The Global Gaming Awards is one of the most prestigious international ceremonies in the gambling and betting industry. Each year, award ceremonies — due to be held this year in London on June 28 and in Las Vegas on October 4 — recognize the very best and brightest from across the market.
There have been some changes in 2021, however. The usually eagerly awaited Best Casino category has been suspended for this year, while a new category has been added: Best Product Launch.
A Quiet Year for Physical Casinos Manifests Itself in the Global Gaming Awards
In many ways, this year’s structure accurately reflects the current gaming landscape. Physical casinos have been unable to trade in many key markets across the globe due to the coronavirus pandemic. As such, the organisers of the event decided that it was unfeasible to hold this category in 2021.
This marks an unprecedented shift for the awards this year. The Casino of the Year category is one of the Global Gaming Awards’ most important, and its absence will certainly leave a hole. However, perhaps this is something that the industry will need to get used to as online channels and platforms become increasingly prevalent.
While it is almost certain that the category will return to the roster next year in 2022, provided the recovery roadmap continues as planned, surges in online gaming and casinos are still threatening physical venues. We can expect to see this balance shifting further in the direction of online casinos, even after restrictions are lifted.
A New Category Fills the Gap, but Will It Stick Around?
The new category — Product Launch of the Year — looks set to be a permanent fixture of the Global Gaming Awards going forward, rather than just a short term replacement for the suspended category. Examining the shortlist, we can see that this too is reflective of the diverse nature of online betting and gaming in 2021.
Nominated companies include NSoft, whose Virtual Penalty Shootout taps into the excitement of sporting competition in order to attract games, and SoftSwiss, who have developed their Sportsbook platform to innovate new ways for online casinos to provide pre-match and in-play betting to clients.
Other candidates include Divine Fortune Megaways from NetEnt, Poker Tournament Live Stream from Connective Games, and Microgaming from WowPot. This varied list showcases how much innovation and creativity are now being poured into digital gaming. This is the future of the industry, and in this sense, the Product Launch of the Year category is long overdue for the Global Gaming Awards. For this reason, we expect the new category to act as more than just a space filler, and instead becoming an important aspect of the awards moving forward.
An Interesting Future for the Industry
We are certainly living in strange times, but even after things have returned to normality, change will continue to happen at pace. Award ceremonies like these serve as a kind of bellwether for the industry, reflecting the public appetite and taste. It will be interesting to see what the future holds for the Global Gaming Awards in terms of further restructuring and new categories.