Market research firm Global Market Insights released a study that projected the value of the global online gambling industry to hit $160 billion by the close of 2026
Industry observers and analysts have long stated that the iGaming market will surge in the next few years due to the increasing proliferation of smartphones and high-speed internet connections across the globe. They also noted that online casino platforms are becoming easier to access for most people around the world.
Online gambling games such as slots, lotteries, roulette, Keno and Bingo are rapidly becoming more popular due to their accessibility. This was especially so during the COVID-19 pandemic peak, when most people were asked to quarantine themselves at home.
The impact of COVID-19 quarantines can be seen most clearly in the 67% rise of online gambling in Australia, starting in April 2020. The rise coincided with Australia’s closing of all non-essential businesses, including brick and mortar casinos and slot parlors, to stem the tide of the coronavirus.
Similarly, a 43% growth in online poker was observed in the U.S. following their own lockdown measures, with a 255% increase in first-time online poker players.
An additional factor that could increase the prevalence of online gambling is the use of advanced technology to attract more players, such as virtual reality, live casino games, immersive 3D graphics and animations, as well as the use of mobile devices to play games on the move.
The ease of playing online casino games on the move is compounded by the existence of cashless technologies to facilitate easy reloads, allowing players to spend more time playing instead of spending extra time trying to top up their account balance.
Sports Betting Up, Lotteries Down
One major contributor to the lofty projected value of the online gambling industry is the emergence of the legal sports betting industry in many parts of the world, most significantly in the U.S.
Sports betting is now the fastest growing online gambling segment, with hundreds of options for punters to bet on every day. In addition to mainstream sports such as American Football, baseball, basketball and soccer punters can also bet on niche sports such as eSports, curling and virtual sports.
As sports betting continues to grow, lottery revenues have begun to shrink worldwide. As more gambling options become accessible to players, more punters are gravitating towards modern offerings such as online Baloto. Analysts expect that lottery revenues will continue to decline as more new games take its place in the market.