The growing popularity of Virtual and Augmented Reality technologies could help boost the online gaming market by allowing platforms to offer players as close an experience to offline casinos as possible, according to a recently published report.
Both technologies are enjoying growing take-up, with VR benefitting from a wide variety of headsets ranging from free cardboard models through to dedicated headsets from big brands such as Samsung and Sony.
And, after years of its iPhone customers being forced to look at third party, it’s widely rumoured that Apple is finally gearing up to enter the market.
Gaming firms can use the technologies to offer ‘live casinos’ featuring real dealers and features which help replicate the experience and feel of offline casinos.
According to the report ‘Online Gambling Market – Global Outlook and Forecast 2018-2023’, online casinos already account for half the sector’s market share and, while most gaming is currently done on desktops, it’s expected that mobile gaming is where operators in the UK, Germany, France, and Italy will see much of their growth.
Europe is the sector’s biggest market though China, where VR and AR are expected to enjoy significant growth over the next 4-5 years, is predicted to become one of the world’s most important markets.
Firms are also likely to see significant growth stateside where legalization is expected to see the emergence of a new wave of top USA online casinos to take their place alongside existing international operators.
As with many other entertainment sectors, the gaming market has a high level of fragmentation, and even major international players often tend to operate regional brands to appeal to local markets.
It’s expected that the next few years will see significant mergers and acquisitions as companies look to leverage the benefits of scale and it’s highly likely that the global reach of mobile platforms, which offer an easy route into AR, will be leveraged by operators looking to roll their offerings and brands out to new markets.