Over the past 15 years playing slots online has rose to become one of the most prominent aspects of the gambling market with many operators moving the majority of their operations and focus online.
The online industry is growing rapidly and is set to be worth nearly £5bn by the end of 2018. Who knows how much growth is left in the industry but what’s for sure is that new technologies are helping an industry thrive on the back of new accessibility to demographics that you wouldn’t normally associate with the online casino market.
Scott Manford, CEO of Easy Slots said: “After being in the industry for over 15 years now it’s been interesting to see the exponential growth and the changes in the industry. The barometer of what determines success is completely different to what it was 15-20, even 5 years ago and the boundaries are constantly changing.”
“The success of your business relies on generating web-traffic to succeed, essentially it’s all about SEO and building a brand while also pushing yourself to the top of the keyword rankings. You need a finely tuned SEO and marketing strategy that also has the flexibility to change at rapid pace amid Google algorithm changes and in reference to your competitors respective strategies.”
New technologies like the smart phone have created greater accessibility and scope for new demographics to get involved. For years gambling was split into two sections, high rollers events in some of the top casinos around the world or seedy race tracks and side street bookmakers. As the rise of vocal sports betting with major associations such as Sky, Bet365, and Paddy Power permeates the market it creates a familiarity with the industry that wasn’t once there before. Previous technologies disallowed the temptations from these new demographics getting involved.
Demographics like middle aged women and android users have jumped onto the bandwagon with many sites and slot specific games almost targeting these demographics directly. Who knows why slot and bingo games appeal in this way in such significance but the question remains as to when the novelty will wear off.
Roadblocks in the market
As the industry has grown at such an exponential and rapid pace, Government and legislature often overlooked certain aspects of the market simply because the market and industry was moving too fast. In previous years the UK Gambling Commission was set up to provide regulation onto the industry and maintain the efficient safeguards online that have existed for a long time in the land-based industry.
While the online industry becomes increasingly lucrative the Government has implanted new tax laws to firstly reduce UK operators moving off-shore and secondly to funnel all profits and tax income back into the UK treasury. The UK Point of Consumption tax is one piece of legislature that is doing just that. While this provides benefits for the economy and the player it has come as no surprise to the gambling operators who enjoy the benefits of off-shore tax havens.
Additionally, the Gambling Commission do great work in maintaining a safe online gambling environment. New laws have recently banned the use of any game imagery that portrays characters who could appeal to children. Like any new industry loopholes and areas will be taken advantage of, but as the market continues to boom all areas of the spectrum will gain expertise and wisdoms into tackling crime and maintaining safety, operators marketing a platform and the boundaries will constantly change.
The future is bright for the online gambling industry, as new technologies constantly find their way into the market new games and new experiences can be implemented by global operators. Technologies like artificial intelligence and virtual reality are already finding their way into certain aspects of the industry and with many territories undergoing developments to legalise online gambling in certain forms there’s only space for the industry to grow.