iGaming is poised to explode into a multibillion-dollar industry in the US and there are already signs to support the market expansion.
Since the landmark Supreme Court decision to legalize sports betting country-wide in 2018, gaming companies from all across the globe are sizing up strategies to gain a share of the estimated $4.6 billion revenue that iGaming is expected to generate this year.
For betting companies, that figure could balloon to a projected $12.5 billion by 2025.
The entire industry is now looking at opportunities in iGaming and the US in particular. Canadian company Playgon Games (TSX-V:DEAL, OTCQB:PLGNF) Inc is gaining traction in the global iGaming sector with its unique, one-of-a-kind mobile-first content that combines high definition live streaming dealers with state-of-the-art augmented reality betting to provide an authentic casino experience, and it is gearing up for a big push into the US.
iGaming is essentially any type of betting that takes place online, from casino games to poker tournaments and, of course, sports betting. Playgon’s technology is much more than simple wagers – iGamers can interact with live dealers in real-time settings designed for mobile, on-the-go gambling.
“The US legalizing sports betting and iGaming on a state by state basis represents a huge opportunity for Playgon for a multitude of reasons, and once fully matured will be the biggest regulated market globally,” Playgon CEO Darcy Krogh told Proactive in an interview.
Billions of dollars are spent betting online
Krogh estimates that the North American total addressable market, once fully regulated, could represent up to US$30 billion in annual revenues.
“Billions of dollars are spent each year betting online through ‘black and grey market’ websites and platforms that will quickly shift over to legalized platforms as the US market becomes fully regulated,” Krogh said. “Since (the Supreme Court’s decision in 2018) this market has grown in three short years from roughly US$300 million in gross gaming revenue (GGR) online to currently tracking roughly US$5.5 billion in GGR for 2021. The growth in such a short period of time is phenomenal and at this rate we could see this market fully mature in the next five to seven years.”
Vancouver-based Playgon, recognizing the significant opportunity that the US market presents, has engaged top-tier law firm Duane Morris LLP to navigate the licensing process for the US market. Krogh said the plan is to initially seek licensing for New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Michigan – three key iGaming jurisdictions, according to Krogh. The firm expects to have its licensing achieved by the end of 2021.
Now that many states are on the road to legalizing online betting Playgon is well situated to imminently capitalize on the opportunity that presents itself. As Krogh explained, the barriers to entry are extremely burdensome. Playgon has already addressed those barriers having built a solid moat around its business with its proprietary technology and backstopped with over two decades of management experience in live dealer business.
“It’s a complicated technology to develop and deliver because you are tasked to deliver live streamed gaming with zero latency to any mobile device around the world on different types of connectivity to the internet,” Krogh said.
Playgon’s technology is cloud-based for scaling and a mobile-focused product as opposed to a desktop product that is mobile enabled. “We believe in one-handed play ergonomics, which means our games can be played with one hand, portrait mode only.”
The firm’s own research suggests that 85%-90% of mobile use is in portrait mode, so from a player’s perspective the UX/UI is optimized for the new demographic of mobile gambler, which makes the product more engaging and easy to use, according to Krogh.
Playgon originally aimed to integrate a minimum of 18 operators in 2021 but is currently at 29 operators and counting. It expects to exceed the forecasted 36 by 2022, targeting US$19.6 million in annual revenue during its first full year of operations and US$50.5 million in the second year. With the US strategy now taking hold, this will only help bolster those numbers.
“Our industry is experiencing exponential growth and most recently has been turbocharged by events surrounding the pandemic, coupled with the inevitable transition to online adaption of virtually everything,” Krogh said. “This, on top of the new regulatory environment in the US, has escalated the convergence to digital by many land-based brands in the United States.”
Krogh noted that he has “never seen a move to digital of this magnitude” in his more than 20-year career in the industry.
“It’s the perfect storm that is driving convergence in our industry all at once the combination of technology, new regulated markets, player demands, and the pandemic. Our timing could not be better to bring Playgon’s technology to market than right now and our future is bright."
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