Significant trends pave the way for fascinating times in the gaming and betting industry

Significant trends pave the way for fascinating times in the gaming and betting industry

Tuesday, January 30, 2018 Totally Gaming
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Technology is driving new developments within this sector, with potential to disrupt the industry completely

The National Gambling Board of South Africa released its new Regulations and Future Landscape of the Gambling Industry report towards the end of 2017. It showcased how turnover in the sector has seen a marked increase over the past five years. It also showed promising insight into how technology is set to change the ways in which the gaming and betting industry functions, and an awareness of how legislation and regulation may need to change in order to keep up.

The Blockchain is probably one of the disruptive technologies on every mind and mouth at the moment. It has the potential to increase engagement with customers by introducing a level of transparency and trust sorely needed to improve the industry’s reputation as a whole. The lack of insight into how the house plays or the reliability of the tools it uses is immediately resolved thanks to the complex security of the Blockchain. While not a new technology, Blockchain adoption and implementation remains relatively unexplored in the gaming and betting industry, and so those that set about to innovate in this space could see improved customer engagement, retention and growth.

According to a report by Credit-Suisse, gaming and betting companies have also leapt onto the initial coin offering (ICO) bandwagon, more so than any other industry. Infrastructure and development, media and advertising and asset management come in the three other top spots, but the gaming and betting industry is leading the way. This trend is unlikely to slow down in 2018, even as regulators look to find ways of clamping down on the ICO revolution.

The introduction of Smart Contracts in gambling on the Blockchain fulfil sets of predetermined conditions based on coded rules embedded within the Blockchain, making them the ideal tool for both the players and service providers. Open gaming platforms such as Gron Digital, aim to bolster dwindling player trust through cryptographically, verifiable transactions that require no human intervention. These contracts serve as autonomous trust agents that govern all transactions making it more secure, transparent, auditable and fair.

Virtual reality (VR) is set to mature even further in 2018, delivering richer and even more engaging experiences to consumers. At an inaugural conference in Prague in 2017, business leaders and technologists spent time looking at how VR could revolutionise the gaming and betting experience. While existing implementations are still considered gimmicky, the industry will make significant advances in the field over the next 12-24 months. In short – stay tuned for the moment you can game on Mars while enjoying a stiff drink and a comfy chair.

Turning eyes towards South Africa, the recent PwC report found that the market has grown in total gross gambling revenue by 3.9% over the year with Bingo managing a staggering increase of 36.6% over the year, far more than anticipated or predicted. This category is expected to remain one of the fastest growing until 2022 thanks to the growth of Bingo venues and electronic Bingo terminals.

Along with Bingo, the local market should also see a rise in eSports, a hot and topical part of the betting industry that rose to rapid local prominence in 2017. The eSports industry shows little to no signs of slowing down and 2018 will see a marked increase in engagement with local teams and events. The most popular games of Counter Strike: Global Offensive, League of Legends and DotA 2 will continue to head the pack, but Overwatch, Call of Duty and StarCraft still hold prominent positions on the leaderboard. New titles such as Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite, Quake Champions and Unreal Tournament are the ones to watch for the next 12 months as they have both the fan base and potential to outstrip the usual suspects.

From Blockchain to Bingo, eSports to virtual reality, the gaming and betting market is going to see some riotous changes throughout 2018. Some will transform engagement, others gaming entertainment, but all will tick the boxes of disruption and ignite a gaming and betting revolution.

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