In recent years we have seen a sharp increase in the variety and popularity of online casinos, and this growth isn't expected to slow anytime soon. What used to be a novelty and offshoot from traditional casinos, has grown exponentially and seemingly in tandem with the advent and development of internet gaming in general. Now people can play traditional games like poker and blackjack as well as entirely new games and updated versions of old favourites online without ever setting foot in a brick and mortar casino.
Online casino and gambling experiences are now a huge industry, with a report by Juniper Research published last year indicating that the value of digital wagers are likely to surpass $1 trillion by 2022 – more than the GDP of some countries, and larger than the annual deficit of the entire USA. Knowing this, the growth experienced by the online casino industry in the last decade could definitely be categorised as a quantum leap, and projections tend to show sustained growth for years into the future. So what is the cause of this explosive growth? Is it simply a transfer of customers from traditional casinos to online experiences or is there something more to it?
Looking into it, there appears to be plenty of reasons why people are being drawn away from brick and mortar casinos and towards more online casino experiences. In part, it seems to be largely linked to the fact that wi-fi enabled consumer tech like smartphones, laptops, and gaming PC's have been adopted en masse. It's now incredibly rare to meet someone who doesn't have access to at least one of the above. An article by Business Insider has in fact estimated that by next year there will be over 24 billion active internet-enabled devices; that's roughly 4 devices for every person on earth.
Soon there will 4 internet-enabled devices for every person on earth. Photo by terimakasih0/ Pixabay
Along with the abundance of tech hardware we have also seen a boom in digital services and businesses catering specifically to online custom, usually via apps and websites. In terms of customers, it seems that people are drawn to gaming apps and online casinos largely due to their general ease-of-use and the relative comfort they can be enjoyed with. In short, the average player tends to find playing on a live casino page such as Betway an overall more convenient way of gaming, as they tend to offer more variety and can easily innovate in order to indulge gamer desire for new and novel ways of playing, such as with VR technology. Then they have the added boon of being able to attract customers with personalised offers and it also appears to be easier for beginners to become engaged, with access to all the information they'll need to learn how to play certain games at-hand without the possibly intimidating factor of experienced players looking over their shoulders.
Another reason seems to be the security offered by online experiences with trusted brands offering high end encryption for digital transactions, and government regulation in many countries catching up with the industry and offering legislative protections for citizens (as well as untaxed winnings in certain countries). There's also the in-person factor given that although many people simply play for leisure betting small amounts, for heavy hitters, it's a measure of comfort not to have to carry large amounts of cash on their person as they would with most traditional casinos.
There are other more technological reasons for the preference we are seeing among gamers for going online; things like online casinos striving to make their pages mobile friendly. Statistics show mobile gaming increasingly making up a large part of the digital market. Having a mobile friendly site tends to not only make it easier for customers to access on the go, but it also allows online casinos to attract more custom from search engines like Google and Bing, given that it plays into SEO or 'search-engine optimisation' techniques. This means that a page that is optimised for mobile usage or has a mobile friendly variant will usually rank higher and be more visible online when a casino related search is entered.
So overall there appears to be endless reasons why customers are going online and most of these reasons seem to be fairly simply rooted in personal preference, given that it's easier and often more secure to use online variants of casino games. But whatever the reasons, the statistics tell the true story, and they show an industry in abundant growth with absolutely no signs of slowing any time soon.