The online gambling market continues to grow steadily. According to European Gaming, the size of the global casino market was estimated at almost $546 billion in 2021. The CAGR over the forecast period is expected to be 5.79%, reaching almost $765 billion by 2027. But industry growth is measured in more than just dollars and cents; you can also see the vitality of iGaming in the introduction of new technologies. Dmytro Taran, COO of Slotegrator, gives a rundown of what technologies are already in use and which ones could radically change the industry in the near future.
Cryptocurrencies and blockchain technologies have had an exceptional impact on the evolution of the iGaming industry. There’s no denying the growing popularity of bitcoin casinos. Supporting cryptocurrency payments on gambling platforms opens up new advantages: no personal data is needed, the amount of payments is not limited and transactions are carried out without commissions and intermediaries, which guarantees fast deposits and payouts.
While fiat currencies are supported by the state that issues them, cryptocurrencies are backed by a decentralised registry that tracks every transaction, which is distributed over a large database with a million copies. This has several implications: first, anyone with access to the network can verify the transaction, and second, the history of bitcoin cannot be faked; any attempt to falsify a block will affect every block in the network.
Decentralised public records are characterised by security and transparency, which is especially appreciated by privacy-conscious players. And a significant advantage for operators is protection against chargebacks, which are impossible with cryptocurrencies.
Blockchain technologies can also be used to record transactions between the user and the casino — all bets, deposit amounts and payouts on winnings are recorded in encrypted form. General statistics on payout percentage is displayed for each game. Thus, gambling platforms can prove that players really receive the payout percentage declared by the providers. There are not many casinos with blockchain reporting on the global online gambling market, but this mechanic is gaining momentum and will scale as a trend in the near future.
Recently, online casinos are increasingly using Progressive Web Applications, browser-based applications that have become an alternative to native mobile applications. PWAs are launched as a regular web page of a gambling site; i.e., a player can install the application he is interested in directly via Chrome or Safari, without using online stores. By clicking the “Add to home screen” button, an Android user can add the casino to their mobile phone. For IOS devices, one more quick additional step is needed.
PWA technology has three key features:
- Speed: progressive loading of games, fast scrolling and smooth animations provide a good user experience.
- Reliability: PWA download speed does not change depending on the quality of the connection.
- Engagement: Engage users with push notifications, home screen icons and full screen mode.
“Given the growing popularity of mobile applications and the desire of the user to get the result at the lowest cost — and with PWA the player can enjoy their favorite games on their mobile phone by simply pressing the download button — it can be said that the tool works effectively to attract new users and retain existing ones,” Dmitro Taran said.
Big Data in iGaming
Sifting through mountains of data is as difficult as it is important, but there are a number of concrete benefits to sorting data. Online casinos use Big Data technology for a few different purposes:
- Personalisation. With each visit to the gambling site, players provide more and more information about themselves. Activity tracking using Big Data technologies allows you to find out user interests. Operators use these data to set their strategies, thereby increasing the overall efficiency of the business.
- The fight against fraud. Unscrupulous players and organisations can use VPNs and other tools to abuse bonuses. New methods for analysing the behaviour of players and their patterns help to identify cheaters.
- Combat problem gambling. In order to preserve the reputation of the industry, its participants pay significant attention to the safety of end users. Data analysis is used to prevent problem gambling. Certain behavioural characteristics of players may indicate the development of addiction. By setting up the alert system, the operator can identify and correct the problem before it occurs.
- Data-driven KPIs. In the iGaming industry, various metrics are used to evaluate business performance — some of these include gross gaming revenue (GGR), net gaming revenue (NGR), average revenue per user (ARPU), first-time depositors (FTDs) and churn rate (CR). Continuous analysis of these indicators across different time periods allows the operator to identify shortcomings and make informed decisions about how to correct them.
Customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow you to competently manage data. The CRM system included in the functionality of the new platform from Slotegrator is equipped with reporting tools that make it possible to track user behaviour and, based on this analysis, target certain player segments, which helps the operator improve player retention.
The use of VR/AR technologies in gambling has not yet become as widespread as in some other industries. Nevertheless, the potential of virtual reality in gambling is huge, and some brands have already launched casinos in the metaverses. Interested participants in the iGaming market expect that in the near future, leading game content developers will develop products specifically tailored for VR/AR experiences.