The ever-evolving iGaming industry continues to be reshaped by emerging trends, innovative technologies, and shifting consumer preferences.
As all professionals in the field know, this is an industry where changes in tech and regulations are implemented very fast.
From the transformative influence of crypto and the meteoric rise of esports betting to the increased importance of responsible gaming and data privacy, operators are navigating a dynamic landscape.
In this year of rapid change, the iGaming sector is proving to be agile and adaptable as ever, embracing new opportunities and addressing potential challenges as they appear.
Now let’s dive into the seven most important shifts awaiting the iGaming industry in 2023. According to all experts, these are going to be the driving forces reshaping the industry in months to come.
1. Crypto: A Defining Force in iGaming
Despite the turbulence in the cryptocurrency world in 2022, and the efforts for regulating the market in 2023 (especially in the US), the introduction of digital coins to iGaming has had a profound impact on the industry.
The advent of crypto casinos has carved out a separate niche, catering to the growing number of players who prefer the anonymity, speed, and convenience that cryptocurrencies offer.
This innovation has also enabled operators to overcome traditional barriers, such as cross-border transactions and restrictive banking policies.
Even non-crypto-specialised brands are recognising the potential of digital currencies in the iGaming market.
By offering cryptocurrencies as a payment option, these operators are broadening their appeal, attracting digital coin enthusiasts who might not have otherwise engaged with their platforms.
As the world becomes more accustomed to cryptocurrencies, it’s likely that the iGaming industry will continue to evolve and adapt to embrace this defining force.
2. Web3 Lotteries: A New Frontier in iGaming
As the world embraces decentralised technologies, Web3 lotteries are emerging as an innovative and exciting addition to the iGaming landscape.
Built on blockchain platforms, these lotteries offer players unprecedented transparency and fairness, thanks to the web3 lotteries running on smart contracts.
The inherent trustworthiness of the technology, coupled with the potential for provably fair draws, instils confidence in participants and encourages wider adoption of Web3 lotteries.
Moreover, Web3 lotteries facilitate frictionless transactions through the use of cryptocurrencies, allowing players to participate from anywhere in the world without the limitations imposed by traditional payment methods.
As the iGaming industry continues to evolve in response to technological advancements, Web3 lotteries are poised to play a significant role in shaping the future of lotteries and iLotteries.
They will attract a new generation of players who value the unique benefits that decentralised systems have to offer.
3. Metaverse Casinos: iGaming Enters a New Dimension
The impact of meta-universes has been felt across industries, most notably with Facebook’s rebranding to Meta and the rise of Decentraland.
iGaming, a perpetually dynamic sector, has been quick to embrace this new frontier.
Online gambling meta-worlds bring together cutting-edge AR/VR technology, blockchain, and innovative gameplay to provide players with an immersive gambling experience.
Within the metaverse, iGaming operators can offer exclusive gaming portfolios with immense potential for growth.
The metaverse introduces a fresh perspective to classics such as slot machines and blackjack which will be accessed in a completely new way.
However, game developers will face the challenge of striking a delicate balance between catchy graphics, engaging storylines, and players’ hardware limitations.
Meanwhile, payment systems within meta-casinos are expected to evolve, with cryptocurrencies and NFTs becoming the norm.
This development could address issues related to cross-border transactions but might also limit the market to crypto users.
4. Esports Betting: A Growing Market with Immense Potential
By 2028, the esports betting market is projected to reach a staggering 24,190 million USD, according to Business Research Insights.
This exciting development highlights the immense potential and relevance of esports. Attracting a younger, tech-savvy audience with an average age of 28, esports betting provides an opportunity for bookmakers to expand and rejuvenate their target player base.
The global appeal of esports has been steadily growing, with its roots firmly established in Asia and South Korea.
However, the phenomenon is rapidly spreading worldwide, as countries like China and the USA lead the charge in fostering its growth.
With its captivating spectacle, aggressive promotion, high-stakes competitions, and substantial prize pools, esports continues to gain traction and attract enthusiasts from all corners of the globe.
As the market expands, esports betting is poised to become an increasingly significant component of the iGaming industry.
5. Mobile and Watch Gaming
Over recent years, mobile gaming has taken centre stage, with players flocking to casinos and sports betting websites. All platforms are now optimised with user-friendly interfaces and additional downloadable apps.
Interestingly, mobile betting enjoys a significant following in Africa, where mobile-based payments are prevalent and internet infrastructure is still emerging.
Moreover, the smartwatch as an iGaming Trend is worth considering in non-desktop gambling.
