After a very successful year in 2016, the casino industry can expect a lot more great things to unfold in the upcoming calendar year. Here are the most important storylines to follow.
There is no doubt that modern casino gaming is something far more sophisticated and multifaceted than the traditional image of Las Vegas casino with old-school slot machines and blackjack tables. From expansion of the target group to include far wider populations than before to evolution of the games themselves, there are many areas where casino companies are making undeniable progress. Today, casinos are doing all they can to make their service more user-friendly and socially acceptable – and the results are obvious.
In the New Year, casino gaming will likely continue on its path towards mainstream prominence. However, there are numerous steps to be made before that goal is achieved and 2017 could prove to be a turning point in many respects. The following trends are certainly worth paying attention to, as they are likely to take off with full force:
The stereotypical image of a casino includes a huge building with neon signs and hundreds of gaming options concentrated under one roof, but this model is undergoing a revision. True, big casinos are still controlling most of the profits, but they are increasingly looking to decentralize their operations and reach their customers in new ways. This can be accomplished in part by opening smaller casino establishments at major airports, hotels and convention centers, as well as other venues with high frequency of visitors. Of course, most of the smaller gaming spots will stay affiliated with the major brands, ensuring that high quality standards are applied and providing convenience for the regular players that already own membership accounts.
Combining gaming with entertainment
Sure, casino gaming is a form of entertainment by itself and dedicated players don’t need too much additional motivation to join a poker table. Casual players are more demanding, and casinos are looking to accommodate them by including more non-gambling elements on premises, for example cozy lounges with music and fine dining places. Interior design also contributes to the new image casinos are trying to convey – some of the space formerly used to cram in as many gaming machines as possible is now being repurposed for better atmosphere. That’s especially instrumental in attracting younger customers, who want a complete experience and are less interested in winning money than in having a good time during their visit to a casino. This process isn’t limited to brick-and-mortar casinos, as electronic properties (website, mobile app) play a crucial role in building deep bonds with millennial customers who spend most of their time glued to their smartphones.
Expansion into large overseas markets
The most significant factor limiting the growth of the casino industry at the moment is the uneven state of legislation in various countries around the world. Some markets are already well-served by large casino brands, while others are still almost untouched. With possible legislative changes coming up in a number of large countries such as India or Brazil, 2017 looks to be great for the global casino business. Many U.S. states could also liberalize their laws in the coming year, opening up access to a lot of additional well-paying customers. Casino sites like UK William Hill Vegas
are ready to expand their offer to new markets as soon as legal conditions are favorable, so we can expect some progress on this front quickly if the lawmakers show some understanding for the gaming operators.
Legalized sports betting in the USA
American professional sports are generating huge amounts of money and enjoy global popularity. Betting on NBA or NFL games is a popular pastime for fans around the world, but in the United States it is difficult to place a legal bet on your favorite team. There is an ongoing debate about regulating the huge underground sports betting market and redirecting billions of dollars back into the tax system. Emergence of e-sports betting is complicating the picture even further and necessitating a change of approach in the near future. It would perhaps be too optimistic to predict nationwide legalization over the next 12 months, but it wouldn’t be a huge surprise if some key obstacles to regulated sports wagering in the United States were removed this year.
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