At the end of last year, we made some predictions as to what 2018 would hold for casino players. A newly published report on the state of the industry has been released and the data has spoken! Let’s take a look at what we learned.
This report, prepared by iovation, is based on the analysis of some 450 million transactions that took place through 100 casino operators throughout 2017. A variety of topics are covered, ranging from platform preferences to safety to KYC procedures and more.
A number of interesting conclusions were drawn, some in direct opposition to one another – a state of affairs that highlights the industry’s constant evolution.
Mobile continues to soar
Mobile gaming has shown no sign of flagging over the years and 2017 saw another significant jump in this trend.
In 2017, 62% of casino transactions took place via a mobile device. That’s about 300 million of the analysed transactions. Compare this to the 6% of transactions made via mobile in 2012 and you can see the massive leap in just five years.
For the first time, devices running iOS like iPhones and iPads were more popular than devices running Android, which trailed a few points behind. 32% of transactions were made through iOS devices while 28% were made through Android.
The impact of Google’s new stance on gambling apps in the Play Store should not be overlooked – it is possible that Android transactions will see a resurgence as more players discover further gambling opportunities.
Keeping abuse in check
The report reveals that 2017 saw a significant increase in bonus abuse, going from under 75,000 instances in 2016 to close to 150,000 instances the following year.
This could be interpreted as an improvement in casino security – an increase in instances can mean that more are being noticed and fewer are going under the radar. It can also mean, somewhat less optimistically, that casinos need to up their game when it comes to facing fraudsters and their criminal activities.
Similarly, cheating has also seen a ten-fold increase just four years. Cheating not only hurts a casino’s bottom line but also takes away from the player experience, which impacts a player’s trust in a casino and their willingness to return to play.
The report recommends that, just like in the land-based casino sector, operators should look to work together to keep known cheaters in check.
Focus on player safety
Casinos take player safety very seriously, more so now that regulators like the UKGC are demanding higher standards be met on this front. Self-exclusion is one such aspect and 2017 saw a rise in the number of players who chose to self-exclude from casinos.
For the 205,000 instances of self-exclusion in 2017, 400,000 devices and 530,000 accounts related to self-exclusion reports attempted to access casinos in the data set. That all those attempts were identified and flagged by the operators is testament to the effectiveness of the strategy in keeping vulnerable players away from temptation.
The report goes on to say that while these numbers are encouraging, casinos should remain vigilant, keeping a close watch for other ways that self-excluded players can access their products under the radar.
When it comes to the things players wish to change about their online gambling experiences, it mostly came down to the speed and efficiency of processes.
Players said that the KYC procedures were time-consuming and annoying, and that they would love to bypass the logging in process in favour of one-touch betting.
From an operator’s point of view, both of these aspects lend layers of security to the player’s experience and while they may not be perfect, they do help to stop fraudsters and vulnerable players from getting access when they shouldn’t.
The report recommends looking at predictive technology to help in reducing KYC processing times by employing software to identify legitimate from suspicious transactions and applying more scrutiny to the accounts that raise red flags.
What does this mean for casino players?
That casinos are getting better at spotting fraud is good news for everyone (except maybe the criminals) and tougher rules on player protection mean that vulnerable users are given a better degree of protection.
Mobile gaming has seen a consistent rise over the years so casinos will continue to invest in and improve their mobile offering for a long time yet, benefitting players who enjoy taking their gambling on the go.
This report has shed light on a handful of concerns and topics of interest. It’s now up to casinos to implement changes that will further improve player experience and keep the industry healthy.
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