In a recent article about iGaming’s growth in China, I touched lightly on how quickly China overtook both America and Europe as far as total online gaming revenue per year is concerned. According to a report from the Global Betting and Gaming Consultants (GBGC), China’s online gaming revenue in 2012 was $12.3 billion USD, just slightly ahead of America’s $10.2 billion and way ahead of Europe’s $7.7 billion. While these numbers are impressive, it still doesn’t show us what we really want to know: Will iGaming ever be bigger than the entire global casino industry?
In 2012, the global casino industry rang up a whopping $414 billion USD in revenue ― that’s bigger than iGaming by a long shot. A report published by Frost & Sullivan in 2012 predicted that online gaming would reach $25 billion USD by 2017, still less than half of the predicted total revenue for just the global casino industry for the same year.
But is iGaming really ever going to catch up to the entire global casino industry?
Let’s have a look.
A Huge Potential Market
The gambling industry in the U.S. is getting hotter every year, even as we speak. In 2012, for example, casino revenues were up over 3%, or $1.36 billion USD, compared to 2011 figures.
What this shows us is that there’s still a lot of money to be made in the United States, and it’s not like American gamblers will suddenly stop spending money once iGaming becomes legalized.
The global casino industry, too, is undergoing an expansion that shows no signs of slowing down: Gambling revenue overall has been steadily rising for years, and this trend is not expected to change anytime soon. According to a report from the GBGC, online gaming revenue worldwide is still in the early stages of growth.
What all this tells us is that there’s still room for iGaming to grow and gain market share over the global casino industry as a whole. Some economists believe that legal online casinos such as Ninja could make up to 10% of the global gambling market by 2025. With these kinds of predictions, it’s not hard to imagine that iGaming will be bigger than the entire global casino industry in just a few short years.
What Factors Are Involved?
If we want to know whether or not online gaming is going to overtake the global casino industry, we need to understand what factors are involved.
First, legal online gambling is going to continue growing at a rapid pace. The financial crisis of 2008 nearly crushed iGaming as a whole but with the help of innovative payment processing companies like Skrill and PayPal, the iGaming sector has made a solid comeback in the last four years.
Second, gambling is going to become more socially acceptable over time – no longer will it be considered taboo for a couple to go to dinner and then visit an iGaming site after their meal. Gambling will be seen as normal, just like going out to the movies or joining a gym.
Third, iGaming is going to continue growing in some regions of the world while at the same time, declining in others. For example, it’s been predicted that by 2015, Asia-Pacific will overtake both North America and Europe as far as online gaming revenue is concerned.
To sum it up, iGaming will continue to grow globally while at the same time, slow down in those areas of the world where it’s already established itself as a major player.
If this prediction comes true, online gaming could conceivably take over the entire global casino industry within twenty years.