Betting on the machine

Research firm Technavio estimates that the global casino gaming equipment market will grow ‘rapidly’ at a compound annual growth rate of more than 15 per cent between 2017 and 2021.
By 2021, the global gaming equipment market should reach US$96.4 billion (MOP770 billion), according to a report by the firm, with the current market value set at US$54.1 billion.
According to the report, the casino gaming equipment market’s four main segments include casino tables, slot machines, gaming chips and video poker machines, with casino tables and slot machines accounting for almost half of the market last year.

Strong arguments
The report considers that gaming equipment related sales have grown due to four factors: increased online sales of casino gaming equipment; the rise in demand for smart casino gaming equipment; tax revenue contributions; and, in particular, because of the easing of government regulations.
“Many countries, such as Japan, are aiming at legalizing casino gaming because of the growing popularity of gambling and the high revenue contribution from casinos,” stated Technavio lead analyst Ujjwal Doshi in a company release.
Income generated from gaming revenues and taxes on gamers’ disposable income, are some of the main factors that could persuade governments to legalize different types of gaming including sports betting, leading to growth in the four-year period and an increase in gaming equipment sales, the study informed.
The report also stated that growth would be driven by increased global demand for high-quality casino gaming equipment, with different regions having preferences for different types of gaming equipment, such as video poker machines being more popular in China.
Online purchases could also help manufacturers earn additional revenue through exports and customised new models, stated the report.

Innovating to survive
The researchers consider that gaming equipment manufacturers face many challenges in the form of ‘intense competition, rapid advances in technology, and frequent changes in consumer preferences’.
With casinos looking to attract more customers by installing large amounts of casino gaming equipment in their facilities, competition between gaming equipment suppliers has increased considerably the report states, with vendors needing to develop new technologies and stay up-to-date with emerging technologies.
According to the study there has been a demand to change from traditional equipment such as slot machines to ‘smart casino equipment’, in order to attract a younger segment, aged between 18 and 35 years old, seen as being more attracted to more innovative and integrated games.
The adoption of virtual reality (VR) in the gambling market was cited as one of the changes that could attract new players to the sector and one of the factors driving growth in the market over the coming years. However, the report also considered that currently few developers were including the technology in their products.