The rise of Arabic online casinos
Arabic online casinos are on the rise. Every month, we see more and more pop up out of nowhere.
In part because gambling and physical casinos are legally dubious throughout much of the Middle East, it seems people are turning in their droves to the online world for casino games.
When looking at the best arabic online casino and the market as a whole, it becomes increasingly apparent why they’re successful. Why is this, and will it continue?
First and foremost, Arabic online casinos like VIPArabClub provide a ton of convenience. Online casinos in general are convenient, as they’re often responsive to mobile browsing, can be played at home, in private, and are generally quick to access.
This point is further amplified when considering that casinos are few and far between in the Middle East. You generally have to visit Cairo in Egypt or Beirut in Lebanon for a close up and personal experience in a casino, so being able to access them online is certainly a lot more convenient. So often, it’s not a matter of choosing online games over traditional, but it’s the only option.
Physical casinos are dying out
The casinos that are around are slowly dying out and have been struggling. Casinos have been fighting online casinos, with the latter seemingly winning the fight and taking customers. Of course, there’s room for both, but there definitely have been some casino goers transition to simply using online platforms instead.
Secondly, lockdown was a big catalyst for furthering this divide. Temporary closures of casinos stung around the world, with casinos from Vegas to Cairo suddenly struggling. Either lockdown prevented customers going in, limiting capacity, enforcing mask-wearing, or simply shutdown altogether because they couldn’t make the rent payments.
As lockdown eased around the world, casinos struggled to regain pre-pandemic levels of business. In regards to many Cairo and Beirut casinos, tourism was a big factor in their revenue, which has been demonstrably hit. There are simply more requirements and hassle to travel now.
Politics is also a factor. Casino du Liban in Lebanon – perhaps the biggest casino in the Middle East – is severely struggling. Lebanon’s economy is in crisis, surrounded by war, it was even proposed that the government-owned casino was going to sell recently. They haven’t yet, but this highlights the change in tide, because during this time online Arabic casinos have never been stronger.
Beyond just the convenience and declining demand for physical casinos, there’s also the element of which is more fun? Which is more relevant?
One thing that physical and online casinos have in common is that they both have traditional games like roulette, blackjack, and poker. What they don’t have in common, however, is a catalog of thousands of innovative games.
Online casinos generally have way more freedom to create new games because of the platform itself. It’s tech-driven and interactive, and much faster to build than a physical machine. Online casinos have essentially been pumping out hundred of new games each month by various developers, offering something new to customers and more choice.
It’s not just any old games, either. It’s games with new functionality, a competitive element (i.e. online leaderboards), and even a story. And this is where it becomes all the more relevant to the Middle East specifically.
Within hundreds of these slot games are themes and stories that connect with the player base. Ancient Egypt, for example, is a popular theme. There will be characters, a story arch, and a game within the context of Ancient Egypt. This isn’t comparable with a sterile table game that’s been around for centuries.
The future of Arabic casinos
The future isn’t looking good for land-based casinos in the Middle East. The countries which are seeing good growth in tourism are generally the countries where casinos are banned, whilst the countries where casino are legal are struggling right now. Even then, casinos around the world are struggling, this isn’t just a problem in the Middle East.
A possible solution going forward may be more casino companies implementing a hybrid model, where they operate both a land-based casino and online platform. This isn’t just to capture some of the online demand, but it could feed into a wider ecosystem and help prop up the physical store. For example, winnings and bonuses in the online platform could be exchanged for tokens that can be used in the physical location.
Beyond that, it will be a matter of online casinos gaining further ground through innovation. Something that is yet to go mainstream, but is on the horizon, is VR Arabic casino games. Integrated into the MetaVerse (one of them), you can play with your avatar, with friends, in a virtualized casino that resembles a real one. So, new, innovative tech-driven games but in a simulated atmosphere of a traditional casino – the best of both worlds, perhaps.