2020 was a turning point for most industries, and the gambling and betting industries are no exception. On the one hand, they suffered heavy losses due to the pandemic and the inability of land-based casinos to operate at full capacity. But on the other hand, the epidemic brought online casinos (in legal markets) and bookmakers to a new level, which experienced a significant influx of customers. It’s time to assess the situation and formulate forecasts for the industry for the coming year 2021.
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Key trends in 2021
One of the main market trends, which was especially introduced in 2020, is the digitalization of the industry, spurred by the coronavirus epidemic. According to analysts of the Gambling Craft affiliate program, players and bettors stayed in the online casino, appreciating the convenience of this format. As a result, not all players will return to land-based gambling halls and betting points.
COVID-19 increased the popularity of online casinos
The popularity of online casinos is growing. For example, in March, when COVID-19 hit the entire world, the size of the average deposit in them increased by 3% compared to the previous February. Experts believe that the decline in the online industry will still happen when the situation with the pandemic stabilizes, but it will not be as explosive as its growth. This means that online casinos can expect a significant increase in the number of new players and bettors.
Drawbacks of COVID-19
However, there is an opposite tendency with the gaming industry. Economic experts associate it with the economic crisis and falling incomes of the population. Gambling Craft experts assume that the average rate will decrease, and in order to keep customers, gambling sites will have to invest in marketing and advertising. In 2021, it will become one of the major factors of development.
The third trend is the tightening of legislation regulating the activities of offline and online casinos in most countries. This is largely due to the previous thesis: this is how governments seek to protect their citizens from additional financial spending during a period of declining income. In addition, it is obvious that the market is striving for maximum transparency, and the laws that were adopted in 2020 in many states are aimed at ensuring it.
Growth of competition
Finally, another trend is the growth of competition in the market. Due to changes in legislation, small insignificant players will leave it and only large brands will remain. It will divide the market among themselves while trying to stay within the framework of the new legislative reality. This means that industry participants will have to be flexible. It means that they have to constantly monitor the state of the market, follow its trends and offer users solutions that can turn them into loyal customers.
Marketing and advertising in new conditions
According to market participants, marketing and advertising in the coming year should not be intrusive and aggressive. Users feel tired of such ads on the internet. In addition, as mentioned above, direct advertising is not legal in many countries, and online operators have to look for other ways to promote it. The primary purpose of marketing is at the point of providing comfort for users, and improving service.
Main marketing directions
- Ensuring maximum safety, increasing its level. With the development of high technologies, attackers have more and more opportunities to gain access to user data. And the task of operators is to exclude such situations while maximizing the safety of players and their funds.
- Development of the mobile sector. Most of the leading online casinos already offer the option to use dedicated apps, and this trend will go mainstream. According to the forecasts of Gambling Craft analysts, in the next three years, the share of mobile games will grow by almost 12%. And in monetary terms, it will account for half of the total revenue of the entire market. Bookmakers should not lag behind: according to research data, bettors who place bets using mobile applications are most active. The industry is growing primarily due to them, and experts are sure that mobile rates will be the main factor in increasing turnover.
- New betting technologies, such as voice assistants that will help you when placing bets. They will be able to personalize the most profitable odds and the right bets. Bookmakers use high technology also because it is done by the players who use them to predict the results of a particular sporting event.
Main marketing directions
- Demonstration of social responsibility in relation to both permanent and new users. Operators are forced to control the daily spending of their customers, especially if the limits are set by the regulator.
- Development and improvement of operator loyalty programs. The most frequently used bonuses are free bets, cashback, special conditions for VIP bettors.
- Development of direct communication with users, including social networks. Today, most bookmakers have their own pages and accounts. Therefore, they publish not only company news, but also useful near-themed content, such as statistics, analysis of sporting events, jokes, and prize draws.
- Changing the sources of attracting customers, attracting traffic through affiliate programs, instant messengers, and social networks.
- Acceptance of cryptocurrency. So far, its use has not become widespread, but more and more players are expressing a desire to pay in digital units.
Bitcoin is worth mentioning separately, as many call it the real headliner of the industry. Taking into account changes in legislation, it can become the main means of payment. The use of cryptocurrency is beneficial for both players and casinos. Since it allows you to ensure anonymity, security, and the absence of binding to the exchange rate of national currencies. Bookmakers who already work with cryptocurrency are conventionally divided into three categories:
- Those that allow you to perform any operations with it, for example, making a deposit, make bets and withdraw money.
- Accept, but immediately convert and make settlements in the account currency.
- Newly emerging blockchain platforms. This area is considered one of the most promising. Since blockchain technology would help the industry become as transparent as possible and keep information on rates completely safe.
The future of the cryptocurrency world is still vague. But it is obvious that the jump in the rate of the same bitcoin attracted many new customers to the industry. Large companies one way or another will have to take this into account and adapt to new conditions.