As governments adjust gaming regulations and smartphone adoption rises, online gaming is expected to reach a whopping $150.5 billion by 2027. According to Technavio, a British research firm, the average compound annual growth rate between 2022 and 2027 will be 11.03%. Asia, in particular, benefits from widespread smartphone adoption, a large population, high internet penetration, the presence of top-industry brands, and legal reforms aimed at improving gambling control.
However, several obstacles are impeding the growth of the online gambling market, including concerns about data security, platform dependability, a lack of standards for controlling gambling addiction, and defenses against fraud and cyberattacks. Despite these obstacles, the market for online gambling is unquestionably moving in the right direction.
Asia-Pacific will Lead the Growth
According to Technavio’s report, Asia will lead the growth, accounting for approximately 39% of total growth. Despite limiting regulations in some of their territories, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, and China are expected to lead the growth.
In Japan, the entertainment industry’s monthly revenue is expected to reach 2.5 trillion Japanese yen, with gambling being a significant contributor, with gambling accounting for a significant portion of it. While Japanese online gaming contributes to this revenue, it is not the only source. With a rapidly changing legal environment, North America is expected to trail Asia-Pacific in the gambling industry. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which prohibited sports betting nationwide except in a few states, was declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court in 2018, thus ushering in a new era of legalized gaming. The growing popularity of lottery games, poker, and bingo has also aided growth.
Mobile Games Will Steadily Grow In Popularity
Due to the widespread use of smartphones, mobile gaming is predicted to make a significant contribution to the growth of the video game industry. Although desktop gaming will remain a major player until 2027, it is anticipated that growth will stagnate. Mobile gaming has an advantage over desktop gaming as it is more portable and user-friendly. As a result, it is expected to experience a surge in popularity.
The Asia-Pacific region is projected to experience the highest growth rate in the video game industry between 2021 and 2025, with five of the world’s top ten gaming nations located in the region. Currently, China, Japan, and South Korea hold the top three rankings, respectively. In countries like Japan, mobile gaming accounts for the majority of video game revenue. The region is also home to some of the most prominent gaming firms, such as Sony and Nintendo of Japan. According to Statista, China is expected to be the largest contributor to global video game revenue in 2023, generating approximately $109,200.00m.
Smartphones will be the Prefered Gaming Interface
Analysts predict that smartphones will become the most popular interface for playing casino games, and the online gambling market, including mobile casinos, is expected to grow alongside the smartphone market. The easy-to-use user interface and declining average selling price of devices are driving the growth of mobile gaming, making it a convenient option for gambling due to its easy payment options. Moreover, Asia Pacific is home to top smartphone manufacturers such as Samsung and Xiaomi, further fueling the region’s mobile gaming market.
The Asia Pacific region boasts a vibrant smartphone market and top-tier internet penetration, making it a key market for mobile gaming. By 2027, North East Asia, South East Asia, India, Nepal, and Bhutan are expected to be at the forefront of 5G connectivity. According to Statista, the number of smartphone users in Asia is expected to surge by 569.1 million to 3.7 billion between 2023 and 2028.
Legal Reforms are Inevitable
The growth of the online gambling market is being hindered by common challenges such as data security concerns, platform reliability, a lack of gambling addiction control standards, and countermeasures against fraud and cyberattacks. In the Asia-Pacific region, most countries have restrictive regulations or require a robust consumer protection legal framework. For instance, mainland China only allows state-run lotteries and sports lotteries, but Chinese citizens can gamble in Macau and Hong Kong. India, being a federation, leaves gambling regulation to individual states, with online gambling being legal in Sikkim and Nagaland but illegal in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu.
Despite the challenges, many governments are implementing legal reforms to prevent revenue from flowing to countries that have legalized gambling. In 2018, Japan legalized casinos as “integrated resorts,” although regulations for Japanese online gaming remain unclear. The government has taken measures such as imposing entrance fees and a monthly limit on the number of times citizens can visit casinos.
Increased smartphone usage is critical to the future of online gambling. Although desktops will continue to play an important role until 2027, emerging technologies such as VR and AR are rapidly taking shape and are expected to contribute significantly. Online gaming is thriving in Japan, China, and India, where offshore casinos are reaping the benefits of a lack of regulation. VPNs use advanced encryption to protect users’ data and create tunnels to circumvent internet restrictions. It’s only a matter of time before Asia’s behemoths change their legal frameworks to improve revenue collection and consumer protection.
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