If there’s an industry that thrived during the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s online gambling. By some estimates, the global value of the online gambling sector was to reach $66.7 billion in 2020 and $92.9 billion in 2023. The pandemic only strengthened the position of the industry. Growth, followed by innovation, made this niche interesting for several reasons, and we impatiently wait to see what trends 2022 will bring.
We even tried to predict some of them and decided to write an article on online gambling and poker trends we should keep an eye on in 2022.
Poker apps will take the lead in mobile gaming
With ever-evolving smartphone technology, we can only expect mobile gaming to keep growing. Poker apps are more popular than ever, and the line between “live” and online games is becoming blurrier each day.
Poker providers now offer live casino games where human dealers do their thing on cameras, while players can participate and follow the game via the app. Furthermore, poker apps are becoming more functional, and with increasingly realistic AI/VR technology, more and more people will completely switch to playing poker online.
Crypto will take charge in the online gambling world
The gambling world has welcomed cryptocurrencies with open hands, and their popularity in this industry is only expected to grow in the upcoming years. The security and anonymity of cryptocurrencies make them appealing to millions of gamblers worldwide.
Furthermore, this payment method allowed gambling companies to reach previously untapped markets, especially in regions where online gambling is illegal. The anonymous nature of crypto transactions enables even people from restricted countries to play online games freely.
A change in the types of games available
Developments in AR and VR technologies will significantly impact the online gambling world. We can expect the shift from classic slot-type gaming to more modern games with additional interactive features.
Land-based casinos will experience a further decline
Along with these lines, we can expect a further reduction in the number of land-based casinos due to the popularity of online gambling websites. During the COVID-19 pandemic, many people realized that they used to spend a lot of time and money on coming to traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. Online gaming is much more affordable, accessible, and convenient. Plus, online casinos offer something new: greater privacy, greater convenience, and an overall improved game experience.
Live poker streaming will experience an increase in viewership
Twitch and similar streaming platforms will keep increasing their viewer counts. People will watch more and more live games, whether through online PC gaming platforms like Steam or more general ones such as Twitch. The ease of viewing live events in esports, online poker, and traditional sports matches will further drive the online betting industry.
There will be more live dealer games
It’s not a secret that players prefer online casinos that offer a more realistic experience. They mostly like to engage with real people, so more and more websites will try to incorporate this feature to gain an advantage over the competition. Human interaction makes any game more attractive, so we’re sure that along with AR and VR technologies, casinos will hire more people to try and emulate the brick-and-mortar gambling experience for their online patrons.
Improved slot machines
Some land-based casinos will try to stem the online gaming tide by adding new and improved slot machines to appeal to younger generations of gamblers. We can’t really say how it will all look, but more engaging mechanics inspired by popular online games will likely have a big impact on the design of future slot machines in brick-and-mortar casinos.
With 2021 finally behind us, we’re all excited to see what this year will bring. One thing’s for sure: the gambling industry is undergoing rapid and significant changes. Only time will tell if brick-and-mortar casinos will survive or eventually give way to online gaming establishments completely.