13 Sep

Online Gaming Highlights and Downward Trends for 2020

Online poker wanes while internet casino games apply a fresh coat of waxing shine.

Online Poker Wanes while Internet Casino Games Apply a Waxing Shine

I know nobody wants to hear this right now, but being halfway into September already, 2020 is right around the corner. Before you know it, we’ll be sipping champagne and kissing our loved ones under the gentle rain of confetti as the world rings in the new year. And with it, the biggest industries on the planet will shift their focus to the latest trends in revenue-bearing technology.

The most successful businesses don’t wait for the ball to drop. They plan ahead, hiring teams of professionals with the sole purpose of identifying the ‘next big thing’. For the online gambling industry, there’s a very perceptible delineation of what’s waxing and waning going into 2020, and it’s going to mean capitalizing on waxing popularity of casinos, while seeking out new and exciting ways to bring internet poker back into the limelight.

Internet Casino Games Apply a Waxing Shine

If there’s one thing that’s held true throughout the entire history of the iGaming industry, it’s that casino games never go out of fashion. Poker is a volatile niche market. Sports aren’t for everyone. But casino games offer such a wide range of entertainment, every gaming enthusiast has a favorite.

As we approach 2020, the online casino sector has no worries in terms of customers. Individual operators and software firms must compete in this challenging and saturated market, resulting in constant consolidation via mergers and acquisitions. But there’s no lack of customers, and no projected loss of clientele to come.

The brands that will continue to thrive are those that focus on polishing their platforms, growing their suite of casino games with classic favorites and fresh, unique content, all while taking full advantage of the latest technological innovations.

Online Poker Loses its Recreational Edge

The situation surrounding the internet poker industry is not nearly so cut and dry. Individual operators face the same risk of being swallowed up by larger competitors, but it’s not because of saturation in an exponentially growing market. It’s because the industry no longer appeals to their largest pool of clientele – recreational poker players.

Twenty years ago, very few people knew online poker existed. That changed in 2003 when Chris Moneymaker won a satellite seat into the World Series of Poker, then went on to claim the Championship bracelet. Suddenly, everyone and their second cousin was logging onto an internet poker site in hopes of following in his prolific footsteps.

Times have changed tremendously since then. Regulations prohibited the games in some countries, and ring fenced them in others. And for the players that weren’t negatively impacted by iGaming laws, the poker sites unwittingly gave pros and predatory sharks all the tools they needed to run casual players off. Upon realizing their mistake, they turned against their VIPs, diminishing rakeback and developing promos for recreational players. But it was too little, too late…

Poker has lost its sheen. The recs are leaving, the pros are furious, and late night television is no longer interested in airing poker tournaments and high stakes cash games. This trend has gone on for the last few years, and if operators can’t find a way to turn it around, online poker may not survive beyond seasonal appeal.

Looking to 2020 and Beyond

With the recreational market waning, online poker operators are going to have to rely on growing a market full of grinders. It won’t be easy to cultivate and harvest new, serious poker players in the years to come, but that’s what it’s going to sustain profitability.

Internet casino games, on the other hand, will have no problem finding their way into the lives of adult-age gamblers in the coming years. All they need is a fresh coat of wax to polish them up and present them in all their shining glory.

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