There can be no denying the rapid pace of growth the iGaming industry has experienced in the last decade. Wind the clock back to 2009 and Statista claims that the iGaming sector was worth $20.51bn. Seven years later, the industry had already doubled in value to $41.77bn in 2016 and with online gambling volumes expected to reach $59.79bn by the turn of the next decade, the iGaming juggernaut continues to plough on.
Can live streamed casino action add a new dimension to iGaming?
Of course, iGaming brands haven’t had it all their own way. They’ve had to work hard to attract and retain customers to their online casinos and with so many different sites available it can be hard to satisfy the needs of the many. The backbone of customer retention has always been a site’s ability to provide a solid choice of state-of-the-art iGaming titles, featuring high-definition visuals and audio. The industry has continued to innovate in terms of the range of casino gaming on offer, with immersive live-streamed table games – pioneered by the likes of Microgaming, NetEnt and Evolution Gaming – fast becoming the norm for a more engaging iGaming experience than ever before.
Innovative gaming allied with a plethora of customer promotions has helped capture the imagination of both traditional bricks-and-mortar casino visitors and the next generation of casino-goers. Real-money bonuses such as deposit bonuses and free spins and bets have incentivized millions of players to sign up and play for big money with sometimes double or triple the amount of money they initially deposited with. One look at the slots heaven review shows that players can receive welcome bonuses of 200%, tripling their initial deposit.
Attracting casino players with initial deposit bonuses is all well and good, but how does the iGaming sector maintain and grow its player base so impressively? Loyalty programs such as Frequent Player Points let players accrue loyalty points for the time and money they spend on-site which can be spent on physical and virtual rewards. The more that online casinos attempt to retain their player base, the savvier the players are getting. iGaming brands are having to become more creative than ever to retain their VIP high-rollers.
Challenging the behemoth that is the video gaming industry
But when all is said and done, will iGaming ever be capable of dethroning video gaming as the world’s leading gaming sector? As much as we respect the growth and innovation in online gambling, it’s very difficult to compete with 2.2 billion video gamers who are expected to generate revenues of $108.9bn in 2017, according to Newzoo’s Global Games Market 2017. The Asia-Pacific region is still the most profitable continent for the video gaming industry, which is expected to rake in a quarter of all revenues from here this year.
The video gaming industry is also benefitting hugely from eSports’ explosion onto the scene. This year has experienced 41.3% year-on-year growth for the eSports industry, according to the 2017 Global Esports Market Report. With sponsorship and advertising ramping up month-by-month and professional sports teams increasingly recognizing the industry as a credible virtual sport, video gaming will still be number-one for many years to come.