Part 2 of this week’s Q&A with Casino City Press discusses the growing demand for iGaming and forecasts for Indian gaming industry. Click here for Part 1.
Q. What are the key trends in the gaming industry in 2016? Are you seeing an increased demand for iGaming?
In addition to the introduction of skill games, a key trend in the industry is social gaming, which has become a high priority for brick-and-mortar casinos. Social gaming allows casinos to learn more about their existing customers and keep them "engaged" when they leave the property. They can test new games and keep their brand "front of mind' with their guests outside the casino walls. Social gaming is also a big business. It is already a $3.4 billion market and Eilers Research predicts that number will reach $4.4 billion by 2017.
As for iGaming, a recent report by Juniper Research forecasts that the total amount of online gambling wagers will approach $1 trillion by 2021, up from just over $550 billion this year, so, yes, the demand is there for online gaming. The continued rise of online gaming can be credited, in part, to the constant advance in technology. The introduction of smartphones allowed for the explosion of mobile gaming, and more recently we're seeing more and more virtual reality casinos and live dealers.
Q. How do you expect the North American and Indian gaming industries to perform over the next five years? Are there any specific areas forecast to grow during this period?
Even though casino expansions are threatening to cannibalize regional revenues, we think the growth trend should continue over the next five years. Indian gaming has slowly and steadily increased its share of the nationwide casino market. According to Casino City’s Indian Gaming Industry Report, it generated 43.5% of all U.S. casino gaming revenue in 2014, compared to 44.2% for the commercial casino segment, meaning Indian gaming has now more than doubled its share of the market over the last 20 years. 2014 was the fifth consecutive year of growth for Indian gaming and since 1988, the only year Indian gaming revenue did not increase was 2009 when it saw a 1% decrease as a result of the Great Recession.
Q. What other industry do you find the most interesting outside of the ones you cover?
The best part about covering the casino/gaming industry is that it involves such a wide range of topics. Casino openings and closings. Strategy. Online regulation. New games. Sportsbooks. World Series of Poker. Spas. Restaurant reviews. The list goes on and on. No day or week is the same and there are constantly new stories unfolding.
Before writing about the casino industry I was the editor of a golf magazine and also worked for a golf-resort-destination PR firm. I'm an avid golfer, so I do miss being involved in the game, but luckily there are plenty of resort-casino golf courses out there to help fill that void!
As we can see from above, social gaming has become a key trend for traditional casinos, while the rise in online gaming has enabled the success of virtual reality casinos. Indian gaming has doubled its share of U.S. casino gaming revenue over the past 20 years, and could to continue to do so should it explore the market opportunities provided by the technological advances of social and online gaming.
We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Gary for sharing his expertise on the gaming and gambling markets.
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About the interviewee:
Gary Trask the managing editor of Casino City Press. He is a Boston, Mass. native with more than 20 years of experience as a writer and editor and has covered the casino/gaming industry since 2007.