Internet gaming is one of the most growing leisure activities in recent years and this momentum will not find its ceiling during 2021. On the one hand, the variety of modes to play stands out, such as sports betting – its live access – online slots and roulette games (especially live). On the other hand, there are technological and social factors linked to improvements in telecommunications and the increased use of the Internet, which has a very promising future for the sector. Gaming industry executive and sports gambling expert Adam Bjorn provides insight into how the sports gambling market is going to rapidly change as the new year begins.
Improvements in the possibilities and features of online games are continuous and largely explain the great response on the part of the public towards this activity. There has been a near real-time renewal that has had a special direct impact on sports betting and slot machines. Says Bjorn, “Sports betting, slots and roulette games represent the best example of the success of online gambling. Your expectations for 2021 are very high. Major companies have focused their efforts on improving all aspects of the game, from functionality to user experience. It’s no less. We are talking about one of the star modalities in online casinos and one of the great responsible for its proper functioning.”
The industry works to deliver a more dynamic game, if possible, in which the theming is once again a very important value. The public wants to play and that behind their activity there is a story to enjoy. That’s the line that betting and gambling machines have followed over the past few years and will try to boost in the future. The goal is to offer an experience with more dynamism and full of history, richer in content. One of the main objectives of the sector by 2021 will be to expand the themes significantly, so that users have a greater variety in the market.
Fans of online gaming will also find a boost to live play over the next year. For example, bets on live sporting events and the experience of playing on a real-time roulette wheel with a master’s dealer of ceremonies. “It’s a modality that the gaming industry is trying to reinforce,” explains Bjorn. “Online casinos want the activity to be more agile and realistic. With this idea, the concept of real-time gameplay has been embodied, where the player shares the event in real time or a board and game with other users from different parts of the planet.” This idea, which aims to recreate the game in traditional physical casinos, has entered strongly through roulette. Now, the purpose is to look for the formula to adapt this style also to the slots, something in which we will have news next season.
In addition to these main product lines with online betting and casino (Slots and Roulette) that will be of paramount importance over the next year, the industry also needs improvements from different perspectives, such as technical aspects and gameplay. This activity is directed towards a faster and more attractive game, where you take into account the tool that the user uses to play. That is, the use of the mobile phone is a majority among players and the idea is to improve the adaptation of each game to different smart mobile devices. Other aspects, such as payment gateways, will also be refined. The public will find a more agile, responsive game mode, with renewed scenarios and more possibilities for direct participation with live gambling and betting.
The trend of growth in online betting has been accelerated by the situation of restriction of freedom applied in the fight against the pandemic, which has seriously impacted the offer of face-to-face gambling, the length of which will depend a great deal on the responses of medicine, but which has meant an acceleration of the consumer’s “movement” towards the offer of online gambling and betting.
After many years of hesitant positions, face-to-face game operators who have not launched their online gambling and betting project are choosing decisively – and haste – to launch their gaming offer through the digital channel. While it is a wise decision, this step should be carried out taking into account the peculiarities of iGaming and the need to design a project and strategy that will enable a competitive and successful model to be launched. In many cases, operators encounter a regulation that favors obtaining licenses to launch themselves online.
However, in other cases, there is no regulation or it does not provide for the possibility of enabling face-to-face gaming operators to obtain online licenses. These situations may cause some operators to choose to go to jurisdictions with unauthorized online. It is clear that the lack of regulation or the existence of incomplete supply regulation, and stifling by disproportionate taxation, facilitates unregulated supply from “offshore” territories, without guarantees for consumers, lack of compliance obligations and responsible gambling, and total economic opacity.
iGaming and online betting represent a very different channel in its model and strategy than the face-to-face channel applies. Operators should be aware that, in order to realize the transition, they will need external and specialized assistance, enabling them to make the best decision and adopt the right strategy to propose “another business model.” There are aspects to consider to adapt to the new business project, meet fundamental concepts and know the risks within a plan made by game professionals and online betting. If they are not part of a company, it is good to find the experts outside and let yourself be advised, although the last word is always had by the entrepreneur.
The online gambling and betting strategy within a universal offer based on a face-to-face gaming operation should take us to the omnichannel offer model, which, in the regulatory and consumer environment in which we move, is a great advantage over the traditional operators exclusive to the online channel. Of course, to gain that competitive advantage, you need to carry out a well-designed and implemented online gambling and betting strategy.
Although in face-to-face business, marketing is part of its strategy, in the online business, it is a fundamental issue and its driving force, once an adequate technological, content and operational management proposal has been established. Asserts Bjorn, “All the successful models of online gambling and betting developments over the past ten years are being those in which the face-to-face operator adopts an omnichannel strategy, strengthening their face-to-face offering and growing exponentially on the digital channel. The business model of an online gambling and betting plan must be tailored to the market, dimension, possibilities, strategies and objectives of each project. This should be customized in whatever is differential for each group. Analyzing each project will allow operators to know the expectations and make the decision to move forward.”