How is technology reshaping the gambling industry?

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Joc Responsabil

The gambling market from Romania has developed a lot in the last years, and together with the modification of the legislation from 2015, when online gambling was regulated, we notice an exponential growth in this field. This means, implicitly, a stronger competition between operators, which draws an escalation and a diversification of the marketing actions. Moreover, technology sets its stamp more and more on most of the activity fields, the gambling industry being one of them. We all know that technology is part of everyone’s everyday life, regardless of age, influencing our consumption behavior. However, it is interesting how technology has influenced the gambling market at international level. In 2018 the international gambling market developed quickly, and a great part of this evolution was due to the implementation of modern and innovating technologies, briefly, of digitalization. And 2019 seems to confirm this trend. Here are some of the trends which have manifested themselves the most this year and which can reshape the way the gambling operators think their business.

Online psychological counseling

The online psychological counseling of the persons having gambling issues has become a practice spread at international level, and Romania comes under the same trend. The proof is that recently the Responsible Gambling Association has launched the online psychological counseling 24/7, the most modern instrument of facilitation of the access to psychological counseling, put at the disposal of the persons with (potential) issues related to excessive gambling practice, or to their close ones, and who feel the need of real-time guidance. The online psychological counseling is considered as the new trend in this field, both by its technological evolution, and by the benefits it offers to the customers beneficiary of this kind of services.

Cryptocurrency

Known quite well on the Romanian market, cryptocurrency represents at the moment an innovating payment instrument, but still used at rather low scale. Last year the price of cryptocurrency has decreased significantly, in some cases even from 20.000 $ to 3.800 $. However, since the financial previsions are showing a stabilization of their price, many gambling operators active on the international markets intend to implement blockchain processes in online casinos. Thus, they will provide to their customers the possibility of using both Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in order to pay this kind of services. This involvement of the gambling operators confirms, in fact, the advantages technology is offering for this industry: simplicity, more rapid transactions, lower commissions and, very important, transparency of the operations. Last, but not least, the use of cryptocurrency offers the gamblers total anonymity.

Platforms iOS and Android

The increase of the importance of the platforms iOS and Android determined the gambling industry to turn to mobile devices. According to a study made in 2017 by the American IT and software company Statistica, 10% from all the users of modern mobile devices (smartphones) are accessing sports bets and gambling. Moreover, in 2018 one of the largest American online gambling operators reported data showing that over 50% from their visitors are accessing their website from mobile devices.

Focus on mobile gaming

From one year to another, the studies performed at international level show that the number of users of modern mobile devices betting on the results of sports competitions or gambling online games will grow. As such, the number of the websites of gambling operators offering the possibility of downloading a mobile application will grow. Moreover, the same studies show that we will assist to a larger and larger number of games produced by well-known operators in the field at international level, developed by the platforms Android and iOS. Last, but not least, the success of the online gambling operators in the years to come is very much related to the access to mobile devices, given that more and more people are giving ups using PCs or laptops for online activities, in favor of smartphones or tablets.

Less strict regulations

The specialists at international level are expecting that the governments of many countries at international level would adopt a less strict way of thinking in what regards the regulations related to online gambling. Although some jurisdictions will preserve the restrictions in this field, other countries where online gambling is allowed will be more and more opened in regulating the activities of these operators. For example, in trying to promote online gambling, as competitor of the local landbased casinos, Sweden has recently started to license international operators willing to develop online platforms in this country. In fact, Sweden is intending to break the monopoly of the national operators they have been having for years in this country. Other European countries, like Finland, are viewing Sweden like an example about how the gambling industry can become more open. At the other pole, countries like the United States of America, Australia, France and other jurisdictions are continuing to put barriers to the industry, setting such a high tax level to the operators, that the idea of applying for a license has not economical justification anymore.

The Responsible Gambling Association remains connected to the newest trends in the field of responsible gambling and will invest in the future in the most modern instruments of facilitation of the access to specialized assistance, as well as to the promotion of the concepts of responsibility in the gambling industry from Romania.