The gaming companies have attracted thousands of foreign workers from the Nordic countries, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom and many other countries from Europe as well as Asia. The land and apartment prices have risen in some areas yet the industry provides wealth as well as attractive job opportunities for locals and foreigners.
More options in payments: bills, cryptocurrencies and mobile payments
Most deposits and withdrawals to online casinos are made either through electronic wallets or cards. Other options that have existed for years are bank transfers and prepaid cards which are subject to availability depending on the country the player is from. These traditional forms of payment are not going anywhere, but with competition increasing and players demanding more flexibility with payments, online casinos have started to introduce new payment methods.
One of the biggest trends for 2021 in casino trends is cryptocurrencies. Already the trend can be seen at casinos not under the licence of Malta Gaming Authority. As offering cryptocurrencies as a payment method is an advantage, casinos operating under the MGA licence are likely to take the next steps towards adding cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin in their payment portfolio. Other innovative and trendy payment methods include billing as well as mobile payments. Although billing has been criticized a lot, some major billing companies such as Klarna are getting noticed by online casinos. Furthermore, the development of mobile payments means that more casinos are willing to include them to payment methods with some restrictions in place.
Laws and regulations are going to be more strict
The Maltese gaming licence is one of the most difficult ones to acquire. Several conditions have to be met and the operators are monitored in order to look for a possible fraud, loophole or other issues occurring either on purpose or by accident. All departments in online gaming companies are required to report any suspected behaviour no matter what it may concern in order to keep the company running smoothly and not face any issue with the Malta Gaming Authority.
However, the industry has to adapt more changes and regulations in the following years. In 2019 the first true challenge hit when Sweden shifted from its old system towards the new licensing system stricter compared to the MGA licence forcing Malta´s gaming companies to reconsider whether the market was desirable or not anymore. Following regulations are likely to follow. For instance, some companies are keeping their eye on Russia. Russian state Duma is to consider a proposal of creating a new regulating organization for gambling. Although Russia is not the first market for most online gaming companies, similar news is to be expected making it more difficult for gaming companies in Malta to operate in a safe and legal manner. Besides possible regulatory actions abroad and within Malta, other measures such as blocking websites or payment methods could be expected.
Overall, stricter policies are often related to responsible gaming, something that gaming companies operating with MGA licence are excelling with. However, as regulatory aspects are getting more complex, attracting new players in an ethical manner as well as making sure marketing, tech or any other aspect does not violate the conditions of the licence becomes more difficult and expensive. Eventually, some online gaming companies may choose to close down markets in order to save up in expenses.
Esports is going to be taken seriously
In recent years eSports has gained popularity among some sports betting enthusiasts who also love following eSports tournaments. The area is however fairly new to the larger masses yet it is expected to be the next big thing in sports betting in 2021. The main indicator to this is the open vacancies at online casinos as many are looking for someone with knowledge, experience and understanding of the world of eSports and betting. Furthermore, sports betting professionals as well as those who play for fun are more likely to engage in eSports betting making it more attractive to a wider customer base.
Social gaming on the rise
In 2021 social gaming is expected to either make it or break it. Social gaming refers to players engaging in gambling activities without real money. In other words, people are playing slots and card games for fun. Preferably, there is also a social aspect included in it. This could be anything from being able to chat with other players to real time discussion with them. Experts have expected social gaming to be the next big thing for a few years but the interest by players has not been great enough just yet. Whether online gaming companies see social gaming as a threat or opportunity, will vary.