The Trends And Market Dynamics That Shaped The iGaming Industry In 2023 (Part 1)
Looking back on 2023, a year of change and evolution in the iGaming industry.
As we approach the end of 2023, it’s time to reflect on yet another transformative year for the iGaming industry. According to the Online Gambling Global Market Report 2023 by Research & Market, the industry was on track to reach $88.65 billion by year-end, marking a substantial growth of 9.3% CAGR. All in all, this year’s developments have been nothing short of remarkable.
Naturally, such growth never happens in a vacuum. That’s why we’re delving into the pivotal trends and facets that have shaped the iGaming landscape over the past year. These factors are often intricately connected, creating a ripple effect throughout the industry. Regulatory shifts have influenced market expansion, subsequently impacting recruitment trends and challenges, and so forth. Understanding these interconnected facets is crucial to gaining insight into the industry’s global trajectory, setting the stage for what lies ahead in 2024 and beyond.
Let’s explore the key trends and dynamics that have been driving the iGaming sector’s growth.
In 2023, the iGaming landscape witnessed significant regulatory changes. Countries including Italy, Hungary, and Sweden updated their gambling regulations, underlining a collective commitment to responsible gaming and consumer well-being. Furthermore, the US and the UK heightened regulatory measures, with the UK’s white paper particularly prioritising player safety through proposals to reform areas including online gambling, marketing and advertising, and dispute resolution and consumer redress among other key areas. These shifts are compelling operators to rethink their strategies to reach players and enhance customer engagement.
Adding a layer of complexity was Malta’s Bill 55, which stirred controversy. This bill aims to safeguard operators licensed by the MGA under specific circumstances, shielding them from enforcement actions that pose a conflict or threat to the provision of gaming services in Malta. It remains to be seen if the bill will have its desired impact, and whether other jurisdictions will attempt to pass similar bills.
Greater market expansion
While Central and Eastern Europe markets continue to grow, the spotlight unmistakably shines on North America, which has re-affirmed itself as the global frontrunner in online gambling revenue for 2023. Anticipated to reach $25.22 billion by year-end, the region boasts a remarkable 14.3% user penetration. This robust growth in North America is fuelling a surge of interest from established operators eyeing strategic mergers and acquisitions to establish a foothold in this lucrative market.
Meanwhile, Latin America, spearheaded by Brazil and Mexico, has experienced a betting boom, which has been amplified by expanding sports betting markets in Argentina, Colombia, and Peru. Looking towards Asia, India, Bangladesh, and Malaysia have emerged as untapped markets rife with potential, owing to their vast populations and escalating digital connectivity.
The lingering impacts of the pandemic
Although the world has largely moved forward from the pandemic, its impacts linger, even within the iGaming industry. A lasting effect is the preference for flexibility among the workforce. Candidates continue to seek out hybrid or fully remote positions, especially working parents who benefit from the convenience of working from home to take care of their children. These changes in employee expectations have made remote work opportunities a rather essential benefit for companies to offer. Many candidates now actively seek flexibility, often prioritising it over factors like salary jumps.
Evolving recruitment trends
As iGaming operators continue to grow within emerging territories, the need for skilled professionals remains crucial. Operators entering these markets are seeking talent with a proven track record to help them get their operations up-and-running with minimal delays. The demand extends across various roles, from data analysts and software developers to marketing experts. Often, personnel from established markets are being enticed with attractive packages to contribute to the success of these new ventures in new markets.
This rise of regulated markets and heightened strictness of regulatory frameworks worldwide has meant that there’s a growing demand for compliance personnel in various areas, including Regulatory Compliance, Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance, Risk Compliance, Responsible Gaming, and customer operations.
Simultaneously, the hunger for seasoned C-level professionals persists. Those with experience in steering new brands to growth, aligning with market demands, are highly sought after. Furthermore, as the industry embraces cutting-edge technologies like AI and VR for immersive gaming experiences, there’s growing interest in talent capable of propelling operators into the future of gaming.
The challenges of retaining talent
In light of the above, operators are encountering ongoing challenges with regards retaining valued talent. The allure of exciting roles abroad and lucrative contracts is prompting operators to improve their work environments.
Crafting distinct employer brands that reflect a company’s values and culture has never been more crucial to success in the area. Operators are realising the significance of investing in employee wellbeing, offering wellness incentives, pathways for career progression, and initiatives that foster work-life balance. Providing flexible and hybrid working options remains a big draw for candidates. Through such initiatives, operators are seeking to create workplaces that not only attract but also retain top-tier talent.
Partner with Exacta Solutions for expert guidance
Keeping pace with industry trends can be a demanding task. At Exacta Solutions, it’s our mission to not just keep up but stay ahead in the iGaming sector. We pride ourselves on being experts, offering specialised recruitment and M&A assistance through valuable industry insights that go deeper than readily available information.
Whether it’s navigating M&A activity, understanding recruitment trends, or devising effective headhunting strategies, we’ve got you covered. Let’s explore how Exacta Solutions can take your iGaming operation to the next level.