What Drives the Online Gambling Industry in 2022?


Today’s online gambling industry is a booming market that spans almost the entire globe. Millions of players from different parts of the world visit iGaming platforms every day to spin the reels of online slots, build highly-ranked poker hands or bet on football. Offshore and blatantly fraudulent websites that allowed themselves to defraud players and take their money are disappearing, replaced by licensed and trustworthy platforms. In such a crowded environment, competition has reached unprecedented levels and has led to the following:


Offering a gaming experience that gets ever closer to that provided by land-based venues, online casinos and sportsbooks are taking the world by storm. And we’re here to reflect on a few things driving the online casino industry forward in 2022.


What is the Online Gambling Industry and Why Is It on the Rise Today?

  Revolution in the online gambling industry

In simple terms, the online gambling industry is all about legal online casinos and sportsbooks offering thousands of gambling options. However, there is actually a lot more to iGaming than just web-based game directories. The industry includes a variety of companies developing gaming content and software platforms, as well as various marketing campaigns including casino affiliate programs, referral programs, and promotion on search engines and social media. All are working together to support the industry and broaden the audience of engaged users. However, what drives the online gambling market forward is cutting-edge technology, and we will discuss it below.


Mobile Friendly Gambling

Today’s smartphones and tablets are almost as powerful and efficient as desktop PCs. And so they have become a strategic target for online casino operators. Statistics show that around 75% of gambling enthusiasts between the ages of 18 and 35 prefer to play games right on the go from their smartphones. And that’s why we’re seeing more and more mobile-friendly online casino and sportsbook websites. Moreover, many operators are launching mobile gambling apps to provide an even more seamless gambling experience.


Online Casino Industry Supports Cryptocurrency as a Payment Method

Although the list of companies accepting cryptocurrency is expanding rather slowly, online casino platforms have been among the first to hit it. Due to their decentralized nature, transaction anonymity and high level of personal and financial data protection, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum are becoming an increasingly attractive option for gambling enthusiasts. Moreover, behind crypto is an advanced blockchain technology that has also influenced the development of the online gambling industry, and we will cover this below.


Smart Watches and Gambling

While mobile gambling is what has revolutionized the industry, casino and sportsbook operators have not stopped there and have adapted their platforms and gaming apps to suit smartwatch users. This means that even if you forget your smartphone, you can spin the reels of online slots right on your wearable device.


VR and AR

Even back in the 18th century, people were able to spin the roulette wheel. In the mid-1990s, the first online casinos appeared offering RNG-based games. Basically, these are preprogrammed applications that use the game rules of well-known games such as slot machines, roulette, blackjack, and others. However, many gamblers still crave a more authentic experience, and VR/AR technologies are here for that. Just put on a VR helmet and you’ll feel like you’re in a land-based casino. Sounds exciting, doesn’t it? But the truth is that introduced a relatively long time ago, AR and VR have yet to reach the online gambling industry in full force. And the main reason is the rather high price of helmets. However, as prices have gone down recently, there is every chance that these technologies will soon drive the online gambling market.


Live Casinos

Before the advent of VR helmets, there was technology already in place to provide a more realistic gambling experience. Introduced by Evolution Gaming in the mid-2000s, the live casino platform changed the face of the gambling industry dramatically. The gist of it is that all the action is transmitted by cameras straight from the studio, where there is a roulette wheel, card games tables, physical chips and a real croupier. In fact, it’s remote gambling technology where you don’t have to be physically present in the gambling hall. But everything that happens at the gaming tables is absolutely real. Combining all the best aspects of land-based and online gambling, casino live technology continues to evolve to provide you with an authentic experience without having to search for the nearest land-based gambling venue. 


Social Casino

RNG-based gambling, which has prevailed for many years, has forced players to sit at virtual tables alone. However, the social aspect is one of the most important things about gambling that many people enjoy. And that’s why many operators have made their platforms more social. Launched in 2019, this trend has led to the creation of many social media apps allowing people to meet and interact with each other while gambling. Although social casinos are not yet dominant, thanks to the efforts of marketers and gambling affiliates, they are becoming more and more popular.


Blockchain in Gambling

Although we’ve already talked about cryptocurrencies, blockchain is much more than just a decentralized ledger where transaction records are stored. With its many applications, blockchain is increasingly influencing the further development of online gambling. The fact is that in recent years, there have been many cases when hackers have stolen user data and funds by compromising gaming platforms. Blockchain uses strong cryptographic methods to protect transmitted and stored data, and that is its key advantage for gambling. In addition, some game publishers have begun to implement blockchain-based methods to verify the integrity of game results (provably fair mechanisms), thereby increasing confidence in online gambling.


Social Rates

One of the known problems of gambling – and this is deeply rooted in public opinion – is that it can lead to problems, particularly gambling addiction. This is why for many years online gambling was perceived by many people as a harmful pastime. However, although the online industry has made gambling much more accessible, the percentage of players suffering from gambling addiction has decreased significantly. Today, there are many tools to control the time spent gambling and even self-exclusion. Moreover, marketers (including those working through casino affiliate programs) have to point out possible problems with gambling in their marketing materials.


e-Sports Betting

Recently, betting affiliates have gained even more earning opportunities as a relatively new trend called eSports betting has emerged. With the development of the gaming industry including options such as Dota2, CS:GO, StarCraft and others, many eSports competitions have emerged that attract not only gamers and spectators but also betting enthusiasts. Today there are many iGaming websites featuring both online casinos and sportsbooks, and now there is a new and very promising option in the form of eSports betting which is surely the future.


More and More Providers Entering the Market

Entry to the market of large entertainment companies

The online gambling industry continues to evolve, as evidenced by the emergence of new iGaming companies focused on the development and distribution of gaming content. While Microgaming and Playtech still control the majority of the market, there are plenty of very promising new names capable of changing the rules of the game in the near future. And all of that plays into the hands of operators, gamblers and gambling affiliates who will be able to earn even more from driving traffic to gambling products.


Final Words

The transition of gambling and betting to an online environment has opened up many new opportunities and benefits for many market participants. According to experts, the online industry could reach $70 billion in value in 2023, and that explosive growth will continue in the near future.