In the past few years the world of online gambling has been thoroughly shaken up by the emergence of the smartphone. The period has been dubbed the “smartphone revolution” even outside of the online gaming universe, and it’s easy to see why.
They’ve proved to be the ideal online gambling platform, with over one billion smartphones used worldwide and predictions that the mobile gambling industry will reach almost $12 billion in revenues next year. Many prominent casinos and betting operators already report almost half of their revenue is coming in via mobile play.
In short, mobile gambling has taken the world by storm – you can now find your favourite casino games from blackjack to craps to roulette available on Android, Blackberry, Apple, Samsung, Nokia – you name it!
So just why are mobile phones so ideal for the online gambler?
Improved mobile technology
Since Apple’s iPhone launched in 2007 it raised the bar for mobile phones – with a fast and accessible internet capability, an innovative and intuitive touchscreen, and a large, clear display the tablet phone has become the de facto design of smartphones.
Modern smartphones now have graphic capabilities and processing power that even ten years ago we wouldn’t have imagined was possible – games like Angry Birds are a far cry from Nokia’s classic Snake. This clearly translates to online gambling, as the most popular games online are slots – heavily reliant on exciting visuals and interactive, detailed bonus rounds.
They’ve found a great bedfellow in the mobile gaming industry and social gaming, which naturally fits in with mobile technology.
It’s also relatively cheap to develop fun mobile games in comparison opening a brick and mortar casino. So, not only do the operators have good reason to favour the format, but they can afford to try new things and take risks on mobile – this naturally leads to some exciting innovations and development.
The obvious advantage that online gambling has over conventional, brick and mortar games is that you don’t need to go to a casino or betting shop in order to participate. Just log on to your computer and away you go.
Mobile gaming takes this even further – you don’t even need to be sat at your computer. The stereotypical image is being able to play on the toilet, or in bed in your underwear, but you don’t even need to be in your house. Thanks to increasingly fast 3G and 4G connections you can play while waiting for a bus, walking down the road, or sitting in the pub.
Additionally, even if you do have a computer it may well be shared – this can of course limit the amount of time you can spend on your favourite online casinos. Mobile casinos, however, are always readily-available.
The ever-growing prevalence of public Wi-Fi means there’s even more avenues – though please keep in mind security. Mobile casinos are generally very safe, but the same can’t necessarily be said for publically-accessible Wi-Fi.
Of course, the casinos and apps themselves are safe – most mobile gambling operators use the latest internet security technologies and methods to keep your funds and details safe. These operators must follow fair play practices just like online casinos or indeed real casinos.
We touched on this above, but the sheer convenience of mobile gambling is an obvious contributing factor to its success. You are, at all times, carrying in your pocket a device that will allow you to play poker, slots, blackjack, you name it.
Furthermore, the fact that everyone has a mobile phone means everyone has this capability – there’s no need to buy an expensive computer or games console, and even the expensive smartphones are available cheaply – or even free – on a contract.
You don’t even need peripheral devices – just turn it on and play.
Play for fun
You don’t even necessarily have to be gambling with real money to enjoy the benefits of mobile gambling. Zynga Poker operates the largest poker room in the world by a wide margin, with tens of millions of players accessing their poker room via mobile – and not a cent of real money changes hands between players.
Most mobile or online casinos have free play options where you can bet for fun rather than profit, and millions of people do this, whether it’s testing the waters before depositing or just playing for the thrill of the game.
Image courtesy of Bloomberg.com