Online gambling has grown into an industry that is expected to generate $45.86 billion in revenues globally by the end of 2016 and more than $50 billion by 2018. This is according to data from Statista. Even in the US where most states have banned online gambling, the industry will generate revenues pegged at $2.7 billion by 2020, according to research done by Morgan Stanley. Part of this revenue comes from people who use mobile devices to play progressive jackpot games at Royal Vegas online
An Overview of the Global Gambling Industry
A report published by Price Waterhouse Coopers shows that the Asia Pacific region generates the largest share of online gambling revenues (43.3%) followed by the US (40.1%). The EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region, Canada, and Latin America generate 10%, 3.4%, and 3.1% of global gambling revenues respectively. This trend is expected to hold in the near future since the status quo in the US, Europe, and the Asia Pacific is unlikely to change. Nevertheless, seven US states – Pennsylvania, California, Mississippi, Massachusetts, Washington, New York, and Illinois — are debating bills that would legalize gambling online if passed as law. In Europe, the UK is one of the leading sources of web gambling revenues. Figures released by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) show that online gambling generates about £3 billion in revenue per year.
People who would have shied from visiting brick-and-mortar casinos are now increasingly using smartphones and tablets to gamble online. A good case study is the state of New Jersey where online betting generated $8.3 million in 2013. Industry experts from GamblingData expect this figure to rise to $463 million by the end of 2017. It is worth noting that much of this revenue growth comes from Americans who travel to New Jersey to place bets online. Overall, online gamblers in the US will have earned gross winnings of more than $7.4 billion by the end of 2017.
The Future of Online Gaming
In spite of legal challenges globally, online gambling will continue to grow due to several reasons. Firstly, virtual reality (VR) technology will revolutionize the way people gamble online. Web users will be able to visit virtual casinos and experience the atmosphere experienced by gamblers inside brick-and-mortar casinos. This could translate to more revenues as gamblers linger longer inside virtual casinos. In addition, some online casinos will leverage augmented reality (AR) technology to enable gamblers to play casino games projected in their surroundings. Socialized gaming may also takeoff thanks to the popularity of social networking sites such as Facebook. Blockchain technology is also likely to make inroads into online gaming the way it has in the finance sector where it has led to the popularity of virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Ether. However, online casinos will have to ramp up data security to avoid losing money and sensitive data to cybercriminals.
Although the online gambling industry is still in its infancy, it generates revenues of more than $40 billion annually and industry experts expect this figure to rise steadily in the near future. Nevertheless, this industry must embrace emerging technologies including VR, AR, and blockchain in order to remain relevant.