Science Behind the Surge: Why is iGaming Still Growing More Popular?

The rise of iGaming was always inevitable. With traditional casinos growing hugely popular throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, it was only reasonable that their success would transfer to the online-verse – and with the arrival of touch-screen phones, this only became more of a surety. 

Suddenly, everyone had the ability to take out their phones and immediately play their favourite casino games, including blackjack, poker, and various other online slots and table games. 

But while their popularity was assured, few people thought it would go this far. In 2023, the online casino market is worth nearly $90 billion, and this number is expected to keep growing at a CAGR of 12% over the next seven years – and that’s without the countries where iGaming isn’t currently legalised. 

The Continuing Growth of the iGaming Industry

In the US and the Middle East, there appears to be genuine movements to create a more open gaming framework. To regulate online gambling United Arab Emirates has introduced a new regulatory body, the GCGR, to provide a framework to commercial gaming and unlock the serious economic potential that it could provide.

Likewise, Saudi Arabia is investing heavily in the gaming and eSports industry, while the US is steadily introducing bills to legalise online gaming across several more states, including Texas, which might have a regulatory framework by at least 2025.

The iGaming market is growing more popular than many fans expected. So an important question has to be ventured: Why?

The Science Behind the Surge

What has made online casinos so successful and why are more and more countries getting involved? To answer this, it’s important to look at the science behind the surge. Firstly, as humans, we like convenience. The reason for this is quite simple – our brains always look to conserve cognitive energy and resources, which makes us feel more attracted to “easier options”. 

While there is no issue with going out to a building to play casino games, if we can do it from the comfort of our own homes, then this is the option that we will pick. This is known as a “cognitive heuristic”. As human beings, we naturally enjoy familiar, low-effort choices that do not tax us. 

Speaking of familiarity, online casinos have also recognised our enjoyment of this. If you log onto a casino right now, you’ll find hundreds of games and slots to play, and many of them offer familiarity and nostalgia to get us engaged. These could be slots based on movies that we enjoyed in the 90s, or simple arcade games that we enjoyed playing over twenty years ago. Because nostalgia is a comforting, positive emotion, we are immediately drawn to it, and want to have experiences that ignite our memories. 

Being Part of a Global Community

Speaking of the games themselves, online casinos have gown far better at developing them. In 2023, many aspects of a game are designed to engage us. Soundtracks are used to draw attention and impressive visuals are used to immerse players, with several other elements designed to make the games easy to play and engage with. 

Online casinos have also tapped into our need to be part of a community. With the inception of the internet, it has become far easier to become involved with an engaging community that welcomes us and gives us a sense that we belong. 

There are several online casinos that have a strong community at the heart of their platform – fellow players that you can communicate with, ask questions, and share experiences. Players feel safer in these communities, too. While websites in the 2000s were hard to keep safe and secure, online casinos have gone to a lot of effort to create secure platforms to ease our anxieties around online safety. 

Constant Improvement Into the Future

The science behind our attraction to online casinos is all there, and the iGaming industry is growing successful from it because it works to cater to that science. Over the years, we have been given more variety, more accessibility, with better games, safer experiences, and stronger online communities. Online casinos consistently look to improve all of this, and that is why their popularity improves too.

In the future, personalisation and individualism will be two other key factors that keep them surging, as players will likely be offered experiences that speak directly to them. Right now, however, online casinos have done enough to secure a huge audience, and with more countries set to get on board, they’re likely to continue exceeding expectations.

Written by Austin Crane

Austin is the principle web director for Untamed Science and Stone Age Man. He is also the web-director of the series for the High School biology, Middle Grades Science and Elementary Science content. When Austin isn't making amazing content for the web, he's out on his mountain bike or in a canoe.

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