iGaming trends, regulations

iGaming Trends and Regulations in 2024: Q&A Session With Alpha Affiliates CPO

Irina Pisanko, CPO at Alpha Affiliates is one of the Expert Speakers appearing at Affiverse AMPLIFY , next month. Here, she answers questions relating to the state of the iGaming industry, globally – whether it is affecting economies around the globe and how regulations and trends are affecting it.

Q. How has the iGaming industry evolved globally over the past decade, and what are the key trends driving its growth?

A. With the development of technology over the past decade, the iGaming industry has experienced pronounced growth. We have seen a shift in users from desktop devices to mobile, especially as 58% of online casino players are users on mobile devices. It is also important to note that cryptocurrency has changed the world and taken significant positions in our business. Almost every online casino now allows deposits in a variety of cryptocurrencies, and there are also separate casinos specialising in crypto, with the currency itself being used in the games.

In addition, it is impossible not to mention that in the early 2000s, operators primarily obtained licenses that allowed them to operate in multiple countries simultaneously. However  many countries, especially in Tier-1, are now introducing their own local regulations, reducing online casinos operating across borders with one license, and therefore, the whole iGaming environment globally has become more regulated.

Q. What are the major economic contributions of the iGaming industry, and how does it affect local and national economies?

An increasing number of countries are now adopting local regulations, which means new economic implications. Firstly, there are tax implications. Every operator working in markets with a local license is required to pay taxes. Secondly, upon obtaining a license, the operator needs to establish a company in the operating country, open a bank account, and, accordingly, make a deposit of a significant amount of money. Of course, these factors positively influence the economy, as, otherwise, the taxes would go to the country issuing the license rather than the country where players spend their funds. Countries like Malta, Gibraltar can maintain their economies at a commendable level through tax revenue generated by the gaming industry. Regulation leads to the creation of jobs, thereby contributing to an improved standard of living in the country.

Q. Which countries are currently leading in the iGaming sector, both in terms of market share and technological advancements?

A. Currently, leading positions in both the iGaming industry and technological advancements are held by countries such as the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, China, and Australia. These countries have well-developed online gambling and land-based gaming sectors, contributing to the growth of the industry as a whole. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the majority of market players opened their online casinos, not only retaining their player base but also expanding it several times over.

Additionally, these countries were among the first to implement local regulations, thus securing dominant positions in the market. Advertising online casinos with local licenses has become more accessible, providing the opportunity to reach and engage a larger audience.

Q. Can you elaborate on the key factors contributing to the success of these leading countries in the iGaming industry?

A. The development of offline casinos in these countries is likely the biggest contributing factor to their success. People in these nations are accustomed to see online casinos as a form of entertainment rather than a means of earning. The advancement of information technologies has propelled the development of online casinos, eliminating the need to spend time on travel, expenses, and so forth. Now, the casino is in your pocket anytime. This has largely contributed to the rapid growth of online gambling in these countries.

Q. How does the iGaming industry influence job creation and employment opportunities in the regions where it operates?

First and foremost, the establishment of local regulations contributes to job creation, as licensees, legal firms, payment companies all require personnel. And, of course, we should not forget about the operators themselves. In one online casino, specialists from various fields such as marketing, development, traffic management, finance, and more can be involved, meaning more jobs need to be filled. Local language support alone creates a significant number of jobs for low-skilled professionals.

Additionally, industry-events taking place in different countries provide employment opportunities in the event organising sector, which inevitably impacts overall employment.

Q. What are the potential future growth areas or untapped markets for the iGaming industry, and how might these affect its global presence?

In my opinion, the new potential markets for the industry include Latin America, Asia, and Africa.

Looking at Latin America, the population in this region is very large, and the overwhelming majority of residents do not have access to offline casinos, making online casinos more accessible to them. The nation has a strong affinity for gambling and enjoys sports betting, bingo, and lotteries.

Asia is one of the most densely populated regions globally. Many countries, such as Thailand, Vietnam, and certain regions of India, are in the discussion stage of regulation. While Japan restricts online gambling, sports betting is highly popular among its residents. In India specifically, the growth of iGaming has become evident with the development of the internet. Among players, sports betting is popular, especially for cricket and the local IPL, as well as live dealer games.

In Africa, the most potential markets are South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, and Kenya. The region’s potential lies predominantly in sportsbooks, and with the growth of mobile phones and the internet, online casinos and betting platforms are increasingly entering these markets.

As for growth areas, cryptocurrency casinos are undoubtedly one of them. Cryptocurrency removes restrictions on the movement of funds, and with a high approval rate, it increases the number of players worldwide. Crypto casinos don’t care about the player’s location; what matters is having a way to deposit and a good internet connection.

Another interesting idea, albeit for the distant future, is the transition of online casinos into metaverse universes. There has already been an experiment where a casino was opened in GTA, and it gained overwhelming popularity. After all, our lives are moving increasingly online.

Q. Can you discuss the challenges and risks associated with the iGaming industry’s expansion, both from a regulatory and market perspective?

A,The most significant risk to the development of the iGaming business is the proliferation of so-called “Grey” online casinos. These establishments operate without obtaining a license, and unfortunately, at times, fail to pay out winnings to their customers.

This primarily impacts the reputation of online casinos since users, after encountering such issues, may become hesitant to make deposits in other platforms. This, in turn, can decrease the overall number of online players. Secondly, such casinos evade tax payments, leading to a shortfall in government revenue. Thirdly, these operators might prove to be unscrupulous employers, potentially depriving their employees of their rightful wages.

Q. How do advancements in technology, such as blockchain and virtual reality, impact the iGaming industry, and which countries are at the forefront of adopting these innovations?

A. The future lies in such technologies, significantly simplifying the lives of both players and operators. Cryptocurrency provides us with payment anonymity and a 100% approval rate. As for Virtual Reality and Metaverses, they have the potential to replace offline casinos, offering real interactions and the sensation of being part of an event. However, this is not in the immediate future and more something we can expect further down the line.

AMPLIFY 2024 – March 19 and 20

Irina will be speaking on the ‘Emerging Markets: A Global Review’ at Affiverse AMPLIFY 2024. This exciting two-day Live Streamed Virtual Learning Summit offers affiliates and affiliate managers working across ALL industries a series of informed debates covering new trends and expert led thought leadership workshops designed to help affiliate businesses AMPLIFY their performance!

Get Your Ticket.


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