The global online gambling market is currently valued at around USD 59 billion and is expected to nearly double by 2023 to reach over USD 92 billion. Gaming is also a billion-dollar business, which is set to grow by around 10% annually over the next five years.
The betting and gambling sectors have been heavily influenced by technological development, and the exponential growth of these industries can be attributed to tech transformation in three specific areas.
First, tech can be employed to enhance the user experience when playing a game or placing a bet. AI-powered chatbots are improving online customer service, interfaces have been made more aesthetically pleasing, and virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) are offering users a far more immersive experience.
For example, VR casinos replicate the experience of a brick-and-mortar casino, complete with lifelike slot machines, in-game chats, and real sounds that recreate the atmosphere of an actual casino. Similarly, in gaming, AR integrates the video and audio content of a game with a player’s real-life environment to make it more interesting and interactive.
Second, technology has transformed the way in which consumers access the gaming and gambling markets. The most obvious example of this is the increasing use of smartphones and other smart devices to play games and gamble. The Gambling Commission recently found that around half of online gamblers use their mobile phones to wager bets, and the growth of the gaming industry has taken place in direct correlation with the popularisation of mobile devices.
In a similar vein, technology has also changed the way in which users pay for this entertainment, as betters and gamers can now use cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin as an alternative to fiat currency. At the same time, digital advancements have improved website security and player privacy, with increasingly sophisticated online systems that are better at keeping players’ financial and personal data secure.
Third (and finally), digital disruption has affected how games themselves are actually developed. In video games, artificial intelligence is being deployed to program non-character players (NPCs), using algorithms to generate reactive and intelligent behaviours that mimic human responses. AI is also being used in the betting industry to offer players better and more competitive odds, as the process can be computerised without needing to rely on people to crunch the data and create odds.
Businessman and philanthropist Roman Semiokhin has been operating in the betting and gaming sectors for a number of years, and recognises the numerous advantages that tech transformation brings. Mr Semiokhin is a believer in embracing innovation and digital disruption to enhance the ease of use, offering and efficiency of gaming and gambling platforms.
This mindset has not only helped him to be successful in business,but has also helped in his philanthropic and charity work where he applies the same principles. For example, in Cyprus, he plans to create an innovative educational institution which uses state-of-the-art technology to improve the student learning experience.