Did internet kill the casino star?
The past decade has brought online gaming into an entirely new space – one as a serious competitor to the traditional gambling industry. In 1990, online gaming sites were lucky to host 15 games per site. Today, this billion dollar subset of gaming is on the cutting edge of innovations in the industry, with hundreds of games on top sites that constantly grow based on the needs of their players.
Convenient digital hubs for gaming like the Casumo casino are certainly a reason for older or displaced players to stay home. Why make the drive all the way to Vegas or catch a flight to Atlantic City when that money can be put straight into the game online? This is only one of the factors contributing to the meteoric 10.81% CAGR of online gambling revenues from 2016 to 2024.
By 2020, online gaming is expected to hold 45% of all gaming in its hands. Revenues for online gaming as an industry are expected to double from their 2016 level of $45.86 billion to approximately $96.89 billion. This could increase if other nations in the Asia Pacific region follow the example of Cambodia in legalizing online gambling and reducing the barriers to entry. The Philippines seems to be taking the hint and is streamlining the pathway to licenses that target international customers.
The Pros of Online Gambling
- More reach. Online gambling does not rely on proximity to the gamer in order to work. Digital casinos can pull in money from all over the world. Players in locations that block gambling can work around regulators using technology such as a virtual private network (VPN) to access overseas servers.
- Convenience. Gamers do not have to move from the comfort of their homes in order to play.
- Accessibility. Instead of having to bring cash to a casino, online gamers can simply connect bank accounts to the website for easier cash flows.
The Cons of Online Gambling
- The experience. Online gamers cannot take advantage of the free drinks and complimentary entertainment afforded them at a live casino. This includes the special ambiance that elite casinos provide, including features like oxygenated air.
- Instant funds. Online gamers do sometimes have to wait to receive funds depending on the way that the site processes money. There may also be fees associated with transferring money overseas or changing currencies.
For many people, the pros outweigh the cons, especially since online casinos are beginning to offer virtual experiences and much faster turnaround times with banks.
What the Future Holds
The future of online gaming looks bright. Casino producers no longer have to worry about the overhead from real estate when creating a new establishment. Governments across the world are inviting gaming producers in, looking for new streams of income. The land-based casino is also experiencing a downturn with fewer people coming to play in person. The performance of land-based casinos also tend to fluctuate with the economy, making an investment in them more risky than an online investment.
The rise of sports betting in the United States will bring an entirely new market to the online space. Shares of Paddy Power and William Hill shot up immediately by more than 8% each on the news that the Supreme Court opened the floodgates for American sports betting.
Major Asian economies, not to be left behind, are considering following suit. When one considers all of these factors – all pointing in favor of the online gaming experience – we can’t help but think that the current projections may actually be on the conservative side. The current size of the illegal market in the US is estimated at around $150 billion. Who’s to say what that number will be once all barriers are removed from the practice?
The bottom line: Now is a great time to get in on the world of online gaming, both as a business and as a player. With all of the funding that is sure to come into the industry in the next few years, new innovations are just circling around in the ether.