What's next for iGaming? The industry's 2024 predictions

7 minute read
Updated On | May 16, 2024 11:09:42 AM
Publish On | Dec 13, 2023 7:33:22 AM
David Blurton
Director, FSI / FinTech Sales Lead

 

iGaming encompasses online gaming activities conducted over the internet - including online casino games, sports betting, poker, and various interactive experiences. The industry is now a bigger business than it ever has been before, and according to Research & Markets, the global value of the online gambling industry is expected to more than double between 2022 and 2028, reaching a total of more than $213 billion.

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iGaming is changing all the time, for a variety of reasons: new technologies, evolving regulations, new customer trends and preferences, and much more. It’s one of the reasons that we at Ciklum work so hard to adapt and keep pace with new innovations, as we have in transforming the payment infrastructure for Swedish online betting company Betsson.

In this blog, we’ll take a look at how the sector has shifted over the last 12 months, and the iGaming trends we at Ciklum expect to appear over the course of 2024.

iGaming in 2023: how has it evolved?

One of the main drivers of change in 2023 has been the rapid advancement of intelligent technology. Innovations in Artificial Intelligence (AI), machine learning, virtual reality, blockchain technology and online gaming are continuing to reshape the platforms and offerings being delivered to customers.

The rapid strides in AI and the widespread adoption of Chat GPT, along with other large language models, have thrust the potential of machine learning into the spotlight for the sector. While traditional chatbots have been prevalent over the past 5 years, the advent of Gen AI and ML enables automated, personalized, 24/7 customer support. Now, chatbots powered by AI can talk in everyday language, understand what players ask, and give personalized answers. 

These developments were in line with the predicted integration of AI and ML within the sector. However, the significant impact and rapid adoption in the past 12 months has surprised many, signaling that the industry is keeping pace with technological progress and meeting player expectations.

However, while technology has a big part to play, it’s not the only major influence on the industry, and we expect these factors to have a significant impact on the iGaming trends for 2024:

Icon1_Scrutiny-1 Scrutiny:

Governments around the world are placing ever-greater scrutiny on the iGaming industry, to make sure that businesses in the sector operate responsibly, and with a sufficient duty of care to customers and players.

Icon2_Regulations-1 Regulation:

Licensing, data protection and responsible gaming are all being tightened up from a regulatory standpoint, requiring operators to adjust processes quickly and invest in compliance measures.

Icon3_Security-2 Security:

The same principles apply to cybersecurity and data protection, where a breach involving customer data can result in catastrophic damage - financially, legally and reputationally.

Icon4_Player-demands Player demands:

Additionally, player preferences and expectations are also evolving, in line with changes in the ways that they consume any type of content. Meeting these expectations with new technologies, features and innovations - including personalized content and experiences - is key to acquiring and retaining players in a highly competitive marketplace.

Predicted iGaming trends in 2024

So what does 2024 hold for iGaming trends? Well, in our view, most of what we’ll see will be evolution rather than revolution, and continue much of what we’ve seen over the past year or two. However, a number of promising opportunities for businesses across the sector, are also emerging and to stay ahead of this dynamic landscape, it’s crucial to prioritize your future-proofing strategies: 

1: Focus on responsible gambling

The emphasis on responsible gambling will only intensify in 2024, with greater legal and social responsibility being placed upon iGaming businesses. Initiatives such as Safer Gambling Week in the UK are helping the industry spread the message that help is at hand for people who need it. In November 2022, the month in which that year’s Safer Gambling Week sat, 200,000 account holders set deposit limits, and the use of reality checks quadrupled year-on-year. 

Nonetheless, there will still be expectations on businesses in the sector to do more to protect vulnerable players, and AI can help players engage with more responsible gambling. 

2: Enhanced accessibility in iGaming platforms

Breaking down traditional barriers in iGaming is more important than ever. Innovations are increasingly focused on improving accessibility for players. Voice-activated modules and interfaces are now allowing players to place bets using speech, showcasing a significant step towards more user-friendly gaming experiences.

At Ciklum, we have been actively exploring these technologies. We are gearing up to introduce these advancements in real-world applications shortly. The goal is to provide users with easier access and greater control over their gaming experiences. Modern data technology will be key to achieving this.

3: Data analytics, AR and AI for player personalization and ‘in-person’ experiences

Augmented reality and Generative AI will prove pivotal to delivering new levels of personalization to gaming experiences. Game recommendations, bonus offers and marketing campaigns can all be tailored to the individual behaviors of the player. 

AR and VR will revolutionize iGaming through immersive experiences, blending virtual and physical worlds. These technologies can be used to hide virtual prizes within game environments, which players can search for and discover on the back of completing certain actions, adding an extra layer of gamification and engagement. Cutting-edge advancements such as VR casinos and live dealer games will also heighten engagement to unparalleled levels, turning any setting into a vibrant and interactive gaming space.

Furthermore, AI-driven algorithms offer data-driven insights and predictive models, enhancing the personalized experience for bettors, and more generally for operators. The same insights can be used to aid responsible gaming by identifying vulnerable players and facilitating timely interventions.

4: Social elements to develop

All of the technological advances mentioned above, including responsible gambling measures, less conventional platforms, and the integration of AR and AI, will also allow iGaming to become a much more social and inclusive experience than perhaps it has been in the past. Features such as live chat, leaderboards and virtual gifts encourage interaction and foster a sense of community, enhancing experiences for all involved. 

Building these emotional connections can also be a powerful tool in inspiring customer retention, something that can be hard to achieve in the modern landscape when players can very easily ‘shop around’. 

5: Less extensive manual design

Behind the scenes, Generative AI is starting to make waves in transforming the speed, efficiency and consistency of solutions and app development. It’s already been able to support more dynamic and personalized experiences (as mentioned above), but it can also be applied to procedural generation techniques in the development stage. These will continue to evolve and expand in capability, and substantially reduce the need for extensive manual design that can be expensive, time-consuming and resource-intensive. 

As this trend progresses, the importance of experience design support becomes increasingly vital, ensuring that the evolving technology aligns seamlessly with user expectations and preferences, ultimately enhancing the overall quality and engagement of digital experiences.

6: Advent of brain/computer interfaces

This prediction is perhaps a little left-field, but this level of innovation could be going mainstream much sooner than you thought. Will we one day see a time when brain/computer interfaces (BCIs) will emerge, allowing players to control their interactions with a game using their thoughts. This would open up a whole new world of possibilities, although as is the case with AI, it’s sure to spark another major debate around ethics and regulation.

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In summary: taking full advantage of iGaming trends in 2024

With iGaming on the rise, it’s an exciting time to be part of the industry. There are lots of opportunities for revenue, growth and success, with the right ideas and technologies in place. However, to take full advantage, it’s vital you have the right solutions and expertise to hand, as well as the agility to move quickly, and get new innovations and platforms to market before your competitors can.

If you don’t feel that you have everything you need to do all that in house, then that’s where working with an experienced iGaming technology partner like Ciklum can be so invaluable. We can assess your existing solutions, identify areas to improve and innovate, implement the latest technologies and experiences, and help you manage and optimize them for ongoing success. Our global workforce of thousands of IT and AI experts are perfectly placed to support your growth plans, and ensure your compliance across every territory you operate in.

Take a closer look at the Ciklum approach to iGaming here, or get in touch with our team directly for more information.

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