By Ron Mendelson, Fast Offshore Founding Partner

How 5G will impact the online gambling industry

"The next 12 months are going to be very interesting as 5G rolls out throughout various countries," Ron Mendelson says.

Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based International Business & Corporate Services consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With over 24 years of real-world experience in iGaming Licensing and Payments, Regulatory Compliance, Tax-Efficient Corporate Structuring, Incubator and other Hedge Fund Licenses, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency related services, he advises a number of international clients on their business needs in the Americas, Europe, and beyond.

Reading time 3:46 min
The emergence of 5G is expected to bring a greater uptick in the number of bets placed, and an increase in bettors wagering on multiple sports. Ron Mendelson analyzes the factors that are currently holding bettors back, and the best ways for providers and operators to address smartphone usage, increased traffic and payments.

There has been much talk about the roll-out of 5g networks and how this will impact global connectivity. Faster speeds, higher data capacities, and lower latency will revolutionize and greatly improve the way we use the internet. But what about the impact it will have on the online gambling industry?

Superfast and super-accessible internet will completely transform how, where, and even when bettors can place wagers.

Recent research from Paysafe has suggested that almost half of online bettors surveyed would increase their betting activity when 5G is introduced. Over 20% of these said they would place bets on other kinds of sports as well. This means that with the emergence of 5G, we can expect to see a greater uptick in the number of bets placed, and an increase in bettors wagering on multiple and additional sports.

This is great news for online betting providers who will see an increase in revenue and profit across their portfolios.

What’s holding bettors back?

In the world of sports betting, having a fast and stable internet connection is vitally important for those wanting to place real-time bets. A lag or delay of seconds could see considerable changes in odds, or mean they miss out on a great opportunity. Out of the countries surveyed, 31% of respondents said they don’t currently bet on sporting events. This they said was due to issues with internet connectivity and the fact they struggle to place real-time bets.

Only 10% of responders said they had zero connectivity concerns when it comes to real-time betting. This means that right now, most players and bettors are struggling with connectivity and accessing online gambling.

When we consider other kinds of betting such as slots, live table games, or video gambling games, slow internet results in even more issues. These kinds of games require a fast and reliable internet connection as they use a lot of data to display graphics, moving images, and audio. If an existing connection is not up to scratch, players will get frustrated and leave, taking their money with them. 

5G will provide greater speeds meaning no freezing, lags, or pixelated videos. It will also mean bettors can stream live games and bet at the same time, with no delays. In addition to this, operators will be able to develop more high-tech games that integrate technology such as VR and AR to further enhance the gambling experience.

Smartphone usage

It is expected that the use of 5G technology will drive forward the accessing of online gambling sites via mobile phone and tablet devices. This is already an emerging trend as in recent years we have seen a huge growth in the mobile gambling sector. Now, more than ever, clients prefer to access all forms of online gambling sites and apps via their smartphone. 

Thanks to the advancement of mobile phones, they often provide a better gaming experience. That, and they are significantly more convenient than desktops or laptops, allowing gambling on the go. But the availability of extremely fast and efficient internet means that the incentive to engage in mobile gambling will be higher. People will move away from using WiFi and broadband to power their gambling experiences via desktop and instead will opt for the superior option on their mobiles.

Across the countries surveyed by Paysafe, over half said they will likely bet more often on mobile platforms after 5G is introduced. A further 27% said that it will encourage them to bet on new markets. In other words, the emergence of 5G will drive forward increased mobile phone adoption and a greater interest in mobile gaming.

Increased traffic

With more bettors placing more bets, more often, platform operators will have to be prepared for additional influxes of traffic to their sites. Those already operating in the online gambling sector should move to put in place new safeguards and features to allow for higher numbers of site visitors. 

Ensuring the site works quickly and smoothly without any delays, is paramount as players will go elsewhere if the site runs slow on a super-fast connection.

What about payments?

Furthermore, operators should also prepare to optimize their sites for mobile usage and to consider creating standalone applications as well. As mobile usage continues growing and is further propelled by the 5G revolution, operators must be ready and prepared. Other considerations include the integration of mobile-friendly payment processors and services that facilitate easy and secure mobile payments.

While card payments remain a popular choice for online gambling customers, digital wallets, eCash, and wire transfers also need to be accommodated. Over the last 12 months, we have also seen an increase in cryptocurrency payments which are being offered at a growing number of online gambling sites. Having a fast and secure 5G connection will also encourage crypto users to make transactions using their cryptocurrency wallets.

Final word

The next 12 months are going to be very interesting as 5G rolls out throughout various countries. It will be interesting to learn how different providers and operators harness the opportunities that 5G offers. Customers appear to be ready to embrace the technology and the additional functionality, the question is, are you as an online gambling operator, ready as well?

Fast Offshore has provided multidisciplinary, international corporate services to iGaming businesses and entrepreneurs engaged in a range of innovative sectors for over 22 years, contact us today and let us help you take your business to the next level. 

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