Online casinos are fantastic, that's for sure. Players love them, they're convenient, generous, and it's an all-year-round celebration with these gambling sites. Yet, the latest casino statistics show that there are over 2,000 iGaming destinations on the market and new ones pop up almost every month. I've been thinking about that number for some time and wondering if it's time for operators to take it slow. It's a tricky topic, obviously. There are billions of potential customers; snatching even a tiny market share can prove profitable for new brands. As for players, they always seem in the mood to join fresh destinations and take advantage of their welcome bonuses. Still, I'd like to analyze this topic further and share my thoughts on whether the industry is becoming suffocated.
Let's just quickly go over some interesting figures before paying more attention to my opinion. There are more than 2,000 online casinos, and the figure is rapidly increasing. Sure, some operators are closing their virtual doors, but we still see so many new ones appear.
As for the potential consumer base, some figures have shown that about one-quarter of the global population gambles. Considering that estimates predicted the number of people on Earth would hit 8 billion in November 2022, there are plenty of people who will potentially gamble. However, not all of them can do so online; some may simply not like the concept, and others may not be able to do it legally due to local laws.
There are no definitive numbers when it comes to how many people gamble online. Even if it was for a few million, however, that's still a hefty consumer base. Even for more than 2,000 online casinos, right?
Well, yes and no.
On one hand, not all of these casinos operate in the same market. In fact, many of those aren't properly licensed. Those that do hold necessary approvals often focus on a handful of jurisdictions only because licensing doesn't come cheap. So, players from certain countries like Sweden, specific US states, and Ontario most lately don't quite have so many brands to choose from.
On the other hand, players from countries where iGaming legislation is a bit of a grey area do have an overwhelming choice of casino operators at their disposal.
What's been bothering me regarding the massive number of online casinos actually lies in their similarities.
If you have ten websites, and each of them has more than 4,000 games by more than 40 providers, a similar welcome package, and 24/7 customer care – where do you play? At one of them or at all of them? Which one will be your favorite? What will make one of these brands – aside from the theme, I guess – stand out if everything is pretty much the same?
The more I think about it, the more I come to the same conclusion. There aren't too many unique casino sites; there are too many identical casino sites!
Part of my job is reviewing gambling destinations, and sometimes I get fed up, I must admit. Often, it seems that it's the same platform, just different colors. Sometimes, that's actually the case. If I feel this way, how do casual players feel, I wonder.
Opening topics and then not providing any solutions isn't my style. In this situation, however, there isn't a clear-cut answer to how to improve things.
I believe that providers focused on providing innovative services and unique experiences will prevail – regardless of how many other brands appear.
Let me give you some interesting examples. For instance, we have LeoVegas and its in-house jackpot. That's surely a reason for players to pick this operator over the rest; at least, I believe so. There are also sites with creative VIP programs, like King Billy and BitKingz, for example. Both ensure that players remain engaged through their gamification features. Choosing between a gambling site without any VIP perks and these two it's an easy choice.
BitStarz earned a mention here with its exclusive games, while BitCasino.io stands out thanks to its live RTP statistics on games.
As you can see, it's not impossible to be the star that shines the brightest if you invest enough dedication to your cause.
Another point I'd like to make here is the target audience of casinos. Yes, I understand that getting as many people as possible to play at a site is the ultimate goal of any operator. However, creating a brand focused on a specific niche or around a unique concept may be the smarter move.
Why try to immediately establish yourself as the best gambling site ever, even if you're aware that you're still far away from leading operators? Instead, try to be the best casino for Megaways titles or the best place for playing progressive jackpot slots. Offer creative VIP perks or special offers for low-roller or high-roller players.
Anything that makes your brand special compared to just another online casino will help in the long run.
All in all, my final answer is – it depends.
I can definitely say that there may be a bit too many online casinos. It's confusing for players to look for a solid gambling site and be able to choose between thousands of them. I typically can't choose which pair of shoes to wear and, unfortunately, I don't have 1,000 pairs of them.
However you rank or categorize them, the truth is – many of the options will share the same rating because they have the same offer.
Yet, this is an open market – in some jurisdictions – and more competition usually increases the stakes for everyone involved. New operators mean creative features, better bonuses, fairer terms, etc. In that regard, more is better. Or, at least, it doesn't hurt anyone.
If the new market players push the boundaries with their themes, designs, and opportunities – keep em coming, I say. If they just copy what's already available on the market, then I'd prefer to just keep what we already have and work on improving their offer instead. And this especially applies to nearly identical casinos operated by the same company. Like, there's no reward here for five of a kind. We want something cool, something fresh.
If all you can offer is a range of easily available casino games, do players really need you?
This article delivers the thoughts and opinions of the author, and it doesn't represent the stance of GoodLuckMate.