Online gambling, also called iGaming, is a thriving industry, worth $137 billion, according to newzoo.com, and expected to grow by $73.5 billion by 2024. The US market alone, worth $30 billion, is expected to grow by 51% CAGR by 2020.
ICE – the only global B2B gaming conference bringing offline and online players – is a true reflection of this growth trend, as seen in last week’s three-day conference in London. With 10 sectors, 158 speakers and 5 parallel streams, Innovecs, attending the conference this year, could feel the energy and buzz, through the innovative 2D and 3D (and VR) games on display, the excitement around platforms – payment aggregators, data intelligence and AI – and partnership announcements.
So, what are the 5 major industry trends that we, at Innovecs, feel encapsulate the excitement at ICE this year?
- Consumer demand is peaking
According to Rutgers Centre for Gambling studies, 10% of players spend $500,000 annually on betting, with the largest bet during one single day around $36,000. There’s an untapped demand for visually stimulating games, online and mobile – easy to use, colorful, with seamless UI and animation, recognizable and popular characters, and most importantly fair play.
2. Competition & Innovation amongst game providers is intensifying
In recognition of the peaking consumer demand, competition is intensifying amongst games providers and operators, and new entrants are emerging. Incumbents are transitioning familiar offline casino & slot games for online and mobile consumption and partnering with those, who provide fresher, more dynamic UI with add-on features such as level unlocks, positive rewards etc. As a result, business strategies are centering around tapping into addressable markets in mature and emerging (unregulated) markets, but also identifying and retaining high use consumers.
Saying all this, previous hot buttons around blockchain and VR seemed to feature less in this year’s ICE – perhaps an indication of over-hype or niche solutions. Fair to say, however, that gaming logic / ‘the Maths’ continue to remain proprietary, and 3D animation, 3D slots, Microgaming continue to feature as important trends.
3. B2B Platform plays on the rise
Within this ballooning industry, platform providers are tapping into a need from smaller or new entrants to reduce complexities and improve go to market through building valuable aggregation services – whether in payments, backend processing, licensing, or content management systems. Add-ons include credit scoring functionality, built-in to manage down AML and fraud within transactions.
4. Big data instrumental in (sports) betting
A part of the conference was dedicated to data intelligence and AI. Immense, scaled, and accurate data intelligence platforms (built from extracted and warehoused data – bets, sports data, results, user profiles) are building hype amongst operators and investors alike. The opportunity to maximize returns, reduce risk on bets through predictive analytics on future bets, more accurate profiling of target users, is becoming a commercial and viable reality in this industry.
5. Regulation and legislation are progressive and enabling
Mature gambling markets in Europe and North America continue to create enabling policies which encourage competition, innovation, fair, and socially responsible gaming. And as a result, these markets remain buoyant as they introduce licensing models (e.g. Isle of Man eGaming B2B licenses) to tackle inefficiencies in the market.
More emerging markets in LATAM and South East Asia are aggressively growing, whilst regulation remains light.
What does this mean for iGaming solution providers like Innovecs?
Innovecs delivers end to end games (from 2D and 3D Art & Animation, through to game design and platform development), and has a spirit of innovation in 3D slots, playables, and VR. Even for turnkey solution providers, like Innovecs, the opportunity to partner is clear.
The obvious challenge for the industry to meet the burgeoning demand and remain competitive is the shortage of skilled resources in their chosen markets, and then the risk of lost revenue opportunity. The simple answer is to look towards highly skilled, experienced and cost-effective solution providers such as Innovecs, that has the ability to deliver discrete projects on time and within budget.
When it comes to Innovecs’ experience, our team has served such big-name companies as NeoGames, Gameion, Zynga, and Gameloft. Our gaming projects include slots, sports betting, blackjack, poker, keno, iLottery, scratch, and virtual reality.
If you wish to see more, visit our website at www.innovecsgaming.com.