The global gambling market is expected to reach $200 billion in 2023, while the iGaming market is estimated to reach $93 billion, giving land-based gambling a good run for its money. But what will be driving these figures over the next 12 months and what verticals, sectors, and new developments should operators be looking out for? As expected, technology will continue to be a main catalyst in the iGaming sector with new innovation bringing in players and driving up profitability. In addition, the opening of new markets and discovery of untapped markets will also be important this year. We will also take a look at some of the game types to look at, and what to expect in terms of licensing regimes.
There are countless ways that new and innovative technologies are making their way into the gambling industry; metaverse, AR, VR, blockchain and mobiles, to name just a few. But which vectors will have a particular impact in 2023? Top of our list is cryptocurrency integration, both as the sole payment method and as an option alongside fiat. Consumers can shop for groceries, buy houses, and pay for plane tickets with crypto, so it’s only natural that iGaming would have its day. One of the main benefits of crypto gambling is the anonymity and immutability it provides, as well as the fact it can allow the unbanked to gamble online.
Another tech to watch this year is live dealer games. While this is not new technology, it is more in demand than ever before as consumers want interactive and immersive experiences with a social element. Furthermore, as the popularity of land-based casinos drops, players will look to the online world to offer comparable experiences that allow interaction with other players and dealers. This year, more developers will be working on new games with a strong human element.
Lastly, wearable technology is having a moment with hundreds of millions of adults using and wearing smartwatches. When combined with technologies like smart speakers and home assistants, the overlap with iGaming becomes apparent. Players can bet on sports, wager on table games, and engage in other forms of gambling via their wearables or with a simple voice command. This could encourage more players, but also more bets as they will not need to be in front of a computer or mobile to gamble.
2023 is set to be a big push year for online gambling in the US, with more and more states looking to regulate the sector to increase their revenue. Online casinos and betting are currently legal in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Michigan and Connecticut, with more mulling over their options. But it is not just the US, Germany is also set to start work with its new online gambling regulator, and Hungary is due to launch regulated online gambling during this year. But aside from specific jurisdictions, regulation generally will focus on threats such as fraud, security, money laundering, and ensuring underage and vulnerable players are protected.
Also, watch out for Curacao as the country transitions from its previous licensing regime to a centralised state-run system.
Our top jurisdictions to base an online gambling business in 2023 continue to be Curacao, Costa Rica, Kahnawake, Malta and the Isle of Man. But as an operator, there are some particular places you should be keeping an eye on in terms of audience. Latin America is one of them. Home to nearly 670,000,000 people, it is a region ripe for picking. Sports betting is prevalent here, as are slot games, but there is so much untapped potential. Many countries in the region have yet to legalise online gambling or put their own frameworks in place, so players are massively underserved. Latin America is important for you to consider focusing on over the year ahead.
When it comes to games, sports betting and slots will always reign supreme, but there are other new kinds of games to consider, including skills-based games, fantasy sports, eSports and those that integrate AR, VR and into the metaverse. In short, keep your games portfolio full of all the usual classics, but do not be scared to branch out and look at new and innovative game types to appeal to different demographics that you may not have yet tapped.
As for Fast Offshore, we will continue in our work, assisting and guiding startups, entrepreneurs, and existing companies in their gaming endeavors. We are prepared to provide our portfolio of services, including incorporation, licensing, payments, compliance, and of course, ongoing administration. As ever, we will do all of this with complete transparency, accountability, and a hefty dose of professionalism.