The latest report on the global online gambling market provides an analysis on the most important trends expected to impact the market outlook from 2016-2020.
Ujjwal Doshi, a lead analyst from Technavio, specializing in research on media and entertainment services, says, “In 2015, the global online gambling market is expected to grow at a CAGR of over 9% during the forecast period, as more than 85 countries worldwide have legalized online gambling. Online betting and online casino, together, accounted for 70% of the revenue generated from the online gambling market. Online gambling is a huge success among the public because of the wide range of games it offers and the convenience of playing without any location-constraints. China, the UK, Australia, the US, France, Germany, and Italy are some of the key revenue generating countries in the market.”
The global online gambling market is expected to exceed USD 60 billion by 2020.
The top five emerging trends driving the global online gambling market according to Technavio media and entertainment research analysts are:
- Growing number of online women gamblers
- Increasing penetration of credit and debit cards
- Changing consumer gambling habits
- Use of alternative options to cash
- Changing marketing strategies
Growing number of online women gamblers
In 2015, the female gambling population contributed significantly to the overall online gambling market. The female gamblers accounted for 40% in the US and 49% in the UK in 2015. Studies show that women prefer to gamble in private, on their personal electronic devices so that they can play confidently and are less intimidated by male players.
In 2015, women under 35 years were far more active in online gambling than those above 35 years. Several online casinos encourage women gamblers, for example, Cameo Casino was the first online casino launched for women in 2015 with the slogan “made by women, for women.” The casino was not a success and closed after two years. However, the market has matured and the trend is likely to pick up during the forecast period and encourage more women to engage in online gambling. Few other women centric online casinos are Pink Casino, Maria Casino, and 888Ladies.
Increasing penetration of credit and debit cards
The biggest challenge of online gambling market is the legal issues with different countries. Though several countries permit land-based casinos because it promotes tourism, they are extremely strict on online gambling. Some of these countries include South Korea, Japan, Portugal, and Norway. However, online gambling cannot be fully banned as users can access foreign websites with a proxy server and gamble easily with international credit or debit cards.
Governments do not take measures to ban these websites permanently because they assume that a person who engages in such activities are educated enough to know the consequences or financially well off to be affected by gambling losses. Another reason is that it will stop advertisers on the websites, resulting in loss of revenue.
Changing consumer gambling habits
There has been a significant change in consumer behavior in the global online gambling market. The increase in the popularity of gambling apps and social gambling are the major factors that are expected to propel market growth during the forecast period. Vendors are leveraging the growth in internet using population and increasing adoption of mobile devices to develop innovative social gambling games. The number of people participating in social gambling are increasing as they are motivated to “compete with friends.” Other reasons for the rise in the number of social gamers are “socializing and interacting through games”, “user-friendly gameplay”, and “game tournaments”.
In addition, the increasing adoption of F2P (Free-to-play) model of social gaming across the globe will also drive market growth during the forecast period. This model does not generate revenue directly as it does not charge a participation fee. Instead, it charges for the virtual goods that players purchase to access the advance features of a game or to gain an edge over the competitors.
Use of alternative options to cash
Online gambling websites (such as casino.netbet.co.uk) enable players to use virtual money which reduces the burden and risk of carrying cash as in the case of conventional gambling activities. Payment options through real cash online and virtual currency transactions through digital payment portals already exist in the market. The prize money is distributed as in-game virtual currency, which can be used to play other games or redeemed for cash. It also helps the vendors in tracking the spending history of the customers. “Another advantage of online gambling is the scalability, i.e., it can be used to reach a large gambling population, allowing vendors to make customized plans to target the customers,” says Ujjwal.
Changing marketing strategies
Direct mail is the most common marketing technique used for attracting potential gamblers. Also the vendors are using mobile apps to tap the mobile and online market.
The challenge for the vendors is to reach their customers through mobile devices and social media in a personalized and non-intrusive way. A high proportion of mobile users are millennials who skip through advertising. Thus, marketers will need to create content that is informative and entertaining, so as to attract new customers during the forecast period.