The days of stationary internet are quickly becoming a distant memory. Smartphones and tablets are now an integral part of our everyday lives, giving people the ability to stay connected on the move, browse the internet, send emails and play games wherever they are. Well, anywhere with a decent WiFi or 3G connection, at least.
In the United States alone, the number of smartphone users is expected to reach 223 million by the end of 2017. In that same time period, the number of worldwide users is forecasted to exceed 2 billion, which is nearly a third of all people on the planet. And wherever there is a massive audience, there is bound to be an opportunity for business.
The unstoppable rise of mobile technology has had a huge impact on many industries, though none more so than iGaming. Over the past five years or so we’ve seen a clear shift among online casinos, poker rooms and bookmakers, all of which are investing heavily in developing their mobile functionality.
But is this a fad or an investment for the future? Let’s take a closer look at some of the key factors at play.
Mobile Gaming Apps at the Forefront of UX Design
When it comes to user experience, mobile technology presents a completely different set of design challenges compared to its desktop cousin. It values simplicity and ease of access over comprehensive functionality, and nowhere is this more apparent than in the iGaming industry.
Take an operator like Betway, for example. Their popular range of topical slot games – which includes entertaining titles like Tomb Raider, Game Of Thrones and The Dark Knight Rises – are designed specifically with mobile usage in mind. The Betway app allows users to quickly login on their smartphone or tablet, deposit funds and play their preferred choice of game all within a matter of seconds. Forget mouse clicks, the power is now literally at each player’s fingertips.
Security Is Far Less Of A Barrier
It used to be the case that many people distrusted the idea of submitting their personal banking details when depositing and withdrawing money online, particularly using a mobile phone.
Payment systems and processes of age verification are now far more sophisticated than they were five years ago, and industry standards have risen considerably. To address the issue of security, many iGaming providers actually offer bespoke mobile wallets that give the player vital peace of mind whenever they transfer money to and from their account.
Not only that, the speed at which players can deposit and withdraw funds has increased massively in recent years. Again, it feeds into the idea of convenience and ease of play that is so crucial for mobile users.
A Perfect Platform For Gaming Innovation
This year, the total value of the global iGaming market is expected to go over the $50 billion mark. There are few other segments of the gaming industry as a whole that can compete with this level of growth, which makes it an incredibly lucrative space for developers to get into. With rapid growth comes rapid reinvestment, so we certainly expect iGaming to be among those leading the charge in the development of mobile technology, functionality and, ultimately, what is possible for a gamer to do on a smartphone or tablet.
For example, we’ve already seen how augmented reality has proved successful in other types of mobile games (Pokemon Go springs to mind), so how will this play out with iGaming? Or, how will mobile technology allow online poker players from all over the world to connect with each other in way never before possible? It’s an exciting time for iGaming, that’s for sure. And while the growth of the industry has already evolved at a whirlwind pace in the past five years, you can’t help thinking it’s only just getting started.