Looking boldly into the future is just as important as reflecting on what’s past. We’ve highlighted some notable industry milestones and developments of 2023 which we think you’d be interested to hear about, and then made some 2024 predictions based on the casino trends we’re seeing right now.
Join us for this 2023 round up, as we take stock of a hugely successful year for online casinos and the iGaming industry more generally. The second part of our trends and predictions highlights package looks excitedly ahead to the possibilities for online casinos in 2024 and what to expect.
That’s a Wrap: iGaming 2023 In Review
2023 was undoubtedly a memorable year for Maple Casino and the global iGaming industry. Some of Canada’s top real money online casinos exploded their player base and hundreds of new games from leading providers for players to enjoy.
Further afield, a number of U.S. states legalized various forms of casino and sports betting, opening up new avenues for entertainment. Among the 2023 highlights for iGaming was a shift among platforms and providers towards creating player experiences that compete with other forms of entertainment like computer and console gaming, television and social media.
Despite a post-pandemic economy still in recovery mode, iGaming had a bumper year of highlights in 2023, showing strong growth in Canada and beyond. While the number of online casinos in Canada increased significantly, so did the variety of gaming options, payment methods and fun ways for players to interact and engage with products. Who saw it coming, that online bingo would prove itself to be a Canadian-friendly game for players of all ages?
All in all, 2023 was a record-breaking year for the world of iGaming with many big wins to celebrate for the industry and reasons for players like yourselves to get excited about what’s still to come in 2024!
Online Slot Games That Made Us Sit Up in 2023
In this part of our 2023 round up, we commend several online slots that smashed it out of the park by offering players something they’d never seen before. Pragmatic Play and Yggdrasil are leading the charge when it comes to crafting memorable gaming experiences. And we fully expect them to keep up the good work into 2024.
Some 2023 highlights for slot game releases included:
1. Devour the Weak (Yggdrasil Gaming)
This horror-themed slot drops you deep into the demon underworld. Its well-crafted gameplay offers features like tumbling reels, hexed symbols that turn wild, and a win multiplier that can hit up to 666x.
2. Sticky Bees (Pragmatic Play)
Journey to a magical forest and follow the fascinating life of bees. This slot offers a chance to win up to 10,000x your bet and has a swarm of exciting features such as tumbling reels, super wilds and free spins.
3. Dark Summoning (Hacksaw Gaming)
Face your fears in this spine-chilling game that pays 10,000x your bet if you’ve got the stomach for it. With super cascades, wild multipliers and two free spin bonus features, there’s everything to play for.
Online Casinos Embraced Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
2023 highlights also included a surge in the use of blockchain and cryptocurrencies across iGaming platforms. Blockchain-based games store data and assets across a network, offering players increased security and privacy. What’s more – smart contracts, decentralized applications (dApps) and crypto wallet integration all form part of these exciting new developments set to take off in 2024.
Wider acceptance of various cryptocurrencies for payment was also a promising market trend for 2023, providing players with fast, secure, and often anonymous deposit options.
Mobile-First Gaming Finally Became a Reality
Despite mobile gaming being accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, it has taken a while for the industry to embrace their predominantly mobile audience. In 2023, we saw some of the best mobile casinos in Canada take a responsive design approach to platform design, for the benefit of players.
Similarly, software providers spent lots of time and resources optimizing their games for mobile play. We have every reason to believe that mobile casino gaming will continue to trend upwards into 2024 and beyond, especially as younger generations join the player base.
Esports Betting Is a Rising Star in iGaming
Esports betting was another 2023 highlight that emerged as a booming sector within the iGaming industry. There was a big uptick in the number and scale of esports events and tournaments worldwide, coupled with more betting opportunities for players on markets like in-game achievements.
Over the course of the year, many casino sites and sportsbooks also integrated esports into their offering, broadening access to this trending product for bettors worldwide. Esports live-streaming on platforms like Twitch and YouTube also enriched the gaming experience for esports fans in 2023.
Recognizing Excellence: iGaming Leaders Honoured with Accolades
Marketing events and iGaming awards ceremonies were hosted in 2023 in every corner of the world. The best-performing operators and gaming suppliers were celebrated among their industry peers, winning awards for excellence in game design, casino operations, customer service, and more.
The more networking and cross-collaboration that happens at these industry events, the better it is for casino players, as innovative ideas for platforms, new games and features come out of them.
