In this latest entry in our continuing series on gambling technology, we take a look at the growing popularity of online slots.
While it may be well-known that online gambling represents a true growth industry in 2018, the unique factors that underpin this expansion remain a mystery to some. It’s particularly hard to determine the most popular activities within this space, while there is also a tendency to assume that every aspect of the market is growing at a similar rate.
This is far from the truth, however, with casino products and platforms at the heart of this growth and accounting for a whopping 56% of the market’s gross gambling yield (GGY). In contrast, sports betting generates just 37.1% of the GGY, while online bingo is responsible for a meagre 3% of the overall total.
The rising popularity of online slot games has a great deal to do with the dominance of casino platforms, and the statistics definitely bear this out. But why are online slots so popular, and how are they continuing to gain in popularity across multiple demographics?
The Numbers – How Popular are Online Slots?
If we glance at the numbers, it’s clear to see that slot gaming activity has increased at an exponential rate during the last eight years. Since 2010, for example, we’ve seen the slot game interaction increase by a staggering 300%, outstripping every other type of online activity in the process.
As you would expect, this has had a huge bearing on the virtual market’s GGY, with operating becoming increasingly reliant on slots to optimise their profitability. According to the latest annual report from the UK Gambling Commission, online slot titles comfortably account for more than half of the GGY, while their yield is also more than 50% higher than that associated with table games and poker.
With this trend likely to continue as a growing number of players make the transition online, we’ll see slots evolve to dominate the market even more over the course of the next few years,
Why are Slots Becoming so Popular?
With the number reaffirming the incredible growth of online slots, the question that remains is how have they become so popular in the digital age?
The most obvious answer is that slots appeal to a broad range of both casual and serious gamers, thanks to their relative simplicity, diversity, and the presence of both low and high-variance titles. This allows players to access high quality gameplay whilst also enjoying experiences that suit their risk outlook, whether they want to win small amounts frequently or use their bankroll to pursue large, progressive jackpots.
The emergence of themed titles ties into this from the perspective of casual gamers, as does the presence of low-risk, certified slots that deliver a return-to-player (RTP) rate in excess of 97%.
While these factors may have inspired the initial surge in slot gaming activity, however, its recent growth has been sustained by the actions of both developers and operators, Developers have focused on creating a more diverse range of games targeting females and older players, for example, while also improving the graphical and audio quality of games.
In the case of operators, they’ve invested incremental amounts in marketing online slots and funding lucrative promotions. You can get 30 free spins at Casino Experts and similar promotions on other sites, for example, as operators look to leverage the popular nature of slots through the promise of free gameplay.
The Last Word
While the unique, simple and opportunistic nature of slots have helped to trigger its unique rise, there’s no doubt that its growth and popularity have been compounded by the efforts of developers and operators.
This has created a significant amount of momentum behind online slots, which is unlikely to abate any time soon.
In fact, we expect to become online slots become even more popular in the near-term, as operators look to boost their profitability and tap into the demands of their players.