The realm of online gambling has been enjoying quite a surge in popularity over the last few years. 2013 was all about going mobile, with popular online gambling establishments subsequently releasing mobile versions of their gaming services one after another.
But 2014 spells a whole new realm for online gambling. Let’s see what’s in store for this year.
2013 was a landmark year for online gambling. After a slight slow down during the Great Recession of 2008-2009, it is now considered as one of the biggest and most rapidly expanding industries in the global market arena today, with a net worth of more than $30 billion. Since 2008, online gambling has also seen an average yearly growth of 2.5%.
It’s pretty easy to see why this figure will continue to rise over the next few years. The global economic situation is finally stabilizing, and more and more people are now buying into the ultramobile device market.
Along with the rise of mobile gaming comes a form of online casino app that is specifically designed to draw in an ever increasing amount of paying casino-goers. Some online gambling establishments now offer social free-to-play apps that allow players to enjoy non-cash games, and at the same time, familiarize themselves with the establishment’s brand. This can be seen as some sort of gateway for real-money online betting. Most importantly, these apps also try to integrate the social factor into their service, letting players add friends, share achievements, and give gifts to one another (i.e. acting like mini social networking sights in their own right).
Gone is the image of old people spending a night out (and their hard-earned savings) at casinos. More and more online casinos are targeting the youth- the Generation Y and Millenials who are now looking for more ways to keep themselves amused. This is the reason why we now have mobile gambling apps with integrated social networking features and snazzy high definition graphics that appeal mainly to young people.
2013 saw the dramatic rise of the valuation of Bitcoin, one of the most prominent cryptocurrencies (or virtual currency) that have been floating around on the Internet in recent times. Initially valued around $13 at the beginning of the year, Bitcoin surged past $1000 when November came rolling along (as of this writing, it currently fluctuates between the $950-$850 range).
While it was initially associated with shady underground establishments such as the online drug marketplace Silk Road, Bitcoin usage eventually became mainstream when legitimate businesses started picking up on it. Heck even the Winklevoss twins (of Facebook fame) even endorsed it at one point.
Now, more and more online casinos, especially poker websites like Satoshi Poker and Bits Poker, are relying on these currencies for player deposits and payouts. And the trend is expected to continue as more virtual currencies keep popping up, like Litecoin or that hilarious meme-inspired DogeCoin.