The smartphone sector has seen explosive growth over the past couple of years, as more and more people ditch their old Nokia or Motorola phones in favor an iPhone, Android or Blackberry device. As a result, online casinos have also been developing mobile casino applications to take advantage of this new technology to allow their players to bet and win while on the move.
Even though the mobile casino market is still in its infancy, it is pretty obvious that mobile gaming on smartphones is going to experience huge growth over the next 5 years, particularly on Android and iOS devices. Recent research reports from Juniper predict that the mobile gambling industry will be worth over £30 billion by 2019.
Online casinos are already trying to capitalize on this expanding market by developing a greater range of mobile casino apps for their customers. Most online casinos currently offer approx. 200 – 300 different types of casino games to their online players. However, mobile casino games are currently limited to the most popular casino games, such as mobile roulette, mobile blackjack, mobile keno, mobile slots, mobile poker, mobile scratch cards and mobile bingo.
The development of mobile casino apps was initially stunted by Apple’s refusal to support Flash on their iPhone and their ban on real money gambling apps in the iTunes App Store. Google followed Apple’s lead in 2011 by removing all gambling related apps from their Android Market. This left early smartphone adopters very few real money mobile gaming options.
Thankfully, both Apple and Google have begun to relax their anti-gambling positions by allowing real money gambling apps into their app stores. A number of sports betting, poker and lottery apps have already been approving in certain countries and it’s only a matter of time before we begin to see mobile casino apps appear in both the Android Market and Apple App Store.
Although the increased processing power of Android smartphones has enabled online casinos develop more feature rich casinos apps, it has been the smartphones touchscreen technology that has really taken mobile casinos to the next level. The large touchscreen displays have allowed mobile casino developers create exciting and easy to use mobile casino games that allow players easily interact with casino games such as roulette and blackjack. Tablet computers like the iPad, RIM Playbook and Amazon Kindle Fire, with their larger screens are particularly well suited to mobile roulette and mobile slots games.
Gambling sites have also simplified and streamlined the registration process by allowing mobile players sign-up via SMS. Once you’ve entered your phone number, a text message will be sent to your phone with easy to follow instructions on how to install a particular mobile casino app onto your Android, iPhone, BlackBerry or Window Phone.
Like any new market, there is intense competition between the various operators to attract new players, which is good news for prospective gamers. Most mobile casinos now offer no deposit sign-up bonuses to new players plus 100% first deposit match bonuses. These promotions can earn new mobile players thousands of dollars when they sign-up at a new mobile casino.
The only fly in the ointment for the mobile casinos industry is the murky legal situation the online gambling industry finds itself in, in the United States. Since Black Friday many online poker and casino operations have withdrawn from the U.S. market. The good news is that many U.S. states are already in the process of regulating online gambling in the United States, so it is only a matter of time before American casino players are offered a greater selection of mobile casino apps for their Android smartphones and tablets.