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The effect of smartphones on the gambling industry

Smartphones have changed the way many people live, work, and play, and completely revolutionized the capacity of the gambling industry

n100 smartphone on table
Image: Ste Knight / KnowTechie

Like so many other industries, the world of gambling has been revolutionized by the introduction of smartphones, with positive results for owners and operators. Modern smartphone models are capable of supporting almost any online game imaginable, and many companies have jumped at the chance to reach their regular customers in such a convenient format. As more consumers and companies hitch their wagons to the smartphone movement, the following major trends in the gambling sphere are likely to continue developing.

Growth of Online Gambling

Even before smartphones made online gambling sites more accessible to punters around the world, online gambling platforms were surging in popularity. This trend is predicted to continue with an anticipated annual growth rate of between 3 and 5%, and for several good reasons, not least the unlimited selection of providers and games available to consumers. Online gambling platforms have also made it more convenient than ever for players to take a punt, opening up the windows of opportunity, whether short or extended, that exist during the morning and evening commute and lunch hour.

The Exponential Rise of Mobile Gambling

Mobile casino gaming is a huge industry, particularly popular amongst young adults and those in middle age, and there are a few clear reasons behind its success. Not only is it hugely convenient, but the mobile arena also allows providers to give players access to an incredible range of games. It should come as no surprise, then, that a growth rate of 60% has been forecast for the mobile gaming industry between 2018 and 2023, a trend which also has immediate implications for online gambling platforms.

This trend creates a distinct advantage for online casinos with apps, a market that is growing in response to consumer demand. The ability to distill physical offerings into a portable mobile platform not only allows casinos to deliver a new standard of personalized service, but it also provides them the opportunity to occupy valuable space on smartphone screens, keeping their service front-of-mind with users.

New and Improved Games

Smartphones deliver a generally superior user interface to that of any previous mobile device, and providers have used these factors to their advantage in creating the most enthralling digital games in the history of gambling. Better graphics and a more user-friendly interface have done a world of good for the quality of online gambling services, as has the endless capacity for new content in the online space. If not for the advanced technological developments and improvements on offer through smartphones, there is no doubt that casino games would struggle to deliver the same high-quality, immersive experience as is currently on the market.

Questions Around Legalization

Given the potential benefits to come from legalizing and regulating gambling in all forms, including online and mobile, the growth of gambling via smartphones has raised law-based issues for government bodies the world over.

The advantages of legalizing and regulating interactive gambling include reducing the use of offshore sites and reaping the economic benefits within national borders, reducing certain criminal activities, and bringing in revenue through taxation and licensing. While there are also disadvantages stemming from the potential for increased instances of problem gambling, smartphones and mobile gambling have opened up plenty of opportunities to generate positive outcomes from this pastime.

Online Sports Betting Growth

Wagering on sports and races remains the most common form of interactive gambling in several major gambling markets, and the advent of mobile gambling has made a notable difference for those who like to wager on their favorite sport. One of the biggest advantages of smartphone betting for sports fans is the ability to place live bets during the game from any location, whether they choose to watch from the stands or from the living room. This also means punters are typically able to access live odds during the game depending on the smartphone app or website they use, a factor which could mean the difference between a misguided punt and a winning wager.

Smartphones have changed the way many people live, work, and play, and completely revolutionized the capacity of the gambling industry, amongst others, to continue innovating and developing a more effective, attractive product. While there is no doubt that these conditions pose potential challenges to those who struggle with addictive tendencies, there is also plenty to appreciate about the freedoms created by such new developments.

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