As more players seek unobtrusive ways to enjoy slots and betting, operators have an opportunity in adapting their games and offer to smartwatch screens.
These are now considered by many as viable tools for accessing the offer of the iGaming industry.
6. Demand for Data Protection
In the digital age, data privacy has become a pressing concern, particularly within the realm of online gaming.
Players are increasingly demanding protection for their personal information and sensitive data.
As the popularity of iGaming continues to soar, the need for robust safeguards and privacy measures has never been more important. By addressing these concerns, gaming companies can build trust, enhance user experiences, and contribute to the overall growth and sustainability of the iGaming sector.
Data Privacy: Players Demand Protection
With GDPR entering its fifth year, data privacy regulations are becoming more stringent worldwide.
As a result, iGaming operators must be transparent about the data they collect, how it will be used, and how it won’t be passed on to third parties.
Players are increasingly concerned about their personal data being protected, and operators must rise to the challenge.
No Verification Casinos: A Risky Proposition
Although casinos without verification requirements may seem appealing due to their simplicity, they pose significant risks to operators’ finances and reputations.
Given the long-term trend towards increased online gambling regulation and growing player awareness, this model is unlikely to be sustainable or widespread in the future.
Single Market Regulations
As 2023 unfolds, the era of country-specific regulation in the online gambling industry continues to gain momentum.
An example is the Netherlands sending huge fines to operators which did not fully comply with internal regulations.
Governments worldwide are tightening their regulatory approaches, seeking to maintain a firm grasp on domestic markets whilst boosting national coffers.
Strong Regulated markets in Europe revising their internal status also include Italy, which is expected to update its strict regulatory framework soon.
This pivotal moment in the online gambling sector’s trajectory is regarded by players and operators alike as an integral step towards a safer and more transparent environment.
7. Responsible Gaming
As the iGaming industry continues to flourish, responsible gaming has emerged as a vital trend.
It reflects growing concerns about player welfare and the potential negative consequences of gambling.
More and more, operators are implementing measures to ensure a safe experience for players. These includes:
- setting deposit limits
- offering self-exclusion options
- providing access to resources that promote responsible gambling habits
- offering gambling addiction support, ensuring players have access to professional assistance when needed
- complying with national regulations of the market
In addition to industry-led initiatives, regulatory bodies worldwide are enforcing stricter measures to safeguard players.
This has led to the introduction of more robust licensing requirements, compelling operators to adopt responsible gaming practices.
Public awareness campaigns also contribute to educating players about the risks associated with gambling, encouraging them to approach iGaming with caution.
Ultimately, the trend towards responsible gaming demonstrates the industry’s commitment to fostering a secure environment for players while mitigating the potential harms associated with gambling.
What's awaiting the iGaming Industry in 2023?
In conclusion, the iGaming industry is undergoing significant transformation, driven by a range of factors, including new technologies, shifting consumer habits, and evolving regulations.
As operators adapt to these changes, they are presented with a wealth of opportunities to expand their reach, improve players experience, and ensure a safe and responsible gaming environment.
By embracing emerging trends and addressing potential challenges head-on, the iGaming sector is poised for continued growth in the years to come.
FAQ - Frequent questions about iGaming Trends 2023
Top iGaming trends in 2023 are the growing influence of crypto, the emergence of Web3 lotteries and metaverse casinos, the expanding market of esports betting and watch gaming. From other perspectives, there is a higher demand for data protection, and a greater emphasis on responsible gaming. These trends are expected to shape the future of the iGaming industry.
Web3 lotteries, built on blockchain platforms, offer unparalleled transparency, security, and fairness. They facilitate frictionless transactions with crypto tokens and have the potential to reshape the industry with their non-custodial and trustworthy nature.
Mobile and watch gaming have taken center stage, with players demanding user-friendly interfaces and downloadable apps. Smartwatches are also becoming popular for iGaming, pushing operators to adapt their games and offers to even smaller screens.
Data privacy has become crucial, with players demanding transparency regarding data collection and usage. iGaming operators must adhere to stringent data privacy regulations like GDPR and ensure that their customers’ personal information is secure.
The iGaming industry is undergoing significant transformation driven by new technologies, shifting consumer habits, and evolving regulations. As operators adapt to these changes, they can expand their reach, improve player experience, and ensure a safe environment while endorsing responsible gaming.
Esports betting is a rapidly growing market with immense potential, attracting a younger and tech-savvy audience. As the global appeal of esports increases, esports betting is poised to become a significant component of the iGaming industry.