Online casino and sportsbook software developer Slotegrator offers up a few thoughts on how the igaming sector can find new ways to surprise and capture the attention of players in an ever-growing and increasingly saturated marketplace.

There’s a formidable set of statistics around the online gambling market, with expert estimates suggesting a valuation of circa $93bn by the end of 2021, marking growth of 65 per cent compared to 2019. By 2025, analysts predict that the global online gambling market will be worth $113.12bn. 

Meanwhile, leading European associations predict an average increase in market growth of seven per cent and an uptick in global gambling industry revenues of 34 per cent. The sports betting sector was estimated to be worth $72bn in 2021, and is projected to grow to $140bn by 2028, a growth rate of more than 10 per cent. 

“All in all, this points to strong, sustained growth for the foreseeable future,” according to Slotegrator. “The statistics are impressive. But there are other questions: what tools do companies need to use in order not to miscalculate and to attract a lot of players?” 

Maria Baranova, the firm’s Team Leader of Partner Relations Managers, believes that the online gambling industry has always been defined by innovation, and 2023 should be no different.

Sharing her recommendations she advised stakeholders to focus on two points – live dealer games and RNG games.

Tackling live dealer games her initial focus was on customisation. “Personalisation options allow operators to recreate the atmosphere of your favourite casino in the digital space,” she said. “Branded tables heighten the playing experience and help with brand awareness. Taking inspiration from popular game and TV shows will also continue to boost live dealer game revenues.” 

New hardware plays an integral role according to Baranova, who added: “New technologies go hand-in-hand with igaming. VR/AR is one good example; virtual casinos are already catching on, and if increasing development lowers costs, VR casinos could become more and more accessible to wider audiences of players.” 

Turning to RNG games, Baranova predicts that they will “remain ubiquitous”. She noted: “Slots, table games, and crash games will be increasingly popular in Europe, India, and Asia. Here, in order to attract players, you should pay attention not only to large providers, but also to new ones, which sometimes enter the market with exciting new game offerings.”

The team leader also backs the inclusion of built-in retention features. She advised: “Players will continue to respond positively to games that have built-in step-by-step player attraction features such as special game rounds, pressing certain buttons to get rewards, and getting different types of bonuses. All of these things combine to increase player loyalty.” 

Stakeholders should also consider a diversified game offering, according to Baranova, focusing on the expansion of the betting portfolio and the varieties of games themselves. “This trend is especially strong in Asia,” she said. “This allows it to diversify the portfolio and attract new players who prefer something new to the classics. Interest in betting on small events during matches also continues to grow.”

In Baranova’s opinion, the big players might not have it all their own way in developing the marketplace. “The future of the igaming world is in small studios that enter the market with fresh games and ideas. Newcomers in the market tend to be more focused on increasing player loyalty, increasing player engagement and, accordingly, increasing the time that people spend playing games.” 

Looking further ahead, Dmytro Kryvorchuk, Sales Team Lead at Slotegrator, said: “In the next five years we will see two main trends. The first will be casinos in the metaverse. There are already prerequisites for this: some companies are already renting space for this solution. 

“The second trend is VR products, which are already of great interest in the gambling industry. There are startups that offer these solutions, and the market is beginning to think and act in this direction. The prospects here, of course, are huge.”