The world of gambling has changed a lot over the years. It all used to be done in person, down at the race track, or in casinos. But over the last few decades, there has been an evolution in the industry that has seen a massive shift towards online gambling. Whether this is in the form of sportsbook websites or places where you can go and play a game of poker with friends, there are so many places that you can visit to get your fix.
COVID-19 had a massive impact when it first kicked off though, halting sporting events around the world. So the gambling industry had to adapt, and adapt they did. Businesses came up with new markets to bet on, new ways to entertain customers, and even looked at ways they could expand to help encourage growth during a time of such economic uncertainty. And here are some of the hottest trends that they set which are still going strong this year.
Esports – An emerging market
With events shutting down during lockdown, sportsbooks both physical and online were looking to see how they could recoup their lost earnings. Many started staging virtual events such as horseracing, which used Random Number Generators (RGNs) to pick a winner, but it lacked the excitement that was generated by real competitive sports. And that’s where Esports entered the fray.
Now, some of the best betting sites had already started to introduce Esports markets before lockdown, but many more jumped on the bandwagon. Because although initially, events had stopped like with traditional sports, many tournaments were able to operate online. With players from around the world competing with one another over internet connections as opposed to face-to-face.
It was a much better alternative than the virtual events because it brought back that competitive edge we all love when watching sports. Although there were a few hiccups and delays at times because playing over an internet connection wasn’t always as stable as an experience as when people face-off over Local Area Networks (LANs) in person. But that just added to the drama at times. And the markets of Esports still continue to flourish this year, with no sign of stopping soon.
Live Casinos – Trying to replace the real thing
No, they’re not entirely trying to replace physical casinos. But, again during the pandemic, many premises were shut down and customers were not allowed to attend. So those who were missing out were trying to look at other ways to get their fix. And so live casinos became one of the hottest online gambling trends.
The idea was that you’d have a live croupier, dealing cards, or spinning the ball on roulette, and people could watch online and place bets. The only difference was you just weren’t there in person. You even had some social elements included too, with online chats available to chat with other gamblers or the croupier.
It wasn’t quite the same unless you could train your partner to fetch you drinks and bar snacks, but it was a close enough experience. You could still gamble and mix with others for that social element. But it was a valid alternative, and the live casino scene is still flourishing today, with millions across the globe paying visits to online casinos every day.
The US Opens up
When we say the US Opens up, we’re not saying the jig is up for the US Open in golf or tennis, but how states are lifting restrictions. Considering that many Americans are happy for people to walk around with guns, and no longer batter their eyelids when someone walks into a public school, shooting children and teachers, it’s surprising how against gambling they are. But that is slowly changing.
Many states have recently decided to legalise online gambling, and lift restrictions around other forms in many states around the USA. And there are numerous reasons for this, but the main two are that it will create jobs, and as winnings in the US are taxable for national citizens, it is a big money earner for the Government. This means that many companies within the industry have been making moves to expand into and across the US.
Because of these restrictions, many in their thousands have been flocking to take part in all sorts of online gambling activities. And it has become hugely popular and continues to trend across America as more and more US States lift restrictions around gambling to allow the industry to grow further.
And they’re just some of the hottest trends around online gambling in 2021. Think we’ve missed something out? Or maybe you can predict what the next upcoming trend will be? Let us know in the comments below what your thoughts are on our suggestions above, and throw in your own for good measure too.