A new generation of mobile casino games combining social media and gambling is on the rise, under the umbrella term “social gaming”.
Following on from the success of games like Farmville and Candy Crush, where players persuade people – or harass them depending on your point of view – to vote for virtual goods and accessories, social gaming builds upon the willingness of users to pay just for the sake of playing.
Mark D. Griffiths, professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University, had this to say about the issue: “[People] love playing the game itself, and money is simply the price of entry which they are willing to pay.”
This comes after Juniper Research predicted that during the next five years, the number of mobile and/or tablet owners using their devices to gamble will increase by 100 million, meaning that 164 million people will either place a bet, visit a mobile casino or buy a lottery ticket on their device in 2018.
The popularity of games like Farmville and Candy Crush is now being built upon with the growth of social gaming
A new age for gamblers
The pioneers for mobile gambling are the industry-leading iPhone and Android devices.
Juniper’s research revealed that the majority of these users would be switching to mobile gambling from desktop services. It attributed this migration to the fact that many features of gambling work better on a mobile device than a PC.
Mobile casinos are already attracting large numbers of customers away from the traditional land-based alternative as people choose to gamble on their own terms from the comfort of their homes and on the move via mobiles and tablets.
Dedicated sites such as Casinoshortlist provide iPhone users with the latest news and reviews on how to gamble via their mobile. They can then download casino apps through the App Store. Although the number of apps is still small, all gambling favourites such as slots, roulette and video poker are already available.
Sports betting also attracts an increasing number of mobile gamblers. For example, the potential to bet in-play via mobile on Australia’s Wallabies versus New Zealand’s All Blacks in a Tri-Nations rugby game can ensure that users’ enjoyment of the event is not interrupted.
Social gaming in numbers
- Farmville 2 attracted 8 million players per day when it was released
- Candy Crush Saga has an astonishing 93 million daily active users
- Candy Crush Saga has 1085 million daily game plays
- An estimated 37 million Facebook users playing Texam Hold’em
More people are using mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads to gamble online
Market leaders in the gambling sector have unsurprisingly moved to counter the shift away from more traditional betting habits such as retail and telephone betting.
Many have now stated their aim of achieving over half of their online revenues from mobile in the next one to three years.
They will have to take into account a surprising new statistic: the market for mobile gaming sees women leading the way over their male counterparts.
Women playing games on their mobiles, tablets or laptops outweigh men – 54 per cent against 46 per cent. They seem to show a preference for bingo as it is a more social game, but are also increasingly attracted to other types of games. Mobile casinos will need to adapt to the new demographic to stay on top of the game.