The online gambling sector is one of the few sectors that seems set to survive the COVID-19 pandemic relatively unscathed. According to a study by GrandViewResearch, online gambling is in a period of significant growth. As a result, we are seeing increasing developments in iGaming, as well as threats that could impact this growth.
With the pandemic still very much active and people both voluntarily and ordered to remain at home, traffic to online casino sites has increased. The closure of many land-casinos has also led to online platforms outperforming by a huge margin.
Over the last few years, the online gambling industry has gone through big changes. Increased digitalisation and evolving technology are just the beginning of big transformations that are yet to come.
The online gambling industry will grow at a rate of 11.5% over the next seven years. This means more customers and a race between game developers to create more innovative games. Casinos and betting platforms will also incorporate new ideas to improve the customer experience. Here are some of the trends we are seeing at the moment:
The use of cryptocurrency in online gambling is no longer the future, it is already here. Most platforms already offer Bitcoin and other cryptos as forms of payment. The advantages of this development in iGaming include:
- Transactions are automatically recorded and all settlements are 100% transparent. Once a transaction is logged, it can’t be altered or deleted.
- Withdrawals and deposits take significantly less time with cryptocurrency.
To find out about accepting cryptocurrency on your platform, or setting up a crypto casino, read more here.
VR and AR
The use of virtual and augmented reality (AR and VR) is already working its way into the online gambling world. More and more casinos are integrating the technology into their online platforms. The use of these innovations creates a whole new gaming environment where players can socialise and interact, from the comfort of their homes. Live gaming is expected to become more widespread as gamers demand new ideas.
Consumers habits evolve over time. Gaming apps and social gambling are some of the biggest indicators of this trend. As mobile use increases and more people have smartphones, operators need to adapt. Investment in mobile casino apps and games is necessary as it seems likely their popularity will overtake desktop games. Adopting mobile technology is a very important factor in the development of iGaming.
As the sector grows, regulations are expected to get stricter. We have already seen some jurisdictions strengthening their regulatory frameworks as a result. The laws on advertising, fair play, compliance, and responsible gaming are becoming more in-depth. We can also expect to see more countries legislating in favour of online gambling and casinos.
The Threat of Cybercrime on Development in iGaming
In a sector where gambling occurs over an internet connection, of course, there are issues with security. With billions changing hands via credit and debit card, wire transfers, and e-Wallets, online gambling companies are often targets of hackers. These cybercriminals target their victims in two main ways: firstly they steal money and secondly they harvest confidential data.
Reducing the threat of fraud and cybercrime is key and is an important component of sustaining the development of iGaming. Hackers are becoming more advanced and using sophisticated tools and techniques to breach security protocol. Furthermore, as the industry grows and becomes more lucrative, it becomes more attractive to criminals.
This is a common threat where a user utilises a bot to speed up time-consuming actions. The result is unfair advantages to players via the violation of gameplay rules.
This is where hackers flood sites with huge amounts of traffic. This results in delays in loading times or a total crash of the site. Visitors that try to access the site will be deterred and go elsewhere.
This is an automated attack where bots steal data from websites, databases, and APIs. This can result in latency on the site and exploitation of data.
A big challenge for the industry, hackers gain access to user profiles and conduct identity or payment fraud. Details are then sold on the dark web, leaving genuine players vulnerable.
A Structured Query Language injection attack is where a hacker sends infected SQL statements into a network to take over the database. They can then steal, add, change, or delete data as they wish. Hackers usually use this method to gain personal data, intellectual property, client information, and gaming secrets.
How Can You Protect Your Platform?
There are several things you can do to protect yourself. Firstly, you should check with your software licensing provider. Most authorities have specific rules and requirements that must be met. These result in increased player protection as well as operator protection. Secondly, you can engage with a cybersecurity expert to discuss what you can improve and what you should change. You must also be sure that your third-party service providers are secure and reputable.