There is no question that the Internet has taken over the media and many industries, and the gambling sector is no exception. Newspapers have gone digital, shopping has partly moved to ecommerce sites and tourism and entertainment are also evolving on digital platforms. In fact, the European job market is booming in World Wide Web professions.
The world has moved from the industrial age to the digital age in just ten years, and nothing seems to be slowing it down. Realistically, only politicians can reverse the curve, but it doesn’t seem to be on the agenda, in fact, it’s quite the opposite!
The Internet, telephone, retail, services and gambling are the industries that’ve changed the most this millennium. In the gambling niche, bookmakers have turned into online betting websites, and casinos into virtual platforms.
2000 and 2007 – Key years
The first casino sites were launched in the mid-90s. At that time, people weren’t really interested in Internet casinos and they didn’t look like they had a bright future. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that everything changed with the mass commercialization of home computers and universal Internet access. Then, in 2007, the first smartphones would forever transform the perception of the Internet. Between computers and smartphones, virtual casino operators have seen their business volumes skyrocket. Against all odds, this industry ended up becoming one of the most profitable in the web bubble.
From stone to digital
Gambling sites have become web giants in the last few years, while land-based casinos just keep losing market share. Remote casinos are increasingly replacing casino rooms, and it’s only a matter of time before they all but disappear. Much like tourism-related service companies, the future of casinos is now happening online.
Casinos in 2020
2020 is a special year for casinos. The pandemic has taken its toll on all non-essential businesses, except those functioning online like virtual casinos. However, even without taking into account the ongoing health disaster, the online casino industry would still have grown. In fact, since 2000, this sector has seen perpetual growth every year.
The rise of remote casinos is also linked to the know-how of game makers. You can understand why virtual casinos are growing in popularity just by looking at Europe’s most played online slot machine, the UK Mega Moolah. Some casino platforms even go so far as to offer game rooms with live streamed dealers. Thus, you can fully immerse yourself in Roulette or Blackjack from a computer or a mobile.
Remote gambling business volumes
In 2019, the global online gambling market was estimated at 45 billion euros. Europe has been considered the largest online gambling market with 20 billion euros in volume. According to forecasts, over the next decade this industry could double in size and hit 90 billion in 2030. Online casinos are the second most popular form of gambling in Europe: almost 40% of the market share. In first place is sports betting sites, who dominate Internet gambling with 45% of business volumes. The remaining 15% are represented by lotteries (8%) and poker (7%).
Operating costs of online casinos
The advantage of remote casinos is that their operating costs are much lower than physical casinos. An online casino is really just a program integrated into a web server. Of course, these programs call for considerable technical resources, as well as highly specialized creators.
Compared to a land casino, the overall cost of running a virtual casino is much lower, leading to a high number of active casino sites on the World Wide Web. In Europe alone, there are nearly 500 online casinos licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority. These European casinos have ramifications with Luxembourg because the banking systems of the gambling sites use payment services managed
by groups there (e-Wallets and cryptocurrency).
UK and Canada
The United Kingdom and Canada are the most prolific countries in the field of remote casinos. Even though Europe remains a heavyweight in Internet gambling, it’s the British and Canadians who’re leading the way. The UK is known for its creators of online gambling Microgaming™ and Playtech™ as well as their giant gambling sites, whereas Canada is famous for its innovative startups in remote gaming.