an enhanced reality that will undoubtedly better your gambling experience.
Currently, a number of online operators work with VR technology, but as the technology is still in development, opinions are mixed. In the future, however, VR casinos are likely to prevail over the online gambling market.