These trends will largely determine online gaming business in 2013:
- online gaming is large and still growing rapidly all around the globe;
- much of the news about gaming this year will involve government actions;
- more and more, end-users play games on mobile devices; and
- the boundaries and definitions of gaming are changing even faster than the domain as a whole.
Online gaming is a worldwide market: countries all over the planet are centers of business or development. A typical recent press release from UK operator Ladbrokes mentioned connections to Israel, Gibraltar, and the United States. Intralot Italia operates in Greece, Bulgaria, Azerbaijan, South America, and elsewhere.
At the same time, there is still enormous scope for growth in online gaming. One of the main reasons: many laws and regulations currently restrict activities.
Legislatures, especially in the United States, seem likely to liberalize many of these restrictions in the next year. Much of the action is competitive: one state or country looks to capture economic activity before a different country or area does so, occasionally in complex collaboration with still other units of government.
“An increasing number of young Chinese citizens prefer mobile games …“, according to this caption. It’s not just the young or the Chinese, though; growth of mobile formats is explosive.
In complex interaction with the other trends is the ferment of category breakdowns. Not long ago, it was straightforward to distinguish gamblers, who might play slots in Las Vegas, from gamers waiting in line for the new “Madden” to load onto their consoles. All the lines are blurred now, and subject to experimentation: gaming is increasingly social, increasingly monetized, and nearly ubiquitous.