2020 will forever be remembered as the year that shook up life as we knew it. Most people who lived through it had never previously been forced to confront a pandemic that resulted in the closure of schools, hotels, nightclubs, and casinos.
At the same time, COVID-19 has also produced a number of winning industries that quickly adapted and embraced the World Wide Web. One of those winners is online gambling. Experts predict that the economic effects might be here to stay for some time yet. The question is whether the state of US online gambling will remain unchanged. Here are four trends expected to dominate gambling in 2021.
More Virtual and Augmented Reality
These technologies have enjoyed a presence in gaming for some time now. When it comes to casinos, however, they’re still a relatively new concept. These technologies provide realism to live casinos, which results in more satisfied customers. AR enables clients to experience a virtual casino, such as being able to see other people’s avatars that can either be touring the casino or be sitting at virtual machines.
In 2021, we can expect mixed reality, which is virtual and augmented reality combined. The experience, in general, is likely to lead to an uptick in online gambling. These technologies will also enable the implementation of opportunities previously unavailable.
Esports Will Be Big
The majority of people have turned to such video streaming platforms as Twitch and YouTube after economies were adversely affected by COVID-19. Professional video gamers enjoy competing in a league that is becoming increasingly popular. Esports began as a recreational pastime, allowing friends to compete and have fun. These players began placing bets and benefitting from the Internet to play remotely. There now exists a dedicated team of professional players, fans, advertisers, and sponsors who are investing in esports. The niche is expected to gain even more exposure, thus further increasing the resultant revenue.
Gambling has experienced controversy in most countries. There have even been cases where some U.S. states allow betting, while others won’t even consider it. Just 17 states, for example, have legalised betting on sports. This move was made after some years of talks on the ethics surrounding gambling and its effects on the mental wellbeing of those who partake in it.
The announcement of legalisation was embraced by U.S. gamblers. Brands like NBCSN, ESPN, and Fox Sports are gearing up to make big moves in sports betting. This makes it harder for smaller brands to compete, as their more powerful counterparts have the ability to flex their financial muscles. These larger brands develop betting sites, which link into their existing businesses.
More Mobile and Social Gambling
Gambling businesses have been reporting higher profit margins from an increase in betting. Many gamblers use mobile apps and phones when accessing betting sites. Of course, not everyone owns a computer, so online casinos can be expected to benefit even further from this market. Next year, we’ll see more casinos invest in making their sites mobile-optimised, with more people enjoying their favourite casino games while on the go.
Online casinos can be expected to apply in-game models with a view to increasing revenue. Players might pay a small amount, which will be replicated in an enhanced gaming environment. Betting firms can also be expected to personalise customer experiences with boosts, skins, and mobile-specific bonuses.
We can expect many trends to surface or continue in 2021 designed to improve online gambling. Structural, technological, and social changes will enhance the user experience. Those organisations insufficiently prepared to embrace these trends will likely find themselves victims of their own ignorance.