As we enter the new year, we thought it might be a good time to see what some of the gaming industry leaders have to say in regards to their predictions for 2020 in the gambling sector. Continue reading for some key insights from the top!
Melissa Blau, Director at iGaming Capital
USA Sportsbetting for 2020
Since Jersey took the lead over Nevada in monthly Sportsbetting revenue last year, Melissa has stated it is highlight likely another state will surpass the monthly Sportsbetting revenue this year.
1. US ‘Safe Haven’
The US is likely to be looked upon as a ‘safe haven’ for operating profitability due to increasing pressure on new regulated and pre-existing restrictive regulations and taxes in Europe.
According to Melissa, it’s looking like 2020 is going to bring in another mega-merger, but one that is most likely to come from a tech or media player not in the iGaming industry which will probably surprise a lot of people. This prediction is based on the fact that “there is more access to cost-effective capital and buoyant capital markets”.
Peter Nolte, CEO at Patagonia Entertainment
1. 2020 sees regulation granted in Brazil
Peter Nolte of Patagonia Entertainment recently spent some time in Sao Paulo, Brazil at the OGS conference where he heard the good news about the future of online gaming in Brazil and Latin America. The new sports betting law regulator in Brazil, SECAP, confirmed that the new regulation for sports betting will be published in Q1 2020
Mor Weizer, CEO at Playtech
1. US market – Gold Rush for Quality Product
As more states start to regulate across the US and the market continues to grow, Weizer has stated they have seen a ‘gold rush’ of operators scrambling to launch product and suppliers pushing to sign partners. He went on to say there are two new themes developing. The first is that there is a need to differentiate the offering since it is proving to be a very competitive market. Secondly, is a demand for a sophisticated product. He predicts quality will prevail as operators look at technology of a high standard that has been proven successful in Europe and Latin America before applying it to help develop US in-play betting versions.
2. Online casinos are the underdogs of the online gaming industry
Even though 2019 saw the US online gaming industry reach $470m, sports betting is still seen as more acceptable in the market. Online casinos are definitely an enticing long term prospect for operators in many US states, particularly since New Jersey saw its highest online casino revenue ever in 2019 and there are markets like West Virginia and Pennsylvania beginning to open.
It’s still the quickest growing sector in Europe with specialists like Playtech launching new products on a weekly basis.
3. Safe Gambling Solutions & AI
2020 is going to see safer gambling solutions as one of the main areas of competition due to operators looking to compete against one another to build the best reputation to protect consumers in the US, UK and European markets. Similarly, machine learning and AI is a hot topic right now as experts from varying sectors look search for applications in industries like e-commerce. Playtech is one of the main pioneers in AI and machine learning within the gambling sector as it builds intelligence-based safe gambling tools allowing operators to engage with players in real-time that are showing signs of potentially harmful behaviour and guide them on a customer journey that is going to monitor and control potential future risk.
Andrew Dagnall, CEO at Bettorlogic
1. Development of light sportsbooks
Andrew Dagnall has predicted 2020 will see the development of light versions of full sportsbooks that are suited to specialist groups, therefore, allowing easier access based on betting preferences and equating in more adequate publicity of sportsbook products.
meaning that although they still need to resolve a few taxation issues, regulation in Brazil is definitely going to happen this year.
Keith Mc Donnell, CEO at KMi Gaming
1. In-play wagering and online mobile betting
Online betting on your mobile device or tablet as been one of the major sources of revenue for those states that have legalised sports betting and it is becoming increasingly necessary for those that are looking like that are going to be legalised. Other states are rallying for the legalisation on mobile betting after seeing the positive impact in New Jersey and Indiana which were at 80% and 65.3% respectively for November 2019 alone.
With this in mind, the increase in mobile betting is going to see In-play wagering skyrocket. Europe is far ahead with 80% of all sports betting coming from in-play. Players are going to be looking for new and fast options for betting that are all supported by real-time data.
2. Relationship building between operators and media giants
As we see an increase in more companies enter the sports betting market, efforts to merge and vital relationships between media giants and big gambling operators will continue. We saw huge deals in 2019 with Flutter Entertainment Group, Yahoo & MGM / GVC and The Stars group.
3. Tribal Entities
Tribal Entities will continue to try and dominate sports betting in their own states or ban it completely. They tend to control casino gambling in a lot of States which can slow down the legalisation of sports betting which is evident in States like Florida, Connecticut and California.
4. Job Market
It’s expected that between 125-150,000 new jobs could come up in the US sports betting market over the next 1-2 years.
Jesper Kårrbrink, Chairman at Green Jade Games
1. Scale, compliance and professionalism vital to succeed in 2020
According to Jesper Kårrbrink, in a relatively short time (he recently celebrated 10 years), the iGaming industry has seen angel invested startups with a strong ‘can-do’ approach to where we are today with Large Cap companies that have a newfound level of processes, compliance, routines and professionalism. This is a change that will continue and for others to survive in increasingly regulated environments, compliance, scale and professionalism will be vital! In Jesper’s opinion, the big guys will get bigger while the small will decrease in size as there really isn’t room for 400+ brands all offering the same type of product, unfortunately. He believes 2020 will continue in the same way 2019 begun, with brands fighting to survive due to a lack of differentiation.
2. Declining growth numbers for the Pay n Play operators
BankID and Swish are looking to take a share of the market from Pay n Play in Sweden this year. It’s likely that we’re going to start seeing a decline in growth for Pay n Play operators in Sweden because of this in 2020.
3. India well and truly on the map
India is set to be the next grey growth opportunity in the world of online gambling. It’s definitely the new destination to watch.
4. Increase in gambling taxes
From Italy to Denmark, the team are wondering who else is going to increase gambling taxes for 2020. While they may not finalise increases this year, it’s looking like it will be a topic governments start to discuss especially since gambling and online casinos are an easy tax to increase due to the current media image.
5. Uncertainty in the UK
The United Kingdom will continue to be an uncertain market in 2020 with a £2 bet limitation being a key topic.
6. Green Jade Games launch real money arcade games
2020 sees Green Jade Games launch their first-ever real money arcade games which is a completely new gaming and gambling experience.
7. Consolidating phase for suppliers
The purchase of Red Tiger by NetEnt was one of the first signs that there is now consolidating phase for suppliers within the iGaming industry. As operators increase in size, providers find they have to do the same or they begin to lose pull.
8. Increased marketing efficiency for operators
As operators continue to protect their brands on Google and improve margins affiliates are going to be challenged and see a loss of revenue while operators see an increase in well-organised marketing.
9. Shorter life span for games
Each year, the market is flooded with new games so it’s only natural that this is decreasing the shelf life of games. Providers will need to challenge their plans, logic and previous ideas to get ahead in 2020.
10. Curated collections of games for players
Gone are the days where operators just provide a library of games for their players to choose from. 2020 will see AI help these operators create a curated selection of games to give their players a tailored experience.