Here are just a few of the worthy winners from the International Gaming Awards (IGA) in 2023:
|Game of the Year
|Fishin’ Pots of Gold (Game Burger Studios)
|Operator of the Year
|Innovator of the Year (Operator)
|Innovator of the Year (Supplier)
|Best Customer Service Company of the Year
Our iGaming Outlook for 2024 and Beyond
A 2023 round up of the current state of iGaming wouldn’t be complete without also looking into our crystal ball and making some predictions for the year ahead. Broadly speaking, we expect Artificial Intelligence (AI) to play a major role in iGaming industry developments in 2024.
AI and machine learning will play an important role for online casinos looking to boost player engagement, as this technology helps to personalize the experience as much as possible. Eager to hear more? Here’s what to expect.
We See Better Bonuses and Promotions in Your Future
As competition intensifies, it’s become easier for players to shop around for the best bonus offers out there. With Canadians readily able to pick from such a wide variety of enticing offers, we predict 2024 will be the year that casinos bring even more to the table.
So, what offers do we think are in store for you? Watch out for bigger percentage match bonuses, no deposit bonuses, free spins and other mouth-watering offers from operators at Maple Casino.
Whether you’re a new or loyal player, we think you’ll be in for a special treat this year as more generous bonuses are set to be a big highlight for 2024!
Check out our top 10 casinos offering fantastic welcome bonuses for Canadian players:
|$5,200 + 150 FS
|$600 + 500 FS
|$4,000 + 200 FS
|10x Match Bonus
|100% up to $400 + 50 FS
|$1,500 + 100 FS
|3x Deposit Bonus
|100% up to CA$150
AI Technology Will Personalize Your Gaming Experience
Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) to personalize and customize gaming was another key takeaway from 2023, which we expect to be one of the biggest iGaming trends in 2024 and beyond. With the permission of customers, casinos will use customer data to personalize player experiences, making every user interaction more rewarding.
This AI-driven technology has the potential to introduce players to new products based on their unique tastes and preferences. Prioritizing games and gaming categories in casino lobbies that players have previously favoured is a sure way for iGaming providers to increase engagement.
By measuring the player’s response to algorithmic suggestions, AI models have the potential to learn about user preferences, helping casinos to create even more personalized experiences.
Gamification: Playing the Game Within the Game
In our trends and predictions for iGaming industry, we expect to see game providers and casinos in 2024 to further improve player experiences by applying game mechanics to both gaming and non-gaming contexts.
Gamification will emerge in things like slot bonus features, with achievement levels and bonus choices making the experience more interactive. Where this trend might even play out in the future is as a tool for encouraging responsible gaming, or casinos educating players about their sites.
Virtual and Augmented Reality Will Change iGaming Forever
Also in our list of predictions for 2024: Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) revolutionizing iGaming through player experiences that blend the virtual and physical worlds. These evolving technologies are another way for online casinos to take your gaming experience up a notch in 2024.
For example, VR can make live dealer games completely immersive and turn any setting into a vibrant and interactive gaming space. Or imagine being able to look for hidden cash prizes or bonus features within the virtual gaming environment of a slot game. Well, that’s not a far-off reality!
A Renewed Focus on Responsible Gaming
Player safety will be front of mind for iGaming operators in 2024, with greater legal and social responsibility placed on iGaming businesses to help protect their customers. For this reason, responsible gaming also makes our list of trends and predictions in 2024.
There is evidence to show that more players set deposit limits and used reality checks in 2023, and we expect this trend to continue. Initiatives such as Safer Gambling Week in other countries, like the UK, are also raising awareness among players that help is at hand for those who need it.
iGaming’s 2023 Evolution and Our Outlook for 2024
As we close the chapter on 2023, the iGaming industry stands at the cusp of exciting advancements. Casinos and gaming providers captivated players with engaging and interactive experiences, while the industry’s pivot towards mobile-first gaming experiences met the demands of an evolving audience.
For us, the evolution of iGaming as a form of online media was the most thought-provoking and exciting takeaway from 2023, narrowing the gap between what is considered iGaming and entertainment. And so far, this move has been something Canadians have embraced.
Looking ahead to 2024, we anticipate a landscape transformed by AI, further personalizing and enriching the player experience. While we also hope to see more lucrative bonuses give players more bang for their buck. Amidst these advancements, a steadfast commitment to responsible gaming can help ensure a safe and controlled environment for players. The future of iGaming looks full of promise and potential!