Our predictions for the online gaming industry for 2017
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With 2017 now in full swing, we took a moment to look at what’s in store for the online gambling community, including expansion into e-sports, mobile gaming and virtual reality.
2016 proved to be a big year for VR which saw significant advances in growth and technology, largely thanks to the involvement of big industry players like Sony, Google and Samsung. And whilst it might often be an overlooked market for the virtual format, it may well be casino gaming that pushes the VR experience even further forward in 2017.
Only two years ago, ALEA launched SlotsMillion, the Worlds very first multi-player virtual casino where players can choose an avatar and explore their environment, interacting with staff and playing the slots. That same year, Casino VR Poker debuted on Oculus Rift.
Whilst the augmented reality on display in SlotsMillion may be impressive, it has yet to emerge whether there is a market for it yet. In the last few years, there have been signs of a slight drop off in engagement with 18-24 year olds and online betting, so the implantation of new technologies certainly may help appeal to appeal to younger customers.
Of course, most online casinos have proven that they can certainly deliver on providing an authentic playing experience and rewards without relying on any technological gimmickry or sign-up bonus codes. Online casinos have been rising in popularity significantly over actual casinos in recent years and we can still expect the industry to do so. A lot of this simply comes down to the consumer wanting to see services brought to them as opposed to the other way around.
What will be interesting to see is what new markets will open up, and certainly one that’s particularly intriguing to us is esports. Whilst it’s unlikely to overtake the major sporting industry anytime soon, the sharp rise in popularity of esports has earned it legitimate recognition by agencies in the US.
Whilst regulations are currently being discussed in Massachusetts, Nevada recently became the first state in the US to let adults legally bet on esports. This obviously comes with its own grey area regarding the argument as to whether esports is an actual sport - and we’re not throwing that in to antagonise you (we promise), but it is a big deal when it comes to legislation.
Gambling might not be for everybody,but the revenue it generates would without question help expand esports as an industry, and it might just turn into the latest trend in online gaming.