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The global online gaming revolution was a significant milestone for the development of the gambling industry. The advent of online gambling turned the casino world on its head, and marked a similarly (arguably, more) significant overhaul of the way we think about gambling.
For the modern age, we’re witnessing the rise of mobile gambling as an alternative customer stream for the casino industry, and the implications of mobile as a technology platform for gambling are vast.
The mobile economy is current worth multiple billions, and its value looks set to rocket in the coming years as technologies continue to improve, and users become increasingly more savvy. This has been afforded by a number of factors, including the significant advancements in technology which have made mobile communications far more accessible. The number of smartphones worldwide, which permit fast, usable Internet access, has exploded, leading to a dramatic rise in truly mobile Internet access, creating an interesting and potentially vast market for businesses quick enough to respond to these technological demands.
Where consumers lead, businesses follow, and with the mobile gambling sector, the signs are already promising enough for various online casinos to invest their time and resources into coming up with viable, fast and reliable platforms for mobile gambling. Indeed, there are already several profitable mobile gambling sectors, including notably mobile poker, which has helped pave the way for further development of the mobile gambling industry, and has inspired confidence amongst the biggest names in gambling to back the mobile revolution.
But the increase in interest in mobile gambling isn’t solely a result of improving mobile Internet technologies – hardware developments, particularly in relation to tablet PCs and the projected growth in that sector, have also contributed significantly to the increasing profile of mobile gambling. With hybrid technologies like tablet PCs, and smartphone handsets that are now technologically capable of handling large amounts of data and online media, the path towards a widespread, robust mobile gambling sector is already being trodden.
So too with the advent of ‘apps’, and the rise in third party content provider access to mobile platforms, the mobile gambling industry has been allowed to grow and flourish within the confines of the technologies currently available and has been allowed unparalleled access to the world mobile market thanks to the penetration of mobile users through the various app retail sites.
With virtually anyone now able to access mobile and online casinos from the palm of their hands, it’s hardly surprising that the future looks bright for the mobile gambling industry.
However, that’s not to say mobile gambling doesn’t face its own fair share of challenges, in particular relating to the legal implications and the potential opportunity cost in developing handheld gambling platforms that are later prohibited by governments and authorities worldwide. Given the overarching lack of clarity in worldwide remote gambling policy, it remains to be seen whether the industry can leap over these various hurdles as they are presented, in order to live up to its potential as a third major stream of business for casino gambling.
Mobile gambling already looks set to become the next high growth area of the wider gambling industry, and as technologies continue to rapidly improve up to a standard where full function mobile casino gambling is a workable reality, so too will the demand for mobile gambling services increase. At the same time, the traditional casino gambling sector is continuing to thrive, and unlike many other industries and sectors faced with the threats of Internet technology, gambling seems to have remained strong, with the two different gambling formats attracting largely different demographics. But how does mobile gambling compare to the traditional ‘offline’ casino, and what are the pros and cons of each of these popular, but fundamentally different, gambling arenas?
Mobile gambling’s main advantage lies in the fact that it is mobile, and as such can appeal to a much wider audience than bricks and mortar casinos. Never before has online gambling been so accessible – from the palm of your hand, wherever you roam, access to mobile gambling is making betting on the move a more realistic prospect. As a result, a new generation are discovering the excitement and enjoyment of sensible gambling, particularly with access to the world’s biggest casino names in your pocket.
Similarly, by virtue of being mobile, mobile and online casinos don’t have opening hours, nor are they restricted to the limitations of geography and transport. Gambling at an online or mobile casino is a much more direct and efficient way to gamble for most customers than a trip to the local casino, and the advantages of gambling from the confines of your own home are obvious.
Where mobile gambling opens up the doors of virtual casinos to a vastly wider customer base, it’s not necessarily all plus-points. Mobile gambling, even compared to online gambling, cannot be as comprehensive in terms of the range of games on offer and the style of gameplay, simply as a result of technology issues. While the situation is rapidly improving on an almost daily basis, the fact remains that mobile gambling as an industry is still in a growth phase, and the fullest extent of mobile gambling technology has yet to be realized.
But on a slightly different note, mobile gambling falls down in one very important area: the experience. While the mobile casino operators try as hard as they can to recreate the excitement and the buzz of live gambling, and while some online casinos practically bend over backwards with video links and other innovations designed to recreate the casino experience, nothing actually compares to the intensity of gambling within the four walls of an offline casino, and the thrill for many gamblers is simply not as great as gambling in the real world. Nevertheless, the experience is a trade-off against the convenience of mobile gambling, and naturally, both different gambling facilities have their own appropriate occasions.
So, depending on what you’re looking to get from your gambling, the advantages and disadvantages of mobile casinos are clear – for convenience and direct casino gambling from the comfort of your own home or on the move, mobile and online casinos represent the best and most efficient option.