2016 Online Gaming & Gambling Trends
Mobile Gambling is approaching a staggering $100 billion US dollars in worldwide revenue. The US population of online gamers and gamblers is increasing from 80 million in 2011 to 191 million in 2017, that’s almost 60% population penetration. The demographics of online gaming are seeing a steady march of democratization, leaving the nascent stages of mobile to a mature market.
Mobile game spend per consumer is around $22.85. Children aged two to seventeen are now spending an average of over 7 hours per week on mobile games, an increase of almost 50% compared to two years prior (*1). Overall mobile is expected to capture about 40% of the global gambling market by 2018.
Competition between brick and mortar gambling venues and online platforms is heating up . Asia-Pacific markets have fairly strict regulations for online gambling. The largest of which Macao where gaming is down 37% over the past 12 months (*3). 2015 is expected to register at around $30 billion to $35 billion for Macau. 2013 was actually enjoyed substantially higher revenues at $45 billion in Macau (Vegas did about $8 billion).
Europe is currently the biggest online gambling marketplace. Russia and Germany are lagging and slow to adopt while in Italy online gaming is also very common. In the USA only 3 states allow online gambling but the federal oversight has been growing less restrictive. 8 states currently have bills in the works that will allow internet gambling.
New Jersey is the first state to fully legalize it and it generated almost half a billion dollars in gross revenue. Thomas Winter, vice president for Golden Nugget casino was quoted at the East Coast Gaming Conference and said that New Jersey had not seen a cannibalization of their physical casinos from their online customers. (*4)
E-sports is another fast growing trend capitalizing on smartphone adoption and online payment familiarity. A new generation of gaming celebrities are cropping up with fans every bit as devoted as American football fans. The audience for e-sports is rapidly expanding and expected to increase from 89 million last year, to over 145 million in 2017. Betting on e-sports alone has almost become a $100 billion dollar industry in itself.
Virtual Reality is just around the corner. Facebook’s Oculus Rift should be available the first quarter of 2016 for $200. Online casino gambling could be the perfect way to test out this new virtual reality environment. Online casino games are expected to already be in place.
People have big expectations with VR in the hopes of duplicating the romance and debauchery of Vegas from the comfort of the bedroom. For that matter, time periods and giant worldwide poker tournaments could easily be foreseeable. Players looking across the table at each other could read tells and facial expressions. Making VR much more interesting then a desktop screen. Horse race gambling could see profound changes with virtual reality. VR opens up potential to actually participate in the race, a camera on the horse’s head could provide betters with a first person point of view. The possibilities are growing not shrinking.
Not all agree that a rise in online gambling is a good thing. Many universities are studying the effects of online gambling on the population at large. Southern Cross University clinical psychologist Dr. Sally Gainsbury is calling for more education on the potentially dangerous effect of online gambling.
Dr. Gainsbury said that a massive migration away from brick and mortar gambling shops toward online gambling has not yet been seen however, the potential is great in the future especially as younger generations of people are feeling more comfortable with online payments. Social gambling and e-currencies like Bitcoin are also contributing to online gaming’s growth.