The past 10 years have brought changes in many spheres of life all over the globe, and the online betting sector has not remained aloof from them. A brief look at top trends over the last decade reveal some significant ways in which digital gaming technology, combined with revised laws in many cases, is transforming online betting.
Changes In Legislation
Perhaps the biggest change over the past 10 years has been the number of countries and independent jurisdictions that have placed online betting on a recognised legal footing. Very few states now ban all forms of online wagering; some may restrict it to state lotteries with charity beneficiaries, others allow sports betting but not casinos, or vice versa.
Other jurisdictions allow all forms of online gaming, as long as players bet with licensed, regulated operations. Whichever model is adopted, it’s a far cry from the situation in the 1990s. When the world’s first online casino was legalised in Antigua and Barbuda in 1994, a much murkier legal environment was in place globally; a situation that continued to varying degrees over two decades.
Most of the liberalisation in online gaming laws have come in the 2010s, prompted often by legislators realising that licensed, regulated betting online was safer for all concerned, not least the tax collectors, than a dodgy black market that was almost impossible to police in cyberspace. Tax revenues for charity and infrastructure development are another factor, as is the ability of reputable operators to self-police and identify problem-betting patterns online.
Multiple Platform Expansion
The expansion of Internet connectivity, with fibre, Wi-Fi and 4G technology delivering faster connections and higher data capacity, has been a major trend in the rapid growth of online betting. Live streaming of sports games boosted sports betting, as did the expanding range of interactive games offered by online casinos.
The boom in mobile device markets globally, often in areas where landline internet links had low penetration, was another factor. Developers saw a golden opportunity, and the mobile casino industry, along with mobile sports betting, is now one of the fastest growing in the sector. Virtual sports betting, in which punters bet on computer-generated versions of baseball, motor racing, horseracing, football and the like, has also taken off over the past decade.
eSports Now Huge
Advances in computing and connectivity have also led to a huge rise in the popularity of eSports among players and fans alike. Multiplayer role-play games that rely on team skills and strategy can now be streamed to millions of viewers worldwide, while the uberfans fill arenas in their thousands to watch top players competing live in the likes of Starcraft, Dota and League of Legends. It’s an industry worth billions annually in its own right, while becoming increasingly popular amongst the betting sites in Australia.
While the Asia-Pacific region is the biggest market for online betting, there is rapidly increasing demand in Europe and South America. The US remains the fastest-growing market in the world. Total global revenue from online betting topped $45.8-billion in 2017, and it is projected to hit $94.4-billion by 2024.