The Online Casino Business; Then, Now and the Future

Will online casinos still be profitable and viable in the future? Trends at the moment suggest that the industry isn’t slowing down any time soon, and in contrast, it’s actually expected to grow tremendously. However, all these might sound like hearsay if facts and numbers aren’t presented.

To better understand what the future holds for this lucrative niche, it’s best to understand its history, what’s currently happening, and what awaits in the future.

Table of Contents

Then…

The first online casino was launched in 1994 by Microgaming, which was a huge milestone in the industry, considering casinos and gambling have been around for hundreds of years. Before this online casino was established, the flashy Vegas Strip was every player’s paradise. Walking into the doors of the Golden Nugget or The Fabulous Flamingo Casino would instantly transport you to a different world.

Seeing the huge potential that casinos had in the dawn of the internet, Microgaming took it upon themselves to offer players the same paradise, but from the comfort of their own homes. With only 18 games, including slots, blackjack, and roulette, the first online casino was launched, which was the beginning of a new era.

Players were fascinated by the concept, and slowly, other game providers, like Playtech, IGT, and NetEnt, joined the wave. By 1996, there were more than 15 online casinos operating, trying to offer players the best experience. Fast forward to 2018, the online gaming industry jumped to being valued at over $15 billion from $830 million in 1998.

Now…

At the moment, it’s hard to believe that there was once a time when there were only 15 online casinos in operation because you can now find thousands of them online. It’s as if every day, a new site is launched. The industry has grown into something that most people couldn’t predict. There are over 50 software developers providing online casinos with thousands of games. Nowadays, top online casinos like Amazon Slots have a collection of over 5,000 games ranging from slots, baccarat, keno, and even live dealer games.

All online casinos are trying to replicate the experience one would get in a brick-and-mortar casino, including interacting with fellow players and dealers online. The casino industry has merged with other sectors, such as banking, which helps in their day-to-day transactions. Since you’ll be playing online, even payments have to be made online through various options. You can choose debit/credit cards like Visa and Mastercard, e-wallets like Skrill and Neteller, or cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and XRP. In fact, you can find online casinos that only deal with crypto.

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But as the industry grows exponentially, it also comes with its challenges. The first one is an increased number of fraud and illegal casinos. It’s really hard to regulate and monitor the online domain, so you’ll find online casinos that are only stealing your money and details. Such casinos aren’t regulated by any authority and seem to be sketchy with details concerning their legality and security.

The good thing is nowadays, there are several regulatory authorities that license and regulate online casinos, and you can easily find the licensing details on a casino’s website or by contacting customer support. Some of the top authorities include the UK Gambling Commission, the Curacao eGaming Commission, and the Malta Gaming Authority.

Currently, the online casino industry generates a revenue of $34.8 billion, according to Statista, and is still expected to grow. But with many online sites flooding the market, what can you do to make your site different? Before anything else, you need to guarantee your player’s safety and security. Make sure your site is licensed and regulated, and also look for third-party auditors like eCOGRA and iTech Labs to review the fairness of your games. Secondly, partner with the right software providers and offer a wide variety of games. Lastly, ensure you have secure payment methods and a reliable customer support team, and do extensive affiliate and creative marketing.

Future…

The future is in tech, and we can already see the change through innovations such as blockchain, virtual reality, augmented reality, the Metaverse, and AI. Many sectors are already trying to fit into these changes, and the online casino industry isn’t left behind. A simple example is how more and more casinos are using chatbots to better serve their customers in case of any issues. This enhances the experience a player gets, thus increasing their satisfaction and playing more.

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Even though there still isn’t that definitive breakthrough in areas such as AI or the Metaverse, you can be sure that very soon, your casino experience will be on a different level. Games will be more engaging, and the experience will feel more personalized. According to Statista, once again, their projection is that by 2027, the online casino industry will be around $50 billion.

As online casinos tap into these latest innovations, one foreseeable challenge will definitely be regulation and responsible gambling. Making sure online casinos remain friendly and have no negative impacts will be the priority for most countries. However, as it stands, the numbers and stats point to online casinos still being lucrative and profitable in the future.

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Jeremy Edwards
Jeremy Edwards
On Chain Analysis Data Engineer. Lives in sunny Perth, Australia. Investing and writing about Crypto since 2014.

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