Global gambling trends for this year
The latest edition of ICE London revealed some of the most advanced trends in the online gaming industry, characterized by an increasingly regulated environment but also with many important regions stilling pending to define regulation in digital environments.
In general terms, innovation has become the great trend of product development, despite regulatory restrictions pushing data protection and the prevention of money-laundering to the forefront.
A clear trend is the growth and maturity of the industry, as shown in the entry of more and more operator companies to the stock market.
The online gaming industry is no stranger to the emergence of new technologies and has set the mark for the development of many other industries. In particular, big data’s analysis through automation and AI development are increasingly integrated with CRM and sportsbook platforms. It is expected that throughout the year, with the maturity of many cutting-edge technologies, its adoption into different aspects of online gaming will increase.
The rise of cryptocurrency bodes an interesting future for the sector, however, the current emergence of blockchain currencies represent more disruptive proposals to change the market of the game than to improve the existing one. Nevertheless, this latest trend will be the most important. Some jurisdictions, such as Gibraltar, have already issued a regulation to incorporate cryptocurrency into the market and others like Malta are about to do so.
Another technological tendency to bear in mind are the models of open software. We see how companies that use these systems of code with less restrictive formats are making their way into an industry so far closed.
Finally, we wish to emphasize that the interoperability options have been growing through microservices, especially using API-REST interfaces that guarantee security when it comes to incorporating web services into third-party applications.
At a European level, online poker is expected to rebound, thanks to the initiative of shared liquidity between France, Spain, Italy and Portugal. It is hoped that this regulatory process is to be emulated in other regions of the world, especially among different state laws in the United States, where interest to imitate this legal scheme has been shown.
Several Latin American governments are evaluating the positive results of the Colombian experience with the regulation of online gambling. Countries such as Brazil, Paraguay and Panama are advancing in legislative processes that in the medium term would give the green light to these economic activities under a stable legal framework.
The pro-gambling initiatives of the British authority, the Gambling Commission, will deepen and extend these practices throughout the industry. As exemplary shows, the fine of 6.2 million pounds to William Hill for breaking the rules against money laundering and social responsibility is going to be a before and after.
The B2C sector is entering a stage of capital concentration with the merger, union and purchase of companies, such as the recent acquisition of Ladbrokes by GVC for about 4.5 billion euros.
Similarly, in the B2B sector there is a phenomenon of buying companies and technological services by some of the sector giants. There is a major trajectory to this trend, where new acquisitions are expected in the near future.
Products based on financial betting have been consolidated as part of the offer made by the sector in both services to players and in digital solutions for companies. If regulatory conditions continue as is, this activity is expected to grow in several European countries.