We all know that technology is transforming the way we do business, and we can find proof simply by looking at the huge, ever-growing list of businesses which are going online to expand markets and reach customers.
One industry which fully embraced the internet as their business model is gaming and casinos, which, in just over a decade managed to develop into a multi-billion-dollar industry online.
People of all demographic groups and ages are flocking online to sites like Netbet to engage in challenging and rewarding casino games. While you may assume that the industry is mainly male-dominated (and in the past you would have been right), these demographics continue to expand and increase, now including older age groups of both sexes and more women. When it comes to how many females are gaming online, the European industry has seen an increase of more than 80%.
The industry saw a huge period of growth in the 1990’s, after Antigua and Barbuda allowed operators to be licensed so players could gamble online. This law allowed organisations to offer poke, slots and other games. Microgaming Software Systems Ltd (based in the Isle of Man) invented gaming software that was far more functional, and Cytologic ensured that software could be encrypted- protecting player’s bank accounts.
The industry suffered in the United States in 2006 when congress passed the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. these caused many international operators to leave the US since it made it illegal for banks and credit card companies to process any transactions from online gambling sites. Some states are now legislating these games again, including California, Pennsylvania, Colorado, Mississippi, Hawaii, Massachusetts, Illinois, Louisiana and Iowa.
New Jersey is expected to generate around $252 million in revenue, and almost double that at $463 million by 2017. The US reached approximately $41.4 billion last year in profits and it’s also expected that the US will be earning more that $7 billion by 2017, representing almost 30% of the entire online gaming market.
Europe has always been ahead of its time when it comes to online gaming, and has declared it a legal right for every adult.
In the US, established businesses are protesting, since many people would rather play games online at home then actually go to a casino. There’s even a Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling who are hiring lobbyists and consultants with the aim of getting congress to outlaw the websites due to the competition.
The coalition is aiming to prove that these websites increase the risk of gambling addiction, although Harvard has proved this false after producing research papers that refute this due to lack of evidence.
While the industry is continuing to grow, we can only wonder at what will come next. Mobile gaming looks to be the fastest growing sector of online gaming, and as technology increases we can expect consumers to demand faster sites, constant connections, and even more games.