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iGaming Trends 2022

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

We look at 2022 trends that are realising right now! What are the main market and technology drivers for the online gambling industry?

Amplify is a marketing agency that focuses on omnichannel marketing strategies and creative communications to help your brands stand out in highly competitive markets.

Operators will expand the use of AI

Artificial Intelligence is helping the iGaming industry improve the gaming experience and increase revenue through better connections with customers. Operators have already used AI for data analysis and customer behaviour predictions. Now AI technologies are improving chatbots functionality quality of conversations, decreasing costs for customer support operations. The massive scope of data that includes user gaming habits and billing history helps reveal addicted players and avoid harmful consequences of gambling. AI also allow operators to detect fraud and cheating among players. AI will help identify key points and elements of a game that attract players to expand their lifecycles with personalised offers and customised user interfaces.

VPN + Crypto open the restricted countries

UAE, Qatar, Taiwan and many Asian countries have restrictions to access gambling sites. Licensed operators don’t acquire players from these jurisdictions, but operators with offshore licenses are ready to greet them. Those markets have a high-income audience and low competition. At the same time, cryptocurrency is becoming more popular in these markets and bringing anonymous and untraceable experiences for prospects. iGaming sites with great crypto support will have profit potential next year.

More stringent regulations: said bye to free spins

Swedish Gambling Inspectorate ruined the bonuses program of Nordic operators and allowed them to use only one welcome bonus per customer. At the same time, the UK Gaming Council is planning to restrict all in-game bonuses for casino games, including scatters, wild symbols and free spins. The UK Government also is planning to ban gambling companies as sponsors on football shirts. Ukrainian and other markets already have tight restrictions and will increase gambling advertising bans. That’s all could lead to changing the customer acquisition channels extend not-traditional methods and tools.

Nowadays, many brands use influencers and ambassadors to acquire new people. We can predict the growth of these tactics and the development of new media (streaming, Youtube, social communities) for brand presence. To avoid negative associations, brands continue to use responsible gambling programmes and CSR activities to better connect with regulators.

Expansion of new service and content providers

Overall market growth and changing customer needs are inspiring entrepreneurs to launch new B2B services. Modern iGaming brands need a good platform, content and marketing. We saw a growing number of software providers in past years, and now it’s time for content providers. Game development studios provide a fresh look in traditional casino games and create breakthrough mechanics that change a game. COVID-19 pandemic was the catalyst for the growth of betting on eSports, quick sports and other all-day competitions. New providers are entering the market, and live casino streaming providers extend their portfolio with new products. Eastern Europe could be the leading content provider for global betting products based on an inexpensive workforce and technological solid expertise.

Smartwatch slots, VR and AR gambling

Smartwatches are becoming increasingly popular, whether for fitness tracking or gaming. As a result, it's no surprise that this new class of devices is gaining traction in the iGaming sector, with companies like Playtech making slot machine apps for Apple Watch. A smartwatch is more present in the user's awareness than a smartphone, making it more likely to play games in a queue or when waiting for a bill in a restaurant.

As for VR, there are a lot of cases of usage in gambling, such as virtual poker rooms or slots, but this technology will continue to not be very popular due high cost of headsets. At the same time, AR has a more significant potential to implement for iGaming products. Live dealers with augmented reality features can dissolve the border between the real and digital world.

Asia-Pacific and US markets grow

The increasing legalisation of online gambling in the North American countries and their respective states is expected to drive the market further. The US continued to expand legal sports betting in new states and acquire casinos and fantasy sports customers. The audience with fantasy sports experience has a great potential for betting operators due to the high conversion rate to new products.

The Asia-Pacific market is anticipated to expand at the most prominent compound annual growth rate globally. The emerging middle class, simple access to mobile applications, expanding broadband internet connectivity, and centuries-old cultural gambling heritage have all contributed to this unparalleled expansion. A great player base, digital world's accessibility, new opportunities for regulations could be lead operators to significant profit.

Remote work affects popular iGaming hubs

COVID-19 pandemic has led to increasing remote work in the iGaming sector. Most companies sent their employees home due to lockdowns and have experimented with working conditions when they are back. Some companies introduced the hybrid model with remote work and 1 or 2 office days, some transformed offices to coworking and went full remote. This shift affected the labour market in main European iGaming centres, including Malta, Cyprus and Gibraltar. Employers could be hiring the best talents across the world and fill the gap in the lack of qualified local staff. Workers have less need to relocate and reinforce global companies with local expertise.

Mergers & Acquisitions in the news feed

We couldn’t predict the next big deal, but the M&A trend was rapid growth past years. The main agreement of 2022 is a future 888 Groups acquisition of William Hill. It is worth noting that not only old operators merge with newcomers and vice versa. B2B companies have a lot of interest from investors because they have a lower risk and potential to fast exit in the future. Modern iGaming operators need a wide range of B2B for their value chain. So next years, operators will acquire more game studios, content providers, affiliate networks and other B2B services.

Gamification in new forms

Everyone on the market says about gamification. It’s not a new trend, but this term includes more than we used to think. Gamification is not only about exciting mechanics for your promotions, quests or in-game features. Gamification is changing the way how we interact with products and brands. At the same time, as gamification mainly is used for improving customer retention, some brands integrate these principles in an overall brand experience and acquisition tactics.

Some companies introduced social gaming experiences with group sports betting, communications with friends and shared scores for promotional tournaments. Gamification still has a main priority for major brands, and we are in Amplify agency can help you implement its principles for your product and brand.

Get in touch with Amplify agency, and we will amplify your iGaming brand with trendy tools.

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