As the year comes to a close, one where trends continued to consolidate and the US proved its might in the gaming market, Gaming America is ready to make its predictions for the year ahead. From New York rising to become the gem in the crown of US sports betting to the emergence of the Canadian gaming market as a global player, we are surely in for an exciting and unprecedented year.
New York, New York
In January of 2021, PlayNY predicted that the New York sports betting market had a potential worth of a staggering $20bn annually, with the company’s lead analyst, Dustin Gouker, stating it would undoubtedly become the jewel the crown of US sports betting. Indeed, as the year wore on, excitement continued to build regarding sports betting. However, it was not meant to be in 2021; but as the year came to a close, regulation was passed that set the stage for a Q1 launch in 2022. Thus, our first prediction (and it's an easy one!) is that the sports betting market of New York will be huge in 2022. With operators such as Bally’s Corp, BetMGM, WynnBet, FanDuel, DraftKings, RSI, Resorts World, PointsBet, Kambi and Caesars Entertainment ready to open their offerings, both online and land-based betting is sure to explode.
This will only be compounded by the further acceptance of sports betting set to take place across the country in 2022, with household names such as Disney readying their sports betting guns. One of the key aspects of 2021 was the emerging relationships between sportsbooks and media companies, such as 888 Holdings and Sports Illustrated for the SI Sportsbook. This will likely continue in the year to come, with the promised revenue to be found in the iconic city of New York being a key driver in this.
As the US embraced gaming, proving that North America holds some of the most avid gaming enthusiasts across the globe, Canada began to take notice. 2021 saw the passing of Bill C-218, the country’s sports betting law, allowing single-event sports wagering for the first time and providing the groundwork for a market big enough to compete with some of the largest in the world. Thus, our second prediction for 2022 is, of course, that Canada will become an even more prominent player in the gaming industry, in both sports betting and iGaming.
Indeed, Ontario is the fifth largest jurisdiction in North America by population, which, combined with the embrace of an open market, will allow the US’ northern neighbor to boom in the next 12 months.
As Paul Burns, President of the Canadian Gaming Association, stated to Gaming America: “Ontario proves a unique opportunity because a license is available here where it is not in many other regions. Canada has punched above its weight for some time, a lot of companies saw their genesis here but because of the previous lack of licensing they have had to leave the market. We are hoping now we can get generation companies that grow up here and stay in Canada.”
Here at Gaming America, we think that 2022 is the year Canada truly becomes a gaming powerhouse.
Let's visit an online casino
Sports betting has been king of the US in recent years, and as previously said, with the arrival of New York and Canada, North America will undoubtedly continue to experience even more growth in the segment throughout 2022. However, we predict sports betting will not be the only thing to make huge strides next year. Indeed, online casino will continue its rise in 2022. Some core differences from sports betting and the land-based industry will be central to this. Firstly, while we are slowly recovering from Covid-19, the land-based industry, while growing at a staggering rate, is still somewhat volatile; thus, online casino can fill this gap should restrictions return for the third year in a row. Similarly, online casino is not at the whim of the sporting calendar, no NFL this week? No problem.
Ultimately we believe this will lead to another growing phenomenon in 2022. That being the rapid growth of the hybrid and omnichannel offering. As predicted by Donna Ward, VP of Sales at Hard Rock Atlantic City, in a recent interview with Gaming America, many have taken a liking to the online and virtual convenience the last two years have provided. Thus, online casino is sure to be utilized by operators in 2022 to create holistic offerings that allow for the excitement of visiting your favorite casino when time allows, betting on the game when it is on, and playing the best online casino games from the comfort of your home.
A year of surprises
2022 will surely see other surprises that no one could have predicted, perhaps the metaverse will see us attending casinos in VR and paying for chips with the latest crypto. Maybe, a new esports giant will emerge and we will see the medium truly enter the mainstream of betting or a new innovative technology will change the way we bet forever. However, the predictions above look likely to come to fruition in 2022; As North America marches ever onwards to becoming the largest and most profitable gaming market on the globe, it is sure to be a year to look forward to.