People conduct an increasing part of their lives online, profoundly affecting the way many industries now develop. Some of the most affected sectors, other than, perhaps, video rental stores, are retail, technology and the casino industry. Once, a playground reserved only for the rich, famous, and adventurous, the rise of online casinos has profoundly impacted the accessibility and nature of casinos at large.
With smartphones and fast mobile internet accessible now more than ever, it’s much easier these days, for people to hop online and play a few rounds of their favourite casino game. The rise of online casinos has also brought about some profound demographic and geographical shifts. Traditionally, land-based casinos were the most popular games amongst a relatively older crowd, and the highest concentration of casinos was found in key areas where the regulations were most lax, such as Las Vegas or Niagara Falls. These areas served as hotspots for the casino industry, and most casino establishments could be found there. With the rise of the digital economy, which shifted a large chunk of the total gambling activity onto dedicated websites, the geography of the casino industry has profoundly shifted, and we are seeing a move away from these regional concentrations.
With this change in topography, a number of demographic shifts can also be noted. Land-based casinos were traditionally the domain of the older, working man looking to while away a few solitary hours at the card table. As casino gaming moved into the digital age, however, it has started to attract an increasingly younger audience. This is largely due to the adoption of new disruptive mobile technologies, which tend to be used more commonly amongst younger people. Statistics show that the under-35-years-of-age demographic is the fastest growing and therefore it is the most targeted age group for many new business brands, as well as online casinos.
The move away from brick-and-mortar casinos is also having a notable impact on what sorts of games are preferred amongst casino players. Traditionally, the most popular games were those one would most strongly associate with the atmosphere of these establishments, such as blackjack, roulette or poker. In the online space, however, this appears to be changing, with the traditional favourites falling out of favour. The typical online casino gamer tends to chose faster-paced games that can be played for a relatively short amount of time, multiple times during the day. With this shortening of gaming sessions, we are seeing a preference for shorter games such as slot machines and baccarat, for example. Additionally, as these are the simplest games in terms of format and rules, they are the easiest to adapt to for online casino gamers. In a space where individual and niche tastes dictate game design, these easily adaptable game formats are the most popular because they can be reimagined for any individual preference with ease.
As you might be able to tell, the face of the casino gaming industry has already undergone, and looks set to continue experiencing, some profound changes. With an increasingly mobile-based and young player base, casino gaming has moved from the traditional land-based locations such as Las Vegas and Niagara Falls to the online space.
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