Online Gambling: Challenges and Growth
Online gambling has seen continued growth in the past, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. It is one of the world’s most profitable industries and was one of the entertainment providers to people during the months-long lockdowns.
Because of its steady rise, the online gambling industry continues to adapt to changes, especially with technological innovations that influence people’s tastes when it comes to entertainment.
The Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR) recently announced its target for 2023’s gross gaming revenue—$4.5 billion or P244.84 billion.
According to the regulating body, part of the reason for such a target was the relaxation of health protocols imposed during the height of the pandemic. With gambling enthusiasts now frequenting casinos and patronizing online platforms as well, PAGCOR saw major revenue growth.
But why did PAGCOR Chairman and CEO Alejandro Tengco think of this? Well, the reasons are these:
Increase Usage of Mobile Phones
The innovations of mobile phones and the growing improvement in internet speed influence people to keep their eyes on their devices. Statista predicted that there is a possibility that internet users will reach 5.3 billion by 2023, with smartphone users reaching 4 billion.
Having billions of consumers paired with faster gadgets means more people can access online gambling services. Access will be easier as well through dedicated applications or mobile-friendly websites.
The Rise of Online Sports Betting
Although not legal in some countries, online sports betting has continued to gain traction, particularly among young and male users.
In 2021, online sports betting was $36.2 billion. It is expected to blow up by 2030, reaching a worldwide revenue of at least $74.99 billion.
The main reason why online sports betting is becoming popular is because of the variety of sports betting options users can choose. Players can easily place their bets on their preferred sport, from basketball and football to sports like motorsport, cue sports, and more.
Additionally, technology allowed online gamblers the opportunity to track the games through live streaming. Online bookmakers or bookies also offer real-time odds, a feature not usually offered by traditional sports betting operators.
Legalization and Acceptance of the Online Gambling Industry
Online gambling continued its growth due to the fact that most nations have legalized and regulated the industry. Governments have discovered the benefits—in terms of tax revenue—that the online betting industry brings.
Furthermore, licensed platforms like OKBet have generated jobs that helped the economy and those looking for a source of livelihood.
But because of the growth, there are challenges that need to be addressed, meaning the industry is not as near perfect as it should be.
Cyberattacks are one of the most common threats on the internet, and the online gambling industry is not safe from these attacks.
Cybercriminals can jeopardize user data, financial transactions, and gaming integrity.
The most common attacks are phishing, malware, ransomware, DDoS assaults, and more. Cutting-edge cybersecurity comes into play when dealing with cyberattacks, and it is best to check the online gambling platform’s security before investing money.
Online Gambling Still Illegal… In Some Nations
Although legal in most nations, countries like China still prohibit online gambling and consider it illegal. Hence, the growth and expansion of the online gambling industry to reach a wider market is barred.
Online gaming operators must also conform to the laws of their countries. In the Philippines, for instance, games like mahjong, jai alai, and online cockfighting are illegal.
Gambling is addictive, and the concern is that online gambling can even be worse. One of the problems why betting, including sports betting, is frowned upon by some nations is that it develops problem gaming, gambling addiction, money laundering, etc. Underage betting can also be an issue, especially if online gambling sites are not regulated by regulating agencies.
But in conclusion, online gambling is like any industry. They can be riddled with issues and concerns.
However, online gambling’s continued growth is a testament that it has the potential to drive profit to a country. It can also increase innovation and diversification, customer loyalty and retention, market expansion and penetration, and more.