The gambling industry has continued to thrive in 2017, with a collective income of over £13.bn in the UK alone. However, with the availability and range of online gaming sites and casinos continuing to grow in 2017, the number of high street premises is in decline. There has been a 1.4% decrease in betting shops and a 5.7% decrease in bingo premises since March 2016. The remote sector, which includes online betting, casinos and bingo games, now has a 32% share of market.
These trends are expected to continue after the New Year, we can expect to see an increase in the range of online betting and casino games, in addition to changes in gambling regulations that protect users both in the UK and worldwide.
New tech and games in 2018
We can expect to see some great advancements in gambling related technologies in 2018. Virtual Reality (VR) has been gaining traction in a wide range of industries and sectors over the last few years, from construction to cultural heritage, however it is expected that VR will be embraced by the gambling industry in 2018.
With the average age of mobile gamblers being 35, it seems that that millennials are not as engaged in mobile gambling as they are in video gaming. However, with the use of VR headsets companies will be able to create a more immersive experience for users. For example, games could take place within a virtual casino, with players sat around a virtual poker table. The possibilities for this technology within the gambling industry are huge.
There are a huge amount of themed slot games available online, and many more set for release in 2018. Online gaming sites give players the chance to play online slots for real money. Slot developer Aristocrat has announced that it is releasing Madonna themed slot games in 2018. One game will feature music from her 1980’s hit songs, while the other will feature more of her music from the 1990’s era.The first of the games is expected to be officially launched in autumn next year.
Biggest events in 2018
There are a number of gambling industry events planned to take place throughout 2018. These are a great opportunity to discuss changes in gambling technology and legislation, in addition to networking with suppliers, investors and media outlets.
First up is the European Online Gaming Forum in February, based at the Grand City Hotel in London. This event is hosted by Communication C5 and is ideal for anyone looking into how to minimise risk and develop good codes of practice in the gambling industry.
If it is the sports sector you are interested in, the largest international sports betting event is taking place in London next September. Hosted by SBC at the Grand Tower Bridge Hotel, this conference will have over 100 speakers and 30 exhibitors on offer to give expert industry insights. There will be plenty of opportunities for networking with sports clubs, payment providers, law regulators and many other organisations.
With such a range of events and discussions happening in the gambling industry in 2018, we can expect to see some exciting developments for new games and gambling experiences. How gamblers will engage with VR technologies is yet to be seen, also we can expect more slot and casino game developers to announce what they have been working on in the run up to the New Year.