For so many years, casino gaming was intrinsically linked to getting out and visiting a land-based establishment. However, in the past couple of decades, it is fair to say that online services have – literally – changed the game.
Online casinos have brought authentic gaming action into people’s homes like never before, whether through titles featuring impressive graphics or live casino options which showcase action taking place on a video stream. It is an area which has enjoyed massive growth in recent years and, at this point, it looks like 2019 could well be looked back on as another stellar year for the industry for a number of reasons.
Positive European figures
Some recently released figures from Europe certainly seem to hint at an industry in rude health. In recent weeks, it was revealed that Denmark’s online gaming market saw its revenues increase by more than six percent year-on-year in the second quarter of 2019 to reach DKK1.73 billion – or $232 million.
iGamingBusiness.com reports that the trend was particularly driven by an 18 percent increase in revenues from online casinos, with slots accounting for the majority of that. Furthermore, the statistics also revealed how gaming on the move was seemingly on the rise in the country, with mobile revenue exceeding half of the total for the first time across the period.
It was a similar story in Spain, where new figures from the country’s Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling found that gross gaming revenue in the country reached €178.35 million in the second quarter. The figure marked an increase of more than six percent from 12 months earlier, with the casino segment enjoying annual growth of just over 22 percent. Casinos were responsible for a 38.71 percent share of the total revenue generated by online gaming in the country across the period, which equated to more than €69 million.
The best casino games of 2019
While such figures may be evidence enough of an industry in rude health, you only need to take a look at any of the leading online gaming providers to see further proof. Gamers have a huge number of options at their disposal these days, with Slots of Vegas, for instance, showcasing how a significant amount of real money casino games are now available online, going beyond standard blackjack and roulette variants to offerings such as Pai Gow poker, Pontoon and Match Play 21. Furthermore, the site also mentions how it is always looking to keep things fresh with new games and there have been plenty of those released so far this year.
Notable mentions have to go to the likes of NetEnt’s slot game based on the incredible career of legendary metal star Ozzy Osbourne. The company has developed a niche in the area of rock-themed slots after developing others featuring big names including Guns N Roses, and it is fair to say they could have another big hit on their hands with Ozzy.
NetEnt is also behind one of the major new slots based on a small screen favorite. Narcos has been a huge hit for Netflix and now the series has been immortalized in a five-reel, three-row game featuring 243 ways to win. Those seeking something with a bit more of a classic slot feel may also be interested in the recent launch of Heart of Egypt, which features an exciting ancient historical feel complete with pyramids.
An unexpected boost?
But while there have been exciting gaming developments within the online casino world, there has also been one in the video gaming industry which could have a significant knock-on effect for iGaming.
At the end of July, Rockstar Games launched the Diamond Casino & Resort update for Grand Theft Auto Online, and the general consensus is that it has been a massive success. The company has even claimed that it delivered the biggest single day and week in player numbers since GTA Online was first launched back in October 2013.
THE DIAMOND CASINO & RESORT IS NOW OPEN
Today marks the grand opening of The Diamond Casino & Resort, a sprawling entertainment and luxury living complex conveniently located in Vinewood and open to all citizens of Southern San Andreas.https://t.co/dpmbuHZGme pic.twitter.com/rDCVe2daX7
— Rockstar Games (@RockstarGames) 23 July 2019
The introduction of the update, which gives gamers new storylines to discover as well as access to a range of different games like blackjack and roulette, is undoubtedly intriguing. The online casino industry will be particularly interested to see whether sampling those games on the update might encourage players to try their hand at the real thing in the future. If that does happen, that could be another major boost for the sector.
A truly exciting year
When all of the above is considered, it certainly seems fair to say that 2019 is shaping up to be a truly exciting year for the world of online casino gaming. With revenues on the rise, exciting new games being released and interest in casinos rising thanks to an unexpected source, it will be fascinating to see how matters in the sector develop in the months and years ahead.