The iGaming industry is an ever-evolving landscape with a seemingly endless stream of new and exciting innovations each and every year. And 2022 is no exception, particularly as the iGaming sector is going through a revival that is expected to continue for several years.
According to industry data, the global online gambling market is currently worth an estimated US$59 billion and that figure is expected to hit $92.9 billion by the end of 2023. This is in part thanks to the legalization of sports betting across the United States and the launch of several regulated online casino markets in European countries such as the Netherlands.
So with the industry booming, what new trends and innovations can we expect from iGaming in 2022?
More focus on mobile gaming
Mobile gaming has played an integral role in the evolution of iGaming and gaming in general over the last decade. From online casinos to mobile sports betting apps, it now seems that there’s a mobile option for practically every online gambling activity.
Yet despite the fact that gamblers are growing increasingly reliant on smart devices, a quick look at this list of new casinos sites here shows that of casinos opened in the last year – mobile options aren’t always a priority for gambling operators.
This could all change in 2022 as 5G gains a solid foothold throughout the globe and many gamblers make a permanent move away from the PC. This could lead to more promotions and offers available to mobile users while some companies may even begin to develop slots and other games for mobile devices only.
Virtual gaming to grow in popularity
Virtual gaming has been talked about in iGaming for several years now but has never really made the splash that many thought it would. However, 2022 saw a number of VR casinos launch and while we’re still at the experimental stage, 2022 could be the year that virtual casino gaming goes mainstream.
VR equipment is still on the expensive side, but headsets are coming down in price without scrimping on quality. Add to this the fact that people are much more open to the idea of remote experiences (thank you pandemic-enforced lockdowns) and this could be the year that the VR casino finally takes off.
More crypto options
Cryptocurrencies and the blockchain are here to stay and as far as the average gambler is concerned, that should be a very good thing indeed. Added security, anonymity, and speedy deposits and withdrawals—what’s not to like about crypto options for iGaming.
There are already several crypto (Bitcoin) online casinos that have been making a name for themselves over the last year or so, despite dubious legality in some jurisdictions Even online sportsbook Bovada now allows deposits in cryptocurrency as does Parimatch.
However, we expect 2022 to be the year when the really big names in iGaming finally come around and start embracing the use of cryptocurrency.
Additionally to the variety of crypto, the iGaming universe can also see an increase in the purchase and exchange of NFTs. For the people living under the rock, NFT stands for Non-Fungible Token, and it is a kind of artform. It can be anything, from a concert ticket to a painting to a digital art set, and has only one owner at a time.NFTs have gained wild popularity over the last year and are here to stay, because of their one-of-a-kind nature, and extreme rarity. Many iGaming corporations are already investing in NFTs and the same can be incorporated within their games.
Live dealer slots
Yes, live dealer online table games have been quite the trend in recent years and it’s now a hugely popular feature at many online casinos. In fact, the vast majority of major online casino operators now have live dealer options for games like blackjack and roulette.
But 2022 saw the introduction of live dealer slots which seemed a strange innovation at first, but they have proven to be popular. The whole concept is that you have a live dealer who does the spinning while the player controls the betting.
With live dealer table games proving to be an incredible success, and the market growing ever more competitive, we have no doubt that 2022 could very well be the year of the live dealer slots game.
Gamification of slots
With the market so saturated, iGaming developers are always looking to create features that will set their games apart from the masses. Just like the live dealer slots we just mentioned.
But 2022 could see gambling companies take things a step further than introducing a live dealer. We’ve already seen this with the likes of Rick and Morty: Wubba Lubba Dub Dub online slot. This particular slot allows the player to play minigames, enjoy animated clips, and feel much more immersed as they would with a regular slots game.
In an industry where there are tens of thousands of slot titles on the market, adding side quests and minigames to a game could be just the thing to stand out from the crowd.
Look out for metaverse
The metaverse has become a hot topic over the last few years, and picked up wild popularity last year, thanks to a few movies with the same plot. The metaverse universe is something that most iGaming industries are planning to pick up in the forthcoming year, and it could be a brilliant opportunity for various players to understand the same.
The concepts of entangled universes and parallel avatars are fascinating to both, the players as well as the publishers. Many games developing companies and publishers are now already invested in the idea of creating a suitable metaverse and appropriate characters and avatars for their players. The sales of VR games and consoles are also expected to increase greatly because of the same reason.
With the advancements of technology, human lives are becoming more easier and connected. Humans are connected to one other with the means of the internet, and with the 5G technology taking over the world at a rapid pace, this process has become quite solid. The 5G network has opened doors of unmatched technological developments in the fields of gaming, and one such development is the release of cloud-based games. The cloud technology will offer users to store and save their games on a cloud database, and they access their games remotely, from any part of the world, without downloading the actual game. This will enable the users to play high-quality and top-tier games without the hassle of memory management and worrying about space or lagging of their devices. Users should look out and invest in such games in 2022.
Netflix based games
The US-based video giant has been testing games for its paid users since the mid of 2022 and is reportedly going to make big announcements about the launch of its own gaming franchise soon. Players can expect the video giant to release some intel soon, and make investments accordingly. Netflix has a vast range of customers, and if the video giant is actually going to release its own games, then it is a sure shot towards victory.
Knowledge of the various trends in iGaming can be very beneficial and of great importance to the players and investors. And by knowing what all lies of them for the year to come, they stand one step ahead of the others and invest in the best opportunities. They also can have early access to the various games and services released in the market and can become the best in their fields.