Ever since smartphones became smarter, the world of online entertainment has gradually become more portable. In a time when the average iPhone or Android device has enough processing power to run HD quality video games that blow the average arcade machine out of the water, it’s easy to see why more players are now reaching for their mobiles.
In fact, according to recent statistics from Newzoo, gaming will become a $108.9 billion industry by the close of 2017 and mobile action will account for 42% of the industry’s earnings. On top of this, researchers behind the Global Games Market Report for 2017 also estimate that 50% of the industry’s revenue will come from mobiles and tablets by 2020.
WAP Gets the Reels Spinning
To say that the future of gaming is in the hands of mobile developers would be an understatement and that’s why it comes as little surprise that casino companies have latched onto this bandwagon. Since the technology became available for developers to turn their desktop slots, table games and scratchcards into portable products, the market has been flooded with options. In the early days, mobile casino gaming was a fairly lackluster affair. Simple slots powered by WAP started the mobile movement. However, it wasn’t until iPhone and Android devices linked up with 3G internet connections in 2007 and 2008 that things took off.
From this point on, mobile casino gaming changed forever. With developers such as Microgaming, NetEnt and Playtech able to produce more detailed apps, the leading platforms slowly started to introduce a small selection of mobile games. Slots, blackjack and roulette were staple options prior to 2010, but even the best games were still somewhat limited. Slots, for instance, lacked detailed animations and were essentially scaled down versions of their desktop counterparts. However, by 2010, the market changed again thank to HTML5 technology.
Flexible Software Makes Gaming on the Go More Accessible
With a new way to code their games, developers were able to turn their desktop platforms into mobile platforms. Overnight, this change allowed players on all devices, regardless of spec, memory or processing power, to access a much larger selection of games. Essentially, what HTML5 did was remove the need for native apps. Desktop software suddenly became malleable enough that casinos could fit into the confines of a smartphone’s or tablet’s screen. With this being the case, the industry essentially split with operators falling into one of two camps: those that offered apps and those that offered mobile websites.
Since that split, the gap between apps and mobile sites has all but disappeared. Regardless of the medium you choose, the games are HD quality, offer tons of animations and, of course, plenty of scope to win some prize money. What the mobile casino revolution has really done for players is usher in a wealth of new and novel features and options.
Perhaps the best example of how players in 2017 can now benefit from mobile casinos is the welcome bonus. Operators want more players to game on the go because it creates a greater connection. If someone is able to login to their account while they’re sitting in a café, it generates more action. Because of this, operators will now offer mobile welcome bonuses beyond those offered on the desktop site.
The upshot of this is that players can now get more added extra when they use their smartphone. The other interesting development is the introduction of mobile-specific features. For example, instead of pressing the “bet” button, a player can now spin a mobile slot by swiping down on the reels or shaking their device. Similarly, instead of inputting a password, iPhone users can use their fingerprint.
Turning Reality into a Game with Mobile Casino Tech
This ability to take features ingrained into the latest mobiles and build them into a mobile casino can greatly enhanced the player experience. In fact, when you look at the stats, the numbers support this. William Hill reports that 61% of its total revenue now comes from mobile channels. According to Online Gambling Quarterly Magazine also shows that just under 50% of the online casino industry’s revenue comes from mobile, while 72% of online sports bettors now do it away from their desktops.
Looking ahead, the most intriguing prospect for mobile casino developers in the coming years will be augmented and virtual reality. Already we’ve seen NetEnt preview a virtual reality version of the popular slot Gonzo’s Quest, but this is likely to be the tip of the iceberg. By taking real life surroundings and overlaying casino games onto them using a mobile will transform the way we play. Much like Pokémon Go turned what’s essentially a game of hide-and-seek into a modern form of entertainment, casino developers could do the same.
Whether it’s a functioning roulette table on your table or a slot projected on the wall, the mobile casino world has come and long way over the last decade and, by the looks of it, it’s going to go a lot further.