According to a recent report at GlobeNewswire, current trajectories paint online casinos on track to reach a market value of US $100b by 2026.
Europe is expected to play the largest part of this growth market, currently accounting for a 52% share. From this point, the Asia Pacific markets are expected to see the most growth. Those with better availability within Africa could also play a key part.
But globally, we can see a trend towards more gambling online universally.
Valued at $58.6b in 2020. The last decade has been one where the online casino market went from a somewhat niche to a mainstream industry. Online casinos first appeared sometime around 1996, back when dial-up was still standard. During this era, online casino websites and games were both crude by modern standards, relying on outdated platforms like Macromedia’s Flash to deliver their titles.
As the internet became increasingly ubiquitous around the turn of the new millennium, faster average internet speeds were matched by commensurate growth in computing power. During this period, online casino games became more than rough approximations of their offline cousins, eventually matching and even exceeding the capabilities of physical machines. This led to them becoming more palatable to the mass market, creating an era of accelerated growth.
Looking into the future, we always have the potential to be fooled by randomness. The most immediate potential lies in better penetration of underutilised markets. As noted above, Asia is the most immediate direction that casinos are heading, with significant untapped potential ripe for exploration. This is especially the case for China, the largest population on the planet with rapidly expanding internet access. The last year alone saw more than 80 million additional people connecting to the internet within China's borders.
India follows a similar pattern, with a growth of internet access to the tune of 128 million people taking place in the 2019-2020 period. While somewhat behind this trend in most countries, Africa is likely to soon follow Asia’s lead. This could again represent a massive boon to the online casino industry, once better rates of internet adoption are reached.
Though the expansion rates of online casinos will eventually see a downturn, the current nature of the developing market means this inevitability could be years away. For at least the 2020s and likely into the 2030s, improving technology alongside more active users should solidify online casino’s regular growth. What happens after this point? That excitement is yet to be pronounced and still to come.