Recent Changes in the European Casino Market
So far, 2022 has been an amazing year for the European online casino market. Several pro and anti-online gambling regulations have been rolled out to control the market while operators have continued to improve their gaming content to players’ delight.
This article takes a comprehensive view of some of the innovations in the European online market and the possible impact of such changes on the gambling sector in the continent.
Here are some of the latest changes in the European online casino market in 2022:
Wider Cryptocurrency Adoption
When the crypto buzz hit the world, several businesses, casinos inclusive, had some reservations about its global adoption. Hence, they were skeptical about including digital currencies in their payment/withdrawal options.
The story has changed, however. With more companies, organizations, and influential people such as Elon Musk drawing supports for paperless currencies, some of the leading casinos have incorporated cryptocurrency into their options to accommodate prospective and existing users who are passionate about gambling and cryptocurrency.
In 2022 specifically, cryptocurrencies and blockchain have proven to be a game changer with notable casinos operating in Europe and around the world integrating these technologies into their operations and payment methods.
Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) Adoption
Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality didn’t break into mainstream online gambling until recently. By superimposing digital items on the physical world, players across the globe can have a simulated real-world experience of a casino from the comfort of their homes or camping sites.
While AR mimics artificial objects that make it possible for users to see the unreal and the real, VR draws objects closer and gives the users the impression that they are closer to or within the user’s environment.
These technologies create an impressive perception of reality with a feel of the human sense of touch, smell, vision, and the rest, thereby creating a close-to-reality virtual world.
Hence, players may play from the comfort of their homes and feel like being present in a physical casino with all the feelings that make a brick-and-mortar casino tick. While taking a virtual walk around the casino, players can be transported to a land-based casino table where they can have a game of baccarat, blackjack, or any table game with other players across the globe.
VR and AR make these environments ultra-realistic and improve a user’s gaming pleasure and experience. In 2022, these technologies are projected to gain more traction as notable casinos are gradually integrating them into their business.
Thanks to this technology, gamers can have a 360-degree or 3D gaming experience that was previously considered impossible.
Optical Character Recognition
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is another technology that has gained much acceptance in the European gambling market in 2022. While not a relatively new technology, more gambling sites in Europe are integrating this technology into their platforms for a better user experience.
The technology has proven to be a useful tool for live dealers because it allows the use of real live croupiers in online casinos to give players an authentic gambling experience. It uses special cameras to monitor the gaming room or casino and collate raw data, suits, cards, and symbols that it subsequently analyzes.
Once it analyzes the collated data, it cross-references it with the database and displays the result for users to see. Thus, players can easily and quickly streamline game experiences.
The entire process is automated and doesn’t stand in any player’s way, giving them a smooth uninterrupted gaming experience. The technology also helps gambling sites offer exceptional quality images, one of the reasons why it is increasingly popular in live casinos.
Demand for Poker Games on the Increase
Poker games are common among Asian gamblers who love the mental demands playing the game requires. It is a different ball game in the European online gambling community where it accounts for a mere 5% of local consumption.
Poker games’ learning curve is one of the factors behind that poor statistics. European players don’t have the patience to learn how to play a game but prefer simpler options.
However, the European market is gradually warming up to poker games, especially in 2022, thanks to the introduction of several dealer games such as liver poker and the rest. The number of European gamblers looking for a convenient site to play this game keeps growing daily.
There are projections that this sector may grow at an annual rate of 10% for several years to come. It is estimated that by 2026, online casinos in Europe may generate more than €52 billion from poker games and others.
Smart Wearable Technology
Smart wearable technology gradually found its way into the online casino sphere in 2022 across Europe, although several sectors such as healthcare and fitness have adopted it for years.
Wearable technology includes a wide range of electronic devices that players can wear on their eyes, wrist, or head. Others are GPS, phones, and cameras. Wearing the technology will offer online gamblers a lifelike hands-free option to improve their overall gaming experience.
Gamblers who can’t use their mobile devices in certain locations can use their smart watches and other wearable devices to place bets and monitor their gambling activities. Smart wearables have changed the face of online gambling across Europe.
Thanks to the technology, new users can effortlessly sign up on their favourite gaming platform and play casino games with ease. You can track your previous roulette game result or take a look at a strategy game while playing blackjack or any other card game.
Thankfully, casino software developers are upgrading smart technologies and adapting them to online gambling, an opportunity leveraged by gambling operators across Europe to attract more players while keeping the existing ones.
Turnkey Solution Adoption
Starting an online casino business in Europe has never been easier than now, thanks to the increasing adoption of turnkey solutions by gambling platform operators across the continent. Gone were the days when starting a casino business was a tug of war.
