Michael Muscat

Projections from Fortune Business Insights predict the global iGaming market will grow to $158.2 billion by 2028, compared to $66.7 billion in 2020.

But with tech developing at a staggering pace, ever-increasing competition, changing regulatory environments opening up new emerging markets, and consumer trends shifting after the massive disruption of the pandemic, the need for the industry to react quickly and remain on the cutting edge is as pressing as ever.

Commenting in the cover story on the future of the sector in the Winter 2021/2022 edition of iGaming Capital magazine, Michael Muscat, a partner at Helix Partners – a multi-service boutique firm specialising in advisory services tailored for regulated industries, sees the shift towards regulation as a leading industry trend.

Mr Muscat is also the founder of igamingcolombia.com, a services firm that assists European operators and suppliers to reach the Latin American markets. Dr Muscat sees this shift towards regulation across European countries, together with the opening up of new markets, as key trends in the industry, with bigger players looking to enter the space and an influx of new capital from jurisdictions that previously shied away from investments in gambling.

“Certain markets in Europe have become saturated and over-regulated, causing operators to have to innovate, not simply from a product angle but also from a jurisdictional one,” Dr Muscat says. “I believe we are going to see the industry become even more international: products will be localised and resources mobilised.”

Ultimately, however, Dr Muscat believes it is the tech that will continue to shape the future. Innovation from a product perspective, as well as spinoff products such as gamification tools, data analytics software, and automated compliance platforms, will be major considerations for the industry in the next few years, he says.

“The pandemic has caused a need to rethink, revisit and innovate. We are seeing the preferential shift towards live casino and there have been big developments within the instant win space. I have seen VR being used to merge the land-based and online experience, with players from both the digital and physical worlds interacting. I have also encountered a software house that has created a poker product that removes the need for poker tables within land-based casinos. In other markets, the current global situation has caused more and more people to embrace digital payments, making operations much easier for iGaming operators across the board.”

This forms part of a Cover Story featured in the Winter 2021/2022 edition of iGaming Capital Magazine, the sister publication to iGamingCapital.mt

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