According to the EU Commission, the EU online casino gaming market achieved a 12% market share in 2012, with an annual revenue of around 10 billion euros, whereas statistics show that the general online gaming market looked set to peak around $60 billion by 2020. This showcases a huge surge in online casino gaming in Europe and the wider world, which shows that audiences for gaming have definitely increased and developers’ offerings are enticing more customers. But, what exactly could it be that is so enticing to the majority of Europeans when it comes to the online casino?
Recent reports show that online gaming and casino gaming are changing in Europe. Around 66% of developers are working on mobile gaming in 2016-2017, a rise from the 39% who reported the same in previous years. The ability for more and more sites to be optimised for mobile gaming, plus the rise in the offering, looks set to help achieve that 2020 figure. Indeed, by 2020 statistics indicate that over 1,242 million Europeans will be attached to their phones, showing that the online casino is going the way of the people.
Indeed, the offering from online providers is also improving. For example, as can be seen through online casino UK licensed operator Guts.com, the gaming offering is designed to appeal to a number of gaming fans, from the Wheel of Fortune game, to the Monopoly, Baywatch and Planet of the Ape themed slots. Reports indicate that German gamers love to solve puzzles, while in Russia, gamers enjoyed games that had elements of physics interwoven into the gameplay. The vast differences in the continent’s gaming styles spurs developers on to offer a wide range of types of game to play.
Interestingly, the UK, France and Germany are the biggest gamers – totalling approximately 153 million gamers across the three nations. The UK gamer ratio stands highest – at 68 percent of men and 59 percent of women enjoyed playing games. The stats are slightly lower in Germany, with 63 percent of men and 54 percent of women enjoying gaming, while France represented 61 percent and 52 percent respectively.
iGaming is clearly a market that would benefit from further penetration – growing at 3% per year in Europe according to the above source – especially when the forecast for the industry is so promising. The surge in offerings from casino operators should be tactical and plan a different rollout of games in different areas of Europe, to suit the favourite game playing methods of the nation’s citizens. There is definitely scope for games development, but choosing a niche may fare better than casting a wide net in a saturated pool.
The UK holds the games development crown with approximately 2182 games companies operating across England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. The scope of these games developers acts as a tinderbox in terms of friendly competition which will push forward the development of the industry as a whole. While the rest of Europe lags behind the UK, there is definitely a greater fan base of gamers to cater to. So, Europe should work together to ensure that games development matches the end user of the gaming products.
Overall, it can be seen that Europe cannot be viewed as one whole continent when it comes to analysing gaming trends. While on the whole. the popular games are likely to appeal to everyone, and the traditional format of casino gaming will have fans across the board, each territory is likely to favour a different theme of the online game. Each theme will speak to the sensibilities of each nation, while Europe as a whole can be viewed comparatively to South East Asia or the Americas.