iGaming is hardly new, but it seems to be gaining an incredible amount of steam over the last decade or so, and looking forward to 2022 and beyond, it looks like it is only going to get bigger. As part of the digital gaming industry, iGaming was already worth more than $40 billion by the end of 2016 and is predicted to exceed $100 billion by the middle of the 2020s.
To put it simply, iGaming is the placing of monetary bets online in anticipation of the outcome of anything that one would normally bet on. There are iGaming sites that revolve specifically around an online casino-type environment, specializing in digital games of chance like roulette, craps, and more. There are also iGaming platforms that deal with betting on various forms of poker. There are iGaming sites that also deal with wagers placed on video games or sports games. There are sites that deal with combinations of these, and there are sites that offer betting on things that are wildly unconventional.
The vast majority of iGaming platforms are centred around sport and casino-style betting. While there is no one particular centre of iGaming activity, there are headquarters located in Gibraltar as well as Malta. With locations in relatively easy-going European countries, it is no surprise that the iGaming industry has quickly and almost silently become a global gaming market, with revenue generation capabilities equal to those of the entire entertainment industry.
Since iGaming is beginning to play an integral role in the global gaming machinery, and in the age of punters and gamers, there is a growing demand to have nearly instant access to the games and bets. No matter their location, current activity, or if they are traveling or not.
The staggering advancement of personal digital technology has also given the iGaming market a boost. With mobile devices becoming one of the absolute largest gaming platforms, as nearly half of the planet’s gaming population, there is the drive to have the most innovative, creative, or accessible iGaming ecosystem.
The tendency for people to be tethered to their mobile devices more than any time in history is another driving factor behind the popularity of iGaming. Recent estimates put the average individual at more than 24 hours, a full day, of phone usage per week, with nearly 20% of people spending more than 40 hours per week on their phone. This indicates that the average cell phone usage has more than doubled over the last ten years, and may be a hugely inaccurate estimate of the time spent on a cell phone by someone with an addiction to betting or iGaming in general.
There are a number of challenges that the iGaming industry is facing in the coming decade, and it will need to surmount nearly all of them to remain successful.
The first and arguably the largest hurdle is the constant problem of regulation. Even though iGaming has a demonstrated record of very serious growth, the fact remains that gambling, and internet gambling, in particular, is still illegal or nearly illegal in many countries.
It sounds cliché, but millennials are another challenge that will need to be solved. Millennials as a demographic care very little about casino or sports betting, and are more enthralled by hardcore, skill-based gaming. iGaming SEO is one way to potentially capture some of the millennial market.
Market saturation is another big issue. Since there is so much growth happening, there is a lot of saturation. Big companies keep growing, but smaller startups are finding it hard to get a foothold without a ton of capital.