Industry insights

What’s on the cards for innovation in the online gaming space?

What’s on the cards for innovation in the online gaming space?

What does the future of the online gaming and wagering sector hold? While no one is completely sure, with the increased use of AI, chatbots, and Machine Learning in this sector, it is evident that we are only at the tip of the innovation iceberg.

As more people pursue these activities online, companies operating in this industry can expect to welcome new customers and players in the years to come, making it essential for them to continually introduce digital innovation to remain competitive and ensure growth.

Technology and online gaming go hand-in-hand, and as the industry grows, the demand for user experience does too. Through transformative technology that makes gaming more customer and player friendly, we help clients in this industry continuously raise the bar.

From then to now

For many living in this century, it may be hard to imagine what life was like before the fourth industrial revolution began, before our everyday activities moved from paper to digital – making things easier and more entertaining. Needless to say, a lot has changed: technology has become an integral part of our lives evident in how dependent we are on it in our day-to-day activities. Consumers are shopping online more frequently, using the internet to find out just about anything, socialising and communicating through online apps – and unsurprising, engaging in entertainment online, too. 

From dice rolling and card playing to a city of casinos and touch screen machines, technology continues to transform how people play games, place bets and wager. Looking back to when online wagering platforms first emerged in the mid-90s, the underlying thread was simplicity. Since then, there have been bursts of creativity and innovation from numerous companies all seeking to gain market share in this fiercely competitive space by introducing improvements and new interactive features aimed at enticing consumers. On this, Dieter Rosch, a BBD executive adds: “It is a competitive race to the bottom. Companies are enticing players using bonusing and rewards engines to ensure they return to their platform to bet and play. This has, in turn, become a must-have and not a nice-to-have anymore.” Further to this, bonusing and rewards are features that companies want regardless of the space they’re in – whether they’re selling sports bets or casino games. This is something that we are able to effectively do – integrate existing bonusing and rewards platforms into their client’s software.

But as these engines become more commonplace, companies must push to differentiate themselves from competitors. “The more you are able to differentiate, the higher you lift the bar” says Rosch, “One such way is with recommendation engines which have already started to be introduced to the market by the bigger industry players”.

Some of the latest innovations surfacing in this industry and aiding in its expansion are discussed below.

The future of online gaming and tech innovation

The online gaming and wagering market is projected to grow 11.4% on a compounded annual growth rate to reach $158.20 billion by 2028 (Fortune Business Insights, 2021). Fuelling this growth are factors such as the convenience of the cashless mode of payment during gaming, easy availability of games, as well as the impact of the pandemic. These factors are making the online gaming and wagering sector a completely new avenue when compared to traditional ways of gaming and betting.

  • Mobile technology

A prominent and key tech innovation driving this sector is the increasing number of people using smartphone devices. Globally, the number of smartphone users stands at approximately 3.8 billion, translating to 48.33% of the world’s population. The global increase in the number of smartphone users has been a huge factor aiding in the growth of this sector as it allows people to access online gaming platforms and place bets wherever and whenever they please. However, in geographies where smartphone penetration is relatively low, Rosch clarifies that “Although there is an exponential increase in the number of smartphone users, a problem Africa for example faces is in payment solutions as many citizens don’t have bank accounts. This does however give rise to huge opportunities for local operations”. Nevertheless projections indicate the rise in smartphone usage will mean that companies operating within this sector will need to continuously enhance their platforms with mobile-specific technologies to make playing from mobile devices possible.  

  • Virtual Reality (VR)

VR has been used in the online sports betting industry for quite some time now as a means to provide a unique and engaging experience. But it has only been recently that companies within the online gaming and wagering sector have started embedding such technology into their services to provide customers with exciting and true to life experiences. Rosch explains that the industry is going into the realm of virtual casinos and innovating on the virtual game offerings which means that companies are looking to constantly come up with new games to introduce to their portfolio. Moreover, as betting on real life events remains subjective to weather and external factors, companies incorporating VR games into their platforms are experiencing huge profits as there are no such concerns. With the increase in popularity of virtual reality gaming platforms, it is evident that we can expect to see a lot more innovation in this space.

But what about compliance?

With escalating innovation comes an increase in compliance, an area which we have played in for some time. Every country has their own set of compliance regulations and rules. Rosch adds that “In general, this industry is highly regulated with a lot of hoops to jump through. At BBD, we understand these compliance processes and requirements in both the local and international markets, specifically around random number generation and getting software tested by independent software laboratories such as GLI”. This means that by partnering with us, clients can get the full suite, from innovation to implementation while resting assured that necessary compliance regulations are adhered to.

It is evident that the future of this industry lies within technology as companies work to keep introducing innovative and exciting products to survive in this highly competitive market. We are perfectly positioned within this space to assist their clients by architecting scalable wagering platforms in the cloud, restructuring network designs and data migration and ultimately accelerating processes – making them more efficient and player centric.

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