Grand View Research suggests that the global online gaming market will reach flabbergasting USD 153.6 billion by 2030. At this point, it is quite unusual to be surprised by such news, especially knowing the online gaming industry hit the mainstream during the covid pandemic. Locked inside their homes, players enjoyed betting more than ever and managed to help online gaming become much more than a niche pastime. On the worldwide level, the iGaming scene is dominated by a couple of huge companies. Giants like Betfred, William Hill, Flutter, Kindred Group, and 888 Holdings, are the ones controlling the most relevant markets. Even so, new brands appear every day, so one can only wonder whether there is room for all of them and if everyone gets their slice of the delicious casino cake?
To help us understand the complexity of the gaming market, we reached out to Anna Rosak. She is an editor at one of the most popular Polish websites about online casinos and offered games (focusing on those trending in Poland like zdrapki online za darmo i.e. scratch games). If you ask her, there is always room to fit one more, but only because there are brands that drop out.
“iGaming industry is incredibly dynamic, and brands come and go as if they were on a train station! In this case, the only that is constant truly is change”, she says.
Big Players Have the Money
One of the main reasons why big companies dominate the casino and gaming industry is simple – money. According to Anna, such companies have to do business legally as they are monitored more than their niche peers. “Let’s take William Hill for example. It is a major firm, with multiple brands under its umbrella. Regulators know of it. Players know of it. Tax services are aware of it. And some small casino brand? It’s probably not visible at all”, explains she.
Such online gaming giants attract a massive number of gamers, which gives them more profit they can invest in obtaining licenses, thus expanding their operations to new markets. Our expert claims that this is a never-ending loop in which big corporations simply get bigger: “It is much easier to expand once you are big enough than to make that first step in becoming recognized on the market.”
One question that pops up immediately, is how can smaller brands, or the ones that are only emerging, be sure they get a fair chance against casino titans. Like most multinational companies, big casino brands tend to be slow, indecisive and so involved in their own greatness, they don’t recognize a whole set of opportunities, smaller brands are not afraid to bite into.
Niche Brands for Niche Gamers
The major business shot lies in the crypto market, as well as in some less-popular gaming products that have been existing under the radar. In Anna’s opinion, smaller casino brands tend to be more adaptable and have a more user-oriented approach. “I’ll put it like this: a big gaming brand is like McDonald’s. You always know what you’re gonna get, and they all taste pretty much the same, all over the world. Small casino brands are like the deli next door, the one that knows your order and always puts a bit of extra mayo”, she jokes.
Then, she continues to explain in a more serious manner, how cryptos tend to be one of the things that lead users toward small gaming establishments. Cryptocurrencies are still unregulated, and therefore are often not allowed to those licensed by the most famous authorities such as MGA and UKGC. On the other hand, less-known regulators have nothing against this self-regulating payment, and if we keep in mind those licenses usually come with a smaller price tag, they tend to attract niche brands. And niche brands, offering payment alternatives, attract customers ready for new experiences.
“This is another loop in the gaming industry that seems to be infinite. In the end, it turns out you have massive, huge, international companies, and on the other hand you have brands run by a group of enthusiasts. I won’t talk in favor of any of them, as I always appreciate the variety”, Anna concludes.
If we keep in mind that the online casino industry is constantly growing, it can be concluded there is still room for many brands, and variety makes gaming more approachable than ever. As always, there will be customers who like to play with well-established iGaming brands that deliver their money’s worth, but let’s not forget about gamers looking for a specific gambling genre or type of payment. Indie brands are all the rage in fashion, design, and beauty, and it looks like the gambling industry is no different.