The number of clients of online casinos in Russia is seven times more than that of traditional casinos, said Jet Velvet junket club general director Pyotr Barinov at Russian Gaming Week.
“Online casinos continue to win the market share from offline casinos that are falling behind in terms of new technology. Russia is among the top 10 countries with the biggest online casino markets, but not by choice. The thing is that there are not enough casinos in the country. For the same reason, the shadow gambling industry surpasses the legal one: its volume is $1bln and there are 2,000 illegal clubs. Most of them are located in cities with a population of over one million and even in legal gambling zones,” the expert said.
He also added that visitors to the traditional offline casinos are growing older.
“In Russia, nine million people gamble in online casinos, while there are only 1.3 million visitors to the offline casinos,” Pyotr Barinov said.
He also pointed out that 55% of gamblers look for online casinos, while 40% look for gambling machines.
“Only 5% of online searches are about traditional casinos,” he said.
Pyotr Barinov also spoke about the gambling development trends.
“One of the trends is the development of electronic sports in casinos: the US is looking this way, but I think it will take some time. The second trend is the skill-based games, or competitive games. For instance, Angry Birds is one of them. Machines with these games can be installed in casinos and people can play for money. Such projects are already being tested in the US. However, there are certain aspects: people aged over 50 will not play such games, while younger people would want separate platforms,” the expert concluded.