It may take a businessman several months to float his gambling platform from the moment of drawing the business plan to its execution before the introduction of this simple-to-use casino launching software. Turnkey casino solutions in Europe have changed the game for good, especially in 2022.
Turnkey online casino solutions in Europe is a set of multi-functional online gambling software that gives users unlimited customization opportunities. A prospective user can purchase the software from a credible online casino software developer and launch his gambling site in no time.
Expanding Gambling Reach
A massive gambling wave is sweeping across Europe in 2022. Some of the countries that were previously against any form of gambling, especially online casinos are gradually warming up to this form of entertainment.
More so, there are increasing gambling promotions and awareness on the continent, leading to more individuals jumping on the online casino train.
Recently, the influx of mobile devices, smart wearables, and others into the European market and homes has taken gambling to the doorstep of nearly every European. The convenience of playing their favourite game on their chosen gambling platform has shot the quest for more casinos through the roof in many countries across Europe.
The rapid expansion of online gambling in Europe will have a positive impact on the continent’s economy. The European Gambling and Betting Association projected that income from the sector will increase by about 20% to $99 billion in the future.
Changing Gamers’ Behaviour
2022 has seen tremendous changes in gamers’ behavior across Europe, thanks to the increasing number of online casinos with a wide range of incentives and offers for their consumers.
With millions of Europeans having access to mobile devices, wearable technology, and a host of other technologies that have been incorporated into the online gambling sector, a growing number of gamblers are ditching land-based casinos for online platforms that offer the flexibility of play. Gamblers can now place bets from the comfort of their homes, while camping, on transit, or wherever they are.
The changing behavior translates to increasing patronage for online gambling operators and more income for the government through taxes. The growth has been phenomenal in 2022 as more players prefer to play on their portable devices than on a desktop or laptop that restricts their movements and gambling activities.
Changing Gambling Regulations
The European iGaming sector is currently undergoing gambling regulations that may have a huge economic significance on operators. Each country making up the European Union has specific laws and regulations that control online gambling.
Let’s take a look at some of the measures put in place by these countries in 2022:
Veikkaus, the state-owned gambling platform, monopolizes promotional gifts for Finnish players and other operators are forbidden from offering such incentives.
The citizens found a solution by using foreign gambling platforms where they can enjoy decent welcome bonuses and others.
Starting from 2022, the government has made it clear that from 2023, it will introduce special payment blocks that will prevent locals from playing in foreign casinos to strengthen Veikkaus.
Experts believe that the government has already started compiling names of gaming operators it intends to blacklist for breaking its Lottery Act which forbids players from transferring funds to foreign online casino operators.
A blacklisted gaming company automatically becomes a no-go area for Finish players and payment service providers that are mainly local banks will start blocking such gambling platforms.
- The Netherlands
Online gambling was taboo in The Netherlands until October 1, 2021, when the government issued the first gambling licenses to casino operators. Since then, the number of gambling platforms in the country has been on the increase.
According to the chairman of Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), a Dutch regulatory body, Rene Jansen, “Today, an important step has been taken with the opening of the legal market for online games of chance.”
She explained further that the Dutch gambling market is now open to prospective investors in the coming months. She said: “Other providers may also be interested, but they are waiting to submit an application because they are not ready yet. Strict conditions must be met and strict testing is carried out, but there will certainly be more license holders.”
That announcement changed the face of gambling in the Netherlands in 2022.
- United Kingdom
The United Kingdom has legalized online gambling for years. However, The United Kingdom Gambling Commission ranks among the strictest gambling bodies in the European Union, one of the reasons for the relatively smaller number of gambling sites in the country compared with its neighbors in the continent. Heavy penalties await gambling companies that flout the commission orders.
Because of Brexit, there’s a cloud of uncertainty over whether players from other countries’ winnings from UK gambling platforms are taxable in their respective countries or not. Gamblers from outside the country are cautious of using UK casinos out of the fear of the unknown.
More so, before 2021, the National Lottery allowed players as young as 16 to gamble, a move frowned at by a cross-section of the country who felt players in that age range shouldn’t be allowed to gamble to curb the possibility of youngsters forming an unhealthy gambling habit at such a tender age.
In 2021, the online gambling regulatory body changed its policy as it increased the gambling age to 18. This is a welcome development that casinos across the country are implementing in 2022 more than ever before.
The European online casino market has seen its fair share of changes since the beginning of the year. From regulations to the adoption of the latest gambling technologies, the face of online gambling in the continent will never remain the same. It has been changed for good.
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