The UK has some relatively lax online casino laws, allowing gamers to play wherever and whenever they wish.
Whilst control is tighter in places like the United States, the UK has a less stringent attitude towards providers. It means a tight marketplace for the online gaming community and a challenging one for the wider casino industry.
It’s been a tough time for casinos around the UK. Here in west London, as with much of the country, the effects of the pandemic were felt by physical locations. As Business Live explains, it led to job losses across the country and a revenue dip for the companies that owned the casinos. However, as one door closed for physical locations, it opened for online providers. Free of the restrictions that throttled the industry, they attracted new customers. The online gaming market became the largest sector, accounting for 40% of the overall gaming revenue.
As we stride into 2022, the physical locations are open once more, but online providers are still grasping market share. They’re innovating, looking for new directions in which to take their games to keep customers coming back. How exactly are they doing that? By embracing these three strategies.
Firstly, online providers attract new players simply by the variety of games they offer. Online slots, which account for around 69.3% of revenue in the sector, are a classic example of this. A slot machine is fixed in a physical location, and whilst software may be updated, it is easy to switch offerings. In the online world, reactivity is key to retaining customers. At Easter, for instance, lots of games will appear themed around the period. This can be seen with the Gala Bingo game offering, as titles such as Lucky Easter and Chocolate Cashpots have appeared, making the most of the public embracing the season. Once Easter has finished, it will be easy to remove those games which won’t perform as well out of their season, and bring in something else. The same can be said for themed games; developers often have branded games based on TV shows or films, which can be replaced if they don’t bring in customers.
Embracing technology also helps online casinos stay ahead. This can be demonstrated by two technological advances that the online world can embrace far quicker than the real world. The first is cryptocurrency, the online currency that you either buy into or fear! It could be a boom-or-bust currency, and as such physical locations have yet to embrace it, but there are multiple examples of so-called crypto casinos springing up online.
The other aspect of technology developers can embrace is virtual reality. There’s little need for a virtual reality experience in a physical casino, as you’re already in the casino. Online developers can and soon will be able to offer the overall casino experience simply with a headset and a powerful mobile device. It isn’t commonplace as yet, but where there’s a tech development, an online casino developer will be investigating how to leverage it for their means.
Online casinos also evolve quickly, which can be seen in the rise of live dealer games. In a real casino, you are faced with a dealer who spreads the cards and conducts the same. In the past, that wasn’t possible online, so you’d have digitally created dealers and graphics to depict the game. That’s no longer the case, as the industry has evolved to include live dealer games. You can now pick up your phone, sit in your kitchen and play a blackjack game or roulette with a real person conducting the proceedings via streaming. It’s a fine example of how the industry evolves with customer demand.
The online gaming industry is smart; it’s reactive, technologically aware, and able to take bigger risks with its games. Whilst there is no doubt a physical casino offers an experience that can never quite be replicated, the online developers are getting as close to that as they possibly can. The numbers suggest it is a tactic that is working.