We analyzed over a hundred online casino platforms to understand the current state of the iGaming industry and determine its long-term potential.

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Specifically, we looked at player base, revenue, gaming licenses, problem gambling and more stats that should help us get a complete overview of the market.

Using data from Statista and GlobalNewsWire, we managed to discover some interesting findings.

Now, it’s time to share what we’ve uncovered.

The current state of the online gambling industry

Finding the exact number of online casino players is nearly impossible. 

There is no way to determine the market value globally, but data scientists from Grandview Research expect the market to reach $127.3 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 11.5%. 

The massive growth prediction comes from the rising popularity of online sportsbooks and the freemium business model of online casinos that lure players with no deposit bonuses. Also, the massive smartphone adoption and cheap internet data plans are driving the market towards exponential growth.

At the moment of writing, the American Gaming Association (AGA) estimates that there are over 2800 active gaming websites that offer bingo, lottery, poker and slot machines.

Here are some key findings from our analysis:

  • The global online gambling market reached $66.7 Billion in 2020;
  • Canada, the United States and Europe have the highest market share;
  • Artificial Intelligence and Chatbots play a vital role in the development of the industry;
  • The worldwide online gambling market is expected to double in size by 2026;
  • Recent studies show that 96% of online gamblers play at home.

More gambling experts are starting to realize that the transition to the digital environment is inevitable. Soon, online casinos will take over the land-based market and replace the fancy and posh casino with advanced virtual environments that replicate the same feeling from the comfort of your house.

But what are the main reasons why online gambling is the future of the casino industry?

Let’s find out.

Emerging online casino trends

Technological advancements allow gambling operators to expand their reach and improve their user experience.

The industry is now working on enhancing the gambling experience by blurring the lines between reality and virtual. Another concern that operators have is that not all players are 100% safe when gambling online.

Here are the most important gambling trends for 2021:

Crypto payments are overtaking traditional banking methods

One of the main driving factors of online gambling is the implementation of cryptocurrency payments.

Ethereum, Bitcoin and other coins are quickly becoming a mainstream payment method, which most gamblers would prefer using instead of e-wallets thanks to the advantages that they offer, including:

  • Instant transfers;
  • Full transaction anonymity;
  • Long-term growth potential;
  • Dedicated crypto gambling offers;
  • Encryption technology protects your identity online.

This year, cryptocurrency has finally reached the attention of the masses. 

That automatically translates to increased demand for crypto payments, especially for gambling purposes. Thanks to crypto, your online transaction activity won’t be leaked to third parties so that you will be more protected from scams and hackers.

Having a gaming license is more important than ever

Pirate casinos are already a thing of the past.

Twenty years ago, internet gambling was still in early development. Therefore, the operators could freely change the odds of the games, lie about the bonuses they offer or even deny to payout large amounts.

Today, scamming players can potentially lead to a permanent ban or even jail time. There are dozens of institutions responsible for regulating gambling platforms and issuing licenses, as well as testing institutions that verify if the operator has tampered with the game’s algorithm.

Here are the four primary regulators that you can trust when gambling online:

  • Malta Gaming Authority  - the MGA is an international license that is more expensive but offers more coverage, meaning that the casino can expand its reach to most middle and high-income countries;
  • Curacao Gaming License – the Curacao license is the most affordable license on the market, but it rarely adds to the casino’s trustworthiness. That’s because they’ve stained their reputation with some media scandals in the past. Still, specialists recommend the Curacao license for small startups that want to pay no taxes on gambling and haven’t got much time to wait.
  • UK Gambling Commission – the UKGC is the most restrictive casino regulator globally, and they have a lot of conditions you need to fulfill as an operator. Still, the UK is a premium gambling market, so the investment will quickly pay off;
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission – The Kahnawake tribe is the first Canadian region that issues gambling licenses. Their customer service is not too helpful, but the price is quite affordable, so smaller operators choose this license when they’re just getting started.

Whenever you join a new casino, check out their footer to see if they have a legit gambling license. Additionally, see if they are monitored by a Random Number Generator testing company like eCOGRA. This way, you will ensure that you’re gambling in a safe environment without having to worry about getting scammed.

Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality casino games are around the corner

VR and AR technology is expected to become the next big thing in the gaming industry.

Even though the media overhyped the technology in the past few years, it is finally coming to the online casinos. Game providers like NetEnt or Microgaming have announced that they’re already working on several VR and AR titles, including their staple slot machine Gonzo’s Quest.

To top it off, there is a rumour that gambling giants are discussing creating a functional VR casino that will allow players to meet and gamble real money in a land-based casino without leaving their homes.

Only time will tell if Virtual Reality is a great technology, but from what we’ve seen so far, we expect it to impact our gambling behaviour and change the way we use online casinos forever.

Gambling restrictions will soon become obsolete

Sociologists expect globalization to reach a tipping point soon. 

Technology is the main reason why globalization is possible on such a large scale. Therefore, countries, where gambling content is restricted will have no choice but to allow their citizens to place wagers online in a regulated environment.

Cryptocurrency and off-shore gambling sites already allow players from restricted countries to join the action and enjoy casino games in a licensed environment. Elon Musk’s Starlink will also contribute to the global internet movement, making online gambling available anywhere in the world.

Gambling problems and risk statistics

Playing casino games is entertaining, but it’s important to mention that it can also lead to compulsive behaviour. 

The risk that gambling carries goes beyond losing some money. It can harm your relationship, career or even lead to serious mental illnesses.

Here are five key problem gambling statistics that you need to consider:

  • Over 64% of casino players increased their online gambling frequency during the lockdown – The lockdown has encouraged more gamblers to join the online casino craze, leading to a massive increase in revenue for the operators and exposing more people to addictive gambling behaviour; 
  • Even though legalization has started in the US, 16 states are unlikely to regulate gambling – 16 out of 50 states, including Washington, Texas, Utah and Wyoming, have already announced their disapproval of legalizing gambling or even passing a sports betting bill. 
  • People between 18-24 years old carry the highest risk of becoming problem gamblers – Psychologists have found a correlation between alcohol consumption among young adults and gambling addiction. It seems that this age category is more vulnerable to compulsive behaviour, which makes them more likely to become addicts in the long run.
  • Over 24% of online gamblers reported that they lose money and rarely get any consistent wins in the casino – While most people know that gambling is not a reliable income source, many gamblers don’t understand that it can cause a significant financial gap. Data from the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute shows that over 24% of all casino players have serious money problems because of gambling.
  • More than 10 million Americans are addicted to gambling – Despite not being legal everywhere, gambling in the US is already damaging society’s well-being. According to statistics from a recovery centre, casual gambling is the leading cause of long-term addiction.

The bottom line

We hope you enjoyed our in-depth online gambling case study.

The key takeaway?

Online casinos are leading the market, and they will continue to do so as more operators start to implement cryptocurrency payments and get licensed internationally.

Still, it would be best if you were careful not to fall into the trap of gambling addiction, which is constantly growing as casinos become more accessible to the masses. 

Good luck!