Considering that the sector is still barely three decades old, online casinos can now be counted as one of the major success stories of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. From very simple beginnings, in 2021 it was estimated that online casino players created over $57 billion in revenue, a figure that is set to increase at an annual rate of 12% a year.
In the UK alone, where the Gambling Commission compiles annual figures, they also found that between April 2021 and March 2022 remote gambling, in general, was responsible for £6.4 billion from a gross gambling yield of £14.1 billion for the year.
Unsurprisingly, it has also seen some huge increases in the number of operators entering the market. It’s the intense competition between them that is helping to fuel the growing size of the market, and there are many different drivers for this.
More games than ever
Throughout its history, the growth of the online casino sector has been propelled by innovation. Notable milestones along the way have been the introduction of features like the “live casino” in which games are streamed directly to players’ devices. With actual dealers and games being played out in real time this has proved to be extraordinarily popular.
To build on this, casinos are now adding new games at a phenomenal rate. These range from Wheel of Fortune-style titles to variations on existing favorites like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, including innovative options like “Trial Baccarat.” Often designed to be faster to play or with simplified rules, these have succeeded in winning many new fans for the games in question.To build on this, casinos are now adding new games at a phenomenal rate. These range from Wheel of Fortune-style titles to variations on existing favorites like blackjack, roulette, and baccarat, including innovative options like บาคาร่าทดลอง. Often designed to be faster to play or with simplified rules, these have succeeded in winning many new fans for the games in question.
Other great attractions are the slots. These are by far the most popular of all online casino games and hundreds of new titles are introduced each year, again, attracting many more players.
It’s getting social
Online casino gaming has also gradually become less of a fringe activity and more of a mainstream one. So, quite often, people are starting to think about including online play as part of their gaming nights.
Obviously, this works better with some games than others – playing slots is always going to be a solo activity. But for others like online poker, it’s the perfect replacement for more traditional card gaming nights with friends. With many sites also offering a certain period of free play for novices, it’s also the perfect way to help them get to grips with the ins and outs of poker hands before they start playing for real money with friends.
The march of technology
The increasing popularity of online casino play has also been inextricably linked with an equally accelerated advance in technology. In line with internet use in general, more and more people are accessing games via mobile devices instead of laptops and PCs.
The added flexibility to play whenever and virtually wherever they want is also bringing many more players into the world of online casinos. The operators are also acutely aware of this fact so games are all now fully optimized for online play. Most major online casinos also now have apps that are quick and easy to download and which make playing an even more straightforward experience.
Dangling the carrot
As we’ve already touched upon, there is a great deal of competition between online casinos both to attract new customers and to retain existing ones. In general, one of the most common marketing strategies is incentivization.
This usually takes the form of offering to match new players’ first deposit of stake money up to a certain level. In some cases, it can even involve no deposit at all. Often the stake money incentive has a set number of free spins on selected slots added to it.
As time has gone on, these bonuses have continued to become increasingly generous, with the obvious result of raising player numbers.
In order to hold on to players who might be tempted to move to a competitor to claim their welcome bonus, many loyalty schemes have also been introduced. Offering the chance to enter exclusive prize draws and even to receive free gifts, these have also proved to be very successful in maintaining player numbers.
Looking to the future
It may have taken some time, but it seems like Virtual and Augmented Reality have certainly now come of age. This is causing great excitement in the online casino world for the possibilities that both offer.
So games are set to become even more involving and immersive than the live casino experience. It surely won’t be very long before friends are meeting up, at least in the shape of their avatars, in online casinos located in the much-hyped metaverse.
With the addition of new games that will no doubt be developed to make the most of VR and AR, it certainly seems like the online casino sector still has plenty of surprises in store for us yet.