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Key drivers of growth in the European online gaming industry

The European online gaming industry continued to grow rapidly throughout 2018. There were a number of reasons behind the upward trend, including new legislation and technological developments from major operators and software developers.

The regulated European market grew 18.9% between the first half of 2015 and the first half of 2016, which is huge in terms of growth. The UK performed well as always, however, Nordic countries, including Sweden, also went through an incredible growth period. So, what exactly caused this huge spike? Let’s delve a little further and find out.

Legislation

The most notable changes to legislation happened in Sweden. The Swedish government announced that new plans had been put in place to re-regulate the gambling market. One of the results of this is that operators are no longer able to trade without a proper gaming licence. If a company is caught promoting or advertising gambling without a proper licence, it will now be treated as a criminal offence.

Furthermore, Swedish operators have been pushed by the government to protect problem gamblers from playing excessively. Deposit limits, cooling off periods and self-exclusion tools will allow firms to handle this problem effectively.

However, Sweden isn’t the only European country that’s tightening up on its gambling laws. The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) fined 888 —who is one of Britain's biggest gambling firms— £7.8 million as it failed to protect its vulnerable customers.

The UKGC also announced that it’s looking into the prospect of removing credit cards as a deposit option. Although this hasn’t been given the final stamp of approval, it appears that plans are certainly in the pipeline.

These changes in legislation have contributed to the growth of the European gaming industry as players are now protected from rogue operators. This makes the industry safer and more legitimate overall.

Technological Developments

Developments in technology have undoubtedly helped the European online gaming industry to grow. The impact technology has had on the online gaming industry can be seen by comparing the features of the leading online slot sites.

1. Mobile Slots - We’re living in a digital era were convenience and accessibility are absolutely essential to punters. Stats suggest that mobile revenues for casino games and sports betting in the UK are approaching 80%. Therefore, it’s absolutely no surprise that most of the leading online slots sites have designed state-of-the-art mobile apps.

Furthermore, many operators also offer exclusive bonuses and promotions to mobile players. A player might be rewarded with a small amount of credit or free spins when they download the app, for example.

2. Free Play - Plenty of leading online slots sites have quickly realised how important it is to offer free play. Customers are much more likely to deposit funds to play a game they know they enjoy. Players may also be reluctant to play new games if they can’t trial free demo versions beforehand.

Free play also gives customers the chance to evaluate the features of each individual slot. If a player likes a game, they’re more likely to keep on playing. However, if they don’t, they can simply move onto the next game without having lost any money.

3. VIP Clubs - Loyalty schemes and VIP clubs give devoted customers the chance to earn bonus credit, free spins and various perks. For instance, Slots Heaven, one of the leading online slots sites, offers rewards to customers who deposit at least $200 each month. If customers play through more than $500 in a calendar month, they can graduate to VIP elite membership and earn better rewards.

4. Bonuses and Promotions - Most slots sites offer welcome bonuses and promotions to entice new payers through the door. A customer might get a bonus on their first deposit, or be rewarded with free spins. Many leading operators offer hybrid promos that allow new players to collect a deposit bonus as well as free spins.

5. Game Filters - Most operators allow players to search for games using game filters and search bars, which is useful for those looking to play games manufactured by certain developers. If a gambler wanted to play a Microgaming slot, they’d simply have to type ‘Microgaming’ into the search bar and all the relevant games would appear. Most slots are also split into regular and progressive jackpot categories, which allows players to easily locate their preferred games.

Security

Security is another factor that has played in the growth of the European gaming market.

Many of the major slots sites implement a secure sockets layer (SSL) encryption. This security system protects players against attacks from hackers. When a gambler signs up at a site protected by SSL encryption, they can be confident that their personal and financial information will be protected.

The result of this is that players can enjoy their gaming experience without having to worry about potential risks to their personal and financial information.

As long as the industry continues to implement progressive technologies, we can expect to see growth for many years to come. In terms of legislation, we can expect there to be many more changes if virtual reality games and cryptocurrency casinos continue to grow in popularity.

This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or management of EconoTimes.

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