Our biggest and most exciting roundtable event yet. Talk Gambling Founder & CEO Ross Timmins spoke with seven of the industry’s top leaders to ask them about their 2023 highlights and what they think could potentially occur within the industry in 2024. Here’s what they had to say when asked:
Question: What’s the best thing to occur within the industry in 2023 and what’s your strongest prediction for 2024?
North America has established itself as a key market for the Live Casino vertical. As more and more states have opened for market entry, there has been an increase in the number of suppliers, creating a highly competitive landscape. With a population that has an ingrained affinity for land-based casino experiences, there is a sense of familiarity among players and therefore a built-in appetite for this kind of entertainment. This opens a window of opportunity for suppliers to create exciting new products that speak to this player base.
Our Premium Live Dealer offering in Michigan is a prime example of this, offering experiences that replicate the brick-and-mortar experience, including roulette, blackjack and baccarat. In addition to being a legal necessity, we have found that building a custom studio for audiences in the Great Lake State builds on that sense of familiarity and validity, a crucial aspect of the player profile.
Looking ahead, while we don’t expect many new US regulated iGaming states in the near term, we can expect to see a steady influx of new providers continue to enter the burgeoning market where online casino is live and performing strongly. As iGaming is on the rise in the US, with a year-on-year increase in revenue reported of 22.7%, the market offers the chance of long-term prospects for the industry. In turn, this increased competition will lead to suppliers driving innovation in their product output particularly as players begin to seek out differentiation in their gaming experiences. This will be a key factor in our content roadmap, as it aims to deliver fresh and unique concepts to the industry.
I am delighted that the discussion on diversity and inclusion is now openly taking place in our industry, a development long overdue. In my current role, I am fortunate to have a female Co-CEO and an overrepresentation of women in our management team, a noteworthy departure from the norm in our industry. Kudos to my previous employer Betsson Group for running the Diversity and Inclusion track at iGaming NEXT Valetta and we are also super excited to see ICE London hosting the DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) initiatives in February 2024 and putting it on the agenda to kickstart the year.
It might be a year too early but as a prediction, I’m going with Artificial Intelligence revolutionising parts of the industry. At Omnigame, we view AI as a tool to generate more distinctive and personalised content at a faster pace. Therefore, we anticipate that 2024 will be the year when the industry not only discusses the potential of AI but begins to unleash its capabilities even more than we have seen so far.
We will continue to see strong growth in the use of statistical data by recreational gamblers in 2024, predominantly driven by an ever data-hungry younger demographic. However, we do see punters generally becoming more savvy and more comfortable using data. Clearly, data being used to make more informed bets across all sports, and especially football, is nothing new. But how the data is presented, can be interrogated and then used to support the gut instinct, can be cumbersome and disrupt customer experience. As acca bets and bet builders continue to dominate the casual betting landscape, there will be an increased demand from bettors, in turn driving the operators, to harness data more efficiently building that component into the natural path to bet placement.
The way that supporting historical data is presented will therefore be paramount to drive high conversion. The visualisation of data that truly works in harmony with the user journey is not an easy thing to deliver. However, especially in mature markets with large operators, this is absolutely necessary to deliver. The customer experience has to be positive, intuitive and easy, and that’s something we do very well at Checkd. We continually assess and evaluate our products, which in turn are empowered by the learnings we obtain from our growing tier-one client base too.
This year has brought with it the initiation and consolidation of new regulations across diverse markets worldwide. In turn, this has opened doors for sustainable and established groups within the gambling sector, offering opportunities for growth and development.
Looking ahead to 2024, a notable surge is expected in the integration of cutting-edge technologies. Many of these innovations, particularly those tied to artificial intelligence (AI), are poised to significantly enhance and streamline a variety of processes across both development and operational aspects of the industry. New technologies will bring transformative changes, fostering efficiency and innovation within the dynamic landscape of gambling and iGaming.
In 2023, it’s become evident that a loyalty solution needs to be fully integrated into an acquisition strategy, daily retention, cross-selling between verticals, and inherently, loyalty programmes themselves.
As for next year, it’s more a case of evolution than revolution. Operators should focus on gaining deeper understanding into how gamification will retain, reactivate, and reward players, but it isn’t just a case of viewing gamification as a free-to-play game to acquire new bettors. It plays a much larger role for operators, through delivering gamification based on player behaviour, increasing conversion and driving player loyalty.
Another would be real time. It’s understanding in real time by real-time ingestion and then having the ability to act in real time that truly makes the biggest difference.
We also predict there will be changes in end user’s expectations around AI, particularly machine learning. There will be increased focus on the transparency of machine learning models and a demand for flexibility in data and algorithm choice. End users will want and, from a regulatory perspective – need, to understand the models used. The ability to implement an algorithm that suits the end user’s dataset and use case will emerge over the traditional single algorithm solutions that exist on the market.
Gamified solutions have changed beyond recognition in recent times and this is a trend that we expect will continue across 2024 and beyond. While it used to be considered sufficient to put a simulated betting experience in front of a sports fan in the hope that they might take a sign-up offer at a sportsbook, the next generation of gamification systems have been developed that offer so much more.
Trivia and prediction games have formed the backbone of traditional, free-to-play gamified offerings. As we head into next year, we will continue to see the emergence of a new era of gamification that mirrors the expansion of iGaming. The types of games available on gamified platforms will expand to include thousands of OSB and social iCasino games and will engage with new audiences, including previously difficult-to-reach casual players. In turn, this will generate the need for a ‘Game Center’ type aggregation platform to manage the diverse games and audiences create data-led insights that enable the delivery of highly personalized experience to an expanding audience.
For crypto casino operators, 2023 has been a transformative year, marked by trailblazing advancements in payment systems. With features such as Multi-Balance, operators are less limited in their payment capabilities and can now cater to a diverse range of audiences encompassing both crypto enthusiasts and traditional currency users. Security in transactions with cryptocurrencies has also been a point of interest, with advancements such as NuxGame’s Efficient Crypto Asset Management, streamlining and providing more safety in deposits and withdrawals.
Looking ahead, AI and analytics integrations will be a key focus for operators as they look for ways to improve player acquisition and retention in the highly competitive iGaming landscape.
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