Thanks to continuous improvements to iGaming technology, iGaming has become a hot topic in the gambling industry. At the most basic level, iGaming is any kind of online betting that wagers on the future outcome of a game or event.
iGaming is now more popular than in-person gambling. A recent survey by YouGov found that 63% of people prefer to gamble online rather than visiting a physical casino or betting shop, highlighting the importance of iGaming technology for modern entertainment purposes.
iGaming availability depends on the region where the gambler lives. In some countries, like Singapore, online gambling is illegal. Other countries may have regulations that govern which games can be played, how much money can be wagered or even the payment methods gamblers use to top up their online accounts. Some countries like Canada and the US are behind the curve, so their iGaming infrastructure and markets are only just beginning to grow but they are doing so fast.
iGaming first emerged in 1994. Thanks to a surge in popularity of the internet, rapid development in iGaming technology, and the provision of iGaming server infrastructure, the market quickly grew.
By 2020, the worldwide iGaming sector was worth $64.13 billion. It’s expected to almost double in size to $112.09 billion by 2025 as iGaming infrastructure continues to improve and more people look to gamble online.
It’s all about accessibility. iGaming can be accessed via websites and apps, allowing players to engage at any place, any time on virtually any device. Anyone with a device and an internet connection can play a few hands of poker or spin some slots on the bus to work.
The pandemic was also instrumental in driving growth as people looked for online alternatives while physical casinos were closed. 2021 was a record year for the iGaming technology industry in the US, with many states recording all-time high revenues, and a nation-wide income of $53 billion. Such huge numbers were achievable thanks to the powerful iGaming server infrastructure available which could support many players.
iGaming is beginning to take off in less-developed nations too. In Africa, for example, rising mobile phone ownership is driving increased uptake of online gambling. As iGaming becomes more affordable, accessible and widely legalized, we can expect to see the iGaming industry grow to new levels.
Online casinos provide digital versions of classic casino games – roulette, blackjack, craps, baccarat, etc. The rules and wagers are similar to real-world gaming tables, so experienced gamblers can jump right in.
Most iGaming technology also includes a wide selection of slot games. From traditional one-arm bandit emulators to carefully themed video slots, there are millions of different games available, often with enormous jackpots waiting to be won.
Thanks to powerful iGaming infrastructure provided by iGaming hosting companies, online casinos are able to provide many games across both apps and websites, so iGamers often have something new to play – and the thrill of a potential win.
The popularity of poker within iGaming has exploded. In addition to poker variants (straight, stud, draw and flop), iGamers can play the game in different ways too - there are live poker games streamed online; digital versions they can play on the web; or through an app against other iGamers.
For those who want to try their luck against the house, virtual poker replicates a full table – but the gambler is playing against computer-generated avatars. Virtual poker is increasingly popular as players can drop in and out as they want – and the iGaming technology behind the game is getting better all the time.
eSports is where video game players compete against one another, or against teams, in tournaments to determine who will be champion.
The prizes at stake depend on the scale of the tournaments: professional gamers will usually compete in epic tournaments with huge prize pools (often hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not more) on offer. Meanwhile, amateur gamers will compete in smaller tournaments, with more modest sums up for grabs.
Tournaments will be watched by the masses either in person, or more commonly, by viewing online. eSports companies utilize iGaming technology, to allow players to compete, while live streaming companies use streaming technology to allow viewers to spectate.
Many viewers have a vested interest in the tournaments. Betting on the outcome of these tournaments is big business for bookmakers, and one that is set to continue rapid growth. According to esports.net, “The $1 billion valuation of the esports betting industry of 2019, is estimated to exceed $2 billion by 2022.”
Perhaps the most accepted and widespread form of gambling, online sports betting is betting on the outcome of any real-world sporting event through online platforms, rather than popping down to the local bookies.
Online sports betting offers far more variations – and a lot more convenience – than local bookmakers, thanks to iGaming technology.
There are millions of wager options across thousands of sports – and with real-time updates, gamblers can even bet on events in-play, such as predicting the final score. For those who like a riskier bet, accumulators offer opportunities to win big by stringing several predictions together as part of a single wager.
As iGaming server infrastructure and streaming technology improves, online casinos are able to take their games to the next level - to provide the authentic, immersive experience of sitting at a table in a real-life casino, online. Live streaming games have a dealer operating a full-size gaming table, interacting with players one-on-one and allowing them to bet on a real game in real time.
iGaming server infrastructure continues to improve, offering even more playing options and experiences. Virtual reality and augmented reality will become a major growth area, making the playing experience even more ‘real’ for iGamers. In fact, the world’s first cross-technology augmented multiplayer reality (AR) casino platform made its debut in July 2021 and we expect to see many more iGaming technology revolutions follow.
Of course, an online casino can’t exist without reliable, available and secure iGaming infrastructure in place. Because online casinos live or die by the experience that they offer to players, the starting point to putting in place iGaming infrastructure has to be understanding where gamers are based – and ensuring their iGame hosting setups are close.
The reason for this is that shortening the distance between players and the iGaming server infrastructure that games are hosted on, reduces latency and improves the overall gaming experience. Latency can cause games to be slow, glitchy or unresponsive, driving customers away.
Imagine an unresponsive request when trying to place a bet on roulette, but the game is up before your bet is accepted! In a world where customers expect online games to be as smooth and enjoyable as a real world table in their favorite casino, ensuring that the server infrastructure you use is capable of providing as low latency as possible has to be a priority.
To learn more about iGaming technology, where the market is headed and how we can help you source the iGaming infrastructure your clients demand, please get in touch. Alternatively, you can read more about our iGaming server infrastructure here.