Nearly half of the $152 billion (£117 billion) global gaming market — $68.5 billion (£53 billion) — comes directly from mobile games, according to Statista. Worldwide mobile games account for nearly 33% of all app downloads and a whopping 74% of gaming-related consumer spending.
The key to this mobile game uprising is the rise of online casinos. A Tech Crunch report reveals that online casinos have grown into a $4 billion (£3.5 billion) industry. By 2023, online casino gaming revenue is expected to double to $8.5 billion (£6.5 billion). These figures underscore both the current influence of online casinos, and their future as a driver of the gaming industry. The question is how are they changing the future of gaming?
Bringing in a new kind of gamer
The most obvious way online casinos are influencing gaming is by bringing in a new kind of gamer: the general public. The UK public have turned to mobile gaming because it is convenient and is accessible wherever, whenever. This gives them access that a physical casino can’t replicate.
Mobile devices are also simpler to operate, making it easier to navigate mobile casino sites. These sites often come in the form of free, downloadable apps that grant users easy access to their preferred online casinos. It helps, too, that these online casinos generally feature high quality graphics, in-game payment options, 24/7 customer service, and animations that make the games enjoyable. No wonder more people are turning to online casinos, and creating a considerable market in the process.
Pushing simulated realities forward
Online casinos are also impacting mobile gaming by pushing virtual reality (VR) and simulated realities forward. This is most evident in the popularity of live games, or simulations of real-life casinos. Sandlot Games lists live casinos as a major gaming category, citing a company called Evolution Gaming as the main force behind the concept’s development. The idea is to give players casino games with high graphics and interface to make their favourite games as close to lifelike as possible. True to its stature as the driving force of this concept, Evolution Gaming recently released 12 more innovative titles that’ll push online casino gaming to even greater heights.
A natural progression to the concept of live games is VR gaming — the ultimate in immersive experiences. Josh Santina believes that VR will take off in the next few years due to advances in headset and mobile device technologies. With that in mind, expect online casinos to play a role in pushing VR further into the mainstream. The industry is already offering a range of VR games (e.g. SlotsMillion VR and VR Casino, etc.), and will surely offer more in the future.
An even brighter future
Indeed, online casinos are shaping the world of gaming. They will continue doing so, thanks to an ever-expanding market of players. What’s more, improvements in technology are only going to make casino games more enticing. That’ll mean more players, bigger revenue, and greater influence.