Online gambling in 2016 has hit dizzy heights
Gambling has advanced exponentially in recent years and the market is now bigger than ever. Thanks to technological advancements, including the availably of Wi-Fi in public hot spots such as bars, shopping centres and public transport, there is a growing market for online gambling with more and more people getting involved.
Smartphones in particular have driven attention to mobile friendly interfaces for numerous software providers – and for good reason! The average mobile user interacts with their device more than 1,500 times a week thus it would be crazy for developers not to exploit both the mobile and wider online market.
Casino operators first noticed an opening in the online market in the 1990’s with the introduction of more powerful search engines such as Ask Jeeves, Yahoo and of course, Google…needless to say, they quickly jumped on board!
It quickly became apparent that there was huge potential for casinos on the web and online gaming sites soon blossomed. Players of course loved the immediate accessibility of this new gambling platform and demand spiked.
The only downside was that players were limited to gaming only from their desktop computer. In spite of this limitation, the early online market became hugely popular, and with the technological advancements of today, it is no surprise that the online gambling industry has gone from big to bigger.
In 2016, mobile gamers increased by almost 50% with the majority using mobile devices to play online casino games. As a result of that staggering growth, annual revenues for mobile gaming are expected to reach the $100 billion mark by the end of 2016.
With initiatives exclusive to mobile, such as in-play and cash-out options, an increasing number of customers are now using their smartphones or tablets to gamble.
In fact, research carried out by IDC back in 2013 showed that 80% of 18-44 year olds, one of the gambling industry’s key target markets, have contact with their mobile up to 22 hours a day.
This, combined with reports of high street bookmakers facing hiked duty on gaming machines, implies that the trend towards mobile betting is arguably a promising future for the industry as a whole.
Live sporting events provide a huge platform for online bookies, particularly in the mobile market as odds and results are updated and delivered instantly. Furthermore, the unique convenience of direct play and personalisation of this type of betting experience helps secure customer loyalty to the brand.
Securing a player’s loyalty is especially important in the casino world too. In addition to the standard reward programs, online operators, such as Royal Vegas Casino, must now place huge emphasis on delivering quality, mobile optimized casino options such as slots, table and card games. Due to improved mobile processing speed, attention must also be paid to the game’s visuals as attractive animations and impressive graphics are now expected as standard.
The United Kingdom has an enormous community of mobile gamblers. As well as 97% mobile penetration (64% of that smartphones), 30% use their mobile to access casino games on their way to work (with some, dare we say it, even gambling on the job). In some instances, players can pay-to-play via their mobile phone bill bringing convenience (and possibly danger) to a whole new level in 2016.
One thing for certain is that online gambling is very popular in 2016, and if current trends are set to continue, the outlook for the future can only bigger and better… with both barrels!