Friday
Dec182015

The year ahead

The egaming industry never stands still. It continues to develop at a rapid pace and we can reflect on 2015 as a hugely significant 12 months.

Looking forward to 2016, the major forces will be the maturing of existing trends, as opposed to the emergence of brand new ones.

Consolidation

Our industry has seen many large deals in recent times and this is likely to continue in the coming year. The headlines will again be dominated by mega mergers, like the one that our own company went through in 2015, and big takeovers, encompassing both the operator and supplier space.

And the consolidation may also extend to product consolidation around platforms and content, creating a focus around the leading suppliers.

As costs of compliance increase, the associated complexity of product maintenance and innovation grows. This requires substantial economies of scale. The bigger providers should be able to handle these increases in complexity and cost, but it will create challenges for smaller suppliers, who will need to be creative, innovative and collaborative to survive.

Regulation

The major determining force will remain regulation and we can look forward to the opening of newly regulated and regulating markets that will present opportunities in new territories that are currently closed to some of us.

Truly understanding and capitalising on these opportunities relies on knowledge, experience and business capacity to be successful. 

Channel convergence

The seeds have been sewn here over a number of years and 2016 will be the year that key projects and initiatives by the big retail operators come to fruition.

This acceleration will be fuelled by the help of suppliers, who will see the benefits of their investments in staff and technologies in this area.

Expect to see an increasing number game releases synchronised across land, online and mobile. There will also be greater content and account alignment, for example wallets being completely joined up across retail and online – a true omni-channel experience for the player.

Mobile

What else is there to say about mobile? It has propelled itself to the core of this industry and is integral to its future.

Mobile already accounts for almost two-thirds of total bet volumes and it will maintain its exponential growth.

This will lead to mini and micro games assuming greater importance. With screens getting smaller, the range of bite-sized player experiences and betting formats will get bigger.

Improved player offering

Better products, improved user journeys, more personalisation, and additional bonusing to retain and attract new accounts – ultimately the players will win in 2016 as operators continue to sharpen their pencils.

As well as an improved experience, the focus on jackpots will intensify. I expect pooled liquidity, local and network jackpots to come back in to fashion as players get increasingly used to seeing lotto-sized prizes and want to chase the bigger wins.

It’s an exciting year ahead for the industry, but most importantly for the players who will benefit from our collective improvements and investments.

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