Today, iGaming is the fastest growing sector in the global casino gaming industry accounting for over 25% of all revenues and with growth projections in excess of 11% CAGR up to the end of the decade.
Nowadays the ongoing success and development of this sector seems all but inevitable, but that wasn’t always the case. More recently than you may suppose, online casino gaming and its related fields – which have come to be known collectively as iGaming, played second fiddle to the brick-and-mortar industry.
Yet a series of innovations set in motion the iGaming juggernaut, and now it’s only a matter of time before it comes to wholly supplant the financial footprint of its physical counterpart to become the dominant real-money gaming medium in the 21st century.
No single event in the history of online gaming has had as big an impact as the emergence of the modern smartphone in the wake of the launch of the original Apple iPhone in 2007. In a matter of years, mobile and online gaming went from a side-show to the more popular console gaming industry, to the main attraction. Now, over 50% of all gaming revenue comes by way of mobile titles.
Smartphones, which have a global market penetration of over 86%, are the most successful single product in human history, and they have removed access barriers to demographics of people who would never have otherwise sought out digital games – iGaming or otherwise.
Digital casino games, which are relatively simple when compared to the complex triple-A titles to be found on the likes of the PlayStation 5, also play well on mobile devices and demand less in terms of resources and data. This makes them uniquely well suited to this new medium, something clearly evidenced in the surge of growth witnessed in the sector from the 2010s onwards.
While many of the factors contributing to the success of iGaming have technological roots, it’s as much about how those tech solutions are employed that has given online casino gaming the leg up it needed.
Take its approach to marketing. Promotions are part and parcel of the casino industry, with free chips, games and bets on offer in most brick-and-mortar venues around the world. Where iGaming has distinguished itself here is the breadth and scale of the promotions it’s able to offer prospective patrons.
Because online gaming is not limited by space, platforms are able to provide hundreds of compelling offers for users such as online casino bonuses, safe in the knowledge that amongst this range of deals there will be one or two to catch the attention of any game, whether they’re a high rolling roulette fan, or a penny slot aficionado.
Some leading gaming providers such as VegasSlotsOnline even take this one further by offering players the ability to enjoy thousands of free slots without having to spend a dime. Such disruptive marketing approaches are particularly effective as websites can still generate income through free games by way of on-site advertising revenue.
What’s more, the cost/benefit analysis of facilitating would-be paying customers to enjoy products for free works out favourably as only a small percentage of these need convert to real-money games to make the marketing approach worthwhile.
Last, but certainly not least, is the fact that the iGaming sector gets to benefit from the analytical power of big data. Any public-facing market knows that marketing data is invaluable when it comes to promoting existing products more effectively, and devising new ones to meet emergent demands.
While physical casinos have developed sophisticated approaches to this topic, they are simply unable to compete with the volumes of data on player behaviour capable of being captured by iGaming platforms.
This collected data can be used to determine which games are popular, how they’re played, and what leads to player retention. This information can then be used to customise gaming platforms to maximise their profits in a given region, or for a specific demographic.
Over time, this has given the iGaming sector a critical edge and has enabled it to get out infront of consumer trends, developing new technologies, approaches and game types to further consolidate their position as innovation leaders in the casino gaming world.